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Obituary - Elaine Bennett, 44

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 33 - June 1, 1995

Elaine Bennett, 44

Elaine Bennett, associate professor of economics since August, 1991, died Friday morning, May 26, in Monterey, CA.

Bennett received a B.S. in physics from the University of Florida in 1972, an M.A. in economics from Florida Atlantic University in 1973, and a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1980. Her areas of specialization were game theory and the design of mechanisms for making collective decisions. She taught at the University of Buffalo and the University of Kansas before coming to Virginia Tech. For the past year she has been on leave at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Bennett's work focused on finding ways to achieve attractive outcomes in bargaining situations where there are more than two participants. In her paper, "The Aspiration Approach to Predicting Coalition Formation and Payoff Distribution in Sidepayment Games," she devised a new solution concept for such games, based on the participants' aspirations, rather than on the consequences of not agreeing, as in earlier work of other scholars. Researchers in bargaining theory have praised Bennett's work for its insight and originality, and Bennett for her tenacity in working on problems that are both important and difficult.

The family suggests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the New River Valley Hospice or the Women's Resource Center in Radford.