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TAPMI-Max Planck Winter School

About The Winter School

The Max Planck Institute for Human Development in collaboration with the T.A. Pai Management Institute brings together the Winter School on Bounded Rationality at Manipal, Karnataka, India. The aim is to foster understanding of the process and quality of human decisions and to apply this knowledge to the real world, enabling people to make better decisions in a complex world. To this end, it offers a unique forum for decision-making scholars and researchers from various disciplines to share their approaches, discuss their research and applications, and inspire each other.

Keynote Address

Gerd Gigerenzer
Director of the “Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition” and the “Harding Center for Risk Literacy” at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.

Organizing Institutions

T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)
TAPMI is among the leading management institutes in India, located in the international university town of Manipal, Karnataka. TAPMI is founded by the visionary, Late Shri. Tonse Ananth Pai (T. A. Pai). TAPMI’s mission is—”to excel in post-graduate management education, research and practice”. With academic rigour and experiential learning at its core, TAPMI’s programmes include Post-Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM), PGDM – Healthcare, and PGDM – Banking and Financial Services, a Ph. D. programme in management, as well as an 18-month joint TAPMI and University of Dubai MBA programme. TAPMI is the second B-School in India to get global accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Max Planck Institute for Human Development (MPIB)
The MPIB is an internationally renowned social science research institute located in Berlin, Germany. The MPIB is dedicated to the study of human development and education. Researchers of various disciplines—including psychology, education, sociology, medicine, history, economics, computer science, as well as mathematics—work together on interdisciplinary projects at the institute. The research questions they examine include how people make effective decisions in a complex world, what effects the institution of school has on children’s development and learning processes, how the interaction between behaviour and brain function changes over a lifespan, as well as how human emotions change in a historical context and how they have affected the course of history itself.


Applying for the Winter School is possible between August 15 and September 25, 2016.

Financial Assistance & Further Questions

There is no fee thanks to the generous support of our sponsors. Participants’ boarding and lodging shall be taken care of, and their travel costs can be partially reimbursed.

For more info view our FAQ. For further questions e-mail us at


The TAPMI-MPI Winter School’s Goal

The MPIB conducts a summer institute on bounded rationality every year at Berlin, participated by scholars and students from around the world. In collaboration with TAPMI, MPIB is bringing the concept to India with a Winter School on Bounded Rationality in the second week of January 2017. This is to educate and encourage stronger participation by Asian/Indian scholars and students. The school aims to provide an interdisciplinary platform for sharing knowledge, discussing the importance and applications of simple solutions to complex problems, and fostering research collaborations between participating scholars and students. Participants will be introduced to research from a diverse set of fields organized under the umbrella of bounded rationality. This winter school will organise many activities—such as seminars, talks, panel discussions, workshops, poster sessions, and social events will take place—and allowing participants to learn and develop new ideas in their respective research fields facilitated by frequent interactions with the teaching faculty members.

Bounded Rationality

What do we mean by bounded rationality? In short, it refers to how the mind reasons under limited time, information, and computational power. However, the logic and probability theory assume perfect knowledge about the relevant features of the world, whereas bounded rationality seeks to specify simple step-by-step rules (heuristics) that function well in an uncertain and complex world.

Two terms closely related to bounded rationality are: “social rationality” and “ecological rationality”.

More about bounded rationality

Social Rationality

Human problem-solving may also occur in interaction with others. Decisions may have an interactive nature and what is deemed irrational in isolation might be rational in interaction with others. The study of social rationality examines how judgment and decision processes can adapt to these interconnected social environments. This often involves going out of the lab into the field to study problems that occur whenever multiple people in medicine, law, business, and politics have to make decisions.

More about social rationalty

Ecological Rationality

Another essential concept, “ecological rationality”, refers to the idea that decision mechanisms are adapted to the ecology of the decision maker. The ecology refers to the informational structure within the environment in which the mind makes a decision. There need not be one all-purpose strategy, but rather a set of decision strategies that are specifically adapted to certain types of ecologies. Therefore, the study of ecological rationality explores how these mechanisms exploit the structure of the information in the environment. Through evolution, learning, and culture, a repertoire of specialized cognitive mechanisms (metaphorically known as the “adaptive toolbox”) have emerged. These fast and frugal heuristics generally consist of three building blocks: search rule, stopping rule, and decision making.

More about ecological rationality


The winter school shall focus on diverse set of topics as mentioned below

  • Bounded Rationality
  • Ecological Rationality
  • Behavioral Economics and Finance
  • Heuristics
  • Fast and Frugal Trees
  • Risk and Risk Literacy
  • Medical Decision Making
  • Judgement and Decision Making

Seminars, talks, panel discussions, workshops, poster sessions, and social events will take place during the winter school, allowing participants to learn and develop new ideas in their broad research fields, facilitated by frequent interactions with the teaching faculty members.

Program Schedule to be updated soon.



Shenghua Luan and Kavitha Ranganathan


Vasanth Kamath

Scientific Committee

Nathan Berg, Shenghua Luan, Kavitha Ranganathan, Madhu Veeraraghavan

IT Support

Arun Thantry and Prajwal


Ananth Pai and Nayak

Secretarial Support


For any clarification e-mail us at


Keynote Address

Gerd Gigerenzer

Director of the “Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition” and the “Harding Center for Risk Literacy” at the Max Planck Institute of Human Development (MPIB), Berlin, Germany.

In addition, he is the founder and partner of “Simply Rational – The Institute for Decisions”, which was set up in 2015. He is a former Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and John M. Olin Distinguished Visiting Professor, School of Law at the University of Virginia. He is also Batten Fellow at the Darden Business School, University of Virginia, and Fellow of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and the German Academy of Sciences. Awards for his work include the AAAS Prize for the best article in the behavioral sciences and the Association of American Publishers Prize for the best book in the social and behavioral sciences.

His award-winning popular books Calculated Risks: How To Know When Numbers Deceive You, and Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious were translated into 18 languages. His academic books include Simply Rational: Decision Making in the Real World, Simple Heuristics That Make Us Smart and Bounded Rationality: The Adaptive Toolbox (with Reinhard Selten, a Nobel Laureate in economics). In Better Doctors, Better Patients, Better Decisions (with Sir Muir Gray), he shows how better informed doctors and patients can improve healthcare while reducing the costs. Gigerenzer has trained U.S. federal judges, German physicians, and top managers in decision making and understanding risks and uncertainties.

Teaching Faculty

Nathan Berg

Nathan Berg is Associate Professor of economics at University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. Berg has published numerous articles and chapters in the field of behavioral economics, appearing in Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Psychological Review, Social Choice and Welfare and Contemporary Economic Policy. Berg was a Fulbright Scholar in 2003 and Visiting Research Scientist at the Max Planck Institute-Berlin in the 2000s. His research has been cited in Financial Times, Business Week, Canada’s National Post, The Village Voice, The Advocate, Science News, Slate and the Atlantic Monthly. He was awarded a Ph.D. (with honors) in economics and MA (with honors) in mathematics from University of Kansas in 2001.

Konstantinos Katsikopoulos

Konstantinos Katsikopoulos has studied applied mathematics, cognitive psychology, and operations research in Greece, Germany, and the US. He has been a visiting assistant professor at MIT. He now holds a W2 professorship at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, and also is an associate professor at the Business School of the University of Southampton, UK. Konstantinos researches how standard decision theory and the simple rules of thumb people use can be integrated, and has worked with government and business on complex problems in economics, management, and health.

Tomás Lejarraga

Tomás Lejarraga received his doctorate in Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona in 2009. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory in Carnegie Mellon University, and later a Visiting Associate Profesor at the University of Balearic Islands. Since 2013, he is a Research Scientist at the Center for Adaptive Rationality. Tomás is interested in how individuals and groups explore, process, and integrate descriptive (symbolic information) and personally experienced information when making decisions. In one of his current projects, he examines the impact of economic turmoil on financial risk taking, and how that impact depends on whether the crisis was experienced or learned though symbolic descriptions.

Shenghua Luan

Shenghua is a cognitive psychologist who studies various topics in judgment and decision-making, including simple heuristics, managerial decisions, moral decisions, wisdom of the crowds, and sports forecasting. In his research, Shenghua combines descriptive approaches (i.e., how do people make decisions?) with prescriptive ones (i.e., how can we help people improve their decisions?), and prefers using real-world data to study real-world phenomena.

Michelle McDowell

Michelle McDowell is a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and the Harding Center for Risk Literacy. Her research focuses on promoting balanced and transparent risk communication formats to facilitate medical decision making. Her recent focus has been on determining how best to summarise medical evidence to support understanding, and to address challenges to the translation of evidence for use in decision tools. She is interested in improving the visual communication of information, and designing more ecological presentation formats that improve comprehension.

Özgür Simsek

Özgür Simsek received her Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2008. She subsequently joined the Center for Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany. Her primary areas of research are machine learning and artificial intelligence. Her current interests include the rationality of decision heuristics and the role they can play in autonomous learning and development.

Invited Talks

Madhu Veeraraghavan

Professor Veeraraghavan has published over 50 papers in international journals. His papers have appeared in The Accounting Review, Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Contemporary Accounting Research, Journal of Banking and Finance, Auditing: A Journal of Practice and Theory, Journal of Macroeconomics, Journal of Empirical Finance, Pacific Basin Finance Journal etc.

He has presented his work in top accounting and finance conferences. He was the recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Gold Medal (Monash University) for Teaching Excellence. His paper titled “Executive Equity Risk-Taking Incentive and Audit Service Pricing” was awarded the 2013 MIT Sloan Asia Conference in Accounting Best Paper Award.

Application Info

Who Can Apply

The participants of the winter school should be early career researchers or talented doctoral/postdoctoral fellows from all disciplines who are interested in the study of human judgment and decision making. They should be receptive to crossing disciplinary boundaries and be willing to critically evaluate reigning assumptions in their fields. The winter school values diversity and urges applicants from under-represented groups to apply.

Application Deadline

The application deadline for the 2017 Winter School on Bounded Rationality is September 25, 2016 midnight (12 am IST).

Costs & Financial Support

The winter school is free of charge. With the support of the Max Planck Society and T. A. Pai Management Institute, accepted participants will be provided with accommodation at TAPMI guest house and all meals that include breakfast, lunch, tea, and dinner at TAPMI cafeteria. We can provide limited travel allowance to participants; however, we encourage participants to apply for funding from their own universities/institutions. The maximum travel allowance is Rs. 15,000 for intercontinental flights and Rs. 10,000 for travel within India.


How To Use The Conference Management Tool

  • Follow the URL, and create account.
  • Login using the User ID and password.
  • In the “All Conferences” list, search for: “TAPMI-MAX PLANCK WINTER SCHOOL ON BOUNDED RATIONALITY”.
  • Click on the link. In Author Console, click on “Create new submission”, and follow the steps to complete the application.
  • Skip Conflicts of Interest.

How To Submit Application

You will need to enter following information.

  • Submit your research title and an extended abstract of a poster that is to be presented at the winter school (maximum 1000 words).
  • Upload the following:
    1. Your CV
    2. A statement of interest that explains the following questions (maximum 800-1000 words)
    a) How you (and your research) would benefit from participation?
    b) How your research fits the overall theme/topic?
    c) How you would contribute to the winter school?
  • Personal Details:
    a) Demographic details (Name, Age, and City of Travel)
    b) Highest degree (Post-doc, Ph.D., Masters)
    c) Field of study
    d) Name of Ph.D. supervisor
    e) University
  • One short letter of recommendation, sent by separate e-mail by your referee to with the subject heading Winter School Recommendation Letter for “Firstname Lastname”.


No. The winter school is for Ph.D. students, postdocs, and early career researchers.
As required by German law regulating confidentiality issues, we were not allowed to keep application documents. Therefore, we have to ask you to submit all materials again.
We are glad that you liked it, but given the limited number of slots, we shall first give preference to candidates who have not had the opportunity to participate. Since we are organizing it in India this time, we like to encourage participation particularly from Indian/Asian scholars.
Yes, all foreign nationals entering India are required to possess a valid international travel document in the form of a national passport with a valid visa obtained from an Indian Mission or Post abroad. Please refer to the website for further details: Kindly contact us in case you would require an invitation letter for the visa application.
We will provide accommodation at TAPMI guest rooms from January 08, 2017 to January 15, 2017. You shall be provided with all meals, breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner, at TAPMI cafeteria. Moreover, Manipal town, which is around 10 km from TAPMI campus, offers a variety of international food. You can engage auto rickshaws/taxis to travel to Manipal/Udupi from TAPMI campus.
We cannot provide complete funding relief for travel; however, we shall be able to cover at least part of the cost. We encourage you to apply for funding from your universities/institutions. Hence, in the application we ask whether you would be interested in attending the winter school if we are unable to provide funding. The limited travel allowance is maximum Rs. 15,000 (~200 EUR/225 USD) for intercontinental flights and maximum Rs. 10,000 (~135 EUR /150 USD) for travel within India.

Be sure to check out the different possibilities to get to Manipal. The nearest international Airport is Mangalore International Airport, located around 50 km from Manipal. The nearest railway station is located about 4 km west of Manipal, in Udupi, on the Konkan railway line. Manipal is also very well connected by buses plying from major cities like Bangalore, Mumbai, Hyderabad, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact us, if you have any questions regarding travelling and costs. We can facilitate local travel for participants from Airport and railway station to TAPMI campus.

To receive the travel reimbursement, participants will need to submit a copy of the travel invoice together with the original travel documents (boarding passes, train tickets, and/or bus tickets). The reimbursement amount will be wired directly to the bank account within one month after the documents are received.
Participants will present a poster of their research project that is relevant to the winter school. This is a great opportunity to get feedback and suggestions from all attendees. The poster should be printed before the start of the winter school. The size of the poster should be no larger than A0 size: 1189 mm x 841 mm (portrait or landscape).

In a speed talk session, participants will describe their research and/or practice within 60 seconds on stage. On screen, there will only be the participant’s name, affiliation and the poster title. The speed talk should provide the gist of the research/practice and attract others to find out more at your poster presentation. Ideally, a speed talk should cover the following points: What is the central issue? Why is it important or why is it novel? How is the issue addressed? (Also: What is the key finding? in case you are a researcher). A short video on the MPI website: provides some additional pointers about how to give a good speed talk.

If you have more questions concerning applying, the program, travelling or costs, please feel free to contact us



T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)
P.B. No. 9, Manipal
Karnataka – 576 104, India
Phone: +91 820 2701000/01

Find us on google

How To Reach Tapmi?

TAPMI is located in the beautiful university town of Manipal, near the coastal town of Udupi in Karnataka. Manipal is easily accessible by road, rail and air. Udupi (5 kms) and Mangalore (65 kms) are the two main cities that serve as entry points for Manipal.


The nearest airport is at Mangalore known as Mangalore International Airport which is a one-and-half hour drive by road. Domestic flights fly from major cities, Bangalore, Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad. Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and Spice Jet fly to Mangalore. There are direct international flights to Mangalore from Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Doha Qatar, Bahrain and Kuwait. Prepaid taxis are available at the Mangalore airport.


The closest railway stations are at Udupi (2 kms from Manipal) and Mangalore (65 kms from Mangalore). These railway stations lie on the Konkan route connecting the north and the south along the west coast. Delhi and Mumbai (to the north) and Ernakulam (to the south) are linked to Udupi station. Mangalore station is connected to Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Calicut, Cochin, Trivandrum, Mumbai and other major cities. Those traveling from Kolkata will have to travel via Chennai/Mumbai/Bangalore/Goa and then take a connecting train to Mangalore. There is also a train operating from Jammu to Mangalore once a week. For more information check:


Manipal is well connected with the major cities in Karnataka, Kerala, Goa, etc. Buses run between Mangalore and Manipal frequently. Direct buses are also available from Bangalore, Goa, Hyderabad, Mumbai and other cities.


Previous Summer Schools At MPIB

Link to MPIB website

Places Of Interest To Visit Around Manipal

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