Faculty Members

Prof. Mihaela van der Schaar (Center Director) Electrical Engineering

Mihaela van der Schaar is since 2011 Chancellor's Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of California, Los Angeles. Her research interests include i) machine learning for decision making, online learning, real-time stream mining, healthcare informatics, machine learning for education; ii) network science, engineering economics and game theory, strategic design, societal, expert and social networks, reputation systems, population dynamics; iii) optimization and learning in multi-user networks and system designs, wireless networks, information and communications technology for the integration of renewable energies and the efficient use of energy, multimedia. She is an IEEE Fellow since 2010, a Distinguished Lecturer of the Communications Society for 2011-2012, the Editor in Chief of IEEE Transactions on Multimedia and a member of the Editorial Board of the IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing. She received an NSF CAREER Award (2004), the Best Paper Award from IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology (2005), the Okawa Foundation Award (2006), the IBM Faculty Award (2005, 2007, 2008), the Most Cited Paper Award from EURASIP: Image Communications Journal (2006), the Gamenets Conference Best Paper Award (2011) and the 2011 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Darlington Award Best Paper Award. She received three ISO awards for her contributions to the MPEG video compression and streaming international standardization activities, and holds 33 granted US patents. She is also the founding director of the UCLA Center for Engineering Economics, Learning, and Networks (CEELN).

Prof. Ichiro Obara (Center Co-Director) Economics

Ichiro Obara is an associate professor in the department of Economics at UCLA. He obtained a Ph.D. degree in Economics from University of Pennsylvania and has taught at UCLA and University of Minnesota. His work ranges from the theory and application of repeated games to the theory of mechanism design. His recent research interestes include repeated games with nonexponential discounting, repeated games with informational lag, and an application of POMDP to repeated games with private information.

Prof. Daniel Andrei Finance

Andrei is an assistant professor of finance at UCLA Anderson, where he teaches courses in option markets. He conducts research in the area of theoretical asset pricing, with a special focus on the role of information in financial markets. His most recent research explores the impact of the transmission of information through word-of-mouth communication on stock returns and on their volatility. Andrei was lured to UCLA Anderson by the department's expertise in asset pricing and the quality of the entire faculty, in particular Michael Brennan, whose research he found interesting, inspiring and close to the work he was pursuing. What he has found encouraging is the open-door atmosphere at the school, "which fosters interaction and discussions about ideas. I think research advances when you interact with people." He is currently working on a paper with Associate Professor Bruce Carlin on the implications of creative destruction on financial markets, focusing on the uncertainty that arises when economic agents experiment with a new technology. Experimentation involves an "observer effect" in which the new technology affects the productivity of existing assets. "We are primarily interested in this disturbance effect." A former amateur boxer, Andrei long ago hung up the gloves and has subsequently found enjoyment playing pool and learning to surf in the Santa Monica Bay. He has been a visiting scholar at Kellogg School of Management and lecturer at both HEC Lausanne and Ecole Ploytechnique Federale de Lausanne. He is fluent in Romanian, French and English.

Prof. Adnan Darwiche Computer Science

Adnan Darwiche is a professor of computer science at UCLA. His research interests span the theory and practice of automated reasoning, including both symbolic and probabilistic reasoning. On the theoretical side, he has been involved in developing representational schemes for both logic and probability and in developing exact and approximate inference algorithms that operate on such representations. On the practical side, he has been involved in developing publicly-available software systems for probabilistic reasoning, satisfiability solving, and knowledge compilation, and in their application to various domains, including planning, diagnosis, bioinformatics and reasoning about text.

Prof. Ali H. Sayed Electrical Engineering

Ali H. Sayed is a professor in the department of Electrical Engineering at UCLA. His research interests span several areas including adaptation and learning, adaptive and cognitive networks, flocking behavior and swarming, cooperative behavior, bio-inspired networks, distributed processing, self-healing circuitry, statistical signal processing, estimation and filtering theories, signal processing for communications, system theory, and algorithms for large-scale computations.

Prof. Jacob Foster Sociology

Jacob Foster is an assistant professor in the department of Sociology at UCLA. He is interested in the birth, life, and death of ideas. How are new ideas born? Why do some spread? What role do ideas play in organizing social structures? And how do social structures affect the genesis, diffusion, and ultimate extinction of ideas? Currently, he works on computational approaches to the sociology of science. By fitting rich models of discovery and impact to data extracted from articles and patents, he infers the strategies, preferences, and social processes that shape the production and persistence of new ideas. This effort is embedded in a larger project to understand -- and discover computationally -- the beliefs, biases, and heuristics that guide scientists in their exploration of the natural world. He hopes to thereby shine quantitative light on classic questions in the sociology of science. His approach is strongly informed by research on complex systems and biological and cultural evolution.

Prof. Jenn Wortman Vaughan Computer Science

Jenn Wortman Vaughan is an assistant professor in the Computer Science Department. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 2009, and subsequently spent a year as a Computing Innovation Fellow at Harvard. Her research interests are in machine learning, algorithmic economics, and social computing, all of which she studies using techniques from theoretical computer science. She is the recipient of Penn's 2009 Rubinoff dissertation award for innovative applications of computer technology, several best paper awards, and a National Science Foundation CAREER award. In her spare time, she is involved in a variety of efforts to provide support for women in computer science; most notably, she co-founded the Annual Workshop for Women in Machine Learning, which will be held for the sixth time in 2011.

Prof. Moritz Meyer-ter-Vehn Economics

Moritz Meyer-ter-Vehn is a micro-economic theorist with research interests in both pure and applied economic theory. His research agenda in pure theory focuses on robust mechanism design. On the applied side, he studies dynamic games with incomplete information and has written papers on firm reputation, relational labor contracts and information aggregation.

Prof. Paulo Tabuada Electrical Engineering

Paulo Tabuada was born in Lisbon, Portugal, one year after the Carnation Revolution. He studied Aerospace Engineering at Instituto Superior Tecnico in Lisbon and he obtained a Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Institute for Systems and Robotics, a private research institute associated with Instituto Superior Tecnico. After having the pleasure of being a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pennsylvania and faculty at the University of Notre Dame, he joined UCLA where the Mediterranean atmosphere reminds him of Portugal. He is interested in the modeling, analysis, and control of cyber-physical systems. His approach is rooted in mathematical systems theory and the belief that the commonalities between control, game-theory, communication, computation, and economics are more important than their apparent differences.

Prof. Simon Board Economics

Simon Board is an assistant professor of Economics at UCLA. He received his Ph.D at Stanford Business School, and has taught at the University of Toronto and UCLA. Simon’s research interests include pricing with strategic customers, optimal relational contracts and models of reputation. He teaches contract theory in the PhD program and e-commerce to undergraduates.

Prof. William Zame Economics

William Zame (Ph.D., Mathematics, Tulane University 1970) is Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Economics and of Mathematics at the University of California at Los Angeles (where he has been on the faculty since 1991) and Director of the California Social Science Experimental Laboratory (CASSEL). Before coming to UCLA he held appointments in the Mathematics Departments of Rice University, Tulane University and the State University of New York at Buffalo, and in the Economics and Mathematics Departments at The Johns Hopkins University. He has also held visiting appointments at the Institute for Advanced Study, the University of Washington, the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute, the Institut Mittag-Leffler, the University of Copenhagen, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and the University of California at Berkeley. He has been a Fellow of the Econometric Society since 1994 and was a Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation for 2004-2005.

Prof. Marek Pycia Economics

Marek Pycia is an assistant professor of economics at UCLA, visiting Princeton for 2015-16. Marek received his Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. and his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Polish Academy of Sciences, and has taught at Penn State before joining UCLA. His research is focused on theoretical market design including matching, allocation without transfers, multi-unit auctions, and the foundations of market design; it has been published in Econometrica, the American Economics Review, and the Review of Economic Studies. He teaches market design for graduate and undergraduate students.

Prof. Ameet Talwalkar Computer Science

Ameet Talwalkar is an assistant professor of Computer Science at UCLA and a technical advisor for Databricks. His research addresses scalability and ease-of-use issues in the field of statistical machine learning, with applications in computational genomics. He led the initial development of the MLlib project in Apache Spark, is a co-author of the graduate-level textbook 'Foundations of Machine Learning' (2012, MIT Press), and teaches a MOOC on edX called 'Scalable Machine Learning.' Prior to UCLA, he was an NSF post-doctoral fellow in the AMPLab at UC Berkeley. He obtained a B.S. from Yale University and a Ph.D. from the Courant Institute at NYU.

Prof. Sam Coogan Electrical Engineering

Sam Coogan is an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering Department at UCLA. He received the B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Tech and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He received the Leon O. Chua Award from UC Berkeley EECS in 2014 for "outstanding achievement in an area of nonlinear science" and the best student paper award at the 2015 Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control conference. His research focus is on developing scalable tools for verification and design of networked cyber-physical systems, and his research has applied these tools to create efficient and intelligent transportation systems.

Student Members

Kartik Ahuja

Simpson Zhang

Darcy Song

Ahmed Alaa