AI expert Milind Tambe joins Harvard University

Milind Tambe
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CAMBRIDGE, MA–Milind Tambe, a leader in applying Artificial Intelligence to address pressing societal challenges, has joined the faculty at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) as the Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Center for Research on Computation and Society (CRCS).

Tambe’s research explores fundamental problems in computational game theory, machine learning, automated planning, intelligent agents, and multi-agent interactions. He comes to SEAS from the University of Southern California, where he was a professor in engineering and the Founding Co-Director of the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society.

Currently, Tambe and his team are leading a portfolio of AI-enabled initiatives aimed at protecting endangered wildlife from poaching at parks and preserves around the world, arresting the spread of tuberculosis in India, and improving the delivery of healthcare to homeless youth living with HIV-AIDS in Los Angeles, among others. The central theme connecting this work is a focus on advancing AI and multi-agent systems research to create real-world applications for social good.

Tambe has pioneered a security games framework that has been deployed and tested for security optimization, both nationally and internationally, by agencies such as the U.S. Coast Guard and the Federal Air Marshals Service. It is also at the heart of an innovative system for helping park rangers predict the behavior of poachers, called Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security. PAWS is in use today by non-governmental agencies and state governments at wildlife preserves around the world.

“Given the tremendous opportunities at Harvard for interdisciplinary collaborations between AI and researchers in public health, medicine, sustainability, ethics, and so many other relevant topics, we can easily see the potential for Harvard Computer Science to emerge as a leader in AI for Society,” Tambe said.

In 2013, Tambe co-founded Avata Intelligence based on his team’s research. He serves on the company’s board of directors and as director of research.

He received his M.Sc. in Computer Science from Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India; and his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Tambe is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and of the Association for Computing Machinery


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