Homeland Security Award Columbus Scholar 2010
Field of Border and Transportation Security
Milind Tambe, Ph.D.
Professor of Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering
University of Southern California
Viterbi School of Engineering
Los Angeles, California
Dr. Tambe's research is focused on Artificial Intelligence, with an emphasis on agent-based and multi-agent systems.
His research has resulted in significant advances in game theoretic algorithms that are essential to critical applications
of counter-terrorism and homeland security. His game theoretic approach provides "intelligent" randomization of security
forces' actions with security guarantees, significantly increasing adversary cost and uncertainty and providing a powerful
Dr. Tambe's research in game theory, a fundamental theory of understanding how people or agents interact with each other,
focuses on Stackelberg games. These games refer to real-world situations where police commit to some security schedules,
and the adversaries can observe police actions over time, and then choose a location and time of their attack. Solving
such games leads to the optimal randomized strategy for the police, e.g. how to randomize their patrols. His research has
led to fundamental advances in algorithms for Stackelberg games; this research has been published in a dozen papers in
journals and prestigious conferences in Artificial Intelligence.
One major success is the Assistant for Randomized Monitoring Over Routes (ARMOR) system, deployed at Los Angeles
International Airport (LAX) since August 2007. ARMOR randomizes when and where police checkpoints are set up on in-bound
roads into the airport, as well as randomizing patrols of bomb-detecting canine units at the airport terminals. ARMOR has
been credited with helping LAX police prevent several loaded weapons from being carried into LAX, and in seizing large
quantities of drugs.
Dr. Tambe and his research group's papers have been selected as best papers or finalists for best papers at over a dozen
premier Artificial Intelligence and Operations Research Conferences and workshops, and their algorithms have been deployed
for real-world use by several agencies including LAX police and Federal Air Marshals Service.
He received a M.Sc. (Computer Science) from the Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India,
and Ph.D. (Computer Science) School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University.
The Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation is honored to have
had the assistance of the following distinguished individuals serving
on the 2010 Homeland Security Award Evaluation
- Stephen Cass, Special Projects Editor, Technology Review Magazine, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mr. Cass studied
experimental physics at Trinity College Dublin before relocating to the U.S. He has worked for the nature Publishing Group, IEE Spectrum,
Discover Magazine, and is currently working for Technology Review, published by MIT. He has written about security, privacy, intelligence
gathering and engineering design as well as aerospace and other science and technology topics. Mr. Cass is a member of the IEEE and the
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts.
- Frances S. Ligler, D.Phil., D.Sc., U.S. Navy Senior Scientist for Biosensors and Biomaterials in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and
Engineering at the Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. Dr. Ligler has worked in the Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering at the Naval
Research Laboratory since 1985. Ten biosensors based on her inventions have been produced commercially, and her publications have over 6,700 citations.
She is the 2009-2011 Chair of the Bioengineering Section of the National Academy of Engineering. Dr. Ligler was the recipient of the 2003 Homeland Security
Award in the Biological, Radiological, Nuclear field.
- Steven D. Webster, Vice President of Advanced Technology Research and Development, AgustaWestland North America
(AWNA), Reston, Virginia. Mr. Webster joined AgustaWestland North America in January 2009. He is responsible for North American Research
and Technology opportunities for both the Commercial and Department of Defense product lines. He comes to AWNA from Bell Helicopter Textron
and brings over 24 years of rotorcraft technology development experience.