Milind Tambe

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Research Adjunct Professor of Computer Science


  • 1986, Master's Degree, Computer Science, Birla Institute of Tech & Science
  • Doctoral Degree, Computer Science, Carnegie-Mellon University


Milind Tambe is Founding Co-Director of the CAIS Center for AI in Society, Helen N. and Emmett H. Jones Professor in Engineering at the University of Southern California(USC), and Professor in the Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering Departments. He is a fellow of AAAI (Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence) (2007), fellow of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) (2013), recipient of the ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award (2005), Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Homeland security award(2010), the INFORMS Wagner prize for excellence in Operations Research practice (2012), the Rist Prize of the Military Operations Research Society (2011), IBM Faculty Award(2012), Okawa foundation faculty research award (2004), the RoboCup scientific challenge award(1999), Orange County Engineering Council Outstanding Project Achievement Award (2015), USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research (2014) and USC Viterbi School of Engineering use-inspired research award (2009).

Prof. Tambe has contributed several foundational papers in agents and multiagent systems and computational game theory; three main areas are MULTIAGENT TEAMWORK, DISTRIBUTED CONSTRAINT OPTIMIZATION (DCOP) and SECURITY GAMES. For this research, he has received the influential paper award and best paper awards at a number of premier Artificial Intelligence Conferences and workshops --- these have included International Joint Conference on AI (IJCAI), International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) and International Conference on Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA) (e.g., recent best paper awards include AAMAS'2016, IAAI'2016, IJCAI'15, AAMAS'12, AAMAS'11, IVA'11, AAMAS'09). Furthermore, today, the security games framework that Prof. Tambe pioneered has been deployed and tested for security optimization, both nationally and internationally, by agencies such as the US Coast Guard and the Federal Air Marshals Service, by various police departments in Los Angeles, as well as by non-governmental organizations committed to wildlife conservation. This research has led him and his students to receive the US Coast Guard Meritorious Team Commendation from the Commandant(2013), US Coast Guard First District's Operational Excellence Award(2011), Certificate of Appreciation from the US Federal Air Marshals Service (2011) and special commendation given by the Los Angeles World Airports police from the city of Los Angeles(2009). Finally, his work with algorithms for exploiting social networks for HIV prevention were listed by in their "26 incredible innovations that improved the world in 2015".

In 2013, based on his research on security games, Prof. Tambe and team co-founded Avata Intelligence. He serves as a member of the board of directors and as director of research at Avata Intelligence. Avata Intelligence grew in part from the MURI grant where Prof. Tambe served as the PI from 2011-2016.

For his teaching and service, Prof. Tambe has received the USC Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring award (2010) and the ACM recognition of service award (2004). His service includes National Academy of Sciences panels, blue ribbon panel to review security at LAX airport and DARPA ISAT Panels. He has also served as general co-chair for AAMAS (2004), and as a member of the board of directors of IFAAMAS, the IJCAI executive committee, the board of trustees of RoboCup Robot Soccer World Cup Federation and the steering board of the Conference on Decision and Game Theory for Security (GameSec); he also served as associate editor, advisory board member and editorial board member of journals including the Journal of AI Research (JAIR), IEEE Intelligent Systems and the Journal of Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (JAAMAS). Prof. Tambe received his Ph.D. from the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.

Research Summary

Artificial Intelligence, Intelligent agents, Multiagent systems, game theory, security

The Teamcore group's roots are in Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our research in the past decade and longer has focused on "AI for social good", covering topics such as but not limited to: (i) AI for protection of forests, fish and wildlife; (ii) AI for public safety and security; (iii) AI for assisting low-resource sections of society. We focus on fundamental research problems in computational game theory, machine learning, automated planning, intelligent agents and multiagent interactions that are driven by these topics, ensuring a virtuous cycle of research and real-world applications.

Our group is also part of the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society (CAIS), which is a joint venture between the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and the Viterbi School of Engineering. The center's mission is to conduct research in Artificial Intelligence to help solve the most difficult social problems facing our world. The center's efforts focus on low resource communities both here in the United States and globally, drawing inspiration from the Grand Challenges of Social Work, the Grand Challenges of Engineering, and the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Based on these goals, the center's initial projects focus on ending homelessness, fighting substance abuse, preventing suicide, improving access to health care, social responses to global climate change, reducing gang violence, and protecting wildlife.


  • 2013 ACM ACM Fellow (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • 2013 US Coast Guard Meritorious team commendation from the Commandant of the US Coast Guard
  • 2012 INFORMS Operations Research and Management Society The Daniel H. Wagner Prize for Excellence in Operations Research Practice
  • 2011 Best paper, AAMAS’2011 Innovative Applications track
  • 2011 International Conference of Intelligent Virtual Agents (IVA Best paper
  • 2011 Transportation Security Administration, Federal Air Marshals Certificate of Appreciation
  • 2011 Military Operations Research Society Rist Prize
  • 2011 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) Innovative Application Best paper
  • 2011 United States Coast Guard Operational Excellence Award
  • 2010 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) meeting Student Merit Award, Security and Defense
  • 2010 Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation Homeland Security Award
  • 2010 National Research Council National Academies Air and Ground Vehicle Technologies Panel
  • 2010 National Research Council National Academies Soldier System Panel
  • 2010 USC Parents Association Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award (Formerly, Parents Association Teaching and Mentoring Award)
  • 2010 EURO Operations Research Conference Finalist, EURO Excellence in Practice Award EEPA’2010
  • 2009 International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems Best paper, AAMAS’2009 Industry track
  • 2009 Viterbi School of Engineering, USC Inaugural USC Viterbi School of Engineering Use-inspired research award
  • 2009 Dept of Homeland Security, Office of University Programs Best Student Poster, DHS Third Annual University Network Summit
  • 2009 Dept of Homeland Security, Office of University Programs Certificate of Recognition, DHS University Programs
  • 2009 City of LA, Los Angeles World Airports Division Commendation, City of Los Angeles
  • 2008 Best paper, CTS’2008
  • 2008 International Symposium on Collaborative Technologies and Best paper award
  • 2008 International conference on autonomous agents and multiagent systems Finalist for Best paper, AAMAS’2008 Industry track
  • 2007 Best paper, DCR’2007
  • 2007 Association for Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Fellow
  • 2007 Interational Workshop on Distributed Constraint Reasoning Best paper award
  • 2006 Research Award
  • 2005 ACM/SIGART Autonomous Agents Research Award
  • 2005 Best paper, SASEMAS’2005
  • 2005 CEEMAS'2005 Finalist for Best Paper
  • 2004 In Appreciation of Contributions to ACM (Association for Com- puting Machinery) as General Co-Chair for AAMAS’2004: The Third International Joint Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems ACM Recognition of Service Award
  • 2003 AAMAS'2003 Finalist for Best Student Paper
  • 2003 The Okawa Foundation Research award for research on “Agents and Multiagent Systems”
  • 2002 Best paper, AAMAS’02
  • 2001 Robocup-Rescue International Competition at RoboFesta, International Games Festival Silver medal
  • 2001 RoboCup’2001 International Robotic Soccer and Rescue tournaments Third Place Prize
  • 1999 Best of ICMAS’98
  • 1999 RoboCup Scientific Challenge Award
  • 1997 USC/Information Sciences Institute Meritorious service award
  • 1997 RoboCup’97 International Robotic Soccer Competition (simulation league) Third-place rpize
  • 1986 Computer Science Department of BITS, Pilani Bhamsa Award
  • 1986 BITS, Pilani Bronze medal
  • 1982 State of Maharashtra (Pune division), India First in the subject of electronics in the higher secondary certificate examination
  • 1982 State of Maharashtra (Pune division), India Merit list (ranked 7th)
  • - ACM ACM Fellow (Association for Computing Machinery)
  • - Best of Agents’99
  • Computer Science
  • Daniel J Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

  • SAL 104
  • Henry Salvatori Computer Science Center
  • 941 Bloom Walk, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • USC Mail Code: 0781

Contact Information
  • (213) 740-6447


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