The EE Department Welcomes Assistant Professor James Anderson

James' research interests include optimal and robust control theory, mathematical optimization, and data privacy/sensitivity. In particular he is interested in designing distributed decision-making algorithms for cyber-physical systems. Such systems include everything from energy to the internet to transport and logistics.

He is currently working on developing the new System Level Synthesis (SLS) framework for distributed control. Typically, synthesis algorithms for distributed control problems  are either suboptimal or they suffer from the curse of dimensionality. Using SLS, for the first time, distributed control problems can be solved optimally and with O(1) computational complexity. James is currently applying the SLS methodology to the problem of designing smart power networks with high renewable penetration and hence uncertainty. Here, optimal and robust control is required in real time to stabilize the grid. In parallel, he is designing new algorithms that will allow grid operators to release data to the public in a manner that doesn't violate its consumers' privacy. Such data are badly needed by the research community to help us build better models for distributing power efficiently over a network.

He is excited to be joining Columbia University and beginning new interdisciplinary collaborations with faculty and students in various departments and schools. He will also  be establishing the Columbia Autonomous Racing Club, which aims to compete at an international level in the F1tenth competition. Stay tuned for more details!

James Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Columbia University. From 2016 to '19 he was a senior research scientist in Computing + Mathematical Sciences at the California Institute of Technology. Prior to Caltech he held a Junior Research Fellowship at the University of Oxford, where he was a member of St John's College and the Department of Engineering Science. He obtained his DPhil (PhD) from Oxford in Engineering Science and the MSc and BSc degrees from the School of Systems Engineering at the University of Reading. 


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