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Dr. Theodore (Ted) P. Pavlic, Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering at Arizona State University. Ted Pavlic received his PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2010 from The Ohio State University where he learned to combine behavioral ecology and control theory to build algorithms that allow automation to make flexible decisions that are rational with respect to the current environment. Inspiration came from optimal foraging theory and cooperative breeding, and target applications ranged from military to the sustainable built environment. From 2010 to 2012, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar in Computer Science and Engineering studying cyber-physical systems of the future composed of fully autonomous and human driven cars operating in parallel in the cities of the near future. Since 2012, he has worked as a research scientist at Arizona State University in the social-insect laboratory of Stephen Pratt studying the collective decision-making processes of ants and honeybees. Not only have these studies inspired novel stochastic programming techniques for swarm robotics, but these animal models are also providing insights into the information structures that emerged at the origins of life. In August of 2015, he will join the engineering faculty of Arizona State University where he will use a variety of theoretical, computational, and empirical methods to study decision-making and organization across a wide range of artificial and natural systems. Potential graduate students interested in trans-disciplinary explorations of decision making are welcome to contact him to discuss opportunities.


Personal website in desperate need of updating:

Current host (Stephen Pratt) laboratory for ant work:

Collaborator (Sara Imari Walker) laboratory for info. theory work:

Recommended Readings

Sean Wilson, Theodore P. Pavlic, Ganesh P. Kumar, Aurélie Buffin, Stephen C. Pratt, and Spring Berman. Design of ant-inspired stochastic control policies for collective transport by robotic swarms. Swarm Intelligence, 8(4):303–327, December 2014.

Theodore P. Pavlic, Alyssa M. Adams, Paul C. W. Davies, and Sara Imari Walker. Self-referencing cellular automata: A model of the evolution of information control in biological systems. In: Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE 14), pages 522–529, July 31 – August 2, 2014.

Theodore P. Pavlic and Stephen C. Pratt. Superorganismic behavior via human computation. In: Pietro Michelucci, editor, Handbook of Human Computation, pages 911–960. Springer, 2013.


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