Former Alumni Takes the Lead of IDeA Labs

July 1, 2021

Today, Prof. David Grimsman, an Alumni of IDeA Labs (MS 2016), took the reigns as he returned from UC Santa Barbara, where he earned his Ph.D. studying how information impacts decisions in cooperative and non-cooperative multiagent systems. In his own words, “Large-scale autonomous systems are those with many components that act based on individual preferences. No component can access all information within the system, due to time or computation constraints, therefore, each component must make decisions based on constrained, local information. In this talk we will discuss how constraints on information sharing among the components affect the overall emergent behavior of the system and how a system designer might incentivize the components toward globally beneficial actions. Specifically, I study scenarios where the components are tasked with a cooperative goal, and one with the presence of an attacker who cannot be directly affected by the system designer.”

David’s interests span a number of phenomena that arise in distributed systems, from game theoretic questions to optimization and computational issues. As an avid sports fan, he is thinking about how the principles he discovered in his theoretical work are realized in variou sports, but he is also considering the implications of his results on the securtiy of large scale infrastrucutre systems and various other applications.

As David takes the lead of IDeA Labs, the former director, Prof. Sean Warnick, will step down as he takes a professional leave from BYU. Sean still plans to be a faculty mentor, advisor, and supporter of the group, and he is excited for the energy and leadership that David brings. “This is a new era for IDeA Labs,” Sean said. “I’m very excited about the intellectul atmosphere that we will nurture as a research group under David’s leadership.”