My primary research interests lie at the intersection of two fields: evolutionary computation and multi-agent systems. I am specifically interested in how evolutionary search algorithms can be used to help people understand and analyze agent-based models of complex systems (e.g., flocking birds, traffic jams, or how information diffuses across social networks). My secondary research interests broadly span the areas of artificial life, multi-agent robotics, cognitive/learning science, design of multi-agent modeling environments. I enjoy interdisciplinary research, and in pursuit of the aforementioned topics, I have been involved in application areas from archeology to zoology, from linguistics to marketing, and from urban growth patterns to materials science. I am also very interested in creative approaches to computer science and complex systems education, and have published work on the use of multi-agent simulation as a vehicle for introducing students to computer science.
It is my philosophy that theoretical research should be inspired by real-world problems, and conversely, that theoretical results should inform and enhance practice in the field. Accordingly, I view tool building as a vital practice that is complementary to theoretical and methodological research. Throughout my own work I have contributed to the research community by developing several practical software tools, including BehaviorSearch (http://www.behaviorsearch.org/)
Leigh Tesfatsion received the Ph.D. degree in economics from the University of Minnesota, Mpls., in 1975, with a minor in mathematics. She is Research Professor of Economics, Professor Emerita of Economics, and Courtesy Research Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, all at Iowa State University. Her principal current research areas are electric power market design and the development of Agent-based Computational Economics (ACE) platforms for the performance testing of these designs. She is the recipient of the 2020 David A. Kendrick Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Computational Economics (SCE) and an IEEE Senior Member. She has served as guest editor and associate editor for a number of journals, including the IEEE Transactions on Power Systems, the IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, the Journal of Energy Markets, the Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, the Journal of Public Economic Theory, and Computational Economics. Online Short Bio
Agent-based computational economics (ACE); development and use of ACE test beds for the study of electric power market operations; development and use of ACE test beds for the study of water, energy, and climate change