Theodore Pavlic

Assistant Professor, School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision System Engineering

Ted Pavlic is an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University jointly appointed with the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering and the School of Sustainability. He is also an adjunct faculty in ASU’s School of Life Sciences and an external professor at the Human Computation Institute. Pavlic studies autonomous decision-making systems using a combination of theoretical and empirical methods. His research seeks out unifying theoretical frameworks of rational behavior that cut across biology, economics, and engineering. Some projects in his highly interdisciplinary laboratory study animal systems directly to gain insight into how nature has solved complex decision-making challenges without the advanced communication capabilities assumed to be present in most engineered systems. In other projects, automation systems are constructed to show how relatively simple decision-making rules can be both robust and adaptive. Previously, he worked as a behavioral ecologist in a social-insect laboratory, which followed working as a computer science researcher studying automated verification of mixed-autonomy urban intelligent transportation systems. He mentors students from animal behavior, industrial engineering, computer science, and even astrophysics; together, they study collective phenomena from robotics to social science even the origin of life itself.