ECE Seminar Series
ISTeC Distinguished Lecture
In conjunction with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
and Department of Computer Science Seminar Series
Title: Machine Learning and Democracy: Some Problems in Collective Decision-Making
Speaker: Sanjeev Kulkarni
Affiliation: Princeton University
Day: Monday, October 24, 2016
Time: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Location: Morgan Library Event Hall
Abstract: A recent area of interest in machine learning involves drawing inferences from a large number of agents, each
with some partial information. Such problems arise in a number of settings, with recent areas of interest including
recommender systems and sensor networks. Problems in collective decision-making are also closely related to a
fundamental problem of democracy - that of inferring the collective will of the people. This talk will give a brief
overview of machine learning and voting theory, followed by a discussion of some of our recent work in these areas.
Bio: Sanjeev R. Kulkarni received a B.S. in Mathematics and Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, an M.S. in
Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T.
From 1985 to 1991 he was a Member of the Technical Staff at M.I.T. Lincoln Laboratory. Since 1991, he has been
with Princeton University where he is currently Professor of Electrical Engineering and Dean of the Graduate School.
He is also an affiliated faculty member of the Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering and the
Department of Philosophy. Prof. Kulkarni served as Director of the Keller Center from 2011-2014, Master of Butler
College from 2004 to 2012, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering and Applied
Science from 2003-2005. He spent January 1996 as a research fellow at the Australian National University. He spent
1998 with Susquehanna International Group and was a regular consultant there from 1997 to 2001. During Summer
2001, he was a visiting researcher at Flarion Technologies.
Prof. Kulkarni received an ARO Young Investigator Award in 1992, and an NSF Young Investigator Award in 1994.
He has also received a number of teaching awards at Princeton University, including the President's Award for
Distinguished Teaching in May 2007. He served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Information
Theory and is a Fellow of the IEEE. Prof. Kulkarni's research interests include statistical pattern recognition, machine
learning, nonparametric estimation, information theory, wireless networks, signal/image/video processing, and
econometrics and finance.