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Lillian Ratliff to Join UW EE in Fall 2016

UW EE is pleased to announce that Lillian Ratliff will join the department in the fall of 2016. Prior to joining UW, Ratliff will complete a year of postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Ph.D.

In addition to providing an ideal environment for her research and boasting a strong academic program, the UW’s focus on diversity was also important to Ratliff. She notes the strong contingent of women faculty and researchers as well as the National Science Foundation’s ADVANCE Program on campus, which strives to increase the participation of women in engineering.

“Given the particularly progressive nature of the city of Seattle, for my particular research focus I am not sure there is a better place to be,” Ratliff said. “I am looking forward to collaborating with the amazing faculty in EE as well as across the department of engineering and campus.”

Ratliff’s research is focused on developing tools to solve problems in large-scale sociotechnical systems including the smart grid, intelligent transportation, healthcare systems and smart urban spaces. To tackle problems in these systems, she develops tools and methods using a combination of game theory, control theory, statistical learning and optimization.

For her research on smart urban spaces, Ratliff is particularly interested in utilizing data to better understand the dynamics of expanding urban centers. With the growth of cities, the end-users—in this case, the residents—are more actively integrated into the decision-making processes, leading to more human-centric systems.

“As the number of 'plugged-in' decision-making entities grows, new issues arise potentially causing global system characteristics that are not readily observable at the individual or microscopic scale,” Ratliff said. “I am interested in understanding these emerging system behaviors and designing mechanisms to shape both local and global system properties such as efficiency and resilience.”

Originally from Georgia, Ratliff is an avid runner and biker and is excited to explore the outdoor activities that Seattle has to offer.

Welcome to UW EE, Lillian!

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