Key Team Members

Prof. Tuomas Sandholm, PhD

Founder and CEO

Dr. Sandholm is a serial entrepreneur and eminent professor.  He is a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University in the Computer Science Department, with affiliate professor appointments in the Machine Learning Department, the PhD Program in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO), and the CMU/UPitt Joint Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology.  He is the Founder and Director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory.

He has published over 450 peer-reviewed academic papers and holds 19 patents.

He has 26 years of experience building optimization-based electronic marketplaces, and has fielded several of his systems.

In parallel with his academic career, he was Founder, Chairman, and CTO/Chief Scientist of CombineNet, Inc. from 1997 until its acquisition in 2010.  During this period the company commercialized over 800 of the world’s largest-scale generalized combinatorial markets, with over $60 billion in total spend and over $6 billion in generated savings.  

Dr. Sandholm also served as the redesign consultant of Baidu’s sponsored search auctions; within two years Baidu’s market cap increased 5x to $50 billion due to doubled monetization. He has also served as consultant to Yahoo! for Internet display advertising market design, and Yahoo! has adopted several of his ideas.

He has consulted for Google, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Netcycler/swap.com, Granata Decision Systems (now Google), Rare Crowds (now Media Math), and others. His algorithms run the US-wide UNOS kidney exchange.

He has applied his algorithms to develop the reigning two-time world champion Heads’Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker program. He earned a PhD and MS in Computer Science and a Dipl. Eng. (MS with BS included) with distinction in Industrial Engineering and Management Science.  Among his many honors are the NSF Career Award, inaugural ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award, Sloan Fellowship, Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence, Edelman Laureateship, and Computers and Thought Award.

He is Fellow of the ACM, AAAI, and INFORMS.

Fei Peng, PhD

Director of Engineering

Dr. Peng develops optimization algorithms and software at Optimized Markets. He is an expert in integer programming, with a focus on scalability on real data. He earned his PhD in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.

John Dickerson

Senior Enterprise Software and Optimization Architect

Mr. Dickerson develops optimization algorithms and software architecture at Optimized Markets. He has significant experience on market optimization algorithms via working with Dr. Sandholm on kidney exchange. He earned a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and an MS in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University, and he is completing his PhD under Dr. Sandholm’s guidance.

Prof. Geoff Gordon, PhD

Senior Machine Learning Architect

Dr. Gordon works on Optimized Markets’s machine learning algorithms and software. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Machine Learning at Carnegie Mellon University, and Associate Department Head for Education. He works on statistical machine learning, educational data, game theory, multi-robot systems, and planning in probabilistic, adversarial, and general-sum domains. His previous appointments include Visiting Professor at the Stanford Computer Science Department and Principal Scientist at Burning Glass Technologies in San Diego. Dr. Gordon received his B.A. in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1991, and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999.

Cameron Scott

Senior UI/UX Architect

Cameron Scott has been a developer, UI designer, project manager, and content strategist operating in Pittsburgh since 2011. He graduated summa cum laude from The Pennsylvania State University. After graduation, he taught in the Integrative Arts Department at Penn State, where he built and implemented digital curricula for a variety of music, art, and design courses. During that time, he developed a fascination with the efficient, effective delivery of content over the web, which drove him to dive more deeply into a wide variety of web-based technologies. From there, it was a short hop to more commercial applications.

Prof. George Nemhauser, PhD

Dr. Nemhauser serves on the Optimized Markets Technical Advisory Board and is actively engaged with the company. He also served on the Technical Advisory Board of Dr. Sandholm’s previous startup for a decade. He is the A. Russell Chandler III Chair and Institute Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the former president of the Operations Research Society of America. He is a leader in the field of integer programming, and has written multiple central books in the area. His research concerns large mixed integer programming problems and their applications. He has also contributed important studies of approximation algorithms. He is recipient of the George E. Kimball Medal, the Frederick W. Lanchester Prize (twice), the Phillip McCord Morse Lectureship Award, the first Optimization Society Khachiyan Prize, and the John von Neumann Theory Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and Fellow of INFORMS and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Prof. Craig Boutilier, PhD

Dr. Boutilier serves on the Optimized Markets Technical Advisory Board and is actively engaged with the company. He also served on the Technical Advisory Board of Dr. Sandholm’s previous startup for a decade. He is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. He is a leader in the fields of knowledge representation, probabilistic reasoning, decision making under uncertainty, multiagent systems, preference elicitation, market design, game theory, computational advertising, Markov decision processes, and machine learning. He has published over 200 peer-reviewed academic papers and holds seven patents. He earned his PhD in Computer Science from the University of Toronto. He has been awarded the Isaac Walton Killam Research Fellowship and an IBM Faculty Award. He is Fellow of the ACM and AAAI.

Steve Feingold

Steve Feingold serves on the Optimized Markets Business Advisory Board and is actively engaged with the company. A veteran of 34 years in the cable advertising industry, Steve has held senior level Operations, Management, Strategy, and Board positions with industry-leading MVPDs and affiliated companies. As Comcast Spotlight’s Senior Vice President of Operations and Strategic Planning, 2000-2014, Feingold was charged with helping this (3,300 employee/ $2+ B revenue) division evolve from a geo-target linear video advertising company into a multi-platform, multi-screen, data-driven sales entity. Toward that accomplishment, his areas of responsibility included designing and refining workflows, upgrading infrastructure and business intelligence capabilities, designing and executing new advertising products, and acquiring software companies or building platforms that expedited this evolution. While at Comcast Spotlight, the company expanded its core offerings to include linear video advertising on Satellite and Telco turnkeys, Internet display and on-line video, electronic program guide advertising, dynamic Video-on-Demand ad insertion, and interactive TV ads. Steve has served on various industry Boards and has been recognized with various industry awards including Cable Avails Manager of the Year, CableFax’s Sales Hall of Fame, and 4 times in Cable’s Top 100 Industry Leaders.