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 21 issued patents.

He has 28 years of experience building optimization-powered 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/, Granata Decision Systems (now Google), Rare Crowds (now Media Math), and others. His algorithms run the UNOS kidney exchange, which includes 159 transplant centers, that is, 69% of all transplant centers in the US.

He has developed the leading algorithms for several general classes of game. The team that he leads is the current two-time world champion in computer Heads-Up No-Limit Texas Hold’em poker, and Libratus became the first and only AI to beat top humans at that game.

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. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.

Gabriele Farina

Applied Research Enterprise Software and Optimization Engineer

Mr. Farina develops optimization algorithms and software at Optimized Markets. He has significant experience on market optimization algorithms via working with Dr. Sandholm on advertising optimization and kidney exchange, and has published several peer-reviewed papers on these topics. He earned his B.Sc. cum laude in Automation and Control Engineering at Politecnico di Milano. He is completing his PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University under Dr. Sandholm’s guidance.

Prof. John Dickerson, PhD

Senior Enterprise Software and Optimization Architect

Dr. Dickerson develops optimization algorithms and software architecture at Optimized Markets. He is also Assistant Professor of Computer Science at University of Maryland, College Park. He has significant experience on market optimization algorithms via working with Dr. Sandholm on advertising optimization and kidney exchange. He earned a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and completed his MS and PhD in Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University 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.

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.