25 South Green Drive, Athens, Ohio 45701

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The Physics & Astronomy Colloquium Series presents Dr. Niklas Karlsson a Senior Principal Research Scientist of Amazon, discussing "Optimization and Control in Online Advertising" on April 12.


Abstract: Programmatic advertising is a core element of the business for companies such as Amazon, Google, Meta, and Yahoo. A Demand Side Platform is a particular business model for programmatic advertising, and its role is to optimally manage advertising budgets. The optimization problem is challenging due to an underlying high-dimensional, nonlinear, time-varying, dynamic, and stochastic plant.

In this talk we introduce the optimization problem and demonstrate how it can be decomposed into sub problems that are easier to solve. We explain how to approach the sub problems in such a way that techniques from other fields can be used to solve the problems. The goal is for the audience to leave with an appreciation of the many open, interesting, and challenging science problems available in programmatic advertising.


Bio: Dr. Niklas Karlsson is a Sr. Principal Research Scientist at Amazon, where he is driving the science vision for Amazon Demand Side Platform. He received the M.S. degree in Engineering Physics from Lund University in 1995, and the M.A. degree in Statistics and Applied Probability and the Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering (with a specialization in control theory, dynamic systems, and robotics) from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) in 1997 and 2002, respectively. He also graduated from the Stanford Executive Program in 2017. He joined Evolution Robotics in Pasadena, California, in 2002, where he was the principal investigator of navigation and control algorithms.

During his tenure at Evolution Robotics, he invented, among other things, the vSLAM technology, which is now used as the brain of the Roomba autonomous vacuum cleaner by iRobot. In 2005, he joined Advertising.com which by way of acquisitions and merges later turned into Yahoo, where he was Vice President of Research and the Chief Scientist of the Demand Side Platforms; before joining Amazon.

Niklas is the inventor of 49 issued patents in the areas of mobile autonomous robotics and online advertising; he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at UCSB in 2015, in recognition of “outstanding application of systems engineering principles to the field of online advertising”, and the Master Inventor Award from Yahoo in 2017 (the highest technology/science recognition within the company). He is an IEEE fellow.

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  • Gabriela Popa

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