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Alec Koppel

I am a Research Scientist with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory in the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate since September of 2017. My research focuses on optimization and machine learning methods for autonomous systems. I am currently pursuing works in:

  • Reinforcement Learning
  • Scalable online Bayesian and nonparametric methods

Previously, I have worked on, and am still interested in:

  • Online Learning and Stochastic Optimization
  • Decentralized Optimization

Generally, I am interested in research questions on learning theory that bridge the gap between theoretically justified and practically useful. If you're a student or recent graduate working in similar areas, or their applications in robotics, please reach out to me regarding internship or collaboration opportunities. The relevant formal application may be found at this link on the left-hand side menu: go to Search All Open Projects, then Computational and Information Sciences, then select "Foundations of Learning Systems" under the Search By Title heading.

Previously, I completed my Phd in Electrical and Systems Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in summer of 2017 -- see my defense presentation which evolved ideas from my proposal on 12/1/2016. My dissertation may be found here. Concurrently, I completed the Master's degree in Statistics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. My doctoral work was under the supervision of Alejandro Ribeiro in the area of statistical signal processing, in particular distributed online and stochastic optimization.

I also am a participant in the Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation (SMART) Scholarship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense. My sponsoring facility is the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Computation and Information Sciences Directorate, where I collaborate with Brian Sadler, Ethan Stump, and Jon Fink

Before coming to Philadelphia, I had some wonderful research experiences at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory with Alma Wickenden and William Nothwang, and as an undergraduate in the Mathematics Department at Washington University  in St. Louis (WashU) under the guidance of Renato Feres. I completed both my BS and MS at WashU in Mathematics/Systems Science and Mathematics, respectively, in 2011 and 2012.


The views and opinions expressed in this website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the U.S. government.


In person : Office number

Skype : aekoppel “The electric things have their life too.
Cell : 314 303 2399 Paltry as those lives are."
email :
from "Do Androids Dream of Electric Ship?
mail: Information Sciences Division
by Phillip K. Dick 
  Computational and Information Science Directorate (CISD)

  Adelphi Laboratory Center, U.S. Army Research Laboratory

  2800 Powder Mill Rd.

  Adelphi, MD 20783