Danielle C. Tarraf

Photo of Danielle Tarraf
Senior Information Scientist; Professor, Pardee RAND Graduate School
Boston Office


Ph.D. in mechanical engineering (control theory), MIT; S.M. in mechanical engineering, MIT; B.E. in mechanical engineering, American University of Beirut


Danielle C. Tarraf is a control theorist by training. Her work at RAND, for multiple DoD and DHS sponsors, has two primary themes: (i) Modeling and analysis of strategic interactions to inform decisionmaking under uncertainty, and (ii) Information based defense technologies, including autonomy, C2 and ISR systems, communication networks, PNT, and cyber and electronic warfare. She also has an interest in markets and market mechanisms, deterrence theory and strategic mechanism design, and foreign policy. Her work at RAND is informed by her academic research interest in control theory, particularly as it interfaces with theoretical computer science, game theory, optimization, and machine learning.

Prior to joining RAND, Tarraf was a faculty member in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University and held visiting appointments at the MIT Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park. She has also been a summer/visiting faculty fellow at the Air Force Research Lab.

Tarraf is a senior member of IEEE and a member of the IEEE Control Systems Society Technical Committee on Hybrid Systems. She also serves on the judging panel of the IBM Watson AI XPrize. She is the recipient of several national faculty awards including the NSF CAREER award and the AFOSR Young Investigator Award. Tarraf received her B.E. from the American University of Beirut, her S.M. and Ph.D. from MIT, was a postdoctoral scholar at MIT and Caltech, and is a professor at Pardee RAND Graduate School.

Selected Publications

D. C. Tarraf (editor), Control of Cyber-Physical Systems, Springer, 2013

D. Fan and D. C. Tarraf, "Finite uniform bisimulations for linear systems with finite input alphabets," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 62(8), 2017

M. C. Tsakiris and D. C. Tarraf, "Algebraic decompositions of DP problems with linear dynamics," Systems & Control Letters, 85, 2015

D. C. Tarraf, "An input-output construction of finite state rho/mu approximations for control design," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 59(12), 2014

D. C. Tarraf and D. Bauso, "Finite alphabet control of logistic networks under discrete uncertainty," Systems & Control Letters, 64, 2014

D. C. Tarraf, "A control-oriented notion of finite state approximation," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 57(12), 2012

D. C. Tarraf, A. Megretski and M. A. Dahleh, "Finite approximations of switched homogeneous systems for controller synthesis," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 56(5), 2011

D. C. Tarraf, A. Megretski and M. A. Dahleh, "A framework for robust stability of systems over finite alphabets," IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control, 53(5), 2008

Honors & Awards

  • Young Investigator Award, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
  • CAREER Award, National Science Foundation


Arabic, French


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