Anantharaman Subramanian (December 2015 - January 2016)

Researcher of the Month December - January: Anantharaman Subramanian

Anantharaman Subramanian recently completed his PhD defense and dissertation at UCSB. His research centered on developing a complete Lyapunov function based on characterization of the recurrence property for a specific class of stochastic hybrid systems. Ananth earned his Bachelors degree in Instrumentation and Control Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirapally, moving to Santa Barbara to obtain his Masters and PhD.

Ananth chose UCSB because of the great program offered for control engineers. He joined Professor Teel’s research group and worked in collaboration with visiting research scholars and fellow graduate students, which lead to many of his contributions to the literature on stability for stochastic systems. Ananth believes that the frequent interactions with colleagues and his adviser were pivotal in gaining knowledge and understanding of new techniques and concepts. He also explains that in general, finding elegant solutions to the intricate mathematical problems he is faced with to be rewarding and fundamental for his draw toward control systems.

Ananth will be starting as a research engineer at Bosch in the near future where he plans to better develop analysis tools for studying general classes of stochastic hybrid systems. He also plans on using these tools in control design oriented problems. Outside of the lab, Ananth enjoys playing tennis with his friends and roommates as well as video games and interacting with others living at the UCSB graduate student housing. 

  Hometown:  Chennai, India

  B.S. Degree:  Instrumentation and Control Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Trichy, India.

  Degree sought from UCSB and Progress: M.S./Ph.D -  Electrical Engineering

  Graduate Study Area:  Control systems

  Main Area of Research:  Stability theory for stochastic systems

  Advisor and Lab:  Prof. Andrew R. Teel

  Research Interests:  Stability analysis, Control of hybrid/ stochastic hybrid systems

  Professional Memberships:  IEEE, IEEE CSS

  Hobbies:  Tennis, Video games

 Currently what are you working on?

 I am working on  results related to robustness and converse Lyapunov theorems for a stochastic property called recurrence.  In particular, I am interested in developing a complete Lyapunov function based characterization of the recurrence property  for a certain class of stochastic hybrid systems.

 What is your education background?

 My undergraduate degree was focused mainly on control engineering and  I was exposed to many of the control concepts at  that point

 What are your long-term research goals?

One of the main goals is to better understand and develop analysis tools for studying a very general class of stochastic hybrid systems.  Another aspect that I would like to focus on is using these analysis tools in control design oriented problems.

List some of your favorite publications.

1. Mayne/Rawlings/Rao/Scokaert - Constrained model predictive control: Stability and optimality

2.Davis - Piecewise-deterministic Markov processes: A general class of non-diffusion stochastic models

3.Lin/Sontag/Wang  - A smooth converse Lyapunov theorem for robust stability

Tell us about your research.

Stability theory for deterministic systems is one of the most well studied topics in control engineering. My research is focused on developing analysis tools related to stability theory for stochastic systems. In particular, I have studied discrete-time stochastic systems and stochastic hybrid systems.  The goal is to establish a wide range of analysis tools (Lyapunov function based sufficient conditions for stability, invariance principles, converse theorems, robust stability conditions)  that mirror similar developments made for deterministic systems.

How and why did you get into your area of research?

Stability theory for stochastic systems was a focus area when I joined Prof.Teel's research group. This research direction combined with the group's previously gained experience on hybrid systems meant  the study of stochastic hybrid systems was a natural choice. In order to get to the point of understanding such systems, we developed analysis tools for a simpler class of discrete-time stochastic systems and progressively extended the results to  a larger class of  stochastic hybrid systems .

Why did you select UCSB and ECE in regards to your research?

UCSB has a great program for control engineering. The opportunity to learn from  experts in the field was the main motivation for considering UCSB for my graduate studies.

What do you find rewarding about your research?

My  research  on stability theory for stochastic systems has been mathematical in nature. The task of finding elegant solutions to complex mathematical problems is very  rewarding.

UCSB prides itself on its collaborative atmosphere, give some examples of how you collaborate.

 I have had the chance to interact with many visiting research scholars to our lab and such  collaborations have led to  contributions to the literature on stability for stochastic systems.  I have also had the opportunity to apply some of the results from my research in the context of more applied problems when working with members from another research group at UCSB.

Thoughts on working in a group research environment and your experience working with an advisor?

It is a great learning experience. The frequent interaction with members of the research group and my advisor has almost always resulted in me gaining knowledge on  new techniques and concepts.

Where will your research take you next?

After completing my graduate studies in December, I will be starting as a research engineer at Bosch.

Life as a graduate student and how you balance school, work, social, and family life?

UCSB has provided a very conducive atmosphere for learning and research. The other aspects tend to get balanced after a short adjustment period. 

What is your social life like and where have you lived?

I have lived in the graduate student housing at UCSB for the entire duration of my graduate studies. It is a fun place to live and interact with fellow graduate students.