Home - James Pita


James Pita is an adjunct Operations Research Associate at RAND Corporation and a co-founder of Armorway, Inc. specializing in military and cyber applications. Dr. Pita's research focuses on the application of game-theoretic techniques to aid in resource allocation decisions in competitive environments. In his early career Dr. Pita was involved in the development and deployment of two real-world prototypes that utilize game-theoretic techniques for resource allocation decisions. Namely, he led development on a prototype application deployed from August of 2007 to September 2012 known as ARMOR for Los Angeles International Airport, which resulted in a commendation from the city of Los Angeles and a prototype application deployed in 2011 known as GUARDS for the United States Transportation Security Administration. Additionally, one of Dr. Pita's algorithms is now at the center of a deployed application known as PROTECT for the United States Coast Guard. The large success of these and other prototypes developed at the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorist Events (CREATE) at the University of Southern California (USC) eventually lead to the founding of Armorway, Inc..

Dr. Pita's research has won a number of best paper nominations and awards at Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems (AAMAS), a Student Merit Award at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) annual meeting, the RIST Prize by the Military Operations Research Society, and been a finalist for the EURO Excellence in Practice Award for the published work he coauthored in Interfaces. Dr. Pita received his PhD from the University of Southern California under the advisement of Dr. Milind Tambe.

Curriculum Vitae


Major Awards


TEDx Manhattan Beach Talk As a world-recognized leader in game-theoretic studies I was invited to speak on my passion for games and how game-theory can help change the world. Everyone knows games are fun, but they don't have to be just for play. Game theory helps fight real-world bad guys including college campus, airport and transportation threats; poachers; and financial breaches of security. Using artificial intelligence, game theory, and today's computing power, game theory is changing the odds and winning.


Commendation, City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports Police Department As a lead member of a team of researchers from CREATE (Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events) that developed ARMOR, "Assistant for Randomized Monitoring Over Routes." The commendation states "To merit this commendation you have performed an exceptional service to the Airport police Division, the Los Angeles World Airports and the city of Los Angeles. Your outstanding service facilitates the critical link between the laboratory and the operational world. Thank you for your outstanding contributions to the security of our nation."

Certificate of Recognition, DHS University Programs Received by CREATE "The DHS Office of University Programs recognizes CREATE for the outstanding contributions to the security of our nation that the Assistant for Randomized Monitoring over Routes (ARMOR) has made to the police operations at the Los Angeles World Airports."

Best Paper Awards and Finalists


Best paper, AAMAS'2011 Innovative Applications track Our paper from the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2011) won the innovative applications best paper award. The paper is entitled "GUARDS - Game Theoretic Security Allocation on a National Scale."

Finalist for RIST Prize, Military Operations Research Society Our abstract a finalist for the RIST prize. The abstract is entitled "Software Assistants for Patrol Planning at LAX, Federal Air Marshals Service, and Transportation Security Administration."


Finalist, EURO Operations Research Conference Excellence in Practice Award EEPA'2010 Our paper from the journal "Interfaces" selected to be a finalist for the EEPA'2010 award. The paper is entitled "Software Assistants for Randomized Patrol Planning for The LAX Airport Police and The Federal Air Marshals Service."

Student Merit Award, Security and Defense, Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) meeting I won the student merit award for our abstract at the SRA annual meeting. The abstract is entitled "Research allocation decisions against adaptive adversaries."


Finalist for Best paper, AAMAS'2008 Industry track Our paper from the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS 2008) a finalist for the industry track best paper ward. The paper is entitled "Deployed ARMOR Protection: The Application of a Game Theoretic Model for Security at the Los Angeles International Airport."

Other Honors and Awards


Homeland Security Fellowship Awarded by the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE) renewable for three years.


Annenberg Graduate Fellowshop Awarded by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism renewable for four years.

Michigan State University Distinguished Academic Achievement Award Awarded by the Michigan State University Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 2005, 2006, and 2007.

Michigan State University Distinguished Service Award Awarded by the Michigan State University Department of Computer Science and Engineering in 2006 and 2007.


Michigan State University Homecoming Court Elected to represent the student body of Michigan State University on Homecoming Court at the Homecoming game in 2006.


Hispanic National Merit Scholarship Awarded by Michigan State University for being named a Hispanic National Merit Scholar based on my PSAT scores.

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