David Fridovich-Keil

I am an assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin, in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. My research involves optimal control, dynamic game theory, and learning for robust autonomy.

About me

Hi there! I am an assistant professor at UT Austin’s Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. I completed my PhD at UC Berkeley, where I worked on autonomous robotics and optimal control, and was advised by Prof. Claire Tomlin in the Hybrid Systems Lab and the Berkeley AI Research Lab. During my PhD, I was supported by an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. I did a short postdoc in the same group, followed by a year at Stanford working with Prof. Mac Schwager in the Multi-Agent Systems Lab.

Outside of research, I like to hike, play disc golf, read fantasy novels, and practice acoustic guitar.

Contact info

The best way to reach me is by email, at dfk at utexas dot edu, and please call me David or Dr/Prof. Fridovich-Keil. I have not been called by my initials since I was in high school.

Research interests

I am generally interested in optimal control, dynamic games, learning for control, and robot safety. Please have a look at my PhD dissertation. While I have also worked on a number of other projects related to distributed control, reinforcement learning, and active search, some my current research interests are:


My lab website can be found here. If you are a prospective graduate student, please feel free to reach out to me by email to express your interest. In your note, please identify one recent publication from the lab that you find interesting, and explain the technical nugget you found most exciting. Please also mention your favorite math class and the most exciting topic you learned in that class.

If you are an undergraduate student who is interested in doing research in the lab, e.g. for a summer internship, please first reach out to students or postdocs in the lab and try to identify a potential mentor. Once you have identified a potential mentor, please email David and cc that mentor.


Note that this website is not updated as regularly as my lab website above. Apologies for any confusion.