Leigh Tesfatsion is a professor of economics, mathematics, and electrical and computer engineering at the Department of Economics, Iowa State University. She received her PhD degree in economics, with a minor supporting program in mathematics, from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, in 1975.
Her current research focuses on agent-based computational economics (ACE), the computational study of economic processes modelled as dynamic systems of interacting agents. One particular interest is the development of empirically-based ACE test beds for the study of restructured electricity markets, including the AMES Wholesale Power Market Test Bed released as open-source software through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Another particular interest is the consideration of optimality and efficiency issues for open-ended dynamic economies (e.g., endogenous worker-employer matching, financial intermediation, and human capital investment).
Her past research has included work on learning and decision-making under uncertainty (criterion filtering), adaptive computation techniques for automatic differentiation, homotopy continuation, and nonlinear filtering, multicriteria associative memories, and the development of the flexible least squares (FLS) methodology for model specification and multicriteria estimation that has been incorporated into the statistical packages GAUSS and SHAZAM. This research has been reported in over 100 publications in economics, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and systems science outlets.