Dave Cliff, from the University of Bristol, visited DIKU on May 5, 2011. He gave an exciting talk titled “The Flash Crash of May 6th, 2010: WTF?”. “Flash Crash” refers to a sudden drop and rise of the US stock market on May 6, 2010. Because of algorithmic high-frequency trading, the Dow Jones index lost around 9 percent - and recovered within minutes! Dave Cliff gave us his view on “large-scale socio-technical systems”, argueing that society needs “principled evaluation of systemic risk”.
Dave Cliff is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Bristol. He has more than 20 years of experience as a researcher in computer science and complex adaptive systems. He has previously worked in academic faculty posts at the University of Sussex, at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab, and at the University of Southampton. He also spent seven years working in industry: initially as a senior research scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Labs where he founded and led HP’s Complex Adaptive Systems Research Group; then as a Director in Deutsche Bank’s London Foreign-Exchange Complex Risk Group. His research for HP included early work, in the mid-to-late 1990s, on novel decentralized management systems for utility-scale (“cloud”) computing systems; as part of that work he invented the Zero-Intelligence Plus (ZIP) adaptive automated trading strategy. In 2001 a team of researchers at IBM showed that ZIP algorithmic traders consistently outperform human traders. In October 2005, Cliff was appointed Director of the £10m EPSRC-funded five-year UK national research and training initiative in the science and engineering of Large-Scale Complex IT Systems (the LSCITS Initiative). He is author or co-author on over 70 academic publications, and inventor or co-inventor on 15 patents; he has undertaken advisory and consultancy work for a number of major companies and for various departments of the UK Government; and he has given around 200 keynote lectures and invited seminars.