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 2010-2011 CSE Lecture Series


Title: Expressive languages for evolved programs and autoconstructive evolution

Dr. Lee Spector
Department of Computer Science
Hampshire College

Date:  Friday, November 12, 2010
Time:  11:30 am
Room: 1279 Anthony Hall

Co-Sponsored by CSE Department and the BEACON Center

Host: Philip McKinley

Over the last decade evolutionary computation techniques have begun to produce human-competitive results in several areas of science and engineering. These advances have been driven by factors including the availability of faster hardware and clusters, the influx of ideas from evolutionary biology, and the development and understanding of better algorithms and representations. In this talk I will focus on representations in genetic programming, an evolutionary computation technique in which genetic algorithms operate on and produce executable programs. I will show how increasingly expressive representations allow for the evolution of programs with types, subroutines, macros, and evolved control structures, using the Push programming language as an example of an unusually expressive representation for evolved programs. I will also show how Push supports autoconstructive evolution, a radically self-adaptive genetic programming technique in which evolving programs specify their own algorithms for reproduction and diversification.  

Lee Spector is a Professor of Computer Science in the School of Cognitive Science at Hampshire College and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from Oberlin College in 1984, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Maryland in 1992.  Dr. Spector teaches and conducts research in artificial intelligence, artificial life, and a variety of areas at the intersections of computer science with cognitive science, physics, evolutionary biology, and the arts. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Springer journal Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines, a member of the editorial board of the MIT Press journal Evolutionary Computation, a member of the Executive Committee of the ACM Special Interest Group on Evolutionary Computation (SIGEVO), and the author of numerous publications including the book Automatic Quantum Computer Programming: A Genetic Programming Approach. He has received the highest honor bestowed by the National Science Foundation for excellence in both teaching and research, the NSF Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars, and he has won several other awards and honors including two gold medals in the Human Competitive Results contest of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference and election as a fellow of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation.