Vision Series: Kenneth De Jong Discusses Nature-Inspired Computation

Posted: October 15, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: October 16, 2013 at 6:28 am

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Kenneth De Jong

Kenneth De Jong

Everyone knows that computer science has been greatly influenced by mathematics and engineering, but few realize that nature and the natural world have also served as a source of inspiration for this field. In his Vision Series talk, George Mason University computer science professor Kenneth De Jong will describe how popular nature-inspired techniques are influencing computational sciences with examples such as artificial neural networks, evolutionary algorithms, and ant colony optimization and will illustrate their application to important problems in computer science and engineering.

Currently, De Jong, who is associate director of George Mason’s Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, is conducting research involving the development of a new evolutionary algorithm theory, including its use as heuristics for NP-hard problems and the application of evolutionary algorithms to problems of learning task programs in robotics, navigation, and game playing. He also serves as head of the Mason’s Evolutionary Computation Laboratory.

He received his PhD from the University of Michigan and has been a faculty member in the Computer Science Department at George Mason for the past 29 years. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Pioneer Award and the lifetime achievement award from the Evolutionary Programming Society.

He is the founding editor-in-chief of the journal Evolutionary Computation. His research has been supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the National Science Foundation, the Office of Naval Research, and the Naval Research Laboratory.

The lecture will be held at the Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus on Monday, Oct. 21, at 7 p.m. Tickets are not required, and an informal reception with light refreshments will follow.

Write to Colleen Kearney Rich at ckearney@gmu.edu

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