2021 ACM SIGEVO Election

(For the term of 1 July 2021- 30 June 2027)

 


Candidate for Executive Committee

PDF of the statements and biographies


Candidate for Executive Committee

Youhei Akimoto

University of Tsukuba, Japan

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Doctor of Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2011, Computational Intelligence.

Professional Experience:
Associate Professor, University of Tsukuba, Japan, 2018 – Present;
Assistant Professor, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan, 2013 – 2018;
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Inria, Orsay, France, 2011 – 2013.

Professional Interest:
Evolutionary Computation, Simulation-based Optimization, Automated Machine Learning, Reinforcement Learning.

ACM Activities:
ACM TELO Associate Editor, SIGEVO, 2019 – Present;
GECCO Student Workshop Organizer, SIGEVO, 2018 – 2019;
GECCO Continuous Optimization Track Chair, SIGEVO, 2015 – 2016.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Editorial Board Member, Evolutionary Computation Journal, 2019 – Present;
Executive Committee, The Japanese Society for Evolutionary Computation, 2018 – Present.

Awards Received:
Best Paper Award, FOGA 2019, ACM SIGEVO, 2019;
Best Paper Award, GECCO 2018 ENUM Track, ACM SIGEVO, 2018;
Best Reviewer Award, NIPS 2017, 2017.

STATEMENT

I am honored to run for the SIGEVO Executive Committee. Two SIGEVO conferences, GECCO and FOGA, have been my primary publication venues since the beginning of my research life. In addition to contributing to the SIGEVO community by publishing my best research results in these venues, I have been contributing to the community as a program committee member of GECCO and FOGA, a track chair and a student workshop organizer at GECCO, an associate editor for ACM TELO, as well as contributing to related conferences / journals as a researcher and a reviewer. If elected, I would like to try to encourage students and young researchers in the evolutionary computation field, to broaden the influence of the community like other fields of artificial intelligence, and to promote sound development of the community.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Juergen Branke

University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Karlsruhe, Germany, 2000, Applied Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Professor, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK, 2009 – Present;
Senior Lecturer, University of Karlsruhe, Germany, 2007 – 2008;
Lecturer, University of Karlsruhe, Germany, 2001 – 2007.

Professional Interest:
Evolutionary Computation, Multi-Objective Optimisation, Bayesian Optimisation, Simulation-Based Optimisation, Metaheuristics.

ACM Activities:
Editor, ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization, 2019 – Present;
Vice Chair, SIGEVO, 2019 – Present;
Secretary, SIGEVO, 2015 – 2019;
Programme Chair/Editor-in-Chief, GECCO 2010.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Chair of Evolutionary Computation Technical Committee, IEEE CIS, 2020 – Present;
Associate Editor, IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, IEEE, 2016 – Present;
Associate Editor, Evolutionary Computation, MIT Press, 2010 – Present.

Awards Received:
GECCO Best Paper Award, 2003;
Carl-Adam-Petri Research Award, University of Karlsruhe, 2005.

STATEMENT

I have been part of the GECCO community since its inception in 1999, attended most GECCO conferences, and am pleased to see the area is still growing and evolving! I have been a member of the SIGEVO Executive Board since 2009, as Secretary in 2015, and as Vice President since 2019. I have been EiC of GECCO 2010 and served on the Business Committee coordinating GECCO 2014 (Vancouver) and 2015 (Madrid). In 2019, I became founding Co-Editor of the new ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization. I am also active in other communities, e.g. as Chair of the EC Technical Committee of IEEE CIS, or as Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation.

As a member of the Executive Committee, I would like to:

  • Ensure GECCO maintains its position as a highly respected conference.
  • Support our early career researchers, e.g., through the GECCO summer school and establishing a mentoring programme.
  • Link the community more closely with the machine learning and OR communities.
  • Make ACM Transactions on Evolutionary Learning and Optimization a top journal for the community.
  • Improve reproducibility of EC research, e.g. through the new ACM Transactions (which has a reproducibility board), or reproducibility tutorials at GECCO.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Emma Hart

Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Edinburgh, 2002, Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Professor, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2008 – Present;
Reader, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2006 – 2008;
Lecturer, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, 2000 – 2006.

Professional Interest:
Evolutionary Algorithms, Evolutionary Robotics, Combinatorial Optimisation, Machine-Learning.

ACM Activities:
Executive Committee Member, SIGEVO, 2015 – Present;
ACM Senior Member, 2020.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Editor in Chief, Evolutionary Computation (MIT Press), 2016 – Present.

Awards Received:
ACM GECCO Best Paper Award, 2019.

STATEMENT

I was first elected as a member of the SIGEVO Executive Committee in 2015. I have contributed actively to the Committee, acting as the Editor of the SIGEVO newsletter for several years, and in my role as the Editor in Chief of ECJ. I have been active in the GECCO community for many years, as a track chair in several of the tracks, as a reviewer and as part of the team who initiated and organised the Women@GECCO meetings. I have also been an invited speaker at the Women@GECCO meetings. Through my role as EiC of ECJ I have a very broad overview of the work that goes on in our community and the people who undertake it, and so, I feel well placed to represent the community through this committee and to work with my colleagues to ensure that SIGEVO serves the community’s needs. In particular, I am keen to ensure that all voices are equally represented and acknowledged in the EC community and at conferences, and that the committee works to ensure that under-represented groups within the field are welcomed and play active roles.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Malcolm Heywood

Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., Essex University, 1994, Electrical and Electronic Engineering.

Professional Experience:
Professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, 2008 – Present;
Associate Professor, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada, 2003 – 2008;
Associate Professor, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, Turkey, 1998 – 2000.

Professional Interest:
Genetic Programming, Cooperative Coevolution, Reinforcement Learning, Complex Systems, Streaming Data Analysis.

ACM Activities:
GECCO Track Co-Chair (GECH), SIGEVO, 2021;
GECCO Program Committee Member, SIGEVO, 2007 – Present;
GECCO Tutorial Co-Presenter, SIGEVO, 2015 – 2020;
GECCO Track Co-Chair (GP), SIGEVO, 2014.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Senior Member, IEEE, 2008 – Present;
Editorial Board, Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines (Springer), 2012 – Present;
Co-Editor, European Conference on Genetic Programming, 2014 – 2016.

Awards Received:
Human Competitive Results (Humies) Award - Silver Medal, 2018;
ACM GECCO, Best Paper (RWA Track), 2018;
ACM GECCO, Best Paper (DETA/ GECH Track), 2017;
SPECIES, Best Paper (EuroGP), 2017.

STATEMENT

I am honoured to be nominated for the SIGEVO Executive Committee. I have been involved with SIGEVO since its inception and a participant in GECCO since 2002. I have had the opportunity to Co-Chair the GP track in 2014 and GECH in 2021 as well as a co-presenter of a GECCO tutorial for 6 years. I have also been a Co-Editor for the European Conference on Genetic Programming between 2014 and 2016. My career has also exposed me to life as an academic across multiple continents, having held positions in England, Turkey and Canada.

These are demanding times for Evolutionary Computation (EC). Machine learning is increasingly synonymous with deep learning. Continuing to attract new members to the field of EC under these circumstances represents a significant challenge.

Undergraduate curricula pertaining to ''machine learning'' often as not, does not so much as mention EC. The multitude of publication venues and platforms is a boon, but also introduces a lot of noise regarding what is new and noteworthy versus what is not.

Evolutionary methods have many advantages over the machine learning status quo. As a member of the SIGEVO executive I would like to work towards addressing these issues.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Gabriela Ochoa

University of Stirling, Scotland, UK

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Sussex, 2001, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence.

Professional Experience:
Professor, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK, 2018 – Present;
Associate Professor, University of Stirling, Scotland, UK, 2012 – 2018;
Senior Research Fellow, University of Nottingham, UK, 2006 – 2012.

Professional Interest:
Fitness Landscape Analysis and Local Optima Networks, Combinatorial Optimisation and Search Difficulty, Hyper-heuristics and Autonomous Search, Neuroevolution and Neural Architectural Search, Recombination Operators, The Role of Recombination in EAs.

ACM Activities:
Editor of the SIGEVO Newsletter, SIGEVO, 2017 – Present;
Track Chair for ECOM, SIGEVO, 2021 – 2022;
Track Chair for GA, SIGEVO, 2019 – 2020;
Editor in Chief for GECCO, SIGEVO, 2017.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Executive Board Member, SPECIES/ EvoSTAR, 2017 – Present;
Steering Committee Member, EvoCOP, 2014 – Present.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
EvoSTAR Outstanding Contributions to Evolutionary Computation, 2020;
Best-Paper Award, EvoCOP, 2019;
Best-Paper Award, GECCO GA Track, 2018;
Best-Paper Award, EvoCOP, 2017.

STATEMENT

I am honoured to serve as part of the SIGEVO Executive Committee. I have acted as track chair and editor-in-chief for GECCO and I am committed to the scientific quality and diversity of topics and authors in our conferences. I have acted as the editor of the SIGEVO Newsletter, and I am willing to continue in this role. Within this role, I am keen to support emerging topics, as well as evolutionary art and scientific visualisation in our field.

I am keen to continue supporting women and Latin American researchers in our field. Topics I would like to support are the connections between evolutionary computation with machine learning, fitness landscape analysis and visualisation, and applications in healthcare and the environment.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Gisele L. Pappa

Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., University of Kent, 2007, Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Associate Professor, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil, 2009 – Present.

Professional Interest:
Evolutionary Computation, Automated Machine Learning, Short-Text Analysis, Health-Related Applications.

ACM Activities:
Tutorial Chair, ACM GECCO, 2021 – 2021;
Workshop Chair, ACM GECCO, 2015 – 2016;
Self-* Search Track-Chair, ACM GECCO, 2012 – 2013.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Executive Committee, Brazilian Computational Intelligence Society, 2016 – 2020.

Awards Received:
7th ACM Int. Conf. on Digital Health, 2017;
ACM GECCO GP Track, 2016;
Winner of the Visualising Evolution Competition @GECCO, 2011.

STATEMENT

For the past 10 years, I have been an active member of the SIGEVO community. During this period, I served as a GECCO track chair and was both the tutorial and workshop sessions organiser. I have also met and learnt a lot from the experienced people from the SIGEVO community, and I now hope to give something back.

As a member of the Executive Committee, apart from the usual activities, one thing that I would like to work towards is bringing the machine learning community closer to ours. There are many common problems solved by both communities but there are very few interactions between them. I also want to contribute to the Women@Gecco community, which is trying hard to encourage women in the area. I hope my previous experience in the executive committee of the Brazilian Computational Intelligence Society in helping organizing events and bringing together people with similar interests can help me in this new challenge.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Andrew M. Sutton

University of Minnesota Duluth, MN, USA

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., Colorado State University, 2011, Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Duluth, MN, USA, 2017 – Present;
Postdoctoral Researcher, Hasso Plattner Institute, Potsdam, Germany, 2015 – 2017;
Postdoctoral Researcher, Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, Germany, 2014 – 2015.

Professional Interest:
Theoretical Aspects of Evolutionary Computation, Combinatorial Optimization, Randomized Algorithms, Parameterized Complexity, Graph Theory.

ACM Activities:
GECCO Track Chair (Theory), SIGEVO, 2020 – Present;
GECCO Publicity Chair, SIGEVO, 2018 – 2019;
GECCO Proceedings Chair, SIGEVO, 2016;
FOGA/GECCO Program Committee, SIGEVO, 2013 – Present.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Task force: Theoretical Foundations of Bio-Inspired Computation, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, 2012 – Present.

Awards Received:
GECCO Best Paper Award (GA track), 2020;
GECCO Best Paper Award (Theory track), 2015;
GECCO Best Paper Award (ACO track), 2015.

STATEMENT

I am honored to be nominated to serve on the Executive Committee of SIGEVO. I have been an active researcher in the Evolutionary Computation (EC) community since 2004. As a member of the SIGEVO executive board, I would focus on the following objectives:

  • Increasing collaboration between the EC community and other fields. I would like to cultivate connections to other SIGs and professional organizations through co-sponsored workshops. There is potential for relevant connections between EC and communities such as AI, OR, and Algorithms.
  • Bridging theory and practice: A challenge facing our community is the divide between theory research and practical applications. Closing these gaps is essential to scientific work that is deep and relevant to society. I would like to develop efforts fostering connections between EC practitioners and theoreticians.
  • Encouraging and advocating for women and underrepresented minorities: The EC community is quite diverse. Nevertheless, STEM disciplines historically have problematic representation from marginalized groups. I am dedicated to developing a more equitable balance in the proportion of underrepresented members of our community.
  • Supporting students and young researchers: This involves supporting and developing current student-centered activities (such as the summer school), and designing new ones such as doctoral consortia.

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Candidate for Executive Committee

Bing Xue

Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

BIOGRAPHY

Academic Background:
Ph.D., Victoria University of Wellington, 2014, Computer Science.

Professional Experience:
Professor, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2021 – Present;
Associate Professor, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2019 – 2020;
Senior Lecturer , Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2017 – 2018.

Professional Interest:
Evolutionary Computation, Machine Learning, NeuroEvolution, Image Analysis, Feature Learning.

ACM Activities:
Track Chair of the NE track, GECCO, 2021 – Present;
Track Chair of the EML track, GECCO, 2019 – 2020;
Chair of Women@GECCO, GECCO, 2018;
Tutorial Speaker in GECCO conference, GECCO, 2016 – 2021.

Membership and Offices in Related Organizations:
Vice-Chair of Evolutionary Computation Technical Committee, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, 2021 – Present;
Chair of Data Mining and Big Data Technical Committee, IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, 2019 – 2020;
Chair of Evolutionary Computation for Feature Selection , IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, 2015 – 2019.

Awards Received:
Research Excellence Award, Victoria University of Wellington, 2020;
Best Paper Award, EuroGP, 2019;
Earlier Career Research Excellence Award, Victoria Uni. of WLT, 2017;
Supervisor Award, Victoria University of Wellington, 2018.

STATEMENT

It is my great honour to be nominated as a candidate for the Executive Committee in the 2021 ACM SIGEVO Election. I have been an active member of ACM and SIGEVO for nearly ten years. I have been heavily involved in the ACM GECCO conference sponsored by ACM SIGEVO, which I consider to be the best and largest conference in evolutionary computation, where the most state-of-the-art research in this area comes from. I am passionate about serving our international community, and I believe ACM SIGEVO is the best place for me to achieve this. I have a lot of experience in various communities, including chairs of international conference, associate editors of top international journals, chairs or members of international technical committees, members of international conference ranking committees, school research committees, and examiners of funding organization in several countries. All my experiences make me well prepared to be a member of the SIGEVO Executive Committee. If I am successful in this election, I will work with the Chair and other committee members to ensure ACM SIGEVO remains the best group in evolutionary computation, and to explore the best ways to further enhance its service and impact in the international community.

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