Evolutionary Computation in Education Workshop 2014


In order to perform cutting edge, long range, influential and relevant Evolutionary Computation (EC) research, there is a need to provide a steady stream of new and competent EC researchers to the research pool. Furthermore, for engineers and scientists to be able to efficiently apply, develop and improve EC in pertinent practice, we need to continuously refine the pedagogical experience. By combining the ideas and experiences from a global field, EC educators will be able to raise the standards of EC education practices and material, and ultimately the students.

The goals of the workshop are to exchange information and knowledge on how EC is taught, learn from each other and figure out how to further leverage the resulting discussion in order to boost the global EC awareness and literacy. We also want to inspire discussion and share ideas of how EC could be taught. The path to reach these goals involves having the workshop participants present their teaching experience, curriculum and bring all this together into a discussion. The scope of the workshop covers how EC is taught at varying education levels all over the world. An expected outcome of the workshop is to create an EC community education repository where educators can find education material and exercises, text, source code and videos.


Submissions might include all or any of the following:

  • Description of a syllabus spanning one or several EC modules, its pedagogical content and who forms the student body. EC as a course or EC within a course is of scope.
  • Anecdotes from the teaching podium. What excited students? How was it taught? What is hard to teach? What progression of concepts works best?
  • Description or ideas for education technology tools for teaching EC.
  • Position abstracts: how you believe EC should be taught, etc.

Length can vary. Submit 1-8 pages to: hembergerik at csail dot mit dot edu
Please include links to available material


Deadlines are as follows:

March 28:
Workshop submission deadline
April 15:
Notification of acceptance
April 25:
Camera-ready submission

Workshop format

The workshop will include a panel which will discuss Evolutionary Computation in Education. Please come and participate even if you do not have a submission.


Sylvain Cussat-Blanc

Sylvain Cussat-Blanc has a permanent research and teaching position at University of Toulouse. He is a permanent member of the Institute of Research in Computer Science of Toulouse (IRIT), a research unit of the French National Center for Research (CNRS). He is interested in developmental models, gene regulatory networks, evolutionary robotics, artificial life and evolutionary computation in general. He is also working on a serious game to teach biologists cell proliferation mechanisms.

He obtained his Ph.D. in 2009. His work was about a cell-based developmental model to produce artificial creatures. During his postdoctoral fellowship with Jordan Pollack in 2011 at Brandeis University (USA), he applied these approaches to evolutionary robotics with the aim to automatically design the real modular robots' morphologies. email:sylvain.cussat-blanc at irit dot fr

Una-May O'Reilly

Una-May O'Reilly leads the AnyScale Learning for All (ALFA) Group at CSAIL, MIT. She is a 15+ year veteran in the Evolutionary computation community. Her research interests are in scalable EC, genetic programming and GBML. Her group currently has projects in clinical medicine knowledge discovery, wind energy, and MOOC Technology. email:unamay at csail dot mit dot edu

Erik Hemberg

Erik Hemberg is a Post Doctoral Associate with the ALFA group at CSAIL at MIT. He received his Ph.D in Computer Science from University College Dublin, Ireland in 2010 and has a M.Sc from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

  • In 2013, Hemberg and O'Reilly co-taught a 1 week, full time course on EC at Shantou University in China employing interactive learning activities and other means of engaging learners to gain a clear, tangible, experience-based abstract understanding of evolution at a level above and beyond textbook biology. They are developing and delivering a extension which is a small private online course (SPOC) course on Evolutionary Processes and Computation for Shantou University, China. email:hembergerik at csail dot mit dot edu