Curriculum Vitae (2009)

Sherri Goings
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
3115 Engineering, Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824

Research Interests

I seek an academic community in which I can grow and improve as a faculty member through my contributions in teaching, research, and service. My research involves two main lines of investigation: in the first I use the power of computation to explore how natural evolution produces complex traits, and in the second I use my improved understanding of these natural mechanisms to design next-generation evolutionary algorithms that can solve real-world problems. I am interested in computer-science education and exploring both old and new methods to meet the unique challenges involved in teaching the type of problem solving and abstract thinking that is required to learn computer programming. This includes exploring new initiatives to attract and retain women and ethnic groups currently under-represented in computer-science.


     Michigan State University
, East Lansing, MI

Dual Ph.D. Computer Science & Engineering and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior
Advisors: Dr. Charles Ofria (CSE) and Dr. Richard Lenski (ZOL, CSS, MMG)
Expected graduation: Fall 2009
GPA 4.0

B.S. Computer Science & Engineering, Cognate in Mathematics 
GPA 3.84, graduated summa cum laude
Graduated: Fall 2003


    Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

5/2008 - 12/2008
Developed course materials (including lectures, slides, examples, exams, and homework) and instructed CSE 231 (introduction to OOP using Python). Gained experience teaching in diverse environments, one semester of an accelerated class with 25 students, and one semester with a large lecture of 100+ students

Teaching Assistant
5/2001 - 5/2008
Courses included MTH 110 (algebra) & 133 (calculus II), CSE 231 (intro to programming in C++), 232 (data structures in C++), 420 (computer architecture), & 450 (compilers)
Responsibilities included lecturing, lab supervising, holding office hours, designing assignments and exams, grading.

Mentor to undergraduate researchers
5/2005 - present
Jason Rapei: researched the ability of individuals to sense environmental cues and use this information to evolve plastic behavior.
Eric Mueller: explored solving multi-objective optimization problems in an ecological EA that used limited resources to maintain population diversity.
Meryl Mabin: Currently studying the evolution of altruism and cooperation in digital populations.

Graduate Research Assistant 
5/2003 – Current
Digital Evolution Lab
Advisor: Dr. Charles Ofria
Research Projects: 

Altruism in artificial life: Studied the mechanisms through which altruism can evolve, specifically how kin-selection may cause an individual to sacrifice itself for its relatives.

Automatic parameter setting in genetic algorithms:  Researched using a meta-GA to automatically set parameters in GAs on the fly, allowing for less knowledgable users to take advantage of genetic algorithm.

Evolving rational agents in a P2P network:  Researched using a GA to evolve strategies for rational agents in a P2P resource sharing system. 

Evolving distributed problem solving in artificial life: Exploring using a market-based economy in a population of evolving individuals to allow them to subdivide a problem and share individual components in order to build the final solution.

Using limited resources to maintain population diversity: Developing an Eco-EA which uses the nature-inspired mechanism of limited resources to promote and maintain diversity in an evolving population. Studying how using this Eco-EA can improve the evolution of solutions to complex problems, and can be used to solve multi-objective problems. Specifically applying the Eco-EA to the evolution of behavioral UML models to solve complex software-engineering problems.

Undergraduate Research Assistant 
5/2002 – 5/2003
Software Engineering and Network Systems Lab
Advisors: Dr. Laura Dillon, Dr. Betty Cheng, Dr. Kurt Stirewalt
Research Project:

Aspect-Oriented Languages as applied to Dynamic Programming: Used the language Aspect-J to modify Java applications without the need to recompile or change the original source code.

     Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Valencia, Spain

Graduate Research Assistant
Advisor: Dr. Santiago F. Elena
Research Projects:

Robustness in digital organisms: Studied robustness to mutation in digital organisms and explored environmental conditions that lead to greater robustness.

Mutation rates in viruses: Explored theories on how viruses thrive given their high mutation rates, gained experience in wet-lab experimentation techniques.

Refereed Conference Publications

Kin-Selection: The Rise and Fall of Kin Cheaters, 9th annual Artificial Life Conference, Boston, MA, 2004. 

Investigations in Meta-GAs: Panaceas or Pipe Dreams, 2005 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, Washington, D.C., 2005.

Ecological Approaches to Diversity Maintenance in Evolutionary Algorithms, 2009 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life, Nashville, TN, 2009.

Problem Decomposition Using Indirect Reciprocity in Evolved Populations, 2009 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference, Montreal, CA, 2009.

Honors and Activities

Invited paper referee for World Summit on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation 2009
Richard Reid Fellowship 2008
Graduate representative to the CSE Advisory Committee 2007-2008
Graduate Office Fellowship 2006
QBMI Interdisciplinary Research Fellowship 2005
NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, Honorable Mention 2004
Senior Computer-Scientist of the Year 2003
    National Merit Scholar 1999
Member of Golden Key Honors Society
Member of Society of Women Engineers
Member of ISGEC (International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation)
Member of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery)
Co-founder of CSEGA (computer-science and engineering graduate student association)
Captain of 2 ultimate frisbee teams 2006-2008

Professional Development

EAD 866 (Teaching in Secondary Education)

SME 879 (Teaching College Science)
NEU 992 (Women in Science: Leaky Pipeline)

Responsible Decision-making in Academic Research: Ethical & Moral Perspectives
Teaching Across Cultures
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