Risto Miikkulainen

Professor of Computer Science and Neuroscience, the University of Texas at Austin
IEEE Fellow
Director of the UTCS Neural Networks Research Group
Co-founder of Digital Certainty, Inc.

I am currently on leave from UT, working on real-world applications of Evolutionary Computation and Neural Networks / Deep Learning as a research Fellow at Sentient Technologies, Inc.


My research focuses on biologically-inspired computation such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. On the one hand, the goal is to understand biological information processing, and on the other, to develop more intelligent artificial systems that learn and adapt by observing and interacting with the environment. The three main focus areas are: (1) Cognitive Science, i.e. models of natural language processing, concept learning, and schema-based vision; (2) Computational Neuroscience, i.e. episodic memory and development, plasticity, and function of the visual cortex; (3) Neuroevolution, i.e. evolving neural networks with genetic algorithms for sequential decision tasks such as robotics, games, and artificial life.

See my research group website for research projects, publications, demos, and software.

Spotlights: TexasExes interview/skit on artificial evolution; O'Reilly Radar Podcast on evolutionary computation; Digital Nibbles interview on BotPrize (i.e. Turing test for game bots); a 2-min soundbite on neuroevolution; the NERO machine learning game; an interactive demo of schizophrenic language model; the Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex book.

In 2015-2017, I am an IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Distinguished Lecturer.


I teach classes in Cognitive Science, Neural Networks, and Artificial Intelligence. Here are pointers to my recent classes:
Fall 2015:
CS343 Artificial Intelligence (undergraduate class)
CS394N Neural Networks (graduate class)

Here is a sampling of my other classes:
CS342 Neural Networks (undergraduate class)
CS378 Computational Intelligence in Game Design I (undergraduate research class)
CS378 Computational Intelligence in Game Design II (undergraduate research class)
CS395T Cognitive Science (graduate seminar)

Curriculum Vitae

Contact Information

Office: GDC 3.826 (Meeting Schedule)
Email address: risto@cs.utexas.edu
iChat ID: risto.miikkulainen@mac.com
Phone: (512) 471-9571; Fax: (512) 471-8885; Cell: (512) 293 1168
Postal address: Department of Computer Science,
The University of Texas at Austin
2317 Speedway, Stop D9500
Austin, TX 78712 USA


Sun Feb 21 20:30:30 CST 2016