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Texas Computer Science (TXCS) is proud to announce that two research teams have received awards at preeminent evolutionary computation conferences.

At the 2020 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation, a team comprising TXCS alumnus Padmini Rajagopalan, Kay Holekamp, and TXCS Professor Risto Miikkulainen won the Best Paper Award for "Evolution of Complex Coordinated Behavior.” The conference, which was held from July 19 to July 24, “covers all topics in evolutionary computation from theory to real-world applications” and is one of three flagship conferences hosted by the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society. “Evolution of Complex Coordinated Behavior” is based on an collaboration with the NSF-funded BEACON-Center, and demonstrated “computationally how hyenas in Serengeti-Mara may have evolved a coordinated attack that allows them to steal a kill from lions.”

In addition, a research team that includes Oliver Francon, current TXCS PhD student Santiago Gonzalez, Babak Hodjat, TXCS alumnus Elliot Meyerson, TXCS Professor Risto Miikkulainen, Xin Qiu, and Hormoz Shahrzad earned a Best Paper Award at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference for "Effective Reinforcement Learning through Evolutionary Surrogate-Assisted Prescription.” Held since 1999, the conference has presented “the latest high-quality results in genetic and evolutionary computation,” and includes papers in various topics such as genetic algorithms and evolutionary machine learning. The method outlined in the paper is the core of the team’s “COVID-19 non-pharmaceutical intervention recommendation system.” An interactive demo of the system in action can be found on Evolutionary AI’s “Augmenting Human Decision Making” page.

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