Risto Miikkulainen

A Short Bio

Risto Miikkulainen is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Texas at Austin and VP of AI Research at Cognizant Advanced AI Labs. He received an M.S. in Engineering from the Helsinki University of Technology (now Aalto University) in 1986, and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA in 1990. His current research focuses on methods and applications of neuroevolution, as well as neural network models of natural language processing and vision; he is an author of over 500 articles in these research areas.

Honors and Awards


My research focuses on biologically-inspired computation such as neural networks and evolutionary computation. On one hand, the goal is to understand biological information processing, and on the other, to develop intelligent artificial systems that learn and adapt by observing and interacting with the environment. The three main focus areas are: (1) Neuroevolution, i.e. evolving complex deep learning architectures and recurrent neural networks for sequential decision tasks such as those in robotics, games, and artificial life; (2) Cognitive Science, i.e. models of natural language processing, memory, and learning that, in particular, shed light on disorders such as schizophrenia and aphasia; and (3) Computational Neuroscience, i.e. development, structure, and function of the visual cortex, episodic memory, and language processing.

See the UTCS Neural Networks Research Group website as well as the Cognizant's Evolutionary AI website for research projects, publications, demos, and software. A few highlights: AI Paradigm Shift column and video in the AI Magazine; Lex Fridman podcast on Neuroevolution and Evolutionary Computation; an interactive COVID-19 Intervention optimization demo; the NERO machine learning game; the Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex book.


Current: Past:

Curriculum Vitae



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

Wed Mar 6 21:29:39 CST 2024