Advisory Board

Professor Risto Miikkulainen

Risto Miikkulainen, Ph.D. is Professor of Computer Science and Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin and Director of the UTCS Neural Networks Research Group.
Risto’s research focuses on biologically-inspired computation such as neural networks and genetic algorithms. On the one hand, the goal is to better 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.
His 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; and (3) Neuroevolution, i.e. evolving neural networks with genetic algorithms for sequential decision tasks such as robotics, games, and artificial life.
Risto is an author of over 250 articles on neuroevolution, connectionist natural language processing, and the computational neuroscience of the visual cortex. He is an editor of Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI in Games, Cognitive Systems Research, and IEEE Transactions on Autonomous Mental Development. He is also on the editorial boards of Evolutionary Intelligence and Machine Learning.
He authored Subsymbolic Natural Language Processing: An Integrated Model of Scripts, Lexicon, and Memory, coauthored Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex, and coedited Advances in Self-Organizing Maps: 7th International Workshop, WSOM 2009, St. Augustine, Florida.
Risto’s papers include Evolving Neural Networks through Augmenting Topologies, Intrusion Detection with Neural Networks, Incremental Evolution of Complex General Behavior, A Taxonomy for Artificial Embryogeny, Forming neural networks through efficient and adaptive coevolution, Competitive coevolution through evolutionary complexification, Real-Time Neuroevolution in the NERO Video Game, Solving Non-Markovian Control Tasks with Neuroevolution, and Natural Language Processing With Modular PDP Networks and Distributed Lexicon.
His patents include Crash prediction network with visual input for vehicle, Method and apparatus for providing real-time machine learning to computer-controlled agents used in video games, Crash prediction network with graded warning for vehicle, and Systems and methods for adaptive medical decision support.
Risto earned his M.S. in Applied Mathematics at the Helsinki University of Technology, Finland in 1986. He earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1990.
Watch Risto Miikkulainen: How can a system as complex as the human visual system be constructed? and Unreal game bots pass Turing test.