Charles Ofria recipient of the Faculty Early Career Development Program CAREER) Award

Year: 
2007

Photo of Charles OfriaNatural evolution has an amazing ability to produce elegant solutions to the challenges faced by living systems. As these challenges become more complex, so too must the organisms that respond to them. Evolution is clearly a powerful force, yet it is difficult to gather sufficient data to understand how complex traits arise and are incorporated into the working whole. The twin goals for this project are to understand how evolution designs complex functions, and to apply this knowledge to solving complicated computational problems. To accomplish this, the investigators will use "digital organisms" as a model system. These are self-replicating computer programs, subject to mutations and selection, that evolve complex features de novo in a natural evolutionary process. The investigators will use this system both for research purposes and as the basis of a teaching platform in biology classrooms and museum kiosks.

Click here to read more of the NSF Award Abstract.

Award Description: 
CAREER: Digital Evolution and Biocomplexity - From Biological Theory to Computational Applications
Department: 
Computer Science & Engineering