Koza Investiture

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Aug. 11, 2016

MSU welcomes renowned leader in genetic and evolutionary computation Wolfgang Banzhaf

MSU Executive Vice President Satish Udpa placed the Koza medallion on Wolfgang Banzhaf as he became the first John R. Koza Endowed Chair in Genetic Programming at MSU.

A revered leader in genetic programming and evolutionary computation was welcomed to Michigan State University during a formal investiture ceremony on Aug. 11, 2016.

Wolfgang Banzhaf became the first John R. Koza Endowed Chair in Genetic Programming at MSU. His formal welcoming ceremony was at the Kellogg Center Auditorium.

Emcee for the evening was Matt Mutka, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Speakers included MSU Engineering Dean Leo Kempel and Erik Goodman, director of BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action.

Banzhaf comes to MSU from Memorial University of Newfoundland. At MSU, his primary appointment will be in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and BEACON.

Renowned specialist in genetic programing and evolutionary computation Wolfgang Banzhaf is the first John R. Koza chair at MSU.

BEACON is a science and technology center of the National Science Foundation, founded with the mission of illuminating and harnessing the power of evolution to advance science and technology. Its focus on teaching, research, and practice in evolutionary computation helped attract Banzhaf to MSU. 

Banzhaf joins about 20 other faculty members doing research in evolutionary computation, making BEACON a leading program for such research in the country.

The John R. Koza Endowed Chair in Genetic Programming was established to attract eminent scholars for the development of computational tools inspired by natural evolution. Utilizing the chair’s skills and mentorship, top graduate students and an increasingly strong pool of junior faculty will help generate solutions to real-world engineering problems.

Along with the Koza endowed chair, Banzhaf was recruited through the Global Impact Initiative (GII) at MSU, designed to address the grand challenges through the creation of more than 100 new faculty positions in some of the most promising – and critical – fields of research. More on GII.

Celebrating the investiture of the first John R. Koza Endowed Chair in Genetic Programming at MSU were (l to r) Engineering Dean Leo Kempel, MSU Executive Vice President Satish Udpa, Wolfgang Banzhaf, Matt Mutka, chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Erik Goodman, director of the BEACON Center.