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Research Interests

  • Inventor, NeuroEvolution of Augmenting Topologies (NEAT), HyperNEAT, and Novelty Search Algorithms
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML)
  • Evolutionary Computation
  • Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs)
  • Neuroevolution: Evolving ANNs with Evolutionary Algorithms
  • Generative and Developmental Systems
  • AI and ML in Video Games and Real-time Simulations


(with coauthor Joel Lehman)

  • Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective. Springer International Publishing, 141 pages, May 2015.

Professional Activities

  • Executive Committee of the ACM Special Interest Group on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation (ACM SIGEVO), since 2011
  • Editorial Board of Frontiers in Robotics and AI, since 2015
  • Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and AI Games, since 2008
  • Founder and Editor in Chief of, a peer-reviewed repository for AI-based research-related games, since 2012.

Honors & Awards

  • UCF Reach for the Stars Award, 2014
  • UCF CECS Dean’s Research Professorship Award, 2013
  • UCF Research Incentive Award (RIA), 2012
  • ACM Distinguished Speaker, named September 2011
  • UCF Teaching Incentive Program (TIP) Award, 2011
  • 2008 DARPA Computer Science Study Group (CSSG)
  • Ten Best Paper Awards at International Conferences (GECCO-2014, IJCNN-2012, GECCO-2011,GECCO-2010,GECCO-2009, CIG’09, GECCO-2008, EvoMUSART-2008, CIG’05, GECCO-2002)
  • Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award (School of EECS), 2008
  • Finalist, 2010 Indie Game Challenge (12 of 250 independent games were chosen)