The Path to Artificial Life


presented by:

Larry Yaeger

5:30 PM Buffet and Social Hour
6:30 PM Presentation
Hosted by: Roosevelt University, downtown Chicago
430 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60605
Room 320, 3rd Floor
(nearest intersection: Congress and Michigan)

Note this special meeting is on a FRIDAY.


Cost (Includes Dinner & Program): Members: $10, Non-members: $12, Students with ID: $5

Artificial Life (ALife) is a system of low-level interactions producing large-scale phenomena in feedback loops.  ALife systems can be used to model the emergence of natural intelligence through the evolution of neural systems in a complex ecology.

Our speaker, Larry Yaeger, has made leading technical contributions to the space shuttle program, computer generated imagery in motion pictures, artificial life, and handwriting recognition.

He first worked on ALife as part of the Vivarium project led by Alan Kay at Apple Computer. The goal was to develop an “ecology in the computer” with an interface children could use but powerful enough to simulate a real environment.  Polyworld, Yaeger’s version of the project, was recently featured on the Discovery Channel’s NextWorld.

Make sure to attend this special ACM event where Larry Yaeger will be our guide through his eclectic path in science: aeronautics, computer graphics, and neural nets that culminate in Artificial Life.

About the Speaker

A self-identified space nut, science fiction fan, saxophone player, and aspiring astronaut with poor eyesight, Larry Yaeger pursued the next best thing to flying aircraft: designing them.  Developing his own music improvisation and composition program, while at Purdue, began his lifelong love of programming.

He worked on fluid dynamic simulations of the space shuttle at Grumman Aerospace, and hydrodynamic simulations of submarines.  He led software development at Digital Productions, creating the first photo-realistic computer generated imagery for the motion pictures The Last Starfighter and 2010.  As Distinguished Scientist at Apple Computer, from 1987–2007, his work included handwriting recognition and the Mac UI.  And Hollywood again beckoned in 1990 for his work as technical consultant and cameo actor for Terminator 2.

Larry is now Full Professor in the School of Informatics at Indiana University Bloomington. He still devours science fiction and plays saxophone in local clubs.

Here are some links to get to know Larry:
http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/2005/06/504.ars

Photo Credit: Levi Thomas
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ACM Chicago,
Mar 19, 2009, 11:01 AM