Panel Discussion on GP thesis I wish I had written

Wednesday, 16 July, 1997, 11:30 - 12:30 pm

Genetic Programming (GP97),

Stanford, California, USA

Panel Members

The panel is drawn from people who have recently completed PhD thesis in genetic programming.

While we have an official title, the aim of the panel discussion is that it should be of interest to curent and potential students aiming to get a PhD related to genetic programming and their current or prospective supervisors/advisors.

William Langdon, University of Birmingham,

Una-May O'Reilly, Artificial Intelligence Lab, MIT,

Justinian Rosca, Siemens Corporate Research,

Christian Jacob, University of Calgary

Walter Tackett, Neuromedia

Walter Tackett received his Ph.D. in computer Engineering in 1994 from University of Southern California. His dissertation, entitled: "Recombination, Selection, and the Genetic Construction of Computer Programs" contained among other things the first application of GP to a "real-world" problem. Dr. Tackett is currently the President and alpha-geek at Neuromedia, a company in San Francisco which makes Intelligent Agent authoring tools. While his activities are AI related, his current work does not follow GP or any other set technological doctrines.

Conor Ryan, University College, Cork

Shane Bruce, Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, Florida


There were three short presentations (by Christian Jacob, Walter Tackett, Justinian Rosca) followed by a lively discussion sparked by questions from the audience.
The discussion included the finicial gain in having a PhD, with views such as "I'm not in it for the money!" to it doenst pay enough and ways to combine GP, Java and the internet to make a fortune. Other topics included how long it takes to write up, with answers such as more than you expect and plan it (and stick with your plan) so you get it done before your funding runs out. The wider topic of the reasoning behind requiring a PhD for some teaching appointments and the amount of teaching experience holders of PhDs have, was also raised.

Suggestions for GP Students

I would like to thank other holders of PhDs in GP who contributed suggestions for the panel even though they were not able to attend, especially Una-May for devising the above questionair and the title for the panel discussion. 25 July 1997