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Risto P Miikkulainen

Department of Computer Science

Artificial Intelligence, Data Mining, Machine Learning, Natural Computation


Phone: 512-471-7316

Office Location
GDC 3.826

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Ph.D. in Computer Science, UCLA, 1990
M.S. in Applied Mathematics, Helsinki University of Technology, 1986

Research Interests 

Dr. Miikkulainen's research focuses on biologically-inspired computation such as neural networks and evolutionary computation. 

On the one hand, the goal is to better understand biological information processing, and on the other, to develop more intelligent artificial systems that learn and adapt by observing and interacting with the environment. The three main focus areas are: (1) Cognitive Science, i.e. models of natural language processing, concept learning, and schema-based vision; (2) Computational Neuroscience, i.e. episodic memory and development, plasticity, and function of the visual cortex; (3) Neuroevolution, i.e. evolving neural networks with genetic algorithms for sequential decision tasks such as robotics, games, and artificial life.

Selected Publications 

Hoffman, R.E., Grasemann, U., Gueorguieva, R., Quinlan, D., Lane, D., and Miikkulainen, R. (2011). Using Computational Patients to Evaluate Illness Mechanisms in Schizophrenia. Biological Psychiatry 69:997-1005.

Kohl, N. and Miikkulainen, R. (2009). Evolving Neural Networks for Strategic Decision-Making Problems. Neural Networks 22:326-337.

Sit, Y. F. and Miikkulainen, R. (2009). Computational Predictions on the Receptive Fields and Organization of V2 for Shape Processing. Neural Computation 21:762-785.

Gomez, F., Schmidhuber, J., and Miikkulainen, R. (2008) Accelerated Neural Evolution through Cooperatively Coevolved Synapses. Journal of Machine Learning Research, 9:937-965.

Silberman, Y., Bentin, S., and Miikkulainen, R. (2007). Semantic Boost on Episodic Associations: An Empirically Based Computational Model. Cognitive Science, 31:645-671.

Stanley, K., Bryant, B., and Miikkulainen, R. (2005). The NERO Real-time Video Game. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, 9:653-668..

Stanley, K. and Miikkulainen, R. (2004). Competitive Coevolution through Evolutionary Complexification. Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research, 21:63-100.


Principe, J. P. and Miikkulainen, R. (editors) (2009). Proceedings of the Seventh Workshop on Self-Organizing Maps. Berlin: Springer.

Miikkulainen, R., Bednar, J. A., Choe, Y., and Sirosh, J. (2005). Computational Maps in the Visual Cortex, New York: Springer.

Sirosh, J., Miikkulainen, R., and Choe, Y. (editors) (1996). Lateral Interactions in the Cortex: Structure and Function. The UTCS Neural Networks Research Group, Austin, TX. Electronic book, ISBN 0-9647060-0-8.

Miikkulainen, R. (1993). Subsymbolic Natural Language Processing: An Integrated Model of Scripts, Lexicon, and Memory. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  • Best Paper Award at the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) in 2008, 2007, 2005, 2005, 2003, and 2002 (with V. Valsalam, J. Reisinger, V. Valsalam, Y. F. Sit, F. Gomez, and K. O. Stanley)
  • IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG) in 2009, 2006 and 2005 (with B. Bryant, K. O. Stanley, and Jacob Schrum).