My research investigates the theoretical foundations of evolutionary dynamics, evolutionary computation, and their related mathematics. My focus is on higher order phenomena — the evolution of evolvability, robustness, modularity, phase transitions, genetic systems, and the genotype-phenotype map. In pursuit of these areas I have contributed to the spectral theory of linear operators. My work employs mathematical and numerical analysis, and computational experiments.
Theoretical population genetics.
Theory of nonnegative matrices, Markov processes, and spectral graph theory.
Theory on the evolution of the variational properties of organisms --- evolvability, robustness, modularity, the genotype-phenotype map
1974: In the highest 25 SAT scores in California, earning a nomination to be one of two California delegate to the National Youth Science Camp, West Virginia.
Research and Teaching Positions
2016-2018: Associate Professor (special appointment) and Member of the Graduate Faculty, Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawai`i at Manoa; Graduate Faculty in the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Specialization.
Research: Evolutionary computation and theoretical population genetics.
Undergraduate: ICS 141: Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science I, ICS 241: Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science II
2008: Senior Lecturer, Outreach College, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Research on evolutionary computation and theoretical population genetics.
Course Title: ICS 674: Evolutionary Computation.
2006, 2007, 2008: Lecturer, Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School in Beijing. Sponsored by the Santa Fe Institute in cooperation with the Institute of Theoretical Physics and the Graduate School, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). Held at the Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics in Beijing, China. Director: David P Feldman.
2004: Collaboration with Prof. Anne Coopersmith, Department of Biology, Maui Community College.
Course Title: BIO 290: Action Research on a Biosecurity System for Hawai`i.
2002-2007: Associate Professor (special appointment under a Sloan Foundation grant), Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Research: Evolutionary computation and theoretical population genetics.
Undergraduate: ICS 241: Discrete Mathematics for Computer Science II
Thesis Committees of four graduate students (University of Hawai`i, Carnegie Mellon University, Brandeis University, Charles Sturt University)
2000: Faculty, Short Courses on the Mathematics of Biological Complexity, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
Course Title: Complexity in Evolutionary Biology: Genetic Algorithms, Cellular Automata and Adaptive Landscapes. October 1-4, 2000.
2000, April: Invited Visiting Researcher, Santa Fe Institute.
Working Group on Evolvability, Evolutionary Dynamics Program.
1999-2001: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Information and Computer Sciences, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Research on evolutionary computation and theoretical population genetics.
1997-1998: On leave at Vanderbilt University Medical Center:
Research on cryoglobulinemia, monoclonal gammopathies, cryofiltration apheresis, and Chlamydia pneumoniae. Invention of a dual-filter cryofiltration system, application of Biaxin to cryoglobulinemia, development of a cryoglobulinemia information site on the Web.
1998, October: Invited Visiting Researcher, Santa Fe Institute.
Adaptive Computation Program.
1994-1997: Research Affiliate, Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Theoretical foundations and design innovations for evolutionary computation. Visiting the Maui High Performance Computing Center, implementing genetic programming on the SP2 scalable parallel supercomputer.
1995, Summer: Invited Visiting Researcher, Santa Fe Institute.
Adaptive Computation Program. Participant in the SFI Workshop, “Adaptive Search on Biological and Computational Landscapes”, July 21-23, 1995.
1993-1994: Instructor, Institute for Statistics and Decision Sciences, Duke University.
Course Title: Evolutionary Computation Methods: Genetic algorithms, simulated annealing, genetic programming, artificial life and other topics.
Research: Theory of genetic algorithms and genetic programming as dynamical systems.
1991-1993: Research Associate, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University, Prof. Peter Haff, PI.
Computational study of self-organizing patterns in sediment flow.
Theory and design of genetic algorithms for optimization.
3D animation of dynamical systems on Silicon Graphics workstations. Theory on the evolution of genotype-phenotype maps, fitness landscapes, and genetic knowledge representation. Bifurcations in globally coupled maps. Population sustainability in heterogeneous habitats. C programming, LaTeX, Unix, NEXTSTEP.
1991: Postdoctoral Training, Complex Systems Summer School, Santa Fe Institute.
Study of topics in complex system sciences. Working group on theory of rugged adaptive landscapes. Presentations on the evolution of genetic operators and issues in evolutionary theory. Use of Sun Sparc workstations.
1990: Instructor, House Course Program, Duke University.
Course Title: Escaping the Ecocidal Culture: Student Explorations of Ecological Lifestyles, Careers, and Social Change.
1988-1991: Research Scientist, Department of Zoology, Duke University, Prof. Marcy K. Uyenoyama, PI.
Mathematical models of evolution involving complex breeding systems and multiple genes.
Analysis of chaos produced from frequency-dependent natural selection models.
Pascal and Mathematica programming. Initiated the First International Eco-City Conference, the Duke Recycling Program, the Green House ecological student residence. Taught a course on ecologically sustainable culture. System manager for NeXT workstation.
1987: Postdoctoral Fellow,Department of Statistics, North Carolina State University, Prof. C. Clark Cockerham, PI.
Research topics in theoretical population genetics.
1986: Lecturer, Innovative Academic Courses, Stanford University.
Course Title: Democracy Beyond the Ballot Box: An Introduction to the World of Cooperatives.
1984-1986: Dean's Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Stanford University, Prof. Douglas Brutlag, PI.
Theory on exon shuffling in protein evolution, and statistical analysis of DNA sequence data.
1980-1982: Teaching Assistant, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Stanford University.
Course Title: Cell Development and Morphogenesis, Prof. Paul Green. Biostatistics, Prof. Marcus W. Feldman.
1979-1984: Research Assistant, Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Prof. Marcus W. Feldman, PI.
Theory on the evolution of modifier genes and genetic systems. Theory of positive matrices.
1978-1979: Undergraduate Honors Research, Department of Genetics, University of California, Berkeley, Prof. Glenys Thomson, PI
Theory of frequency-dependent natural selection.
Google Scholar Data (as of December 2017): 3639 citations, H-index 16, i10-index 21.
Altenberg, L. 2017. Genetic Information, Mutation Rates, and the
Lore of the Error Threshold. Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BICOB 2017), Eds. O. Eulenstein and Q. Ding and H. Al-Mubaid, pp. 223-230.
Altenberg, L. 2017. Probing the Axioms of Evolutionary Algorithm Design: Commentary on “On the mapping of genotype to phenotype in evolutionary algorithms” by Peter A. Whigham, Grant Dick, and James Maclaurin. Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines doi:10.1007/s10710-017-9288-x.
Altenberg, L. 2016. Norm Statement Considered Harmful: Comment on “Evolution of Unconditional Dispersal in Periodic Environments.” Journal of Biological Dynamics 10 (1): 342-346.
Altenberg, L. and D. Brutlag. 1986. Selection for Modularity in the Genome . (Cited in: Doolittle, W.F. 1987. The Origin and Function of Intervening Sequences in DNA: A Review. American Naturalist 130: 915-928; and Doolittle, W.F. 1987. What Introns Have to Tell Us: Hierarchy in Genome Evolution. Cold Spring Harb Symp Quant Biol 52: 907-913.
* indicates publications I judge to be my most significant
Of Samuel Karlin at Feldmania, 2007. p. 142 in Manuel de Leon Rodriguez and Agata A. Timon of Fundacion Espanola Para la Ciencia y la Tecnologia, 2014. Unidad didactica: Matematicas del Planeta Tierra.
Of a Wiliwili tree, Erythrina sandwichensis. In Kepler, A. K. 2017. Fishing Canoes of the Tropical Pacific: Then and Now. In press.
Maui County Council, 2008. Language establishing a 130 acre conservation easement to protect native Hawaiian dry forest in Condition #27 of Ordinance #3554: A Bill for an Ordinance to Repeal Ordinance No. 2171 (1992) and to Establish Kihei-Makena Project District 9 (Wailea 670) Zoning (Conditional Zoning), for Approximately 670 Acres Situated at Paeahu, Palauea, Keahou, Maui, Hawaii.
Altenberg, L. 1991. The Ecological Living Group. Threshold 4 (2): 21-22. The network newsletter of the Student Environmental Action Coalition.
Altenberg, L. 1991. Show Some Class, Build a Green House, contributed sections in the Student Environmental Action Coalition, ed., The Student Environmental Action Guide. The Earth-Works Group, Berkeley, CA.
Altenberg, L. 1991. The Student-run Course. Threshold 4 (1): 21-23. The network newsletter of the Student Environmental Action Coalition.
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011: Reviewer of applicants to the Santa Fe Institute Complex Systems Summer School.
National Science Foundation Service
February, 2014: Invitation from the National Science Foundation to serve as a panelist for the Robust Intelligence (RI) cluster small project competition under IIS core program NSF 13-580.
Site Visit Panel, Division of Biological Infrastructure, National Science Foundation, for the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, an NSF Science and Technology Center, East Lansing, Michigan.
August, 2007: Panelist for the Advancing Theory in Biology Program, Division of Emerging Frontiers, National Science Foundation.
Recent Journal and Conference Reviewer Service
Reviewer of submissions to the journals:
Advances in Complex Systems,
Applied Mathematics and Computation,
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology,
Computational and Applied Mathematics,
Genetic Programming and Evolvable Machines,
IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation,
IEEE Transactions on Molecular, Biological, and Multi-Scale Communications,
Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence,
Journal of Theoretical Biology,
Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA,
Theoretical Computer Science,
Proceedings of the Royal Society B,
Theoretical Population Biology.
Program committee service for:
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI),
Asia Pacific Symposium on Intelligent and Evolutionary Systems (IES 2017),
Australasian Conference on Artificial Life and Computational Intelligence (ACALCI),
European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL),
Genetic and Evolutionary Computation,
IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation,
IEEE Symposium Series in Computational Intelligence (SSCI)
2017: Keynote Speaker, “Revisiting Eigen's Paradox for the Evolution of Genetic Information”. December 1, 2017, IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life, IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence, Honolulu, Hawai`i.
2016: (Invitation) Dagstuhl Seminar 16011 Evolution and Computing, January 4-8, 2016, Dagstuhl, Germany
2015: “Fundamental Properties of the Evolution of Mutational Robustness”, December 11, 2015, Artificial Evolution and Computational Biology group at INRIA in Lyon, France.
2015: Plenary Speaker, “How Might Evolutionary Theory Inform Research on Information Processing in Cells and Tissues?” Keynote Lecture, Information Processing in Cells and Tissues 2015, September 15, 2015, San Diego, California.
2015: “The Role of Gene Origin in the Evolution of Evolvability” EvoEvo workshop, Satellite workshop of the 13th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL 2015), July 24, 2015, University of York, York, UK
2015: “Spectral Landscape Theory: Some Color from Infinite Population Analysis” Dagstuhl Seminar 15211, Theory of Evolutionary Algorithms, May 22, 2015, Dagstuhl, Germany
2014: “Fisher's ‘Deterioration of the Environment’, and the Evolution of Information Transmission.” Nick Barton group, IST Austria. July 16, 2014.
2014: “Fisher's ‘Deterioration of the Environment’ Universalized.” Special Session 107: Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity in Reaction-Diffusion-Advection Models and Applications to Biology, 10th AIMS Conference on Dynamical Systems, Differential Equations, and Applications. Madrid, July 10, 2014.
2014: “Extensions of Two Little-Known Theorems of Sam Karlin:
Implications for biological invasions, genetic system evolution, cultural evolution, and ideal free distributions in ecology.” Arbeitsgemeinschaft Biomathematik, Universität Wien. May 20, 2014
2013: “Two-Fold Irreducible Matrices: A New Combinatorial Class with Applications to Random Multiplicative Growth”, at the 18th International Linear Algebra Society Meeting, Matrix Methods in Computational Systems Biology and Medicine, Warwick, Rhode Island. June 3-7, 2013.
2013: “Universal Theory on Growth and Mixing: Implications for Cosmological Natural Selection”, at the Institute for Astronomy, Astrobiology Program, University of Hawai`i at Manoa, May 22, 2013.
“A New Inequality on the Spectral Bound of Resolvent Positive Operators that Unifies Results on the Evolution of Dispersal”, Special Session on Dispersal in Heterogeneous Landscapes, 9th American Institute of Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) Conference on Dynamical Systems Differential Equations and Applications, Orlando, Florida, July 1-5, 2012.
Lectured at the New England Complex Systems Institute Summer School, Brandeis University Computer Science Department, and Icosystem, Boston. June, 2009.
Santa Fe Institute workshop, “Fighting Modern Malware III,”. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Organized by Matt Williamson (Sana Security) and Eric Davis (Google). October 15-17, 2008.
Santa Fe Institute workshop, “Fighting Modern Malware II,”. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Organized by Matt Williamson (Sana Security) and Eric Davis (Google). October 10-12, 2007.
Plenary Speaker, and Biology Session Chair, for the First IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life, Honolulu, Hawai`i. Hussein A. Abbass, Mark Bedau, Stefano Nolfi, Janet Wiles co-chairs. April 1-5, 2007.
Santa Fe Institute workshop, “The Dynamic Structure of Robustness,”. Santa Fe, New Mexico. Erica Jen and Michele Girvan, co-chairs. January 4-6, 2007.
2005: Santa Fe Institute Workshop On Software Evolvability, “The Road To Software Evolvability”. David Ackley and Stephanie Forest, co-chairs. Santa Fe, New Mexico. July, 2005.
Dept. of Knowledge-Based Mathematical Systems, Erich Peter Klement, host. Johannes Kepler University, Linz. July, 2003.
2003: Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research, Altenberg, Austria. Brown Bag Discussions: “Robustness or Evolvability: Which Will Prevail?”. June 24, 2003.
2002: Special Lecture, IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence 2002, WCCI2002, Honolulu, Hawai`i. David Fogel, General Chair. “The Problem of Knowledge Incorporation in Evolutionary Algorithms”. May 12-17, 2002.
2001: Plenary Speaker, IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation 2001, CEC2001, Seoul, South Korea. Jong-Hwan Kim, General Chair: “Exploration vs. Exploitation: Which Do Emergent Representations Choose?”. May 27-30, 2001
2001: Plenary Speaker, EuroGP 2001. Network of Excellence in Evolutionary Computation, Lake Como, Italy. Julian Miller, Marco Tomassini, Co-chairs. April 18-20, 2001.
2000: Altenberg Workshops in Theoretical Biology, Modularity: Understanding the Development and Evolution of Complex Natural Systems. Konrad Lorenz Institute, Altenberg, Austria. October 26-29, 2000.
2000: Keynote speaker, Evolvability Workshop, Artificial Life 7 Conference. Chrystopher Nehaniev, Chair; Mark Bedau, Conference Chair. Reed College, Portland Oregon. August 1-8, 2000.
2000: Congress on Evolutionary Computation, Special Session on Theory and Foundations of Evolutionary Computation. David Fogel, Chair. Tutorial on Population Genetics and Evolutionary Computation. San Diego, CA. July 16-19, 2000
2000: Santa Fe Institute, Evolvability Working Group. Mark Bedau, Paul Marrow, Tom Ray, Chairs. April 6-9, 2000.
1999: Workshop on Computational Evolutionary Biology and Ecology, Florida State University. Joe Travis, Chair. Tallahassee, FL. May 6-8, 1999.
1998: Santa Fe Institute Workshop, Towards a Comprehensive Dynamics of Evolution: Exploring the Interplay of Function, Selection, Neutrality, and Accident. “Genome Growth and the Evolution of Evolvability”. Santa Fe, New Mexico. October, 1998.
1997: New England Complex Systems Institute, Founding Conference. “The Evolution of Complex Organisms: Compression, Modularity, and Knowledge Representation”. Nashua, New Hampshire. October, 1997.
1995: Santa Fe Institute Workshop, Adaptive Search on Biological and Computational Landscapes. “Genome Growth and the Evolution of the Genotype-Phenotype Map”. Santa Fe, New Mexico. July 21-23, 1995.
1994: Third Annual Conference on Evolutionary Programming. “Emergent Phenomena in Genetic Programming,” San Diego, CA. February, 1994.
1992: Center for Computational Ecology, Yale University. “Theory on the evolution of the genotype-phenotype map,” New Haven, CT. September, 1992.
1992: Biocomputation Workshop, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “Theory on the evolution and complexity of the genotype-phenotype map,” Monterey, CA. June, 1992.
1991: Santa Fe Institute, Complex Systems Summer School. “How genetic operators can evolve,” Santa Fe, NM. June, 1991.
1991: North American Students of Cooperation Institute, University of Michigan. “The Co-op Angle on Student Activism,” Ann Arbor, MI. November, 1991.
1991: Center for Nonlinear and Complex Systems, Duke University. “Chaos from a model of frequency-dependent natural selection,” 1991.
1991: Duke University Program in Genetics Colloquium, RNA: Genetics, Processing, and Post-transcriptional Control. “Exon shuffling in protein evolution: some theoretical implications,” 1991.
1990: Interdisciplinary Research Center and Molecular Biology Institute Conference, Information Theory and Genome Sequencing, San Diego State University. “Selection for modularity in the genome,” San Diego, California. March, 1990.
1990: Department of Mathematics, San Diego State University. “Selective forces on inheritance: genome congealing as a cousin to simulated annealing,” March, 1990.
1990: Urban Ecology, First International Ecological City Conference. “Education for the ecological city movement: The importance of free social spaces in the university.” Berkeley, CA. April 1990.
1987: National Youth Science Camp. “Curious meta-creatures of the new evolutionary landscape.” Bartow, West Virginia. July, 1987.