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Computer Science

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Jeff Clune

Assistant Professor of Computer Science

Room 4074, Engineering Building
University of Wyoming
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences
Department of Computer Science
Dept. 3315
1000 E. University Avenue
Laramie, WY 82071
Phone: (307) 766-5190
Research and Course web page
Jeff Clune


  • Ph.D. in Computer Science, Michigan State University. 2005-2010.
  • M.A. in Philosophy, Michigan State University. 2003-2005.
  • Honors B.A. in Philosophy, University of Michigan. 1995-1999.

Professional Experience

  • Assistant Professor, University of Wyoming, 2012-Present
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University, Departments of Computer Science and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, 2010-2012.
  • Postdoctoral Scientist, BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action, Michigan State University, Summer 2010.

Research Interests
I study evolutionary computation, a technology that harnesses natural selection to evolve, instead of engineer, artificial intelligence, robots, and physical designs. I am also interested in learning how evolution produced the complex, diverse life on this planet. Here are some keywords that describe fields I perform research in: evolutionary algorithms (also known as genetic algorithms or evolutionary computation), neural networks (including evolving neural networks, having them learn, deep learning, and computational neuroscience), robotics, artificial intelligence, and research into the evolution of intelligence, complexity, evolvability, and altruism.

Selected Publications

  • Clune J, Mouret J-B, Lipson H (2013) The evolutionary origins of modularity. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 280: 20122863.
  • Clune J, Stanley KO, Pennock RT, Ofria C (2011) On the performance of indirect encoding across the continuum of regularity. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation. 15(3): 346-367.
  • Clune J, Pennock RT, Ofria C, Lenski RE (2012) Ontogeny tends to recapitulate phylogeny in digital organisms. The American Naturalist. 180: E54-E63.
  • Clune J, Goldsby H, Ofria C, Pennock RT (2011) Selective pressures for accurate altruism targeting: Evidence from digital evolution for difficult-to-test aspects of inclusive fitness theory. Proceedings of the Royal Society. 278: 666-674.
  • Clune J, Misevic D, Ofria C, Lenski RE, Elena SF, and Sanjuan R (2008) Natural selection fails to optimize mutation rates for long-term adaptation on rugged fitness landscapes. PLoS Computational Biology 4(9): e1000187.
  • Clune J, Lipson H (2011) Evolving three-dimensional objects with a generative encoding inspired by developmental biology. Proceedings of the European Conference on Artificial Life. 144-148.
  • Clune J, Beckmann BE, Ofria C, and Pennock RT (2009) Evolving coordinated quadruped gaits with the HyperNEAT generative encoding. Proceedings of the IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computing. 2762-2771.
  • Suchorzewski M, Clune J (2011) A novel generative encoding for evolving modular, regular and scalable networks. Proceedings of the Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference. 1523-1530.

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