2020 ERA Workshop


2020 Emerging Researchers in Artificial Life Workshop (@ ALife 2020)

View the Project on GitHub amlalejini/ALife-2020--Emerging-Researchers-in-ALife-Workshop

Note: We switched away from updating the lightning talk and academic karaoke rosters here. Instead, we are updating a post in the ALife 2020 Slack! See the #workshop-eral channel for more info!


The Emerging Researchers in Artificial Life (ERA) is the official student, post-doc, and junior researcher group for the International Society for Artificial Life (ISAL). The purpose of the ISAL student group is to provide opportunities for students and post-docs interested in artificial life to interact with each other, develop professionally, and contribute to the broader artificial life community.

This workshop will be held as part of the (virtual) 2020 Conference on Artificial Life. The goal of this workshop is to provide a venue for junior researchers to meet, share their work, and network.

We will begin with a brief informational discussion about ERA, including an introduction by the current elected chairs, an overview on how to get involved in the group, discussions of events and activities junior researchers would like to see organized by the group, and a request for nominations for 2020-2021 ERA chairs. Additionally, we will announce any upcoming ERA-organized social events planned during the conference. Following this general discussion, we will highlight the recipient of the 2020 ISAL Outstanding Student Paper Award, Anya E. Vostinar for the paper “Spatial Structure Can Decrease Symbiotic Cooperation”.

To give junior ALife researchers a minimal-barrier-to-entry venue to share their research with peers, we will offer sign-ups to give lightning talks on research at any stage of development, ranging from rough ideas for future projects to already published work. This style of lightning talks for students was successful at the 2017 European Conference on Artificial Life. The workshop will conclude with ALife-themed academic karaoke, an entertaining social activity where participants present an unknown (to the presenter) series of ALife-themed slides.

After the workshop, we will compose a brief summary of the general meeting and contributed talks (in collaboration with interested participants) to be made publicly available here.

Sign up for a research lightning talk or to participate in academic karaoke!

Sign up for a lightning talk slot and/or to participate in academic karaoke by emailing us at lalejini@msu.edu or by making a pull request on this website’s GitHub repository.

You do not need to commit to a topic for your lightning talk in order to sign up for a speaking slot. We don’t need to know your topic until you present! If you do know what you’d like to talk about, however, we’ll post the topic/description here.

We will have time for roughly 10 speaking slots split between lightning talks and academic karaoke (allocation depending on interest). Sign-ups are first-come, first-serve, so feel free to sign up as early as you’d like! We will be soliciting sign-ups (until full) up until the time of the workshop.

If you have any questions feel free to email us (or, file an issue on GitHub if that’s your jam).

Scheduled lightning talks

Time Slot Speaker Topic Contact
1 Daniel Junghans A business student’s perspective on artificial life TBD
2 Georgina Montserrat Reséndiz-Benhumea and Tom Froese Modeling the interdependence of neural and social complexity TBD
3 Kevin Godin-Dubois Splinoids: first-steps out of EDEnS TBD
4 Maxfield Green DEEPFIRE : A wildfire simulation system based on fully convolutional neural networks trained on real time remotely sensed data and satellite captured wildfire behaviors! mgreen13 AT uvm.edu
5 Kyle Doney Automated tensegrity robot behavior generation TBD
6 Nathan Brooks A mechanism to promote social behaviour in household load balancing TBD

We’re holding off on accepting more lightning talks to reserve space for a few academic kaoroke slots. If we don’t receive sufficient interest in doing academic karaoke, we’ll open lightning talk signups again. If we do call for more lightning talks, we will do so via an announcement at the conference.

Academic Karaoke

Time Slot Speaker Contact
1 Acacia Ackles TBD
2 You! TBD

Important Dates


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