Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
    Fall 2015 - Spring 2021 (expected)
    Dual Ph.D. in Computer Science and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, & Behavior
    Advisor: Charles Ofria

  • Mississippi State University - Starkville, MS
    Graduated Fall 2015
    B.S. in Computer Science (Summa Cum Laude)
    Advisor: Cindy Bethel

Research Experience

  • Digital Evolution Laboratory, Michigan State University - East Lansing, MI
    Graduate student, advisor(s): Charles Ofria
    Fall 2015 - present

  • Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), Mississippi State University - Starkville, MS
    Undergraduate research assistant, advisor(s): Cindy Bethel and Daniel Carruth
    Spring 2014 - Summer 2015
    As a member of the Ground Vehicles Virtual Testbed Environment Project team, I helped to integrate the ANVEL Ground Vehicle Simulator with the Robot Operating System (ROS). This work enabled researchers to more easily perform human-robot interaction studies using the ANVEL platform.

  • Social, Therapeutic, and Robotic Systems (STaRS) Laboratory, Mississippi State University - Starkville, MS
    Undergraduate research assistant, advisor(s): Cindy Bethel
    Fall 2013 - Summer 2015
    I worked as a project lead on the Robot Intent and Control Project where we studied the effectiveness of different human-robot interfaces for allowing autonomous robots to communicate behavioral intentions to supervisory human operators who could optionally override the robot's behavior when necessary. Additionally, I assisted with other human-participant studies being run in the lab.

  • Laboratory for Autonomous Systems Research (LASR), Naval Research Laboratory - Washington, DC
    Intern, advisor(s): Greg Trafton and Laura Hiatt
    Summer 2014
    I worked with cognitive scientists and image processing experts to research the effects of integrating contextual information (generated by a model of how humans learn associations between concepts) into a robot's object recognition system.

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) - Pasadena, CA
    Intern, advisor(s): William R. Johnson
    Summer 2012
    I developed software for a team of optics engineers and geoscientists. I focused on modernizing their instrument calibration software for their Near-Nulling Radiometers, enabling the team to perform more efficient and reliable calibrations.

  • Physics Department, Mississippi State University - Starkville, MS
    Undergraduate research assistant, advisor(s): Angelle Tanner
    Fall 2011 - Spring 2012
    I developed tools to automate data retrieval from the NASA Star and Exoplanet Database.

Publications

Peer-reviewed papers
  • Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria. (2018). Evolving event-driven programs with SignalGP. In Proceedings of the 2018 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO). pp. 1135-1142. DOI: 10.1145/3205455.3205523. ACM.

  • Emily Dolson, Alexander Lalejini, Steven Jorgensen, and Charles Ofria. (2018). Quantifying the tape of life: Ancestry-based metrics provide insights and intuition about evolutionary dynamics. In Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE). Edited by Takashi Ikegami, Nathaniel Virgo, Olaf Witkowski, Mizuki Oka, Reiji Suzuki, and Hiroyuki Iizuka. pp. 75-82. DOI: 10.1162/isal_a_00020. MIT Press.

  • Alexander Lalejini, Michael J. Wiser, and Charles Ofria. (2017). Gene duplications drive the evolution of complex traits and regulation. In Proceedings of the 14th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL) 2017. Edited by Carole Knibbe, Guillaume Beslon, David Parsons, Dusan Misevic, Jonathan Rouzaud-Cornabas, Nicolas Bredèche, Salima Hassas, Olivier Simonin, and Hédi Soula. Vol 14. pp. 257-264. DOI: 10.7551/ecal_a_045. MIT Press.

  • Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria. (2016). The evolutionary origins of phenotypic plasticity. In Artificial Life XV: Proceedings of the Fifteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE). Edited by Carlos Gershenson, Tom Froese, Jesus M. Siqueiros, Wendy Aguilar, Eduardo J. Izquierdo and Hiroki Sayama. Vol 14. pp. 372-379. DOI: 10.7551/978-0-262-33936-0-ch063. MIT Press.
    best student paper

  • Christopher R. Hudson, Alexander Lalejini, Brandon Odom, Daniel W. Carruth, Cindy L. Bethel, Phillip J. Durst, and Christopher Goodin. (2015). ANVEL-ROS: The integration of the robot operating system with a high-fidelity simulator. In Proceedings of the 2015 Ground Vehicle Systems Engineering and Technology Symposium (GVSETS). p. 378.

  • Alexander Lalejini, Dexter Duckworth, Richard Sween, Cindy L. Bethel, and Daniel W. Carruth. (2014). Evaluation of supervisory control interfaces for mobile robot integration with tactical teams. In Proceedings of 2014 IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and Its Social Impacts (ARSO). pp 1-6. DOI: 10.1109/ARSO.2014.7020971. IEEE.

Peer-reviewed abstracts

These are short (usually 2-page) summaries of research recently published or to be published elsewhere.

  • Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria. (2018). Evolving reactive agents with SignalGP. In Proceedings of the 2018 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE). Edited by Takashi Ikegami, Nathaniel Virgo, Olaf Witkowski, Mizuki Oka, Reiji Suzuki, and Hiroyuki Iizuka. pp. 368-369. DOI: 10.1162/isal_a_00069. MIT Press.

Book chapters
  • Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria. (in press). What else is in an evolved name? Exploring evolvable specificity with SignalGP. Genetic Programming in Theory and Practice XVI. Springer.

  • Emily Dolson, Alexander Lalejini, and Charles Ofria. (in press). Exploring genetic programming systems with MAP-Elites. Genetic Programming Theory and Practice XVI. Springer.

Presentations

Talks
  • Evolving reactive agents with SignalGP
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at 2018 Conference on Artificial Life (ALIFE). July 26, 2018. Tokyo, Japan. Slides.

  • Evolving event-driven programs with SignalGP
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at 2018 Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO). July 17, 2018. Kyoto, Japan. Slides.

  • What else is in an evolved name? Exploring evolvable specificity with SignalGP
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at Genetic Programming Theory and Practice XVI. May 18, 2018. Ann Arbor, MI (USA). Slides.

  • Evolving event-driven programs with SignalGP
    By Alexander Lalejini
    Presented at weekly BEACON Friday seminar. April 6, 2018. East Lansing, MI (USA).

  • Gene Duplications Drive the Evolution of Complex Traits and Regulation
    By Alexander Lalejini, Michael J. Wiser, and Charles Ofria
    Presented at 14th European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL). September 5, 2017. Lyon, France. Slides.

  • Gene Duplications Drive the Evolution of Complex Traits and Regulation
    By Alexander Lalejini, Michael J. Wiser, and Charles Ofria
    Presented at 2017 Annual BEACON Congress. August 4, 2017. East Lansing, MI (USA). Slides.

  • The Evolutionary Origins of Phenotypic Plasticity
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at 2016 Annual BEACON Congress. August 11, 2016. East Lansing, MI (USA). Slides.

  • The Evolutionary Origins of Phenotypic Plasticity
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at Fifteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE). July 7, 2016. Cancun, Mexico. Slides.

  • Evaluation of supervisory control interfaces for mobile robot integration with tactical teams
    By Alexander Lalejini, Dexter Duckworth, Richard Sween, Cindy L. Bethel, and Daniel W. Carruth
    Presented at 2014 IEEE Workshop on Advanced Robotics and Its Social Impacts (ARSO). September 11, 2014. Evanston, IL (USA).

Posters
  • SignalGP
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at Engineering Graduate Research Symposium. March 29, 2018. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Poster.

  • Evolving event-driven agents with SignalGP
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at 2018 Annual BEACON Congress. August 8, 2018. East Lansing, MI (USA). Poster.

  • The Evolutionary Origins of Phenotypic Plasticity
    By Alexander Lalejini and Charles Ofria
    Presented at Engineering Graduate Research Symposium. March 29, 2016. Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI. Poster.

  • Robot Control
    By Alexander Lalejini and Cindy Bethel
    Presented at Bagley College of Engineering Undergraduate Poster Competition. April 24, 2014. Mississippi State University, Starkville, MS.

Teaching Experience

  • Teaching Assistant for CSE 491: Algorithms Engineering - Spring 2017
    Michigan State University Computer Science and Engineering Department, East Lansing, MI
    Held regular office hours. Met one-on-one with students. Graded homeworks (written and programming) and exams.

Awards, Honors, and Fellowships

  • Honorable Mention, Engineering Graduate Research Symposium Recognition for Outstanding Research
    Awarded - Spring 2018
    Awarded for my poster presentation titled, SignalGP

  • National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship
    Awarded - Spring 2017
    Chosen as 1 of 2,000 recipients out of over 13,000 applicants.

  • Best Student Paper at the 2016 International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems (ALIFE)
    Awarded - Summer 2016
    Awarded for our paper titled, The Evolutionary Origins of Phenotypic Plasticity

  • Honorable Mention, Engineering Graduate Research Symposium Recognition for Outstanding Research
    Awarded - Spring 2016
    Awarded for my poster presentation titled, The Evolutionary Origins of Phenotypic Plasticity

  • BEACON Top-up Fellowship
    Awarded - Fall 2015
    Awarded by BEACON Center for Evolution in Action to incoming graduate students.

  • University Distinguished Fellowship
    Awarded - Fall 2015
    Awarded by Michigan State University to 20 out of approximately 500 incoming Ph.D. students.

  • Stephen D. Lee Scholar
    Awarded - Spring 2015
    This designation is reserved for students who graduate with a perfect 4.0 GPA in all courses attempted while earning a bachelor's degree at Mississippi State University.

  • James Worth Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame
    Awarded - Spring 2015
    Awarded by the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University to students who have demonstrated superior academic achievement, leadership, service, and character.

  • Computing Research Association (CRA) Outstanding Undergraduate Male Researcher, Honorable Mention
    Awarded - Spring 2015

Service and Outreach

  • Reviewer
    European Conference on Artificial Life (ECAL) 2017, Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference (GECCO) 2018, and Artificial Life Conference (ALIFE) 2018

  • Mentor, MSU Summer Research Opportunities Program (SROP)
    Summer 2016, summer 2017, and summer 2018
    I worked with undergraduate students to choose, perform, and present summer research.

  • Volunteer, BEACON Outreach Activities
    Fall 2015 - present
    Regularly participate in elementary school science nights, teaching concepts related to evolutionary biology to students. I've also participated in various other outreach events as a BEACON affiliate (e.g., MSU Darwin Day, MSU Science Festival).

  • Volunteer, Poolside judge for the National SeaPerch Challenge
    May 17, 2014

  • Volunteer, Monthly SWAT training exercises
    Fall 2013 - Spring 2015
    As a member of the STaRS Lab, I assisted with monthly training exercises with the Starkville, MS Police Department SWAT team. Our lab worked to integrate robots into the team's slow and methodical search of large buildings training sessions. During these training sessions, I operated robots and role-played as a survivor in need of rescue.