10 Tips to Better Manage Your Time in Academia

By Charles Ofria on December 9, 2014 in Productivity / 3 Comments

As an academic, work comes from many different sources and it’s up to you to keep it all under control. As a grad student, you have your research projects, your classes, obligations to your lab, and the need to balance a personal life. By the time you are a faculty member, you still have research (now guiding numerous projects), classes (now teaching), a research lab (that you’re leading), and a life outside of work (hopefully), but you’re also expected to write grants, serve on a myriad of committees, advise students, write reference letters, and review the work of others (manuscripts, proposals, tenure cases, etc.) Each of these can easily become a full-time job unto itself if you’re not careful. Here are some tricks that work well for me (when I manage to do them):

Finding Your Perfect Interdisciplinary Graduate Program

By Emily Dolson on December 2, 2014 in Graduate School / 1 Comment

Finding the right graduate program is normally a bit of a challenge. However, this challenge can be magnified if you’re looking to go into a field outside of clearly defined disciplinary lines. You may be sure that there are people studying what you’re interested in, but figuring out who they are and what words they’re using to describe their research is often difficult. During the beginning of my senior year of college, I almost gave up on trying to find a place where I could study the combination of things that I wanted to. It felt like I was just pouring in more and more effort without getting any results. Obviously, I ultimately succeeded – the Ofria Lab is a pretty darn good fit for my interests – but only via a combination of brute force […]

Current Research at the Devolab

By Anya Vostinar on November 25, 2014 in News / 0 Comments

While we’re widely interested in the field of digital evolution/artificial life at the Devolab, we have various more specific projects currently being investigated. We’re planning on trying to keep the Projects page up-to-date whenever a new major project is undertaken or an old one wrapped up (hopefully with a publication to share!), I decided to draw your attention to our current work now that everything is up-to-date:

Recent Publications From the Devolab

By Anya Vostinar on November 18, 2014 in News, Research / 0 Comments

Hello, world, we’re back! The Devolab (i.e. Dr. Charles Ofria’s research lab) has been up to lots of research, but not much blogging – until now. We’ve got lots of plans for discussing interesting papers, ongoing research, behind-the-scenes looks at grad student life, and much more. For now, plan on seeing new posts on Tuesdays. To start things off, we thought you’d like to know what we’ve been up to in the past year or so, therefore here is a list of the recent publications from the lab. Going forward, we’ll aim to have posts with high-level discussions of our new papers, and slowly fill in with posts about some of the more exciting previous papers. Without further ado, we present research:

New research published at Alife 13

By David Bryson on July 19, 2012 in News / 0 Comments

Several new Devolab publications have been accepted to appear at Artificial Life 13. “Digital Evolution Exhibits Surprising Robustness to Poor Design Decisions” by David M. Bryson and Charles Ofria Abstract When designing an evolving software system, a researcher must set many aspects of the representation and inevitably make arbitrary decisions. Here we explore the consequences of poor design decisions in the development of a virtual instruction set in digital evolution systems. We evaluate the introduction of three different severities of poor choices. (1) functionally neutral instructions that water down mutational options, (2) actively deleterious instructions, and (3) a lethal die instruction. We further examine the impact of a high level of neutral bloat on the short term evolutionary potential of genotypes experiencing environmental change. We observed surprising robustness to these poor design decisions across all seven […]