John H. Holland is professor of computer science and engineering and professor of psychology at the University of Michigan; he is also external professor and member of the executive committee of the board of trustees at the Santa Fe Institute. Professor Holland was made a MacArthur fellow in 1992 and is a fellow of the World Economic Forum. He serves on the Advisory Board on Complexity at the McDonnell Foundation. Professor Holland has been interested for more than 40 years in what are now called complex adaptive systems (CAS). He formulated genetic algorithms, classifier systems, and the Echo models as tools for studying the dynamics of such systems. His books Hidden Order (1995) and Emergence (1998) summarize many of his thoughts about complex adaptive systems. Research Interests include the study of cognitive processes and complex adaptive systems in general, using mathematical models and computer simulation.
"Computer programs that "evolve" in ways that resemble natural selection can solve complex problems even their creators do not fully understand."
Q & A with John Holland
1. What questions are you most excited about exploring these days?
John: Understanding the concept of 'niche' (everything from ecological niche to market niche) by studying the co-evolution of signals (e.g. proteins) and boundaries (e.g. membranes).
2. What other research/researchers are you tracking?
John: Mark Newman's work on 'communities' (as a snapshot of a 'niche').
3. What do you think is the most promising idea/theory emerging from complexity science for making a difference in fulfilling Plexus' mission?
John: The origin and adaptation of complex boundary hierarchies (e.g membrane hierarchies in cells) as a way of determining the effects of intervention (e.g. to prevent or cure disease).
University of Michican Department of Psychology Faculty/John Holland
Santa Fe Institute
John Holland's ECHO
Genetic Algorithms - John H. Holland
Emergence: Expert Q&A with John Holland, NOVA scienceNOW, 2007
Festschrift in honor of John H. Holland, Online Proceedings from 1999 Conference