Neil Urquhart, Edinburgh Napier University
I have been involved with Evo* since 2000. My involvement has been as a contributor, workshop chair and assisting with the administration and general organisation in earlier years. Until 2020, I had organised the student reception and associated activities, I would hope that these can be resumed as soon as we can hold in-place events. My view is that SPECIES and Evo* must continue to evolve, this encompasses the changing area of our research, from evolutionary computation into the wider area of nature inspired computation. This evolution also encompasses the society and the Evo* events which must also continue to evolve. Post C-19 it is likely that future events will be a mixture of in-place and on-line, but we must look carefully as to how this is managed. Our in-place events need to evolve into meetings that will justify the costs involved in attendance, that means looking at activities other than just presentations and posters. We need to think about events that will encourage attendees to meet and discuss and ultimately form groups with similar interests that will lead to collaboration. This is something that can best be carried out in-place and Evo* with its’ tradition of social events and informality is very well placed to undertake these changes. My own background: – I am a lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University, I teach software engineering, agent based systems and emergent computation, I also lead the Computing Science degree. My research interests are based around the application of EC to problems in the area of logistics and transportation.