Invited Speakers

Marek Vácha

Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Gregor Mendel: a story beyond peas

Gregor Mendel: a story beyond peas

“He never kept a diary, and his letters throw little light on the inner man. Being a priest, he had to be extremely cautious in the utterance of his philosophical views. Holding strictly to his vows, he shunned all relationships with women; and his nature was so reserved that he even found it difficult to enjoy any sort of intimacy with his clerical or monastic brethren.”
Iltis, H., (2019) Life of Mendel. Routledge Library Editions: Science and Technology in the Nineteenth Century. Routledge. Translated by Eden and Cedar Paul. Taylor & Francis Group. London and New York. p. 10

Who really was father Gregor? How did he achieve to put together science, art and religion into one mind, one personality? Five reasons why Gregor Mendel is the founder of modern biology will be discussed in the lecture, altogether with several aspects of his dramatic and unusual life story.

Marek Vácha

Born in Brno in 1966, Marek Vácha obtained his degree from the Faculty of Natural Science at Masaryk University in Brno specialising in Molecular Biology and Genetics in 1990.
Between 1990 and 1996 he studied Theology in Sts. Cyril and Methodius Faculty of Theology in Olomouc (Czech Republic) and the Institute d’Études Theologiques in Brussels, becoming a Roman Catholic Priest in 1996.
Between 2003 and 2006 he was an assistant lecturer at the Department of Medical Ethics of the Faculty of Medicine in Masaryk University in Brno.
In 2006 he obtained his Ph.D. with the thesis “The identification of ethical issues caused by new knowledge about human genome. From DNA to Evolutionary Psychology.”
Since 2007 he is Head of Department of Medical Ethics at 3rd Faculty of Medicine in Charles University in Prague.
He has been elected four times as a head of the Academical Senate of 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague.

He has been in two expeditions to Antarctica.

Exploring the Interplay of Cooperation and Competition in evolutionary computation

Drawing from Darwin’s principle of “survival of the fittest,” Evolutionary Algorithms (EAs) are primarily founded on a competitive framework for optimization tasks. However, it is possible to simulate more nuanced collective behaviors such as altruism or cooperation. Recent developments in AI have explored the concept of “collective intelligence”, showcasing the tremendous potential of approaches that strike a delicate balance between competition and cooperation.
Darwinian principles can be actually exploited to promote cooperation and better adjust the tradeoff between competition and cooperation in EAs. This involves rethinking the granularity of evolution – for example, expanding the definition of “the fittest” to encompass groups of individuals rather than solely focusing on individuals. Group selection is a particularly rich and fascinating area of exploration.
Inspired by works in the field of complex systems and agent-based/swarm models, this keynote explores potential avenues of future research focused on EAs as a form of collective intelligence.

Evelyne Lutton

Evelyne Lutton graduated from the French Telecom Paris Engineering School (1986), received her PhD in 1990 from Telecom Paris Doctoral school, and her habilitation in 1999 from Orsay university. She is research director at INRAE (MATHNUM department) in the EKINOCS research team of the UMR 518 MIA Paris-Saclay. She is also associate researcher at the ISC-PIF, the french institute for complex systems and at the LLB-CEA MMB group (soft matter physics), CNRS UMR 12.
Before that, she was researcher at INRIA (1991-2013), where she was successively scientific manager of the FRACTALES, COMPLEX and APIS research teams (2000-2009), and member of the AVIZ team (2009-2013). Her scientific research concern Evolutionary Algorithms, Fractals, Cooperative-coevolution, and Interactive evolution, with applications in image, signal, medical imaging, and agrifood process modeling.
She founded the EA association (the french association for Artifical Evolution) with two colleagues in 1994, was secretary, then treasurer of this association. She chairs the EA steering committee since 2007. She was program chair of the EuroGP conference in 2002 and co-chair (2006-2007) of a Workshop on interactive evolution within the Evo* conferences annual event. She teaches Artificial Evolution at ENSTA , a french engineering school, since 2000. She is IEEE senior member, and was the chair of the WIE-France (Women In Engineering) affinity group (2012-2015).