I Heart GECCO Women 125


The Women@GECCO workshop series started in 2013 as a venue in which successful women researchers welcome and support other women in evolutionary computation (EC). Organically over the years, the workshop became a venue where students and junior researchers from different under-represented cohorts in EC interacted in an informal setting with more established women researchers on various issues related to fostering and balancing one’s professional and social life, as well as on inserting oneself in the EC community.

To acknowledge the growing body of EC researchers and the need for newcomers to integrate themselves in the community, as well as glean effective ways to support growth from informative experiences of other researchers, the Women@GECCO workshop expands its focus from “by women for women” to “GECCO women welcome EC newcomers”.


The workshop will take place from 6-8pm on Sunday, July 14, 2019 after regular workshop/tutorial slots to allow everyone to join. It will provide the space for participants to interact with the presenters and one another and in this way share experiences, professional interests, and social opportunities.

Women@GECCO meets pub quiz


  • Raia Hadsell (Google DeepMind, London, UK): Learning in complex environments
  • Hana Rudová (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic): Planning & scheduling for your life
  • Leslie Pérez Cáceres (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Valparaíso, Chile): Towards a set of heuristics for approaching the academic career: ideas from Patagonia, Go, Algorithm Configuration, and Academy

Open discussion
The discussions will be participant-driven. A poll provides the space for GECCO participants to voice the issues most important to them and vote on issues that they would most like to discuss at the workshop.


Raia Hadsell

Raia Hadsell, a senior research scientist at DeepMind, has worked on deep learning and robotics problems for over 10 years. Her early research developed the approach of learning embeddings using Siamese networks, which has been used extensively for representation learning. After completing a PhD with Yann LeCun, which featured a self-supervised deep learning vision system for a mobile robot, her research continued at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute and SRI International, and in early 2014 she joined DeepMind in London to study artificial general intelligence. Her current research focuses on the challenge of continual learning for AI agents and robots. While deep RL algorithms are capable of attaining superhuman performance on single tasks, they often cannot transfer that performance to additional tasks, especially if experienced sequentially. She has proposed neural approaches such as policy distillation, progressive nets, and elastic weight consolidation to solve the problem of catastrophic forgetting for agents and robots.

Hana Rudová

Hana Rudová is an associate professor in Computer Science at Masaryk University, Faculty of Informatics in the Czech Republic. She works on various problems broadly related to scheduling and routing such as educational timetabling, scheduling for distributed environments or transport planning. Her work is inspired by real-life problems coming from practice, and she concentrates on approaches which allow solving of practical problems such as course timetabling in UniTime system, computer job scheduling in CERIT national infrastructure, or scheduling of mobile robots in the factory. She solves these problems using meta-heuristics, constraint programming or mixed integer programming.

She co-authored more than 120 research papers from 1998. She is associate editor of Journal of Scheduling and member of the PATAT steering committee. She co-chaired the Novel application track at the ICAPS conference in 2017 and 2018 and co-chaired as well as co-organized the PATAT 2006 conference in her home town. She serves in program committees of conferences such as ICAPS, PATAT, MISTA, IJCAI, CP or FLAIRS. She co-organizes the ongoing International Timetabling Competition (ITC 2019) with more than 140 registered users from 45 countries. She spent a half year both at Carnegie Mellon University in 2016 and Purdue University in the USA in 2001. Hana is teaching courses on Scheduling, Constraint Programming, and Artificial Intelligence. She served as a vice-dean for bachelor and master studies from 2011 to 2015.

Leslie Pérez Cáceres


Elizabeth Wanner

I am a Lecturer in Computer Science, Aston University, Birmingham, UK since 2017. Previously, I was an Associate Professor at the CEFET-MG in the Department of Computer Engineering, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. I obtained my Ph.D. at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, on the topic of Local Search operators for Genetic Algorithms based on derivative-free quadratic approximation. I also hold an MSc in Mathematics from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, and before that, I received a BSc degree in Mathematics at the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais.
My research is concerned with population-based multiobjective optimization and matheuristics, experimental assessment of algorithms, dynamical systems, engineering design optimization and mathematical and statistical aspects of optimization theory. My work is concerned with both abstract problems as well as applied ones.

Christine Zarges

Christine Zarges received her degree and PhD from the TU Dortmund, Germany, in 2007 and 2011, respectively. Afterwards, she held a postdoctoral research position at the University of Warwick, England, UK, and a Birmingham Fellowship at the University of Birmingham, England, UK. She is a Lecturer at Aberystwyth University, Wales, UK, since August 2016.

Her research focuses on the theoretical analysis of all kinds of randomised search heuristics such as evolutionary algorithms and artificial immune systems with the aim to understand their working principles and guide their design and application. She is also interested in computational and theoretical aspects of natural processes and systems. She has given tutorials on "Artificial Immune Systems for Optimisation" at previous GECCOs and was co-chair of the Artificial Immune Systems track at GECCO 2014, the Artificial Immune Systems and Artificial Chemistries track at GECCO 2015 and Hot off the Press chair at GECCO 2017. She is member of the editorial board of Evolutionary Computation (MIT Press) and was co-organiser of FOGA 2015 and co-workshop chair at PPSN 2016 and 2018. She is a Management Committee member for the UK and working group leader in COST Action CA15140 (Improving Applicability of Nature-Inspired Optimisation by Joining Theory and Practice).