Chrystopher Nehaniv

Research Professor

Photo of Chrystopher Nehaniv

I received my B.Sc. with Honors in Mathematics (Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1987) and a Ph.D. in Mathematics (Univ. of California, Berkeley, 1992) for work in the algebraic theory of semigroups, groups, and automata. After that, I stayed at Berkeley as a Lecturer and then Research Fellow. From 1993 to 1998, I served as Professor of the University of Aizu and Director of the Software Engineering Lab in the School of Computer Science & Engineering there. From its founding in 1997, I was also Professor in the Cybernetics & Software Systems Group at the University of Aizu in the scenic Aizu region of Fukushima Prefecture in northern Japan. I am a frequent Visiting Professor at Institute for Mathematics & Informatics at the University of Debrecen in Hungary and have taught at Ibaraki National University in Japan. In 1999 I became a Reader in Computer Science and since 2001 Research Professor of Mathematical and Evolutionary Computer Science, with the Interactive Systems Engineering Research Group, Adaptive Systems Research Group, and the Algorithms Research Group at the University of Hertfordshire (formerly Hatfield Polytechnic) just north of London in the United Kingdom. I am Director of the UK EPSRC Network on Evolvability in Biological and Software Systems, Associate Editor of the Elsevier journal BioSystems: Journal of Biological and Information Processing Sciences, Associate Editor of Interaction Studies: Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems and a member of the Santa Fe Institute Evolvability Working Group.

My address, phone, fax, e-mail, www, ...

Scientific Publication List

My current major research and publication areas include:

Current seminars:

Taught courses:
  • I am also a PhD Admissions Tutor for the School of Computer Science.

    Selected Invited Lectures

    Special Issues, Conferences and Workshops Organized:

  • 27 Novmeber- 1 December 2017, IEEE Artificial Life Symposisum at IEEE SCCI 2017, Hawaii, USA (Co-chair with Joseph Lizier (Australia))

  • 8-10 December 2015, IEEE Artificial Life Symposisum at IEEE SCCI 2015, Cape Town South Africa (Co-chair with Mikhail Prokopenko (Australia))

  • 16-19 April 2013, IEEE Artificial Life Symposisum at IEEE SCCI 2013, Singapore (Programme Chair with H. Sayama (USA) and Terry Bossomeier (Australia)))

  • 13-15 April 2011, 2011 IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life (Paris, France - IEEE ALIFE 2011 at the IEEE Symposium Series on Computational Intelligence). Program Chair (together with Hiroki Sayama (USA) and Terry Bossomeier (Australia)).

  • 30 March - 2 April 2009, Second IEEE Symposium on Artificial Life (Nashville, Tennesse, USA - IEEE ALIFE 2009). Program Chair.

  • 5-9 April 2009, Information Processing in Cells & Tissues - "From Small Scale Dynamics to Understanding Systems Behaviour" (Ascona, Switzerland - IPCAT 2009), Program Co-Chair.

  • 18-21 May 2009, IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation (Trondheim, Norway - IEEE CEC 2009). Technical Chair.

  • 1 October 2007, Third International IEEE Workshop on Software Evolvability 2007 at the IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM)", Paris, France (Conference General Chair)

  • 24 September 2006, Second International IEEE Workshop on Software Evolvability 2006 at the IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA (with R. Laddaga and P. Wernick)

  • IEEE International Symposium on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN) "Getting to Know Socially Intelligent Robots", 6-8 September 2006, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, United Kingdom. Program Co-Chair (with K. Dautenhahn)

  • Third International Symposium on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication (EELC '06) at the SAB'06 Conference, 25 Sep. - 1 Oct. 2006, Roma Italy (with P. Vogt, Y. Sugita, E. Tuci)

  • 26 September 2005: Software Evolvability Workshop at IEEE International Conference on Software Maintenance (ICSM) Budapast, Hungary.

  • 2-5 September 2005: IEEE CEC 2005 Special Sessions on Artificial Life and Complex Adaptive Systems at the 2005 IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computation Edinburgh, Scotland

  • IEEE RO-MAN 2005: 14th IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication , special session on "Robot Companions" (with K. Dautenhahn), August 13-15, 2005 Nashville, Tennessee, USA

  • 27-30 June 2005, special sessions at IEEE CIRA in Espoo, Finland:
        Ontogenetic Robotics (organized by Giorgio Metta (Univ. Genoa, Italy) & C. L. Nehaniv (Univ. Hertfordshire, UK)), and on
        Human-Robot Interaction (organized by K. Dautenhahn (Univ. Hertfordshire, UK) and C. L. Nehaniv (Univ. Hertfordshire, UK))

  • 14-15 April 2005 AISB 2005 Convention: SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE AND INTERACTION IN ANIMALS, ROBOTS AND AGENTS, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, UK. Convention Vice Chair.

  • Second International Symposium on the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Communication (Programme Chairs: A. Cangelosi and C. L. Nehaniv) at AISB 2005

  • Third International Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts, 12-14 April 2005, Hatfield UK (Symposium Chair: Yiannis Demiris (Imperial) Programme co-chairs: Kerstin Dautenhahn (Hertfordshire) and Chrystopher Nehaniv (Hertfordshire)).

  • IEEE RO-MAN 2004: 13th IEEE International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication September 20-22, 2004 Kurashiki, Okayama Japan, Special Session on "Creating Relationships with Social Robots" (co-organized with K. Dautenhahn), also co-chairing session on "Cognitive Psychology".

  • 8-10 October 2003 "Evolvability and Interaction: Evolutionary Substrates of Communication, Signaling, and Perception in the Dynamics of Social Complexity", London, England, U.K.

  • 26-28 August 2003 "Evolvability, Genetics and Development in Natural and Constructed Systems" at Tewin Bury Farm Hotel near Welwyn, Hertfordshire, England

  • 24-25 April 2003, Evolvability and Sensor Evolution Symposium, University of Birmingham, U.K.

  • 7-11 April 2003, Imitation in Animals and Artifacts II: Second International Symposium, at AISB'03, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom.

  • 18-20 September 2002 "Evolvability and Individuality", St. Albans, Hertfordshire, U.K.

  • Software Evolution and Evolutionary Computation, University of Hertfordshire, 7-8 February 2002: An EPSRC Network on Evolvability in Biological and Software Systems Symposium.
    (Submissions: Send a 500 word maximum, plain text abstract by 31 December 2001 to

  • Special EVOLVABILITY Issue of BIOSYSTEMS, Journal of Biological and Information Processing Sciences, published by Elsevier Science, guest edited by Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, (in press).

  • CT'01: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Cognitive Technology: Instruments of Mind
    (6-9 August 2001), University of Warwick, U.K., Springer in Lecture Notes in Computer Science/Artificial Intelligence (LNCS/LNAI), Vol 2117.

  • Symposium on the Evolvability and Future of Theoretical Computer Science, 20 June 2001, University of Hertfordshire.

  • Cybernetics and Systems: An International Journal (Taylor and Francis), Special Issue on Imitation in Natural & Artificial Systems, Guest editors: Chrystopher L. Nehaniv & Kerstin Dautenhahn, 32(1-2), 2001.

  • EVOLVABILITY WORKSHOP at ALIFE VII at Artificial Life VII: The Seventh International Conference on the Simulation and Synthesis of Living Systems, Reed College, Portland, Oregon, USA, 1-6 August 2000

  • AISB'99 Symposium: Imitation in Animals & Artifacts, Edinburgh, Scotland, 7-9 April 1999
    [Proceedings of the AISB'99 Symposium on Imitation in Animals and Artifacts (7-9 April 1999, Edinburgh, Scotland), K. Dautenhahn and C. L. Nehaniv, editors, The Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and Simulation of Behaviour, 1999. ISBN: 1-902956-05-2 ]

  • Computation for Metaphors, Analogy, and Agents:
    An International Workshop

    Aizu, Japan -- April 6-10, 1998
    (Computation for Metaphors, Analogy and Agents, C. L. Nehaniv, ed.,
    Springer Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence, Vol. 1562
    ISBN: 3-540-65959-5 )

  • First International Conference on Semigroups & Algebraic Engineering,
    Aizu, Japan -- March 24-28, 1997.
    (Algebraic Engineering, C. Nehaniv & M. Ito, eds., World Scientific Press, [ISBN: 981-02-3667-0],
    and Special Issue of Theoretical Computer Science), vol. 245, number 1

  • Second International Conference on Cognitive Technology: Humanizing the Information Age
    Aizu, Japan -- August 25-28, 1997
    (J.P. Marsh, C.L Nehaniv & B. Gorayska, eds., IEEE Computer Society Press)

    Aizu, Japan -- October 21-25, 1997
    Mathematical & Computational Biology, C.L. Nehaniv, ed., American Mathematical Society

  • First Symposium on Algebra, Languages and Computation
    University of Aizu, Japan -- October 30-November 1, 1997
    T. Imaoka & C. L. Nehaniv, eds., book published 1998.
    [Contents][ALC Symposium Series Webpages at Shimane University, Japan]

  • Workshop at
    ALIFE VI: Sixth International Conference on Artificial Life
    (26-29 June 1998), University of California, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

    Appropriate Mathematics for Developmental and
    Evolutionary Biology

    26 June 1998, UCLA
    (co-organized with Günter P. Wagner, Yale University)
    & Special Issue of MIT Press Journal Artificial Life, Volume 6, Number 1 )

    Conference and Workshop Program Committees

    [Too many !! -- this section not updated...]

    University of Hertfordshire Courses

    Scientific & Professional Societies
    American Mathematical Society Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Society for Mathematical Biology Society for Developmental Biology
    American Association for the Advancement of Science New York Academy of Sciences Cognitive Technology Society
    Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers
    IEEE Computer Society IEEE Systems, Man & Cybernetics IEEE Robotics & Automation IEEE Engineering in Medicine & Biology

    Web Journals, Searches and Calls for Papers/Conferences

    Computer Languages
    CMU Language Research Hyperlinked Language Overviews Steele's Book on Common Lisp (1000 page dvi file, ~3.4 MB)
    WWW Virtual Library: Computing, Programming Languages SNOBOL & Relatives The Icon Programming Language
    PERL -- Practical Extraction and Report Language

    Biology & Generalizations
    Artificial Life Group in Aizu (ALGA) Zooland: Sante Fe Institute Primer on Molecular Genetics (U.S. Dept. of Energy) Outbreak: the Emerging Disease Web Site
    Center for Computational Ecology at Yale Cellular Slime Mold WWW Server The Squidpage (Cephalopods) Marine Phylum Index
    Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA
    Karl Sims's Work Genetic Programming Introduction to Phylogeny Excellent Links to Morphogenesis Pages (by A.V. Spirov)
    Boids, Etc. Poly-PEDAL Laboratory, UC Berkeley The Tree of Life Danny Yee's Book Reviews
    School of Biological Sciences, University of Sussex Observer's Web (Autopoiesis & Enaction) History of Life Centre for the Study of Evolution
    Population Ecology National Center for Biotechnology Information Software for Field Biologists Java-Based Molecular Biology Workbench

    Some Cool Biologists
    Lynn Margulis Leo W. Buss (& ALChemy) Thomas S. Ray (& Tierra) Richard E. Michod (University of Arizona EEB)
    Michael W. Nachman Günter Wagner John Maynard Smith Joel R. Peck
    Eors Szathmary Richard Dawkins (Unofficial Page) Lee Altenberg Theoretical Biology/Bioinformatics Group (Universiteit Utrecht)
    Paulien Hogeweg (Director)

    Math Sites

    University of California, Berkeley, Mathematics Department (my alma mater) American Mathematical Society University of Aizu Mathematical Sciences Seminar AMS MathSciNet Demo - MATH REVIEWS
    Semigroups On-line by J.H. Renshaw Ben Steinberg Pál Dömösi Combinatorics on Words (M. Lothaire) The Geometry Center
    Jorge-Nuno Silva Steven Benzel John R. Stallings George M. Bergman Fred Richman
    Groupoid Home Page Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley) Symbolic Sculpture & Mathematics AMS Mathematics Calendar Gillian Z. Elston

    (Some of) My Favorite Mathematicians

    PhD Supervision

    1. K. Mary Buchanan
      Thesis: Behaviour Constraints, Patterns and Conformance: Reconciling Object-Oriented Inheritance with Temporal Restrictions on the Ordering of Methods
      [PhD awarded; Thesis nominated for a Distinguished Dissertions Award]
    2. Maria S. Kutar
      Thesis: Specification of Temporal Properites of Interactive Systems
      [PhD May 2001]. Now Senior Lecturer at University of Salford.
    3. Aris Alissandrakis (Imitation in Adaptive Systems)
      Thesis: Imitation and Solving the Correspondence Problem for Dissimilar Embodiments - A Generic Framework
      [PhD award: December 2003], then a post-doc here in the EU-funded COGNIRON project, a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow at Tokyo Institute of Technology, and most recently a researcher at Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR), Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories (IRC), working on Social Human-Robot Interaction based on UNR (ubiquitous network robot technology). Now Senior Lecturer at Linnaeus University, Sweden.
    4. Attila Egri-Nagy (Algebraic Engineering)
      Thesis: Algebraic Hierarchical Decomposition of Finite State Automata - A Computational Approach
      [PhD defense passed: 3 November 2005]
      First a post-doc here in the Royal Society Wolfson BioComputation Lab, in 2009-2010 working in the OPAALS European project. Then an Assistant Professor in Eger, Hungary; Postdoctoral researcher in Algebraic Biology at University of Western Sydney; now Associate Professor in Mathematics as Akita International University, Japan.
    5. Wan Ching Ho (Autobiographic Agents in Virtual Environments)
      Thesis: Computational Memory Architectures for Autobiographic and Narrative Virtual Agents
      [PhD thesis submitted October 2005, viva passed]. Subsequently a post-doc here with the EU eCircus project, and EU FP7 project LIREC.
    6. David Jacob (Fast Learning, Factorization of Learning via Embodiment)
      [PhD thesis submitted July 2005, passed defense with minor corrections September 2005]
    7. Lars A. Olsson (Sensor Evolution in Robots)
      Thesis: Information Self-Structuring for Developmental Robotics: Organization, Adaptation, and Integration
      Employed by Netemic in London.
      [PhD viva passed with minor corrections: 16 May 2006]
    8. Alexander Klyubin (Sensor Evolution and Relevant Information)
      Thesis: Organization of Information Flow through the Perception-Action Loop
      [PhD thesis submitted December 2006, defense passed with minor corrections 27 March 2007]
      Known whereabouts: Bloomberg, London. Now Senior Software Engineer at Google, Mountain View, California, USA.
    9. Robert J. Lowe (Affective Expression and Signalling)
      Thesis: The Evolution of Affective Displays and Related Strategies
      [PhD defense passed 2006].
      Now Senior Lecturer in Cognitive Science, University of Skövde, Sweden.
    10. Tom Quick at UCL (Structural Coupling, Embodiment, Genetic Regulatory Network Evolution)
      Now Founder and Chief Technical Officer at Netemic
    11. Megan Davis (Narrative, Interfaces, and Autism)
      Thesis: TouchStory: Interactive Software Designed to Assist Children with Autism to Understand Narrative
      [PhD defense passed January 2009]
    12. Joe Saunders (Imitation in Robotics)
      Thesis: Observational Imitation, Self-Imitation and Environmental Scaffolding in Robotic Systems
      [PhD thesis submitted December 2006, PhD exam 29 January 2007 passed with minor amendments, accepted 22 February 2007]
      Then post-doc here in the Adaptive Systems Research Group and co-investigator for the EU FP7 ITALK project on Emergence of Language and Communication in Robots, and subsequent grants.
    13. Naeem Assif Mirza (Ontogenetic Robotics)
      Thesis: Grounded Sensorimotor Interaction Histories for Ontogenetic Development in Robots
      [PhD defense passed 16 June 2008]
      First job after PhD: post-doc at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa.
    14. Johannes F. Knabe (Evolvability of Developmental Genetic Regulatory Networks - DGRNs)
      Thesis: Evolvability of Computational Genetic Regulatory Networks
      [PhD defense passed 4 June 2009], Now a post-doc at Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam.
    15. Moritz Buck (Transitions in Individuality for Developmental Genetic Regulatory Networks - DGRNs)
      Thesis: Evolution of Multicellularity: A Computational Artificial Life Approach
      [submitted March 2010, PhD defense passed 21 April 2010, Award January 2011]
      After graduating, a post-doctoral researcher at University of Freiburg, Germany in Medical-Systems Biology.
    16. Gábor Horváth (Algebra, SNAG (finite Simple Non-Abelian Group) computers, and Computational Complexity)
      Thesis: Functions and Polynomials over Finite Groups from the Computational Perspective
      [PhD defense passed on 9 April 2008 (without corrections)]
      First a Visiting Research Fellow here and then a post-doctoral Research Fellow at the London School of Economics with the BIONETS European FET project til end of February 2010.
      Now, Associate Professor in Mathematics at the University of Debrecen, Hungary (Mathematics Institute, Department of Algebra).
    17. Philippe Capdepuy (Internal Organization and Information Flow in the Perception Action Loop)
      Thesis: Information Principles of Perception Action Loops and Collective Behaviours
      [Submitted March 2010, PhD defense passed 14 July 2010]
    18. Tom Anthony (Empowerment, Information Theory, Perception Action Loop)
      [PhD Defense passed 7 December 2017, with minor amendments]
    19. Frank Förster (Emergence of Language and Negation in Robots)
      Thesis: Robots that Say 'No': Acquisition of Linguistic Behaviour in Interaction Games with Humans
      [PhD defense passed 17th December 2013, without amendments]
      First a post-doc at Queen Mary University of London, now at University of Hertfordshire.
    20. Sander G. van Dijk (Empowerment & Hierarchical Perception-Action)
      Information Driven Acquisition and Adaptation of Behaviour Structure
      Thesis : Informational Constraints and Organization of Behaviour
      [first progression viva passed, March 2010; 2nd passed, January 2011, PhD defense passed with minor corrections 11 October 2013]
    21. Malte Harder (Information and Self-Organization)
      Thesis: Information-Driven Self-Organization of Agents and Agent Collectives
      [PhD defense passed with minor corrections 18 October 2013]
    22. Esther-Anna Loeliger (Information Visualization)
      [first and second year progression exams passed]
    23. Konstantinos Theofilis (Development, Communication and Imitation in Humanoids)
      [first and second year progression exams passed].
      Presently employed as a humanoid robotics researcher at Asada Laboratory in Osaka University, Japan.
    24. Andrés Burgos
      Thesis: Information-Theoretic Models for Biological Systems
      (PhD defense passed with minor corrections 27 February 2017)
    25. Martin Biehl (Agents in Artificial Universes)
      Thesis: Formal Approaches to a Definition of Agents
      (PhD defense passed 25 March 2017 without amendments)
    26. Nathan Burke (Interaction Histories in AI Robotics)
      [First progression exam passed]
    27. Peter Shannon (Evolvability of Behaviioural Modularity)
      [First progression exam passed]
    28. Ágnes Bonivárt (Biological and Mathematical Basis of Interaction Computing)
    29. Andrei-Daniel Robu (Information Theory and Complex Adaptive Systems)

    Traditional Japanese Culture

    Computer Science



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    Chrystopher Nehaniv (
    Last updated 8.XII.2017