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 on 6pm-8pm, Monday, July 16, 2018 after regular workshop/tutorial slots to allow everyone to join.

The agenda of the workshop will be participant-driven, and a poll provides the space for GECCO participants to voice the issues most important to them, as well as vote on issues that they would most like to hear about from presenters. Three presenters representing the three stages of one’s professional career (an early-career, a mid-career, and an experienced researcher) will share their experiences as they relate to the issues of most importance to the participants. The workshop will also provide the space for participants to interact with the presenters and one another and in this way share experiences, professional interests, and social opportunities.

For more information on Women@GECCO, its mission, and past workshops, visit Women@GECCO.

Keynote Speakers


Gabriela Ochoa

University of Stirling, UK

History of Women@GECCO


Gabriela Ochoa is a Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the University of Stirling, Scotland. She holds a PhD in Computing Science and Artificial Intelligence from the University of Sussex, UK. Her research interests lie in the foundations and application of evolutionary algorithms and heuristic search methods, with emphasis on autonomous (self-*) search, hyper-heuristics, fitness landscape analysis, and applications to combinatorial optimisation, healthcare, and software engineering. She has published over 90 scholarly papers and serves various program committees. She is associate editor of Evolutionary Computation (MIT Press), was involved in founding the Self-* Search track in 2011, and served as the tutorial chair at GECCO in 2012, 2013. She proposed the first Cross-domain Heuristic Search Challenge (CHeSC 2011) and was chair of EvoCOP 2014, EvoCOP 2015, FOGA 2015, and id serving as program chair for PPSN 2016.


Minami Miyakawa

Hosei University

From a PhD student to an independent researcher: Challenges and Opportunities


Minami Miyakawa received B.E., M.E., and Ph.D. degrees from The University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo, Japan in 2011, 2013 and 2016, respectively. She is a research fellow in Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and researching at Hosei University. Her research interests include constraint-handling in evolutionary multi-objective optimization and its applications. She received a young researcher award from IEEE Computational Intelligence Society Japan Chapter in 2013 and a best paper award from Transaction of the Japanese Society for Evolutionary Computation in 2015.


Rong Qu

University of Nottingham

An ongoing pathway to become a leading researcher


Dr. Rong Qu is an Associated Professor at the University of Nottingham. She received her PhD in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham in 2002, and BSc in Computer Science and Its Applications from XiDian University in 1996. Dr. Qu’s main research interests include the modelling and optimisation algorithms for scheduling and optimisation algorithms in transport scheduling in logistics, personnel scheduling, telecommunication network routing, portfolio optimisation, and timetabling problems, etc. by using hybrid methods between evolutionary algorithms and mathematical programming, etc. in operational research and artificial intelligence.

Dr. Qu has published more than 60 peer-refereed papers at international journals since 2000. Among these several have been awarded the Top Cited Paper at leading operational research journals. She has been the program chair of several symposium and special sessions, and guest editor special issues at IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine and Journal of Scheduling. She is the vice-chair of Task Committee of Intelligence Systems and Applications, and Task Force of Hyper-heuristics at IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, and elected as an IEEE Senior Member in 2012. She is an associated editor at IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine since 2016.


Sanaz Mostaghim

Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg

Academic career? Dream big, start small and grow gradually​​


Sanaz Mostaghim (M’05) received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany. She is a Full Professor of Computer Science and the chair of the Computational Intelligence lab at Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg, Magdeburg, Germany. She is a Member of the extended senate of the University of Magdeburg and the Vice chair and member of the executive board Informatics Germany. Her current research interests include evolutionary multiobjective optimization, swarm intelligence, and their applications in robotics, science, and industry.

Sanaz is an active member in international communities. She is a Planning Group Member (PGM) for Mathematics/Informatics/Engineering - Japanese-German Frontiers of Science, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, an elected member of Administrative Committee (ADCOM) - IEEE Computational Intelligence Society (IEEE-CIS) since 2015. Since 2012, Sanaz has been is serving as an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation and IEEE transactions on cybernetics, and also Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on System, Man and Cybernetics: Systems, and IEEE Transactions on Emerging Topics in Computational Intelligence. She is the chair of task force Evolutionary Multi-objective Optimization of IEEE-CIS and the founding chair for task force Optimization Methods in Bioinformatics and Bioengineering (OMBB) of IEEE-CIS (chair: 2013-2015). She is also a program committee member for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation Conference – GECCO, Evolutionary Multi-Criterion Optimization – EMO, Congress on Evolutionary Computation – CEC and other international conferences since 2005.


Khulood Alyahya

Khulood Alyahya is a Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. She was awarded a PhD degree in Computer Science in 2016 from the University of Birmingham. She also has an MSc degree in Intelligent Systems Engineering from the same University where she was awarded the best student prize. Her PhD studies were on the landscape analysis of NP-hard problems. Her current research focuses on optimisation under multiple sources of uncertainty in both theoretical and applied settings, with application in the field of Computational Systems Biology. Her research includes extending landscape analysis tools to study the landscapes of robust optimisation problems.

Bing Xue

Bing Xue received her PhD degree in 2014 at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. Since May 2015, she has been working as a Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington. She is with the Evolutionary Computation Research Group at VUW, and her research focuses mainly on evolutionary computation, machine learning and data mining, particularly, evolutionary computation for feature selection, feature construction, dimension reduction, symbolic regression, multi-objective optimisation, bioinformatics and big data. Bing is currently leading the strategic research direction on evolutionary feature selection and construction in Evolutionary Computation Research Group at VUW, and has been organsing special sessions and issues on evolutionary computation for feature selection and construction. She is also the Chair of IEEE CIS Task Force on Evolutionary Computation for Feature Selection and Construction. Bing is a committee member of Evolutionary Computation Technical Committee, and Emergent Technologies Technical Committee, IEEE CIS. She has been serving as a guest editor, associated editor or editorial board member for international journals, and program chair, special session chair, symposium/special session organiser for a number of international conferences, and as reviewer for top international journals and conferences in the field.