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The Center for the Study of Complex Systems pres.

Complex Systems Seminar | Stephanie Forrest 'The Biology of Software: Evolution, Robustness, Diversity'

Stephanie Forrest, Professor of Computer Science, Arizona State University

Stephanie Forrest Stephanie Forrest
Stephanie Forrest
Please note, if this room's capacity is exceeded, there will be a simulcast into the next room of talk slides and audio

Stephanie Forrest is Professor of Computer Science at Arizona State University, where she directs the Biodesign Center for Biocomputation, Security and Society. Her research focuses on the intersection of biology and computation, including cybersecurity, software engineering, and biological modeling.

Software today is a complex adaptive system. Although we think of computer programs as the products of intelligent design, they also evolve inadvertently through the actions of many individual programmers, often leading to unanticipated consequences. Similarly, economic and political incentives produce arms races between competitors and adversaries, which in turn have shaped the cyber landscape.

The talk will give examples of evolution, robustness and diversity in the context of software, describing how these concepts provide new insights and suggest new approaches to problems such as repairing software bugs and cybersecurity. It will present recent results on the mutational robustness of software and describe a new algorithm for bug repair that leverages neutral mutations.

Prior to joining ASU in 2017, Professor Forrest was at the University of New Mexico and served as Dept. Chair 2006-2011. She is a member of the Santa Fe Institute External Faculty and 2013-2014 served at the U.S. Dept. of State as a Senior Science Advisor for cyberpolicy. She was educated at St. John's College (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science).
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