Who Invented Genetic Algorithms?
The concept of the Genetic Algorithm began in 1954 with Nils Aall Barricelli, who first began to simulate evolution on a computer. He was attempting to perfect automata that played a card game. However, it wasn't until the 1970s when the first Genetic Algorithms were created by John Holland (pictured to the right). Considered the father of Genetic Algorithms, John Holland began his life in Ohio, where he showed an aptitude for math and physics at an early age. After scoring third in the state on a math/physics exam, John Holland received a full scholarship to MIT, where he began his exploration of simulations of natural selction on computers. When he graduated from MIT, he received the first doctorate degree ever awarded in computer science. Out of college, he began to work for IBM, and it wasn't until later that he came back to the idea of Genetic Algorithms. After reading a book titled "The Genetic Theory of Natural Selection," which described evolution as a mechanism of evolution, John Holland realized that such a concept could be applied to computers as well, and began to develop the theory of Genetic Algorithms.