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Professor co-authors computational intelligence textbook

Vexed by a lack of comprehensive textbooks on computational intelligence, three of the field’s leading minds — including a member of the University of Missouri College of Engineering faculty — decided to put together one of their own.

Jim Keller is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor and R.L. Tatum Professor with both the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science departments at MU. He, along with Natural Selection Inc. CEO David Fogel and University of Illinois-Chicago Professor Derong Liu, recently published “Fundamentals of Computational Intelligence.”

Jim Keller poses with his new book in a Hawaiian shirt.

Jim Keller is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor and R.L. Tatum Professor with both the Electrical and Computer Engineering and Computer Science departments at MU. He, along with Natural Selection Inc. CEO David Fogel and University of Illinois-Chicago Professor Derong Liu, recently published “Fundamentals of Computational Intelligence.”

Computational intelligence, Keller explained, has three main components — fuzzy systems, neural networks and evolutionary computation. Course materials that comprehensively covered all three topics were hard to come by, so the trio got together to write a textbook based on their own areas of expertise. Each of the three men is renowned for their work in one of the three components of computational intelligence — Keller for fuzzy systems, Liu for neural networks and Fogel for evolutionary computation.

“The textbooks available were very few, and they were usually written by one person,” Keller said. “The authors of the textbooks tended to be good in one of those areas and not so good in the other two.”

The trio was well acquainted through their work with and membership as fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. All three have spent time editing various publications in their specialty areas for the IEEE, and the IEEE Press, along with Wiley, published the book.

“We’ve seen the evolution of our subject matter, and I think that gives us a perspective you might not get elsewhere,” Keller said.

Keller said the book took between four and five years to finish, with the trio of busy researchers penning what they could between their research and teaching obligations.

The book is Keller’s third, but it’s his first specifically written for use as a course text. He said the ordering of chapters and the amount of text for each main component is set to make the book optimal and flexible for a semester-long course. The chapters can be used in order or a la carte to fit a particular course’s needs. The book also is available in hardcover or in e-book format.