David Ackley

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David H. Ackley is a professor and computer scientist. He is an Emeritus Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of New Mexico. He explores living computation, the principle that living systems and computational systems are ultimately the same things. His primary research impacts have been in neural networks and machine learning, evolutionary algorithms and artificial life, and biological approaches to computer security and computer architecture . He is developing robust-first computing on indefinitely scalable computer architectures, to achieve not only greater computational power but also a credible basis for security that moves beyond deterministic execution and belief in the existence of The Last Bug.[3]

Early Life & Education

Ackley earned his Bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics from Tufts University. He went on to earn a Master's degree and Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University .[3] His dissertation focused on high-dimensional hypercube optimization.[5]


After receiving his doctorate's degree, Dave Ackley Bell Communications Research (now known as Telcordia Technologies). He served as a member of their technical staff until 1994.[5]

In 1994, he transitioned to academia and became an Computer Science professor at the University of New Mexico.[5]

Awards & Accomplishments

  • Award for "Most Outrageous Opinion," 13th Workshop on Hot Topics in Operating Systems (HOTOS), Napa Valley, 2011, for the ideas and research reported in Pursue robust indefinite scalability.[5] [6]
  • UNM School of Engineering Senior Teaching Excellence Award (2000, 2008)[5]
  • Computer Science Students' Favorite Faculty Award (1999, 2000, 2001); the award has not been presented since 2001
  • UNM General Library’s Faculty Recognition Award (1998)[5]
  • Conference award for “Most Lifelike Creatures": The Second Artificial Life Workshop, August, 1990, for the research reported in Interactions between learning and evolution.[5]
  • Nomination for Publisher’s Prize at the National Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-82), for The QBKG system: Generating explanations from a non-discrete knowledge representation, August, 1982.[5] [7]
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