Course Artificial Life 2008

Course Description
Brief Description
In artificial life, computer simulations are used to study biological systems, and gives insight in a wide range of topics in biology: From biochemical modeling in prebiotic evolution, via cell-level interactions in developmental morphology to individual-based ecological modeling. This course discusses classic and recent studies in artificial life, with emphasis on simulation techniques and research methodology.
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Course Aims

Students are introduced to the application of computer simulation in biology. An overview of the diverse research in artificial life is given. Student gain a basic understanding of the most important modeling techniques involved. Moreover, students learn how artificial life can complement analytical studies and yield a new understanding of biological systems.


Course Structure  
This course is composed of a lecture course and a lab course, reflecting the theoretical and practical side of the field.
Note: Participants are required to participate in both courses.
Also note: the course will be given in English.

Lecture course:

  • In the lecture course, an overview is given of the theoretical background and methodological issues in artificial life studies.
  • Each lecture centres around a topic and related research article. There will be ample room for plenary discussion.
  • The course is closed by an written exam covering the lectures and lab work.


  • The lab involves practical work with computer simulations.
  • This part centres around
    • different modelling formalisms and
    • interpretation of simulation results.
  • Some programming knowledge is helpful, but not necessary.
  • Examination is based on attendance (and written exam, see lecture course).


Walter de Back
hypercycle in space
Collegium Budapest
Institute for Advanced Study
Szentháromság utca 2
H-1014 Budapest, Hungary
tel: +36 (1) 224 8352
email: wdeback -at- colbud -dot- hu


Lecture course     Buidling
Time   Tuesdays, 17:00h
Period   12 february - 16 May 2008
Location   DT 3-716
Time   Wednesdays, 17:00h
Period   27 february - 16 May 2008
Location   ÉT-2.63


News / Updates
What When
  • The exam results are in!
  • Check you grade here (pdf, 55Kb)
  • Gabor Kutrovatz will do the registration of grades in your index on:
    • Wednesday May 21th, room D1.504, 15:00-16:00
    • Wednesday May 28th, room D1.504, 15:00-16:00
21 May 2008
  • Lecture at 17:00 in DT 3-716 as usual
  • Check the slides
18 March 2008
  • No lecture today!
  • No lab this week as mentioned earlier.
  • Next meeting is on 18th of March !!
11 March 2008
15 Feb 2008
7 Feb 2008