Lawrence J. Fogel

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Dr. Lawrence J. Fogel (March 2, 1928 – February 18, 2007) was a pioneer in evolutionary computation and human factors analysis. He is known as the father of evolutionary programming. Born in Brooklyn, New York, he earned his B.E.E. from New York University in 1948, M.S. from Rutgers University in 1952 and Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles in 1964, and died in San Diego, California.

Aerospace Engineering and Antenna Design[edit]

Dr. Fogel’s first decade of engineering (1948–1960) began with an interest in antenna design, ensuring reliability of weapons systems, and inventing interfaces for human operators. He analyzed and designed flight instrumentation for high performance and vertical takeoff aircraft as well as helicopters. He also engineered design concepts for various individual instruments, including all altitude indicators, airspeed indicators, altimeters, as well as related displays. His keen insight led to five patents issued from 1958 to 1961 pertaining to two separate inventions regarding active noise cancellation and a revolutionary cockpit display known as the "Kinelog." He worked at Stavid Engineering (New Jersey, NJ) and Convair, a division of General Dynamics (San Diego, CA).

National Science Foundation[edit]

On leave from Convair, Dr. Fogel served as Special Assistant to the Associate Director (Research) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) from July 1960 to July 1961. While at the NSF, Dr. Fogel represented the Associate Director at technical and professional meetings accomplishing liaison within and outside the National Science Foundation on matters ranging from the merit of individual research proposals to the effect of national policies on future manpower, economic and military strength. This effort culminated in a report to the U.S. Congress on the worth of investing in scientific progress. While at NSF, Dr. Fogel's interest in cybernetics and biotechnology led to a hypothesis that a simulation of evolution on computers could be used to generate artificial intelligence. These theories were first tested successfully upon his return to Convair.

Evolutionary Programming[edit]

Dr. Fogel's Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1964, included the first dissertation in the field of evolutionary computation titled "On the Organization of Intellect." His dissertation became the basis for the first book in the field of evolutionary computing titled "Artificial Intelligence through Simulated Evolution," co-authored by Alvin Owens and Michael Walsh. Dr. Fogel started Decision Science, Inc. in 1965, the first company dedicated to the advancement and practice of evolutionary computing for real-world problem solving. The company was acquired in 1982 by Titan Systems, Inc. Dr. Fogel also worked at ORINCON Corp. in San Diego from the late 1980s to early 1990s. Dr. Fogel was a co-founder and president of Natural Selection, Inc., which has been in business since 1993 applying methods of computational intelligence to real-world problems.

Model Aviation[edit]

Dr. Fogel was also well known for aeromodeling and was a Fellow of the Academy of Model Aeronautics.

Scientific Awards and Honors[edit]

  • Fellow, IEEE
  • Lifetime Achievement Award, Evolutionary Programming Society (1996)
  • Inaugural IEEE Neural Networks Council Pioneer Award in Evolutionary Computation (1998)
  • Inaugural IEEE Frank Rosenblatt Technical Field Award (2006)


  • U.S. Patent 2,866,848, “Method of Improving Intelligence Under Random Noise Interference,” December 30, 1958.
  • U.S. Patent 2,960,906, “Advance Flight Control Instrumentation and Control System,” November 22, 1960.
  • U.S. Patent 2,966,549, “Apparatus for Improving Intelligence Under High Ambient Noise Levels,” December 27, 1960.
  • Canadian Patent 631,136, “Method of Improving Intelligence Under High Ambient Noise Levels,” November 14, 1961.
  • U.S. Patent 5,214,746, “Method and Apparatus for Training a Neural Network using Evolutionary Programming,” May 25, 1993.

A Selection of Authored Books[edit]

  • 1963, Biotechnology: Concepts and Applications. Prentice Hall.
  • 1964, Biophysics and Cybernetic Systems: Proceedings of the Second Cybernetic Sciences Symposium. 1964. (M. Maxfield, A.B. Callahan, L.J. Fogel, eds.), Allan Hancock Foundation.
  • 1966, Artificial Intelligence Through Simulated Evolution. with A.J. Owens, and M.J. Walsh. Wiley. New York.
  • 1967, Progress in Biomedical Engineering. Spartan Books.
  • 1967, Human Information Processing. Prentice Hall.
  • 1967, Amosov, N.M. Modeling of Thinking and the Mind. (L. Finegold and L.J. Fogel, eds.), Spartan Books. New York.
  • 1968, Composite Index to Marine Science and Technology. Alfo Pub. Co.
  • 1999, Intelligence Through Simulated Evolution: Forty Years of Evolutionary Programming. Wiley-Interscience. New York.