Charles Ofria

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Charles Ofria
Born (1973-12-13) December 13, 1973 (age 44)
New York, NY (United States)
Residence United States
Citizenship United States
Alma mater Stony Brook University (B.S., 1994)
California Institute of Technology (Ph.D., 1999)
Known for Digital evolution, Avida
Awards Withrow Distinguished Scholar Award (2006, 2016)[1]
NSF CAREER Award (2007)
Withrow Teaching Excellence Award (2010)[2]
Scientific career
Fields Computer Science, Evolutionary Biology
Institutions Michigan State University
Doctoral advisor Christoph Adami
Other academic advisors Richard Lenski

Dr. Charles A. Ofria is a Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University, the director of the Digital Evolution (DEvo) Lab there, and a co-founder of the BEACON Center for the Study of Evolution in Action. He is the son of the late Charles Ofria,[3] who developed the first fully integrated shop management program for the automotive repair industry. Ofria attended Stuyvesant High School and graduated from Ward Melville High School in 1991. He obtained a B.S. in Computer Science, Pure Mathematics, and Applied Mathematics from Stony Brook University in 1994, and a Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems from the California Institute of Technology in 1999. Ofria's research focuses on the interplay between computer science and Darwinian evolution.[4]

Ofria is one of the designers of Avida, an artificial life software platform to study the evolutionary biology of self-replicating and evolving computer programs (digital organisms, see also Digital organism simulators). Avida has been used extensively to study the basic processes that underlie Darwinian evolution.[5] Avida is under active development in Ofria's Digital Evolution Lab at Michigan State University and was originally designed by Ofria, Chris Adami and C. Titus Brown at Caltech in 1993.


Ofria received the NSF Career Award in 2007[6] and the Withrow Excellence Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2010[7] and for Excellence in Research in 2006 and 2016.[8]

Representative journal publications[edit]

  • Clune J, Pennock RT, Ofria C, Lenski RE (2012) Ontogeny tends to recapitulate phylogeny in digital organisms" The American Naturalist 180: E54–E63. (pdf)
  • Clune J, Goldsby HJ, Ofria C, and Pennock RT (2011) Selective pressures for accurate altruism targeting: Evidence from digital evolution for difficult-to-test aspects of inclusive fitness theory. Proceedings of the Royal Society. 278: 666-674. (PDF)
  • Clune J, Stanley KO, Pennock RT, Ofria C (2011) On the performance of indirect encoding across the continuum of regularity. IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation. 15(3): 346-367. (PDF)
  • Clune J, Misevic D, Ofria C, Lenski RE, Elena SF, and Sanjuán R. Natural selection fails to optimize mutation rates for long-term adaptation on rugged fitness landscapes[9]
  • Ofria C, Huang W and Torng E. On the gradual evolution of complexity and the sudden emergence of complex features[10]
  • Elena SF, Wilke CO, Ofria C, and Lenski RE. Effects of population size and mutation rate on the evolution of mutational robustness[11]
  • Ostrowski E, Ofria C, and Lenski RE, Ecological specialization and adaptive decay in digital organisms[12]
  • Lenski RE, Barrick JE, Ofria C. Balancing Robustness and Evolvability[13]
  • Misevic D, Ofria C, and Lenski RE. Sexual reproduction reshapes the genetic architecture of digital organisms[14]

Selected scientific publications featuring Avida[edit]

  • R. E. Lenski, C. Ofria, T. C. Collier, C. Adami (1999). Genomic Complexity, Robustness, and Genetic Interactions in Digital Organisms. Nature 400:661-664. Abstract
  • C. Adami, C. Ofria, and T.C. Collier (2000). Evolution of biological complexity. "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences" 97:4463-4468. Abstract
  • C. O. Wilke, J. L. Wang, C. Ofria, R. E. Lenski, and C. Adami (2001). Evolution of Digital Organisms at High Mutation Rate Leads To Survival of the Flattest. Nature 412:331-333 Abstract.
  • R. E. Lenski, C. Ofria, R. T. Pennock, and C. Adami (2003). The Evolutionary Origin of Complex Features. Nature 423:139-145. Abstract
  • S.S. Chow, C.O. Wilke, C. Ofria, R. E. Lenski, and C. Adami (2004). Adaptive Radiation from Resource Competition in Digital Organisms. Science 305:84-86 Abstract.


  1. ^ "Ofria and Owen receive Withrow Awards". Michigan State University. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  2. ^ "Ofria and Tan receive Withrow awards". Michigan State University. Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Charles Ofria (senior)". Archived from the original on 8 February 2013. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  4. ^ Computer Science Michigan state University
  5. ^ "Testing Darwin". Discover Magazine. February 2005.
  6. ^ "Charles Ofria Receives NSF CAREER Award". Michigan State University. 2007. Archived from the original on 2012-04-06.
  7. ^ "Ofria and Tan Receive Withrow Awards". 2010.
  8. ^ "Jain, Ofria, and Stirewalt win Withrow Awards". 2006.
  9. ^ Clune, J; Misevic, D; Ofria, C; Lenski, RE; Elena, SF; Sanjuán, R (2008). "Natural Selection Fails to Optimize Mutation Rates for Long-Term Adaptation on Rugged Fitness Landscapes". PLoS Computational Biology. PLoS Computational Biology. 4 (9): e1000187. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000187. PMC 2527516. PMID 18818724.
  10. ^ Ofria, Charles; Huang, Wei; Torng, Eric (2007). "On the Gradual Evolution of Complexity and the Sudden Emergence of Complex Features". Artificial Life. Artificial Life. 14 (3): 255–263. doi:10.1162/artl.2008.14.3.14302.
  11. ^ Elena, Santiago F.; Wilke, Claus O.; Ofria, Charles; Lenski, Richard E. (2007). "Effects of population size and mutation rate on the evolution of mutational robustness". Evolution. Evolution. 61 (3): 666–674. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2007.00064.x.
  12. ^ Ostrowski, Elizabeth A.; Ofria, Charles; Lenski, Richard E. (2007). "Ecological Specialization and Adaptive Decay in Digital Organisms". The American Naturalist. American Naturalist. 169 (1): E1–20. doi:10.1086/510211. JSTOR 10.1086/510211. PMID 17206577.
  13. ^ Lenski, RE; Barrick, JE; Ofria, C (2006). "Balancing Robustness and Evolvability". PLoS Biology. PLoS Biology. 4 (12): e428. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0040428. PMC 1750925. PMID 17238277.
  14. ^ "Sexual reproduction reshapes the genetic architecture of digital organisms". Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 2005.

External links[edit]