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Posted By Peter Bentley
Last year two friends were invited to give TEDx talks. One was Tony Ruto, who worked as an RA and PhD student in the same office as me several years ago at UCL, and who is now employed by my old PhD student Siavash Mahdavi in his company. Tony asked for a few tips on what to say and what kinds of slides to show, so I gave him a little bit of advice, which he seemed to appreciate, saying: Thank once again for your guidance on creating and delivering a well received talk. Tony's talk is now available online here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FORT9vkzABw

The other was Gusz Eiben, who works on evolutionary computation - my home field of research (although I investigate a few other bio-inspired methods these days). Gusz asked for details of my tables that I evolved using a genetic algorithm - he mentions me and one of my tables at about 10:30 in the video, which is available here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJX_wAKhg8A

The nice side effect of helping out is that there is now some discussion of me doing a TEDx talk later this year. Watch this space!


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
I was asked two or three months ago to write an article about Darwin, evolution and computers for the schools science magazine Catalyst. Took a while to come out, but I've just been sent a copy. The style is deliberately aimed at our cynical teenage audience, hopefully some of them will find the ideas of interest; you can read it by clicking here.


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
In this week's New Scientist they're doing a special issue on evolution to celebrate Darwin's 200th birthday. They have a silly headline on the front cover, but inside they have a pull-out poster showing evolutionary art and other research. The editor called me a few weeks ago about this and I suggested William Latham's art, so this features heavily on the poster. They also mention some of my old work evolving formula one racing car setups. You can download a pdf version of the poster by clicking here. (It's about 1Mb in size.)


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
I'm still receiving lots of mail after the BBC Radio 4 programme I made. Some are a little unusual, like the typed letter heavy on corrective fluid from a 70 year old woman who believed she had thought of the replacement to Darwin's theory of evolution in 1973, but somehow nobody quite recognised it... However the message below was slightly less controversial:

Dear Peter Bentley, Unfortunately I missed your letter to Charles Darwin last week on Radio 4 and it's not available on iPlayer! I would love to listen to it, but in the meantime thought you may be interested to know about the 'ceramics' that I'm currently designing. As part of my recent MPhil at the Royal College of Art I worked with a French company who have developed some very interesting processes and materials for use with ZCorp Rapid prototyping. I designed and made a piece called the Wedgwoodn't Tureen (see http://wedgwoodnt.blogspot.com for info) and am now working on a group of pieces with Charles Darwin as the theme.

They will be Rapid Manufactured once I've completed adding the texture to the pieces. I intend to pierce them with a section of AGTC genetic code. An alternative construction method will be to use an algorithm that will build within the constraints of the 'envelope' of the piece. I am working on this project with Established and Sons and will be showing the completed work at their gallery in Duke Street St. James. I am about to place an order on Amazon for Evolutionary Design by Computers and look forward to further engaging with the subject.

Nice to hear from you. Go to my book blog and you'll be able to listen to the radio programme (they sent me a copy). Your work looks great - there's certainly potential for evolving forms such as this by computer. Good luck with it!

Many thanks for the swift response Peter. I'll go straight to your book blog instead of my usual bedtime reading! Looking forward to receiving your book & CD. I'll let you know of how it affects my work.


 
Posted By Peter Bentley
I recently came across the video of the talk I gave for Ars Eectronica in 2003. Not much to see - just me on stage with a microphone and a few slides, but the (slightly fuzzy) audio is now online. My audience was a bunch of computational artists who as usual I managed to insult (always a good trick to make 'em listen). One tried to be a bit rude at the end with her question, but you'll note the admirable patience I showed :) I talk about code, and how programming computers and biological systems relate to each other. Those who know where my research went in the following 5 years will find many of the concepts I describe familiar. You can listen to the 40 minute talk, including questions, here:

http://www.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/p.bentle y/arstalk.mp3