Thomas Bäck is head of the Natural Computing Research Group and Director of Education at the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS). He received his PhD in Computer Science from Dortmund University, Germany, in 1994. He has been Associate Professor of Computer Science at Leiden University since 1996 and full Professor for Natural Computing since 2002.
Thomas Bäck has more than 250 publications on data science and nonlinear global optimization and decision support, is the author of a book on evolutionary algorithms, entitled Evolutionary Algorithms in Theory and Practice, and co-editor of the Handbook of Evolutionary Computation. He is editorial board member and associate editor of a number of journals on evolutionary and natural computation (Journal of Natural Computing, Theoretical Computer Science C, Evolutionary Computation), co-editor of the Natural Computation Book Series (Springer), and has served as program chair for all major conferences in evolutionary computation. He received the best dissertation award from the Gesellschaft für Informatik (GI) in 1995 and is an elected fellow of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation for his contributions to the field. In 2015, he received the prestigious IEEE Evolutionary Computation Pioneer Award for his contributions in synthesizing evolutionary algorithms.
Thomas’ research interests are also in applications of data science and optimization to the life sciences, and in industrial applications in areas such as industry 4.0, process optimization, and product development. In his research projects, he collaborates with companies such as BMW, Honda Research, Tata Steel, and many others.