My face!

My name is Claus Aranha, I'm an educator and researcher of Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life. My research is about the creation of digital life by using Evolutionary Computation, the application of Evolutionary Computation to difficult problems, and the simulation of interesting and useful virtual environments and worlds. Or to make it short, I want to create cool programs that evolve and surprise us.

I graduated in Computer Science from the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, and obtained my PhD from the University of Tokyo, Iba Laboratory. Currently, I'm an associate professor at the the University of Tsukuba, Graduate Program in Computer Science and the College of Information Sciences. I'm also a member of the Center of Artificial Intelligence Research.

I am a Research Member of the AIWolf Project, and a editor of the Artificial Life Newsletter.


I teach programming classes (intro and intermediate) for undergraduate students, and classes on research methodology for graduate school. I have also given outreach talks and classes on Artificial Intelligence and Artificial Life for companies and high schools.

I love supervising students. I coach the local ICPC competitive programming teams, as well as undergraduate students and exchange students on short-term projects. I also coordinate international exchange programs at graduate and undergraduate levels. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more about exchange programs at Tsukuba University.

For more information about my teaching activities, see the Teaching page.


The keywords for my research are Evolutionary Computation and Artificial Life. My key idea is that if we want to create and understand digital life, we should follow the same pathways that nature once used to create the life that we see today: Evolution from simpler organisms and intense interaction with the environment. This line of thought can also create exciting virtual worlds for both entertainment and to improve our understand of the world and society.

I'm am particularly interested in Genetic Programming, considering programming itself as the genome and the substrate of a different kind of chemistry that could be used to create purely digital living creatures made of code.

Finally, I'm interested in the use of Evolutionary Computation as a general problem solver for applications where simple optimization (gradient descent and friends), can't quite cut it, such as the optimization of highly non-linear simulations and design problems.

Here are some of the projects I have worked with my students:

  • Developing self-adaptation mechanisms in evolutionary multi-objective optimization;
  • Generating virtual cities using Evolutionary Computation with Novelty Search;
  • Simulating Earthquake and Tsunami evacuations using multi-agent systems;
  • Developing AI agents for the game Werewolf;

For more details on these and other projects, see the research page.

Other things

  • The About Me page has my publication list, CV, and other profile information.
  • The Contact Me page has my phone number, office hours, and some information for prospective students.
  • The Misc page has some random information about what I think, what I like, what I make on my free time, etc.