From left: Adam Stirtan, Barend Jacobus Leonard, Beatrice Ombuki-Berman, Andries Angelbrecht, Sheridan Houghton (chair of Brock’s Computer Science department) and Kyle Harrison.Brock’s Computer Science department recently hosted a visiting scholar and graduate student from a South African university.Professor Andries Engelbrecht and his graduate student Barend Jacobus Leonard visited from the University of Pretoria. Their host was Beatrice Ombuki-Berman, associate professor of Computer Science.Engelbrecht serves as the South African Research Chair in Artificial Intelligence and is the head of his university’s Computer Science department, where he leads the Computational Intelligence Research Group (CIRG). The group’s research is in the broad realm of computational intelligence, doing work in the fields of swarm intelligence, evolutionary computation artificial neural networks and artificial immune systems. The Bio-Inspired Computational Intelligence group (BICIG), led by Ombuki-Berman and Brian Ross, does similar research at Brock.During his visit, Engelbrecht gave a research talk entitled “Particle Swarm Optimization in Dynamic Environments.” Barend gave tutorials to graduate and honors students on CILib (computational intelligence library) Java library.They also discussed collaborative initiatives with members of the department and two research projects have already been initiated. Ombuki-Berman and two of her students, Adam Stirtan (MSc student) and Kyle Harrison (honors thesis), will work with Engelbrecht’s team to develop self-adaptive particle swarms for multi-objective dynamic environments. Stirtan will work with the group in South Africa for two weeks in January 2012.Engelbrecht also met with International Services and Programs Abroad. Brock has a memorandum of co-operation with the University of Pretoria. He also met Rick Cheel, Interim Dean of Mathematics and Science.“International collaborations like this are strengthening Brock’s global reputation,” Cheel said. “The research of Drs. Engelbrecht and Ombuki-Berman and their colleagues at Brock and abroad are creating new solutions to complex quantitative problems that will have wide application of significant value.” read more