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University of Stirling


Dr Alexander Brownlee

Senior Postdoctoral Research Assistant

Computing Science 4B69 University of Stirling Stirling FK9 4LA United Kingdom

Dr Alexander Brownlee

About me

I'm a Senior Research Assistant (Research Fellow), part of the Data Science Research Group within Computing Science and Mathematics at Stirling, and also a Visiting Fellow in Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University. I'm interested in value-added optimisation: techniques that yield optimal or near-optimal solutions but also reveal underlying information about the problem to help people make informed decisions. My main focus is in metaheuristics, including evolutionary algorithms and estimation of distribution algorithms; related issues such as fitness modelling (and mining such models), handling constraints and multiple objectives, and decision support. I am also interested in the underlying theory of what makes particular algorithms suited to particular problems. I work in application areas including scheduling and simulation-based optiimsation in civil engineering and transport, and in art.

I have some teaching and supervision responsbilities which can be found here, and if you'd like to have a chat about anything (though ideally related to one of the things mentioned in these pages) you can view my availability here.

Quick links


I grew up in rural Aberdeenshire, spent a while in the big city (well, Aberdeen), moved to Loughborough for a bit then on to Stirling. I'm a Christian, husband to Jay and father of three great wee girls, and embrace my inner geek as much as possible. I like to build things, fix things and figure out how stuff works, I like "proper" Sci Fi like Asimov and Arthur C Clarke and Prefer Picard. I sometimes make sounds on a guitar, but am a good deal better at mixing the music of others. I helped establish the toast appreciation society at RGU, and after setting up the debating society there found I quite liked that too. I don't like mushrooms. I sometimes blog about family life here and about technical matters here.

My Erdos-Bacon number is currently a rather disappointing 10 (5+5). This is computed as follows: coauthors Alexander E. I. Brownlee > Siddhartha K. Shakya > Roberto Santana > Tamas D. Gedeon > Istvan Joo > Paul Erdos; appearances (thanks to the MS video above) Alexander Brownlee > Jason Atkin > Marcus du Sautoy > Marcus Brigstocke > Ricky Gervais > Kevin Bacon. It might be a bit better thanks to a brief TV appearance when I was a teenager, but I can't find it anywhere! If anyone has a photographic memory of Grampian TV's output, I'd like to hear from them.

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