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Professor Emma Hart

Director of Centre for Emergent Computing, Edinburgh Napier University

Prof. Hart gained a 1st Class Honours Degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford, followed by an MSc in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh. She moved to Edinburgh Napier University in 2000 as a lecturer, and was promoted to a Chair in 2008 in Natural Computation.

Her research falls within the field of bio-inspired computing – taking inspiration from natural systems (such as swarms of insects, evolution and the immune system) to develop computational algorithms that can be applied to solving difficult real-world problems within the optimisation and classification fields. Many problems faced on a daily basis by industry are very difficult to find optimal solutions to due to the number of variables and sheer number of possible solutions, that rule out the use of classical optimisation techniques if good answers need to be found quickly. Taking inspiration from how nature deals with problems, we are able to develop algorithms that are both robust and effective at finding solutions to problems., and have a wide range of possible uses.

Recent projects include applications to logistics (work force scheduling, vehicle routing), packing problems and working with the Forestry industry on a range of problems including predicting wind-damage and optimising cutting patterns to maximise yield.

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