Mike Preuss received his PhD in 2013 from the Chair of Algorithm Engineering at TU Dortmund, Germany, and was with ERCIS (Information Systems) at the WWU Muenster, Germany, from 2013 to 2018. His research interests focus on the field of evolutionary algorithms for real-valued problems, namely on multi-modal and multi-objective optimization, and on computational intelligence and machine learning methods for computer games. Mike has collaborated with Chemists and Engineers from various institutes in order to solve real-world problems by means of AI methods, namely a Nature publication on chemical retrosynthesis using an AlphaGo-like approach. Recently, he is also involved in Social Media Computing, namely the PropStop project that focused on detecting social media bots in order to discover manipulative content. He is associate editor of the IEEE ToG journal and has been member of the organizational team of several conferences in various functions, most recently as general co-chair of the PPSN 2020 conference on evolutionary optimization and AI in Leiden.
Aske Plaat is professor in artificial intelligence at Leiden University, where he is scientific director of the Leiden institute of advanced computer science (LIACS). He is interested in adaptive systems, reinforcement learning and games. Since the start he has been involved in the Cyber Security Academy in Leiden. He is also co-founder of the Leiden Center of Data Science and he has initiated the SAILS program for Society, Artificial Intelligence, and Life Science, the university wide program for artificial intelligence. Plaat studied at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada and the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands. There he received his PhD in artificial intelligence in 1996 for a thesis on search algorithms. After his graduation he did post-doctoral research on the Cilk system in the supercomputing technologies group at the MIT Lab for Computer Science. The group’s chess program Cilkchess won the 1996 Dutch Open Computer Chess Championship in Leiden. He has worked at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam on distributed algorithms for world-wide scalable secure computing. Outside academia, he has worked for consultancies, the Netherlands Ministries of Finance and Justice, and the aviation, games and media industry.