Curriculum Vitae - Nicholas Freitag McPhee

Division of Science and Mathematics
University of Minnesota, Morris

Updated: 26 January 2013

Campus address
Division of Science and Mathematics
University of Minnesota Morris
600 East 4th Street
Morris, Minnesota 56267
(320) 589-6320
mcphee AT morris DOT umn DOT edu

Home address
911 Nevada Avenue
Morris, Minnesota 56267
(320) 589-2016



College and university education

Ph.D. in Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin, 1993

M.S. in Computer Science, The University of Texas at Austin, 1988

B.A. in Mathematics, Reed College - 1985

Studied functional programming and constructive type theory with David Turner and Simon Thompson at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK, spring 1989.

Studied mathematics at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary, as a participant in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program, spring, 1985.

Undergraduate honors and awards

Phi Beta Kappa at Reed College, 1986

Selected as a participant in the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics program, 1985

Graduate honors and awards

NSF Graduate Fellow, 1986-89.


Professional employment

Sabbaticals and Leaves of Absence

Professional memberships and honors

Professional honors and awards

Professional organization memberships

Teaching and advising

Courses taught, University of Minnesota, Morris

Semester system (F99 to present)

Quarter system (Up through S99)

Directed Studies and out of sequence courses

Interdisciplinary Studies

Teaching grants

Curricular innovations

Special teaching methods implemented


I have averaged between 15 and 30 advisees while at UMM. I have also been approached by numerous students for advice and letters of recommendation. Students I have worked with have gone on to success in a wide variety of areas, including graduate school, faculty positions, various industry positions, book writing, music, theater, seminary, politics, teaching, and parenting.

Undergraduate research and internship activities

UROPs (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program)

MAPs (Morris Academic Partners program)

MAIs (Morris Academic Intern program)/ MSAFs (Morris Student Administrative Fellows)

Senior honors projects

Scholarly, professional, and creative activity

Research interests

Evolutionary computation and evolutionary processes, biological modeling, artificial intelligence, software development, and formal methods.



Journal articles

Book chapters

Conference papers


Conference presentations

Conference posters

Other talks

Grants received

Grants proposals submitted, not accepted

Professional meetings attended

Research and scholarly activities

Spring, 2008, to present. As part of my sabbatical year at the University of Essex (UK) working with Riccardo Poli and others, we began seriously exploring ways in which contemporary understanding of genetics and molecular biology can be brought to bear in evolutionary computation and genetic programming.

Fall, 1992, to present. Exploring a number of different issues in evolutionary computation. A central issue is the question of how one meaningfully defines the notion of genetic diversity in evolutionary computation (and genetic programming in particular), and what role and value that diversity has in EC systems. Related are the questions of what impact cellular or geographic representations, where individuals are located in some some sort of N-dimensional space, and their interactions are limited to individuals that are "close". Other topics include research into alternative structural representations (including Hindley-Milner style type systems), the development and growth of non-functional subtrees in genetic programming, and a variety of issues in co-adaptation and the evolution of complex cooperative structures.

Fall, 2001 to present. I'm doing research with my sister (M. Elsbeth McPhee) on applying statistical models arising from her PhD (Biology, University of Michigan) to evolutionary computation. Our goal is to see if these models, which are based on field data on mice, can also be used to predict results in simulated evolution, and whether our models can help us better understand the impact of captivity on diversity in biological organisms. She came to Morris from May to August, 2003 to pursue this research. We presented our first results at ConBio 2004.

Fall, 2000, to present. Began on-going collaboration with Riccardo Poli (University of Essex, UK) and others (including Jonathan Rowe, University of Birmingham, UK) looking at extensions and applications of schema theory in genetic programming.


All-University service

UMM service



Other campus service

Professional service activities



Public service activities

Other activities


Programming competitions