While attending the University of Idaho, I took part in evolutionary computation research with Dr. Luke Harmon and Dr. Terence Soule exploring the interactions between populations, the interactions between species, and what causes species to form. This research is based on the original research, 'Dynamic Patterns of Adaptive Radiation', by Sergey Gavrilets and Aaron Vose. However, unlike the research by Gavrilets and Vose, this research explores how the mutation rate, dispersion radius, and other parameters can affect the emergence and development of species.
Dr. Soule developed an animated program in C# to simulate these interactions. I developed a static output version of the program in C++ to make simulations easier to run on a cluster of computers. I presented my research, 'A Computer Simulation for Adaptive Radiation and Evolutionary Population Dynamics', at the 7th Annual University of Idaho College of Science Student Research Exposition.
In addition to the static output version, I developed a version in Python that represents the model in a way that is more readable and understandable, as well as less fragile. In the event of continued research, this version will make it much simpler to make changes.