Keith’s Homepage
I am a professor of computer science at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), with primary interests in artificial intelligence, artificial life, and computational neuroscience.  Within these areas, my research focus is on trying to understand the evolution, development and general functionality of neural mechanisms and to then design useful abstractions of all three to improve future artificial intelligence systems.
Despite an early interest in rocket science (picture below), I have always been drawn to living systems.  However, I majored in mathematics at Bucknell because, well, it was so much fun!  In 1982, Artificial intelligence caught my eye and led to a PhD and 7 wonderful years in Eugene, Oregon.  During that period, I was fortunate to be involved with computational modelling of the cardiovascular system and thus to see concrete links between mathematics, computer science and biology.  I seek that integration in as much of my research and teaching as possible.
The fields of evolutionary computation and artificial life provide the perfect arena for those interests, since the former applies the metaphor of Darwinian evolution to computational problem solving, while the latter explores the living aspects of all systems, both biological and purely physical or computational.  Finally, the dome atop the arena is neuroscience.  
Artificial life is grounded in the concept of emergence, and it has become quite clear in the past decade or so that intelligence is an emergent phenomena from the local interactions of numerous neurons.  The attempt to understand this hierarchy of interactions, from molecules to memory as the neuroscientists and psychologists often say, has become a central goal of my research; the other is to incorporate the neural mechanisms that my brain can comprehend into artificial intelligence systems.
As for my life outside the ivory tower, I enjoy running, swimming and coaching teenage basketball (for some odd reason).
Name: Keith L. Downing
Bucknell Univ: BS in Mathematics (1983)
Univ of Oregon: PhD in Computer Science (1990)
Quote: Anything that’s easy ain’t worth a damn (Woody Hayes).
Book: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Movie: Hoosiers
Points on Earth: Hayward Field & Macarthur Court  (Eugene, Oregon)
keithd <at>
+47 73 59 02 71 (work phone)
Room 308 IT-Vest
In a Nutshell