John Henry Holland – Wikipedia

John Henry Holland

JOHN HENRY HOLLAND is a professor of psychology and a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, and an external professor at the Santa Fe Institute. His main research interests are complex adaptive systems (natural and artificial), computer-based models of cognitive processes, and the construction of models for computer-based thought experiments. Known widely as the “father of genetic algorithms,” he is a board member of the International Society for Genetic and Evolutionary Computation, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Santa Fe Institute. He has been named a MacArthur Fellow and is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum. His two most recent books are Emergence: From Chaos to Order and Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity. 

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Holland frequently lectured around the world on his own research, and on research and open questions in complex adaptive systems (CAS) studies. In 1975 he wrote the ground-breaking book on genetic algorithms, “Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems”. He also developed Holland’s schema theorem.


Holland is the author of a number of books about complex adaptive systems, including:

  • Adaptation in Natural and Artificial Systems (1975, MIT Press)
  • Hidden Order: How Adaptation Builds Complexity (1995, Basic Books)
  • Emergence: From Chaos to Order (1998, Basic Books)
  • Signals and Boundaries: Building Blocks for Complex Adaptive Systems (2012, MIT Press)
  • Complexity: A Very Short Introduction (2014, Oxford University Press)

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