Local Men: Dr. Chris Adami

Adami first came to Michigan State University (MSU) last year while on sabbatical from California and as part of BEACON – the National Sc…

Adami first came to Michigan State University (MSU) last year while on sabbatical from California and as part of BEACON – the National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Center headquartered at MSU. His time away from his faculty position in California was only meant to last a year. Yet, Adami has decided to join MSU as a full-time professor where he can work alongside the biologists, computer scientists and engineers in BEACON.

Q: Why do you work in this field instead of your Ph D field in Physics?
A: Because it’s interesting to me, I don’t know why people would work at something that didn’t interest them. I was asked to work on this project for what I originally thought would be a couple months and ended up being much longer.
Q: What exactly do you research at MSU?
A: It’s essentially the evolution of a program. We will evolve a program and then put it into a robot. Depending on what it does or what we want it to do, we send it good or bad signals. It is then more likely or less likely to do something. We would like to develop a robot with the capabilities of an animal.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Well, I like to collect first edition books and I have a passion for music. I can play the guitar, the piano and I was trying to learn the cello when Julia was born. Now I spend most of my time hanging out with her. I also learned the first book of the Odyssey in Greek, and can recite it from memory. It’s not really a great party trick, but it’s still interesting.


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