Thomas S. Ray

Last updated
Dr. Thomas S. Ray
Born (1954-09-21) September 21, 1954 (age 63)
Norman, Oklahoma, United States
Nationality American
Alma mater Florida State University
Harvard University
Occupation Professor of Zoology

Thomas S. Ray (also known as Tom Ray; born September 21, 1954) is an ecologist who created and developed the Tierra project, a computer simulation of artificial life.

Tierra (computer simulation)

Tierra is a computer simulation developed by ecologist Thomas S. Ray in the early 1990s in which computer programs compete for time and space. In this context, the computer programs in Tierra are considered to be evolvable and can mutate, self-replicate and recombine. Tierra's virtual machine is written in C. It operates on a custom instruction set designed to facilitate code changes and reordering, including features such as jump to template.

Computer simulation simulation, run on a single computer, or a network of computers, to reproduce behavior of a system; modeling a real physical system in a computer

Computer simulation is the reproduction of the behavior of a system using a computer to simulate the outcomes of a mathematical model associated with said system. Since they allow to check the reliability of chosen mathematical models, computer simulations have become a useful tool for the mathematical modeling of many natural systems in physics, astrophysics, climatology, chemistry, biology and manufacturing, human systems in economics, psychology, social science, health care and engineering. Simulation of a system is represented as the running of the system's model. It can be used to explore and gain new insights into new technology and to estimate the performance of systems too complex for analytical solutions.

Artificial life A field of study wherein researchers examine systems related to natural life, its processes, and its evolution, through the use of simulations

Artificial life is a field of study wherein researchers examine systems related to natural life, its processes, and its evolution, through the use of simulations with computer models, robotics, and biochemistry. The discipline was named by Christopher Langton, an American theoretical biologist, in 1986. There are three main kinds of alife, named for their approaches: soft, from software; hard, from hardware; and wet, from biochemistry. Artificial life researchers study traditional biology by trying to recreate aspects of biological phenomena.


In 1975, he and Donald R. Strong were the first to propose the theory of skototropism in an article in the journal Science (190: 804-806), which he later worked into his senior thesis at Florida State University (FSU), after conducting additional experiments. The thesis was expanded into his Ph.D. thesis at Harvard University. While at FSU, he earned undergraduate degrees in biology and chemistry. [1]

<i>Science</i> (journal) academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Science, also widely referred to as Science Magazine, is the peer-reviewed academic journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and one of the world's top academic journals. It was first published in 1880, is currently circulated weekly and has a subscriber base of around 130,000. Because institutional subscriptions and online access serve a larger audience, its estimated readership is 570,400 people.

Florida State University university in the United States

Florida State University is a public space-grant and sea-grant research university in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Founded in 1851, it is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida.

Harvard University private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Harvard University is a private Ivy League research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with about 6,700 undergraduate students and about 15,250 post graduate students. Established in 1636 and named for its first benefactor, clergyman John Harvard, Harvard is the United States' oldest institution of higher learning, and its history, influence, and wealth have made it one of the world's most prestigious universities.

He is currently Professor of Zoology and Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Previously, he was assistant professor and associate professor in the School of Life and Health Sciences at the University of Delaware from 1981 to 1998. [2] Tom Ray is also a former member of the International Core War Society.

University of Oklahoma public research university in Norman, Oklahoma, United States

The University of Oklahoma (OU) is a public research university in Norman, Oklahoma. Founded in 1890, it had existed in Oklahoma Territory near Indian Territory for 17 years before the two became the state of Oklahoma. In Fall 2018 the university had 31,702 students enrolled, most at its main campus in Norman. Employing nearly 3,000 faculty members, the school offers 152 baccalaureate programs, 160 master's programs, 75 doctorate programs, and 20 majors at the first professional level. David Boren, a former U.S. Senator and Oklahoma Governor, served as the university's president from 1994 to 2018. James L. Gallogly succeeded Boren on July 1, 2018.

Norman, Oklahoma City in Oklahoma, United States

Norman is a city in the U.S. state of Oklahoma located 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Oklahoma City. As the county seat of Cleveland County and a part of the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, its population was 110,925 at the 2010 census. Norman's estimated population of 122,843 in 2017 makes it the third-largest city in Oklahoma.

University of Delaware American university

The University of Delaware is a public research university located in Newark, Delaware. University of Delaware is the largest university in Delaware. UD currently offers more than 135 undergraduate degrees. At the graduate level, it offers 67 doctoral, 142 master’s degree programs, 14 dual degrees, 15 interdisciplinary programs, 12 on-line programs, and 28 certificate programs across its seven colleges and more than 82 research centers and institutes. UD is one of the top 100 institutions for federal obligations in science and engineering and interdisciplinary initiatives in energy science and policy, the environment, and in human health. The main campus is in Newark, with satellite campuses in Dover, Wilmington, Lewes, and Georgetown. It is considered a large institution with approximately 18,500 undergraduate and 4,500 graduate students. UD is a privately governed university which receives public funding for being a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant and urban-grant state-supported research institution.

Cultural references

In The Rise of Endymion, Dan Simmons's conclusion to his famous Hyperion Cantos sci-fi series, it is revealed by the character of Aenea that the TechnoCore originated from a human experiment in which computer programs were allowed to compete for resources (e.g. memory) and evolve accordingly. It is specified that the one responsible for it was Tom Ray, which possibly refers to the biologist's Tierra project.

<i>The Rise of Endymion</i> novel by Dan Simmons

The Rise of Endymion is a 1997 science fiction novel by American writer Dan Simmons. It is the fourth and final novel in his Hyperion Cantos fictional universe. It won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1998.

Dan Simmons is an American science fiction and horror writer. He is the author of the Hyperion Cantos and the Ilium/Olympos cycles, among other works which span the science fiction, horror, and fantasy genres, sometimes within a single novel. A typical example of Simmons' intermingling of genres is Song of Kali (1985), winner of the World Fantasy Award. He also writes mysteries and thrillers, some of which feature the continuing character Joe Kurtz.

Hyperion Cantos science fiction book series by Dan Simmons

The Hyperion Cantos is a series of science fiction novels by Dan Simmons. The title was originally used for the collection of the first pair of books in the series, Hyperion and The Fall of Hyperion, and later came to refer to the overall storyline, including Endymion, The Rise of Endymion, and a number of short stories. More narrowly, inside the fictional storyline, after the first volume, the Hyperion Cantos is an epic poem written by the character Martin Silenus covering in verse form the events of the first book.

Selected publications

Digital object identifier Character string used as a permanent identifier for a digital object, in a format controlled by the International DOI Foundation

In computing, a Digital Object Identifier or DOI is a persistent identifier or handle used to uniquely identify objects, standardized by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). An implementation of the Handle System, DOIs are in wide use mainly to identify academic, professional, and government information, such as journal articles, research reports and data sets, and official publications though they also have been used to identify other types of information resources, such as commercial videos.

JSTOR subscription digital library

JSTOR is a digital library founded in 1995. Originally containing digitized back issues of academic journals, it now also includes books and other primary sources, and current issues of journals. It provides full-text searches of almost 2,000 journals. As of 2013, more than 8,000 institutions in more than 160 countries had access to JSTOR; most access is by subscription, but some of the site's public domain and open access content is available at no cost to anyone. JSTOR's revenue was $86 million in 2015.


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