Randall Beer

Randall Beer

Provost Professor, Cognitive Science

Provost Professor, School of Informatics and Computing


  • Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University, 1989

Research interests

My primary research interest is in understanding how coordinated behavior arises from the dynamical interaction of an animal's nervous system, its body and its environment. Toward this end, I work on the evolution and analysis of dynamical "nervous systems" for model agents, neuromechanical modeling of animals, biologically-inspired robotics, and dynamical systems approaches to behavior and cognition. More generally, I am interested in computational and theoretical biology, including models of metabolism, gene regulation and development. I also have a longstanding interest in the design and implementation of dynamic programming languages and their programming environments.

Representative publications

The brain has a body: adaptive behavior emerges from interactions of nervous system, body and environment (1997)
Hillel J Chiel and Randall D Beer
Trends in neurosciences, 20 (12), 553-557

A dynamical systems perspective on agent-environment interaction (1995)
Randall D Beer
Artificial intelligence, 72 (2-Jan), 173-215

Dynamical approaches to cognitive science (2000)
Randall D Beer
Elsevier Current Trends. 4 (3), 91-99

Intelligence as adaptive behavior: An experiment in computational neuroethology (1990)
Randall D. Beer
Academic Press.

Evolving dynamical neural networks for adaptive behavior (1992)
Randall D Beer and John C Gallagher
Adaptive behavior, 1 (1), 91-122

The dynamics of active categorical perception in an evolved model agent (2003)
Randall D Beer
Adaptive Behavior, 11 (4), 209-243

On the dynamics of small continuous-time recurrent neural networks (1995)
Randall D Beer
Adaptive Behavior, 3 (4), 469-509

Toward the evolution of dynamical neural networks for minimally cognitive behavior (1996)
Randall D Beer
Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior, 4 421-429

Biologically Inspired (1997)
Randall D Beer, Roger D Quinn, Hillel J Chiel and Roy E Ritzmann
Communications of the ACM, 40 (3), 31

Using autonomous robotics to teach science and engineering (1999)
Randall D Beer, Hillel J Chiel and Richard F Drushel
Communications of the ACM, 42 (6), 85-92

Biologically based distributed control and local reflexes improve rough terrain locomotion in a hexapod robot (1996)
Kenneth S Espenschied, Roger D Quinn, Randall D Beer and Hillel J Chiel
Robotics and autonomous systems, 18 (2-Jan), 59-64

Peristaltically self-propelled endoscopic device (2004)

Spatial learning for navigation in dynamic environments (1996)
Brian Yamauchi and Randall Beer
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B (Cybernetics), 26 (3), 496-505

Nonnegative decomposition of multivariate information (2010)
Paul L Williams and Randall D Beer
arXiv preprint arXiv:1004.2515,

Toward an evolvable model of development for autonomous agent synthesis (1994)
Frank Dellaert and Randall D Beer
Artificial Life IV, Proceedings of the Fourth International Workshop on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, 246-257

Dissertation Committee Service

Author Dissertation Title Committee
Brady, Michael A Field-Based Artificial Neural Network w/ Cerebella Model for Complex Motor Sequence Learning (May 2012) Beer, R. (Chair), Kewley-Port, D., Port, R., Bingham, G.
Frey, Seth Complex Collective Dynamics in Human Higher-Level Reasoning. A Study Over Multiple Methods (August 2013) Goldstone, R. (Chair), Todd, P., Beer, R., Busemeyer, J.
Jones, D Primitive Agency Schmitt, F., (Chair)., O'Connor, T, Ludwig, K., Beer. R.,
Kadihasanoglu, Didem An Evolutionary Robotics Approach to Visually-Guided Braking: Data and Theory (October 2012) Beer, R. (Chair), Bingham, G., Busey, T., Yu, C.
Sheya, Adam Coordinating Location and Object Properties in Goal-Directed Action: A Case of Self-Generated Developmental Change (November 2009) Smith, L. (Co-Chair), Beer, R. (Co-Chair), Sporns, O., Yu, C.
Williams, Paul Information Dynamics: Its Theory and Application to Embodied Cognitive Systems (May 2011) Beer, R (Chair)., Beggs, J., Olaf, S., Yaeger, L.
Zednik, Carlos Mechanistic Explanation and Dynamical Cognitive Science (August 2011) Allen, C (Chair)., Beer, R., Weinberg, J., Chemero, A.