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On October 16, 2018, I held my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at Swarm Intelligence and Complex Systems Group of Prof. Dr. Martin Middendorf at the Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of the University of Leipzig in Leipzig, Germany.

The group is focused on the field of complex systems which they tackle with swarm intelligence, bio-inspired computation and optimization, and organic computing. They also tackle issues in phylogeny and reconfigurable architectures for parallel computing. One of the many contributions of this group is a large set of open source software systems, for phylogenesis, RNA and mitochondrial genome analysis using optimization algorithms. I know Prof. Middendorf for more than seven years personally and have deep respect for his work: His Population-based Ant Colony Optimization algorithm is the best (non-hybrid) metaheuristic approach that I know for the Traveling Salesman Problem and also a component of the best hybrid approach in all the experiments I have conducted with our TSP Suite in, e.g., our 2014 study. Its derivatives also performed very well in our recent study. Furthermore, researchers affiliated with the group recently won the world championship in the RoboCup tournament, which is a very outstanding achievement.

I met Prof. Middendorf several times in China before and know him since 2011. In 2017, I visited his group for the first time and it was a very nice experience. Visiting him and his team again made me quite happy and my talk was received well, too, and we had a very nice discussion afterwards. I want to thank Prof. Middendorf and his team for their hospitality.