Today, our  Special Issue on Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms in the Applied Soft Computing Journal (ASOC) has finally been completed. We accepted 14 articles, which either introduce new new benchmarks or benchmark generators, propose new visualization and evaluation methods, provide new tools, or study general topics in the field. Each article makes an important contribution to the art of analyzing and understanding the performance of computational intelligence methods. We are very thankful to the ASOC journal to allow us to make this happen – and especially for the outstanding support and the help provided by Mario Koeppen and Bas van Vlijmen of the editor team as well as Xinrui Wang, the publishing specialized at Elsevier. Of course, we are as same as thankful to our authors and reviewers, who put in a lot of work to ensure that all articles were refined and refined and refined again until they were perfect. Now that the editorial of the issue is out, this journey is complete. Benchmarking of optimization is an interesting topic which is gaining more and more momentum in the research community. For instance, there currently is a large community effort ongoing with the goal to gather good practices for benchmarking, which resulted in the technical report Benchmarking in Optimization: Best Practice and Open Issues and to which we are also contributing (and which directly picks up some of the topics tackled in our special issue).

Our team warmly congratulates Dr. Xinlu Li to his promotion to Associate Processor [副教授]! This promotion is very well deserved and the result of seven years of continuous hard work and high performance as senior lecturer. Additionally, this year in February, Xinlu completed his PhD Degree at TU Dublin in Ireland and published a great article in an SCI/EI-indexed 2区 journal in August. Congratulations Xinlu!

Yesterday, on December 18, 2019, as a member of a small delegation from our Hefei University [合肥学院], I had the pleasure to participate in the Consultation Symposium and New Year Party for Foreign Experts [外国专家建言献策暨新年联谊会] of the Anhui province, organized by the Department of Science and Technology of the Anhui Province [安徽省科学技术厅], the Hefei Municipal Bureau of Science and Technology [合肥市科学技术局], and Anhui University [安徽大学].

On December 18, 2019, at the Consultation Symposium and New Year Party for Foreign Experts [外国专家建言献策暨新年联谊会], Prof. Dr. Thomas Weise was awarded the title Hefei Specially Recruited Foreign Expert [合肥市特聘外国专家证书] within the First Hefei Recruitment Program of Talented Foreigners [首批市"引进外国高端人才计划"] by the Hefei Municipal Bureau of Science and Technology [合肥市科学技术局], Hefei Municipal Bureau of Foreign Experts Affairs [合肥市外国专家局].

Together with our colleagues Markus Wagner, Jörg Lässig, Bin Li, and Xingyi Zhang, we are organizing a Special Issue on "Benchmarking of Computational Intelligence Algorithms" in the Applied Soft Computing (ASOC). We received quite a lot of very cool submissions until the deadline in April 2019. This is a virtual special issue, which means that the papers will immediately published when they have passed the editorial process and may appear in different physical issues and volumes of the journal. This has now happened for the first few of the submissions we have received. As a result, the journal website for our special issue is now online, too, at https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/applied-soft-computing/special-issue/10LQLZBS7T4. We still have quite a few very interesting papers in our queue, which will appear step by step on that page as well.

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