Although I consider myself a software geek, I know very little about this field ... Genetic Programming. However, before you think I'm talking about genetic engineering of plants and animals, read on. This field studies nature, and tries to learn lessons for solving technical problems ... an intriguing idea. You may now download a very detailed manual on the process, A Field Guide to Genetic Programming. Here is how the book's web site describes the area:
"Genetic Programming is a systematic, domain-independent method for getting computers to solve problems automatically starting from a high-level statement of what needs to be done. Using ideas from natural evolution, GP starts from an ooze of random computer programs, and progressively refines them through processes of mutation and sexual recombination, until solutions emerge. All this without the user having to know or specify the form or structure of solutions in advance. GP has generated a plethora of human-competitive results and applications, including novel scientific discoveries and patentable inventions."
I am definitely adding this manual to the Engineering Learning Wiki's manual section. If you are interesting in learning more about this discipline, a trip to the University of Illinois Genetic Algorithms Laboratory would be worth your while. Besides, any lab which refers to their blog at IlliGAL must have a sense of humor. I leave you to figure out the play on words!