Jeffrey Pitcairn

 Jeffrey Pitcairn
Mentor: Dr. Douglas Dankel
College of Engineering
"I applied to the University Scholars Program to learn more about how computer science research is conducted and to gain hands-on experience with certain machine learning methods."


Computer Science



Research Interests

  • Machine Learning
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Brain-Computer Interfaces

Academic Awards

  • UF University Scholars Program
  • National Honor Society


  • N/A


  • N/A

Hobbies and Interests

  • Music Production
  • Mountain Biking

Research Description

Using Evolutionary Neural Networks to Improve Ghost AI in Ms. Pac-Man
The goal of this project is to train an artificial neural network to effectively compete in the Ms. Pac-Man vs. Ghosts Competition as a ghost controller. The controller will be trained and tested using the competition framework. The neural network input nodes will be game state variables, and the output nodes will be the next move for each of the four ghosts. A genetic algorithm will test ghost controllers to find optimal network weights (using an appropriate fitness function to minimize the score of the Pac-Man controller). The controller with the greatest fitness will be compared with existing ghost controllers to determine the effectiveness of the neural network.