John Maynard Smith

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John Maynard Smith [1]

John Maynard Smith, (January 6, 1920 – April 19, 2004 [2])
was a British theoretical evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and latterly Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Sussex.


In 1961, John Maynard Smith created a chess machine called SOMA, the Smith One-Move Analyzer, as a challenger of Donald Michie's and Shaun Wylie's early program Machiavelli from 1947-48 [3], of whose method of working he was in ignorance [4]. Later John Maynard Smith built a SOMA-Machiavelli hybrid named SOMAC (SOMA with features taken from the Machiavelli) [5]. This machine, when allowed a lookahead of two, has a standard of play equal to that of a mediocre human player ... [6][7].


In 1973, Maynard Smith formalized a central concept in game theory called the evolutionarily stable strategy (ESS), based on a verbal argument by George R. Price and published in 1982 [8].

Selected Publications


External Links


  1. John Maynard Smith from Wikipedia
  2. Evolutionary biologist John Maynard Smith dies from University of Sussex
  3. Chronology of Computing compiled by David Singmaster
  4. John Maynard Smith, Donald Michie (1961). Machines that play games. New Scientist, 12, 367-9. google books
  5. Donald Michie (1966). Game Playing and Game Learning Automata. Advances in Programming and Non-Numerical Computation, Leslie Fox (ed.), pp 183-200. Oxford, Pergamon. » Includes Appendix: Rules of SOMAC by John Maynard Smith
  6. Leslie Fox (1966). Advances in programming and non-numerical computation. Pergamon
  7. Donald Michie (1974). On Machine Intelligence. Edinburgh: University Press, ISBN 10: 085224262X, ISBN 13: 9780852242629,,,
  8. John Maynard Smith (1982). Evolution and the Theory of Games. Cambridge; New York, Cambridge University Press.
  9. Publications of John Maynard Smith (pdf)
  10. see Swap-off by Helmut Richter

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