Bruce MacLennan

Bruce MacLennan received a BS (1972) in mathematics (with honors) from Florida State University and a MS (1974) and PhD (1975) in computer science from Purdue University. He joined Intel Corporation in 1975 where as a senior software engineer, he worked on the architectures of the 8086 and the iAPX-432 processors. In 1979 he returned to academia, joining the computer science faculty of the Naval Postgraduate School (Monterey, CA), where he was an assistant professor (1979–83), an associate professor (1983–7), and Acting Chair (1984–5). At NPS he investigated novel models for massively parallel computing and artificial intelligence. Since 1987, he has been a member of the electrical engineering and computer science Faculty of the University of Tennessee (Knoxville, USA).

MacLennan has been especially interested in the emergence of self-organized communication systems, and this research produced the first demonstration (1989) of the evolution of communication in a population of machines. In recognition of this research, MacLennan was elected as Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies of the Collegium Budapest, and in 1997 he spent the summer there investigating the evolution of communication and combinator-based models of pre-biotic chemical evolution. As a consequence, in the late 90s he began a new research project, a theoretical investigation of the application of molecular computing to nanostructure synthesis and control. (This work was eventually supported by an NSF Nanoscale Exploratory Research Grant).

For the last two decades MacLennan’s research has focused on novel models of computation intended to better exploit physical processes for computation and to provide new concepts of information representation and processing in natural and artificial systems. His research now focuses on natural computation and self-organization. In June 2005, he presented an invited paper, “The Nature of Computation — Computation in Nature,” at the workshop of Natural Processes and New Models of Computation” organized by the University of Bologna. Most recently, in September 2006, he gave an invited presentation “Super-Turing or Non-Turing?” at the workshop Future Trends in Hypercomputation (Sheffield, UK).

MacLennan has published more than fifty refereed journal articles and book chapters and has had two books published (one in its third edition). He has created more than sixty invited or refereed presentations. MacLennan is a member of American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and IEEE Computer Society, and the International Society for Nanoscale Science, Computation and Engineering. Since 1988 he has been a BBS Associate (qualified commentator) for the journal Behavioral and Brain Sciences.


Continuum Mechanics for Coordinating Massive Microrobot Swarms: Self-Assembly Through Artificial Morphogenesis
Bruce J. MacLennan. © 2019. 38 pages.
This chapter addresses the problem of coordinating the behavior of very large numbers of microrobots to assemble complex, hierarchically structured physical objects. The approach...
Engineering Inspiration: Enhancing Scientific Creativity through Image Flows
Bruce J. MacLennan. © 2016. 25 pages.
This chapter proposes a computerized tool to promote inspiration in a specific, but very important, kind of scientific creativity, for significant scientific breakthroughs are...
A Formal Model of Universal Algorithmic Assembly and Molecular Computation
Bruce MacLennan. © 2010. 14 pages.
In this paper, the author describes a systematic and general approach to nanostructure synthesis and control through autonomous molecular combinatory computing. Combinatory...
International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation (IJNMC)
Bruce MacLennan, Keshav Deo Verma. Est. 2009.
The International Journal of Nanotechnology and Molecular Computation (IJNMC) publishes groundbreaking and innovative research in all areas of nanotechnology and molecular...