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Papers - too ‘academic’? The comments by Mr Skinner in our column for 21 April, inspired by Professor W. M. Jenkins ’ paper ‘Structural optimisation with the genetic algorithm’, and followed up by contributions from Professor Jenkins himself and Professor A. W. Beeby (16 June), have brought comments from Mr S. B. Tietz on his reactions to the paper. Mr Teitz also responds to our own invitation, to those who have authored ‘practical papers’ to comment on the ‘challenges and satisfactions’ of so doing: The correspondence has caused me to reexamine Professor Jenkins’ original paper of 17 December 1991. My sympathies lie with Mr Skinner! Any paper which brings in genetic algorithms, combinatories, stochastic processes, crossover, mutation and parameter scaling, all within a 16-line synopsis, surely deserves all our admiration if not our comprehension. Seeing what Professor Jenkins can do with the English language I shall eagerly seize on Professor Goldberg’s work on which this paper is apparently based! Verulam