Barricelli is the name of a specialized genetic algorithms computer designed and built by 10 students at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
It is a computer designed to quickly find good approximations to hard problems using a custom-made hardware-accelerated generic genetic algorithm solver.
Barricelli was built over a period of 12 weeks.
Barricelli is named after Nils Aall Barricelli, who was a Norwegian-Italian 20th century mathematician.
Barricelli the mathematician was a pioneer in artificial life research, and he performed early computer-assisted experiments in the symbiogenesis and evolution fields.
It is in recognition of Barricelli the mathematician's groundbreaking seminal work that Barricelli the computer takes its name.
Read more about him on Wikipedia.
The paper describing the inner workings of the Barricelli, as well as detailing the work process, is available for download here.