Abstract: Intersecting branes provide a natural framework for constructing four-dimensional theories with semi-realistic particle physics. The phenomenological properties of vacua built in this way vary dramatically, and it is an interesting task to understand both what is possible and what is typical. I will discuss intersecting brane constructions for type IIA string theory on a toroidal orbifold from two perspectives. On one hand, genetic algorithms, which take inspiration from nature, provide a method to optimize desirable properties by "breeding" a population of branes. Generation by generation, random samples are produced and the underlying structure learned. On the other, an exact number of indistinguishable vacua can be found by leveraging the recursive way in which branes are combined. Sharp predictions for moduli, gauge group, etc. can be obtained at the cost of losing detailed information about any one vacuum.