A new approach for 'ab initio' synthesis of thin lens structure of zoom lenses is reported. This is accomplished by an implementation of evolutionary programming, based on Genetic Algorithm , which explores the available configuration space formed by powers of individual components and inter-component separations. Normalization of the variables is carried out to get an insight on the optimum structures. The method has been successfully used to get thin lens structures of mechanically compensated, optically compensated, and linearly compensated zoom lens systems by suitable formulation of merit function of optimization. Investigations have been carried out on three component and four component zoom lens structures. Illustrative numerical results are presented.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.