The Analytical Challenge of Natural Algorithms
Speaker: Bernard Chazelle , Princeton UniversityContact:
Date: February 25 2010
Time: 4:00PM to 5:30PM
Host: Silvio Micali, CSAIL
Colleen Russell, 3-0145, Crussell@csail.mit.eduRelevant URL:
What do Boston drivers have in common with migrating geese, flocking cranes, flashing fireflies, and swarming ants? All of them are acting out a "natural algorithm." Unlike their software engineered cousins, these algorithms have been optimized over millions of years through natural selection. They do not come neatly encoded in readable form, yet scientists have become experts at modeling them. To call these dynamical systems "algorithms" is to suggest a new way of studying them, which goes beyond numerical simulations and relies on analytical tools from theoretical computer science. Can "algorithms science" do for complex systems what classical math has done for physics? I cannot answer this question but I can try to convince you why asking it is not completely ridiculous.
Bernard Chazelle is Eugene Higgins Professor of Computer Science at Princeton University, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. He has held research and faculty positions at Carnegie-Mellon University, Brown University, Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Normale Superieure, University of Paris, INRIA, Xerox Parc, DEC SRC, and NEC Research, where he was a Fellow for many years. He received his Ph.D in computer science from Yale University in 1980. He is the author of the book "The Discrepancy Method."
Honors: Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences;
Member, European Academy of Sciences;
Fellow, World Innovation Foundation;
ACM Fellow; Guggenheim Fellow.
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