Monday, October 8, 2007

Computation: A Tool to Decipher Nature's Patterns

If you've ever wondered about the shape of seashells and how the patterns on their outer shell came to be, then its worth to revisit "A New Kind of Science" (NKS) from Stephen Wolfram. Using the sheer power of computation to model the inner details behind nature's shape-making processes, Wolfram has provided a breakthrough insight to learn how shapes and patterns arise in nature. NKS, together with its software Mathematica gives a toyful learning environment to play with the inner workings of nature. With Cellular Automata, we discover that nature follows some pretty simple basic rules to come up with interesting patterns, such as those of the seashell.Computational Tools of Deciphering Patterns
Complex as our world may seem, it runs on basic discreet laws that can be deciphered. This idea is in unison with the focus of - to recognize patterns, basic laws and simple rules within different emergent levels of the natural world. This task ignites the sense of wonder and awe that comes with living in a universe as mysterious as ours, and provides a continuous stream of insight to understand our world better.


mike said...

I read carefully and re-read Wolfram's book when it first came out...I found it to be excellent and astounding. I'm no scientist, but found its look at 'science' quite fascinating...although mostly from a philosophical perspective. Worth the effort. And if Mr. Wolfram wasn't so damned egotistical his underlying principles would have already gone much further than have so far. (in my humble opinion)

metapsyche said...

That's quite a thick and heavy book, if you have the hardbound edition, that is. I know its worth the time and effort to read it, but for those who are a bit short of both, it is available online for free. Here's a link to a page showing the shell-shapes I blogged about:
A quick registration is required after 10 pages or more, though. But after registering your 'cookies', you'll be able to revisit any page anytime.
By the way, can one 'kill' the ego? If yes, can an ego-less person still create any great work? I ask because for some reason, ego is somehow lurking behind every man's creative endeavor.