Abstract: Allen Downey

Complexity, Computation and Science in the 21st Century

In 1969 Thomas Schelling published a model of racial segregation based on simple agents moving around a 2-dimensional grid.  This work was one of the first examples of what we now call Complexity Science, an interdisciplinary field that includes elements of physics, mathematics, and computer science.
Schelling’s work, and related projects including cellular automata, graphs, networks, fractals and self-organized systems, raise challenging questions about the nature of science and scientific theories.  In this talk I will survey  topics in Complexity Science and discuss a number of trends that (I think) will characterize science in the 21st Century.
Allen Downey is a Professor of Computer Science at Olin College in Needham, MA.  He is the author of Think PythonThink Stats, and Think Complexity, all available free from greenteapress.com.