Join us for a special interactive presentation by longtime CFT member Morgan Adams at Center for Inquiry Northeast Ohio's May Cleveland chapter meeting.
Morgan is an interactive designer and owner of Adams Immersive. His program is titled Cellular Automata: Simple Laws that Create Complex Things.
A “cellular automaton” is a game-like set of rules for pieces placed on a grid of square (or other shape) “cells.” Each turn, the pieces move according to automatic, unchanging rules.
Mathematicians have discovered very simple cellular rule sets that do surprisingly complex things! But you won’t need any math to see them in action. This presentation will let you try two cellular automata “games” for yourself (Conway’s Game of Life and Rule 30) and see the unexpected results:
• A simple starting point can transform the game pieces into active structures such as “spaceships,” “blinkers,” and “factories” that live, die, collide, and evolve into new patterns.
• Cellular automata can explain complex patterns in nature, such as the designs on a seashell.
• Cellular automata can simulate any computing algorithm.
• Cellular automata prove that simple laws can spontaneously create complex mechanisms out of unplanned randomness. This is an analogy for the evolution of life and the formation of our universe: complex systems which at first glance may seem impossible to result from natural laws alone.
Optional—bring (or make) the following to try the “games” for yourself:
• A chess board or other grid (at least 5x5) big enough to fit two pieces per square (stacking them is OK).
• At least 10 coins, checkers, bottle caps or other game pieces. Bring two kinds, 5 of each (different sizes, shapes, colors, or anything easy to tell apart).
As usual, light refreshments will be served. See you there! :)