CA 98

Organized by David Griffeath, University of Wisconsin


November 14 - 17, 1998
Santa Fe Institute
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Jointly sponsored by SFI and the National Science Foundation

This workshop focused on constructive methods for the rigorous analysis of cellular automata (CA). The meeting featured thirteen invited talks by the following leading experts in the area:

Matthew Cook (Hungary)
Jim Crutchfield (UC - Berkeley, SFI)
Noam Elkies (Harvard)
Nick Gotts (MLURI, Aberdeen)
Janko Gravner (UC - Davis)
Dietrich Leithner (German Space Operations Center)
Jon Machta (Massachusetts)
Norm Margolus (MIT)
Cris Moore (SFI)
Mark Niemiec (Ohio)
Jim Propp (Wisconsin)
Rudy Rucker (San Jose State)
Roberto Schonmann (UCLA)

There were no contributed talks. Another twelve researchers, including postdocs and graduate students, attended.

The meeting explored three of the most active arenas of mathematical research in a vital field dominated by empirical work. The principal topics were:

Algorithmic Complexity of Elementary Cellular Automata
Constructive Methods for Conway's Life
CA Modeling in Physics, Biology, and Other Sciences

The first focus concerns classification of basic and widely studied CA dynamics in terms of their algorithmic completeness - how efficiently they are able to perform logic. The second focus is on remarkable recent methods developed by members of the Internet LifeList to synthesize configurations of arbitrary period and other complex designs for the most celebrated of all CA rules. The third focus deals with recent applications of cellular automata as prototypes for complex spatial phenomena across the spectrum of scientific research.

The Program Committee for the workshop consisted of Noam Elkies (Harvard), David Griffeath (Wisconsin), Cris Moore (SFI), and Jim Propp (MIT). Attendees were drawn primarily from mathematics, physics and computer science, with backgrounds in combinatorics, probability theory, algorithms and related areas.

The format of the meeting included three to five 50-minute survey talks per day, intended to promote knowledge transfer between the three areas, an evening 'show and tell' session of computer demos, and plenty of informal discussion time. A workshop dinner and a social excursion were also planned.

Partial support for local living expenses was available, with priority given to postdocs and graduate students.

More CA 98 Links:

Workshop Schedule

List of Additional Participants

A CA 98 Photo Gallery

CA Resources for Participants

Santa Fe Institute

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