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Take me higher...
You better come on in my kitchen.
It's going to be raining outdoors. -- Robert Johnson




Hi there. I'm a math prof at the University of Wisconsin - Madison whose research these days focuses on self-organization of random cellular automata. For the past ten years or so I have been producing colorful computer graphics and animations that illustrate the ability of local parallel update rules to generate spatial structure from disordered initial states. My work has appeared in numerous books and periodicals, including Nonlinear Science Today and Scientific American. Some of my cellular automaton (CA) rules have been featured in the simulation packages CA-LAB and James Gleick's Chaos: The Software. This home page is intended to provide a gallery of my images and movies, as well as links to software that allows you to design your own. (For best viewing, there are a few Browser Issues.)

It's tempting to think of self-organization as evolution from primordial soup. Machines that orchestrate such dynamics are sometimes called mixmasters. I use both garden-variety PCs and dedicated Cellular Automaton Machines (CAMs) as mixmasters. Since my other great fixation in life is gastronomy (witness the important 3-letter word hidden in my Welsh last name), this site is laid out as a kitchen.

The current components are as follows:

  • What's Cooking?
    A chronicle of the most recent PSK happenings. Look here for the latest images, animations, recipes, and links. I am currently adding much more dynamic interaction to the Kitchen -- it's especially fun for you to be sous chef and taste the results.;

  • The PSK 2000 Calendar
    Some my favorite CA creations from the past 12 years as monthly calendars. Available in two versions: a smaller one for viewing online (about 100 K per month), and a larger one for ink-jet printing of full-page monthly calendars (about 300 K each).

  • CAffeine: a Java CA page
    The place to check out our growing library of cross-platform animations, with links to other CA-related sites that feature Java applets;

  • The Pepper Mill
    Downloadable sample CA wallpaper designs generated by our now defunct experimental Wall Pepper Java applet

  • Lagniappe: some extra CA morsels
    A collection of reports on sundry topics from the theory and application of cellular automata and interacting particle systems;

  • The Kitchen Shelf
    An archive of CA 'soups' and 'recipes,' posted from November 1994 through October 1996, arranged by season, and featuring two 'greatest hits' pages: Specialties I and Specialties II. Each soup is a 256-color gif based on recent research. The corresponding recipe describes a soup's update rule, and provides additional info about how the image was produced. Most recipe pages include a small envelope icon at the upper right corner of their thumbnail graphics. Clicking on a thumbnail loads the corresponding soup, whereas clicking on the envelope loads our POSTCARD SERVER which lets you include Kitchen soups with personal messages to your friends;

  • The Kitchen Sink
    A list of Web links to downloadable software, and other pages related to Cellular Automata, Complex Systems, Random Interaction, Artificial Life, or just stuff I think is cool;

  • Search
    A search engine with Boolean options for finding any topic discussed in the Kitchen, together with a clickable drop-down list of locations not accessible from the main menu bar;

  • Guestbook
    A place to leave Food for Thought you would like to share with me, or with other visitors. You can sign in here;

  • Kitchen Kudos
    Some of the recognition PSK has received;

  • The Chef's Page
    Convenient links to the chef's email and the Guestbook. There are also subtle links to a cookbook of my favorite Real Recipes, and to a Family Photo Album.

  • The Chef's Vita
    A hypertext Curriculum Vitae with my academic profile, publication list, and links to downloadable versions of several of my papers on cellular automata. Included are some relatively accessible Survey Papers as well as more recent Research Publications.

Note that you can fetch the full-size graphic for each main PSK page by clicking on its thumbnail version. These are taken from a set of actual Particle Postcards which I produced about ten years ago.

Random Recipe
The occasional soup bowl takes you to a random page in the Kitchen, and the spiral below leads either back home or 'up' a level.

Thanks for trying my cooking!

- David Griffeath, University of Wisconsin Mathematics


Take me higher...
Introduction to the PSK PSK Search Recent Additions CA Archive CA Links Feedback Appreciated !