Computer Science Department

Computer Science Colloquium


A New Kind of Science

Stephen Wolfram
Creator of Mathematica, Author of A New Kind of Science and CEO of Wolfram Research Inc.

Friday October 25, 2002
10:00 a.m.
Room 109 WWH (Limited Seating Available)
251 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012-1185

Host: Davi Geiger,, 212-998-3235
Colloquium Information:


Starting from a few computer experiments, I have spent more than twenty years developing a new approach to science, described for the first time in my book A New Kind of Science. Basic to the approach is the idea of studying not traditional mathematical equations but instead rules of the kind embodied in the simplest computer programs. A key discovery is that such rules can lead to behavior that shows immense complexity and mirrors many features seen in nature. I have built on this to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physical systems, to the development of complexity in biology, the ultimate scope and limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, the interplay between free will and determinism, and the character of intelligence in the universe. The presentation will cover some of the key ideas and discoveries in the book, outlining their implications, and discussing personal and historical context.

An extended question and answer period will be included.