The Algorithmic Lens: How the Computational Perspective is Transforming the Sciences
Speaker: Christos Papadimitriou, UC Berkeley
Location: Warren Weaver Hall 102
Date: October 27, 2009, 2 p.m.
Host: Richard Cole
A very surprising transformation is changing the scientific landscape: sciences of all kinds (mathematical, physical, biological and social) are being influenced very deeply by a novel point of view which can only be called computational. In this talk I shall discuss four examples: In Mathematics, the P vs. NP problem is now one of the most important open mathematical questions. In Physics, quantum computation is stretching Quantum Theory to its limits. In Economics, notions of computational complexity are starting to influence the concept of equilibrium. And in Biology, recent algorithmic insights have led to a new understanding of the role of recombination in evolution. In all four instances, it is not that computations facilitate scientific discovery, but rather that ideas from the science of computing are providing new insights in these disciplines.
Refreshments will be offered starting 15 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the talk.