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Practical Innovation at BioCon 2003


A New Kind of Science and Foundations For Theory in Biology
Stephen Wolfram, Wolfram Research, Inc.

Track: Keynote
Date: Tuesday, February 04
Time: 4:00pm - 4:45pm
Location: California Ballroom

Starting from a few computer experiments, Stephen Wolfram has spent more than twenty years developing a new approach to science, described for the first time in his book A New Kind of Science. Basic to his 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. Wolfram has built on this to tackle a remarkable array of fundamental problems in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physics, to the development of form and complexity in biology, the ultimate scope and limitations of mathematics, the possibility of a truly fundamental theory of physics, the character of intelligence in the universe, and possibilities and limitations of a predictive theory in biology. When Wolfram's book was released on May 14, 2002, it became an instant bestseller, and is now showing many signs of initiating a major paradigm shift in science. Wolfram's presentation covers some of the key ideas and discoveries in his book, discussing their personal and historical context and emphasizing their implications for the biological sciences.

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