FALL 2004

Lecturer: James F. Lynch
Office: SC-381
Telephone: 268-2374
Office hours: MWF 11:00AM-11:30AM and MWF 2:00PM-3:30PM
Lecture hours:MWF 1:00PM-1:50PM
Text: None


We will read and discuss a collection of articles from scientific journals and chapters from books. For the most part, we will all read each article and discuss it during class, although I may occasionally ask an individual student to give a lecture, and we may have some guest lecturers. In any event, I will require each student to turn in (by email or paper) a short report on each article no later than the evening before the class in which it will be discussed.

We will also examine some systems biology software. I do not plan on any large projects involving this software, but we may experiment with it.


Grading will be based entirely on the reports and participation in discussions and experiments with software. There will be no exams or final.


We have a small section along the outer wall of the COSI lab where some of the articles and books will be kept. You can take them out of the COSI lab to make your own copies, but please don't borrow them for too long. There is also a black binder containing a copy of each article which you may borrow if someone else already has the original. In other cases, if the budget permits, I will hand out copies of an article to each student. In a few cases, the article will be available electronically, and students may download and print it (these are indicated as links).

  1. Steven Levy, The Promised Land, in Artificial Life, Pantheon Books, New York (1992), pp. 11-46.
  2. Arthur W. Burks, Von Neumann's Self-Reproducing Automata, in Essays on Cellular Automata, ed. A. W. Burks, University of Illinois Press, Urbana (1970), pp. 3-64.
  3. W. Richard Stark and William H. Hughes, Asynchronous Irregular Automata Nets: The Path not Taken, BioSystems 55 (2000), pp. 107-117.
  4. Steven Levy, Playing by the Rules, in Artificial Life, Pantheon Books, New York (1992), pp. 47-83.
  5. Steven Levy, Garage-Band Science, in Artificial Life, Pantheon Books, New York (1992), pp. 85-120.
  6. Christopher G. Langton, Self-Reproduction in Cellular Automata, Physica D 10 (1984), pp. 135-144.
  7. Christopher G. Langton, Computation at the Edge of Chaos: Phase Transitions and Emergent Computation, Physica D 42 (1990), pp. 12-37.


Conferences and Workshops

Research Groups and Institutes