Monday, March 30, 2015


Slides for "Design Principles of Computation," March 30, 2015 Lecture

I485/H400 - Lecture 14 - Design Principles of Computation

Steam-powered Turing Machine at Washington University (collective Work)

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Links for "Design Principles of Computation" Lecture

Some resources about the Abacus
The Abacus in Various Number Systems
Demo (The Chinese Abacus)
Demo and Quiz
Test you Abacus Skills
Mechanical Calculators
The Pascaline

The Antikythera Mechanism

Interactive Relighting of the Antikythera Mechanism
Story @ BBC News
The Antikythera Mechanism Research Project
Java Applet of the Antikythera Sun-Moon Assembly
Download the Antikythera 3D Simulator
NOVA: Ancient Computer

Another video of the Antikythera Mechanism
Babbage, Lovelace and the Analytical Engine
The Difference Engine
The Analytical Engine
9 Neat Facts About the World's First Computer Programmer, Ada Lovelace 

It Started Digital Wheels Turning

Cool implementation of Babbage's Difference Engine using LEGO! Photos, description of adder and carry propagation logic, mechanical issues, etc. at:

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Slides for "Computation" (March 24th, 2015) lecture online

I485 - Lecture 13 - Computation

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Monday, March 23, 2015


Links for "Computation" lecture

The Lebombo Bone and Other Ancient Mathematical Objects

The Ishango Bone

Turing Machine Simulator 1
Turing Machine Simulator 2
Turing Machine Simulator 3

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Saturday, March 21, 2015


Exon-intron circular RNAs regulate transcription in the nucleus

"Scientists first observed circular RNAs, a type of noncoding RNA, in mammalian cells over 30 years ago but are only now beginning to elucidate their functions. Circular RNAs generally contain either exclusively gene exon or gene intron sequences. Li et al. now describe an unusual class of circular RNAs in human cells that contain both exon and intron sequences. These RNAs localized to the nucleus, where they bound to protein components of the transcription machinery and RNA components of the splicing machinery. By binding to the promoters of their own genes, they fine-tuned transcriptional activation of these genes." See Science Editor Note and Full paper @ Nature Structural & Molecular Biology

Thursday, March 05, 2015


Slides for "Computation in Cellular Automata", March 5, 2015 lecture online

I485/H400 - Lecture 12 - Computation in Cellular Automata

SmoothLife is a family of rules created by Stephan Rafler. It was designed as a continuous version of Conway's Game of Life - using floating point values instead of integers. This rule is SmoothLifeL which supports many interesting phenomena such as gliders that can travel in any direction, rotating pairs of gliders, wickstretchers and the appearance of elastic tension in the 'cords' that join the blobs. (Thanks to Jordan Jalles for forwarding this!)

BTW: here is some sample C code to generate 1D CAs---such as rule 110 (there's a project in here!). This page also has code for 2D CA such as the game of life.

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015


Links for "Computation in Cellular Automata" lecture

Conway's Game of Life

Game of Life Applet
Game of Life Applet II

3-D Game of Life
Turing Machine Implemented in Game of Life

Rule 110
Rule 110 and Universal Computation
Computation Theory of Cellular Automata
A Computational Mechanics Reading List by Cosma Shalizi

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Tuesday, March 03, 2015


Slides for "Cellular Automata and the Edge of Chaos" March 2, 2015 lectures online

I485/H400 - Lecture 11 - Cellular Automata and the Edge of Chaos

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Monday, March 02, 2015


links for "Cellular Automata and Edge of Chaos" lecture

Boolean networks beyond Systems Biology: Musical Morphogenesis

Cellular Automata rules lexicon
Cellular Automata Rules
New Kind of Science Applets
More CA rules

Langton's Lambda Parameter
Edge Of Chaos CA
Lambda Parameter Applet

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