NEC Auditorium, Gates Computer Science Building B01 and B03

http://ee380.stanford.edu

Creator of Mathematica, author of

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 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. 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 will cover some of the key ideas
and discoveries in his book, outlining their implications, and discussing
their personal and historical context. An extended question and answer
period will be included.

**About the speaker:**

Stephen Wolfram was educated at Eton, Oxford, and Caltech, receiving his
Ph.D. in theoretical physics in 1979 at the age of 20. His early work in
physics and computer science was recognized by a MacArthur award in 1981. In
the early 1980s he made a series of now-classic discoveries about systems
known as cellular automata, leading to numerous applications in physics,
mathematics, computer science, biology, and other fields. In 1986 he founded
Wolfram Research, Inc. and began the creation of *Mathematica*---now the
world's leading software system for technical computing and symbolic
programming (and tool which made *A New Kind of Science* possible). Over the
past decade Wolfram has divided his time between leadership of his company
and pursuit of basic science. The results of Wolfram's fifteen years of work were presented for
the first time in his book, *A New Kind of Science* (May 2002). An instant
bestseller, *A New Kind of Science* constituted international science news and
quickly emerged as one of the most-discussed science books in decades.

Because we anticipate a large audience, we will use Gates B1 for the live
presentation and Gates B3 as a video overflow room. Students will have precedence
for seating in the Gates B1 room.
Stephen Wolfram will also be speaking in several other venues. He will speak on the Stanford campus at 7:30PM on Monday, February 10, in Dinkelspiel Auditorium. For details see http://scil.stanford.edu. This is a free public event presented under the auspices of the Stanford Center for Innovations in Learning. Following the CSL Colloquium (Wednesday, February 12) he will head to San Francisco to speak in the Herbst Theater starting at 8PM. See Wolfram Talk for more information. This is a public event sponsored by California Academy of Arts and Science; tickets are $18.00. |

**Contact information:**

Dr. Stephen Wolfram

100 Trade Center Drive

Champaign, IL 61820-7237

sw@wolfram.com