What do migrating geese, flocking cranes, bait balls of fish, and social networks have in common? All of them are instances of "natural algorithms," that is, algorithms designed by nature through evolution over millions of years. Unlike the human-manufactured variety, natural algorithms are engineered for survival and reproduction rather than speed and efficiency. Their formidable expressive power is likely to usher in a new "Algorithmic Age" for natural and social sciences. In this talk, I will argue that for computer science to play more than a supporting role in this development it will need to shift its focus on algorithms as problem-solvers and integrate them into a new scientific language.
Bernard Chazelle is Eugene Higgins professor of computer science at Princeton University, where he has been on the faculty since 1986. He has held research and faculty positions at Carnegie-Mellon University, Brown University, Ecole Polytechnique, Ecole Normale Superieure, University of Paris, INRIA, Xerox Parc, DEC SRC, and NEC Research, where he was a Fellow. He received his Ph.D in computer science from Yale University in 1980. He is the author of the book The Discrepancy Method. His honors include: Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Member, European Academy of Sciences; Fellow, World Innovation Foundation; ACM Fellow; Guggenheim Fellow (1994).
Catherine Copetas, firstname.lastname@example.org