When a flock of birds or a school of fish turn and act as one, they are exhibiting collective behavior. The same kind of behavior can be seen in something as simple as a group of cancer cells. Understanding how individuals can spontaneously act together in this way can give insights into biology from animal behavior to disease processes, as well as into phenomena such as traffic patterns.
The U.S. Department of Defense's Army Research Office has awarded $1.5 million to James Crutchfield, professor of physics in the UC Davis College of Letters and Science, and his colleagues to advance our understanding of how to predict and program emergent behavior.
Information has become increasingly important in how we understand our world, from sprawling social networks to the tiniest building blocks of matter. The idea that information underlies reality has long fascinated physicist Fabio Anza, a postdoctoral fellow at the Complexity Sciences Center who researches quantum mechanics and quantum information theory.
The UC Davis Complexity Sciences Center was recognized for its achievements in high-performance computing technologies with an HPC Innovation Excellence Award from Hyperion Research. The award was announced June 18 at the ISC19 supercomputer industry conference in Frankfurt, Germany.
From the power grid to the PTA, society relies on networks connected to other networks at scales from across the office to around the world. Understanding how connected networks behave and how breakdowns can be identified, prevented or repaired involves mathematics, engineering and physics.
Digital information may appear to exist as abstract ones and zeroes, flipping effortlessly from one to another. But in fact there is a minimum amount of energy required to run any computation system, regardless of how “energy efficient” are its component parts.
If Salvador Dali designed a science museum, it might look something like the plans for the Institute of Unknown Purpose, a surreal and playful pop-up institute that will blend science and art. Imagined by a UC Davis physicist and a British “mad scientist,” the Institute of Unknown Purpose will feature exhibits and activities that explore mathematical and scientific discovery.