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Understanding the World Through Complexity – Café Science Extra

10 April 2013

The next Café Science Extra talk in Dundee will hear how multi-tasking simplifies tasks, and how thinking about the world in this way helps us make sense of both natural and man-made wonders.

Dr Adam Sampson from the Institute of Arts, Media and Computer Games at the University of Abertay Dundee will discuss concurrency, the art of understanding, designing and experimenting systems which perform and rely on multiple tasks simultaneously, at Dundee Science Centre on Wednesday 10 April.

He said: “When we look at the natural world, we see many activities taking place simultaneously: the world is a complex system, with processes cooperating and competing.

“To understand the world, we need to think about not just the individual activities, but the ways in which they interact — it’s not just the bees, but the waggle dance and the honeycomb as well.

“Concurrency is an increasingly important tool for working with both natural and engineered systems. Doing several tasks at the same time can actually make things simpler, and thinking about systems in this way is vital for everything from the biological simulations used to develop new cancer treatments to the computer network services that make your credit card and smartphone work.”

Café Science was launched in January 2008, and has attracted over 4000 visitors since then. The monthly events are informal discussions led by leading local researchers that allow members of the public the opportunity to learn more about the ground-breaking science happening locally.

Café Science Extra allows members of the public to meet with up-and-coming scientists from the Universities of Dundee, St Andrews and Abertay, the James Hutton Institute, and Dundee Science Centre.

‘Making the World Computable: Understanding the World Through Complexity’ takes place at Infusion coffee shop, Dundee Science Centre, at 6pm on Wednesday 10 April.

Doors open at 5.30pm, and the event is free and open to all. There is no need to book in advance but an early arrival is recommended.

Live tweets from the event will be sent from the @revealsresearch Twitter account, and people can take part in the online discussion using the hashtag #CafeSciDundee.

More information is available at the Cafe Science Dundee website.

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