Maciej Gorywoda — Cellular Automata: How to become an artist with a few lines of code (20 minutes, Lightning Talk)

Let’s face it: most of the time our work is boring. We just glue stuff together and test if it doesn’t blow up. Where’s our promised fun in programming? Right, it’s in fun-ctional.
Haha. No. Fun is when great things arise from humble beginnings. You write a small piece of code, run it, and see a complex pattern unfolding. That’s intriguing. That’s what get your interest.
Cellular Automata are a very universal model of computations, letting us predict weather, model animal behavior, or city traffic, as well as generate mathematical art. In fact, it’s even possible to simulate automata with other automata, and that’s a thing that always makes computer scientists super-excited. What’s also fun is that a cellular automaton (singular) is a little cute piece of immutable data to which we can apply a range of FP techniques in order to run complex simulations with very little of actual code writing. During this talk we’re going to do just that. We’ll start with some theory, then move to some short code examples, and finish with discussing how can it all help us solving real problems. I promise that you won’t learn anything that is immediately useful, but — I hope — it will inspire you.


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