29 Jul

More Life at a glance

A few days after the event at TCNJ, students at the PROMYS program at Boston University built another “Life sculpture” in which each layer is a generation and time proceeds downwards. Here, we explored questions of how you might know things like whether the resulting “sculpture” would be connected, or whether it would be self-supporting. For these types of questions, what one really needs is to solve the (more computationally thorny) “inverse Life” question: what colonies of cells can give rise to a given configuration in the next generation?

This sculpture begins with a pattern in its top layer that will eventually result in four Life “gliders” proceeding in different directions, which would then serve as four “legs” for the sculpture to stand on. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite have time to build enough generations to see the four gliders diverge.

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