What kind of computation can be so advanced that is still not fully grasped yet children can understand? What software written like this looks like and what can be used for?
From Von Neumann self reproducing machine, Wolfram's new kind of Science and Dave Ackley's living computation, we'll explore the wonders of this type of computation sometimes regarded as a toy, other times as a mathematical and scientific mystery: Cellular Automata.
You have probably already seen and maybe interacted with a few famous cellular automata (Conway's game of life, photoshop plugins, minesweeper, etc...). However it's not very common that people have access to the deep, underlying power of such programs because most of it is hidden under a cryptic user interface or programmed in an opaque, complex and overly complicated way.
In this course we'll explore cellular automata using simple tools (http://colorcode.bananabanana.me, http://colorcode2.bananabanana.me and http://splatycode.bananabanana.me) I created to demystify and turn this computational ideas accessible to everyone. We'll learn how to think about computation beyond the computer as we know it, we'll write programs that can run on a chess board and ultimately we'll get an intuition about how complexity can emerge from ideas that are so simple that can be fully described without a single written word!
Week 1: Get to know and learn from each other
Week 2: Getting to know the tools we are going to use and how they work. Play with a few examples and write simple programs.
Week 3: Remaking and remixing famous and interesting cellular automata
Week 4: Interfacing with other programs and computation styles
Artists, engineers, technologists and curious with any experience in coding but curiosity about visual reasoning and emergent complex behaviours.