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Science Café: An Artificial World to Explore Ecological Questions
December 17, 2014 @ 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Researchers at the University of Windsor study broad ecological questions and long-term evolutionary processes on computers using a generic simulation platform designed by Dr. Robin Gras and his colleagues in the School of Computer Science. The platform called EcoSim can manage several hundred thousand agents simultaneously in an artificial world. Dr. Gras will discuss this work at the Science Café in Windsor at 7:30 Wednesday evening, December 17, 2014.
EcoSim generates vast amounts of data representing all the information about the world, every species and individual (including mental states) at every moment. Such detail gives the program great advantage over real data gathering, which is limited by the large spatial and temporal scales involved in ecological questions. In a simulation, more than a billion agents can be born, and thousands of species can emerge and become extinct. This novel approach of ecosystem simulation is a promising area of research and almost unique in the world. With it, Dr. Gras can study such processes as evolution, speciation, species extinction, and the introduction of invasive species.
Dr. Gras is an associate professor of Computer Science and Canada Research Chair in Learning & Simulation for Theoretical Biology Science at the University of Windsor.
As usual at Science Cafés, light refreshments will be served and there is no admission charge. The evening is part of a series of Science Cafés – interactive discussions of important science research for the general public – held at 7:30 PM on the third Wednesday of the month from October through June at Canada South Science City, located at 930 Marion Avenue in Windsor. For a poster and more details, visit www.cssciencecity.com or call (519)-973-3667.