The Lasting Lessons of John Conway’s Game of Life #GameOfLife @NYTimes

The New York Times posts an in-depth article on John Conway and his “Game of Life”:

“The game of life” described an elegant mathematical model of computation — a cellular automaton, a little machine, of sorts, with groups of cells that evolve from iteration to iteration, as a clock advances from one second to the next.

Dr. Conway, who died in April, having spent the latter part of his career at Princeton, sometimes called Life a “no-player, never-ending game.”

The game was simple: Place any configuration of cells on a grid, then watch what transpires according to three rules that dictate how the system plays out.

Rules:

Birth rule: An empty, or “dead,” cell with precisely three “live” neighbors (full cells) becomes live.

Death rule: A live cell with zero or one neighbors dies of isolation; a live cell with four or more neighbors dies of overcrowding.

Survival rule: A live cell with two or three neighbors remains alive.

With each iteration, some cells live, some die and “Life-forms” evolve, one generation to the next.

You can read the extensive article here.


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