Saturday, December 31, 2011

Computer Software Replacing Scientists

From ScienceNews, "Software Scientist: With a little data, Eureqa generates fundamental laws of nature" by Rachel Ehrenberg:
A new computer program called Eureqa comes up with fundamental mathematical laws, the great equations of textbooks and history, from scratch. Feed Eureqa a mess of raw data, and it will find the underlying rules describing the observations.

Consider the laws of motion and conservation of energy. Eureqa’s creators, Cornell engineer and computer scientist Hod Lipson and then–graduate student Michael Schmidt, used a motion-tracking camera to capture the chaotic swings of two pendulums linked together. After measuring the pendulums’ angles and velocities, the researchers fed the numbers to Eureqa. Without any knowledge of geometry or physics, the program came up with Newton’s second law of motion and other equations governing the double pendulum’s behavior.

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