Ants cooperating to form a bridge

Ants cooperating to create a bridge for others to carry food back to the colony. (Credit: iStockphoto/Hung Meng Tan)

Dr. Dustin Reishus will be teaching a course entitled Swarm Intelligence and Self-Assembly this fall.  The course look at large-scale distributed systems in chemistry, biology, and robotics through the lens of mathematics and computer science.  It will address such questions as

  • How do ant colonies forage for food?
  • Why do cockroaches tend to aggregate in clumps?
  • How can we design robotic swarms to do what we want them to?
  • How can we design molecular computers using self-assembling DNA molecules?

All of these problems are related: All of them have large numbers of individual agents (be they bugs, robots, or molecules) acting independently to accomplish some goal.  The students will explore behavior of these systems using a variety of mathematical techniques.

The course is project-based: the students will work alone or in groups to apply the techniques learned in class to problems of their choosing. For more information, you can look at the Course Announcement or visit the course webpage.


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