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information theory

Abstractions blog

How to Use a Sphere to Talk to Mars

April 12, 2017

To avoid garbled messages, mathematicians might translate them into geometric form.

Illustration: life as a computation efficiently storing & using predictive info
information theory

How Life (and Death) Spring From Disorder

January 26, 2017

Life was long thought to obey its own set of rules. But as simple systems show signs of lifelike behavior, scientists are arguing about whether this apparent complexity is all a consequence of thermodynamics.


The Information Theory of Life

November 19, 2015

The polymath Christoph Adami is investigating life’s origins by reimagining life as self-perpetuating information strings.


The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology

September 3, 2014

Nature’s large-scale patterns emerge from incomplete surveys that borrow ideas from information theory.

Photograph of Saturn and its moons.

A New Tool to Help Mathematicians Pack

December 20, 2013

Improvements in how densely spheres and other shapes can be packed together could lead to advances in materials science, deep space communication and theoretical physics.