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Things of interest in Maths & Science

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Organisation can emerge from chaos in complex systems made of relatively simple parts. This mathematics of emergence helps understand networks in the brain, structures in societies, and how groups of fireflies can flash in sync without requiring a leader to keep the beat.  These animations show one mathematical model where runners running round a track can synchronise to the same pace with no leader. Each runner runs at their own pace, but adjusts it slightly if they feel they are slower or faster than their perceived average. [This can be succinctly written as a set of simple differential equations]. In the top row, each runner is more strongly coupled to the group than the bottom row. [The two animations on the right are the same as the ones on the left, except the camera is rotating with the group.] [more] [code]

Organisation can emerge from chaos in complex systems made of relatively simple parts. This mathematics of emergence helps understand networks in the brain, structures in societies, and how groups of fireflies can flash in sync without requiring a leader to keep the beat.  These animations show one mathematical model where runners running round a track can synchronise to the same pace with no leader. Each runner runs at their own pace, but adjusts it slightly if they feel they are slower or faster than their perceived average. [This can be succinctly written as a set of simple differential equations]. In the top row, each runner is more strongly coupled to the group than the bottom row. [The two animations on the right are the same as the ones on the left, except the camera is rotating with the group.] [more] [code]

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    Great book about this! It’s called Synch I believe. I highly recommend it! There’s a bit that explain sleep cycles that...
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Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

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