Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Amazing Algorithms," by Mark J. Schnitzer, Nature, 18 April 2002.

"Every physical system performs a computation by realizing a solution tothe dynamic equations that govern its physical behaviour. However,physical computing is more interesting in the narrower domain in which aset of physical variables represents the values of another set ofmathematical ones." The premise of this article on biologicalcomputation is that the biological entity is the "user" of thecomputation, and that the survival of an individual in a species restson remarkable computations---algorithms---performed by that organism'sown physiology.

--- Annette Emerson