A cellular automata is a set of simple rules on a grid that, given time, will exhibit complex behavior. These are used for a number of purposes, including modeling real-world behavior like simulating a forest fire or a computer. At every timestep, each cell in the grid is updated according to the rules of the cellular automata. These rules give rise to patterns; for example, a glider is a pattern that translates across the grid while oscillating. Gliders and other patterns can interact with each other by colliding, and these collisions can be used to simulate computation.

Unfortunately, simulating computation with gliders makes for a complicated image. We simplify this by defining a new cellular automata that abstracts away complex patterns into single cells. We then show how to use this automata to model logic gates and discuss how this could be used to compute.

Nate Dwyer, ’18

Mathematics & Statistics

Lexington, MA

James Freeman