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Proceedings of the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems

ALIFE 14, the Fourteenth International Conference on the Synthesis and Simulation of Living Systems, presents the current state of the art of Artificial Life—the highly interdisciplinary research area on artificially constructed living systems, including mathematical, computational, robotic, and biochemical ones. The understanding and application of such generalized forms of life, or “life as it could be,” have been producing significant contributions to various fields of science and engineering.

ECAL 2015 showcases a wide range of topics in Artificial Life, bringing together world-leading researchers to discuss the latest advances in Artificial Life, discussing the main conference themes of Embodiment, Interaction, Conversation.

Working with Leigh Star

Susan Leigh Star (1954–2010) was one of the most influential science studies scholars of the last several decades. In her work, Star highlighted the messy practices of discovering science, asking hard questions about the marginalizing as well as the liberating powers of science and technology. In the landmark work Sorting Things Out, Star and Geoffrey Bowker revealed the social and ethical histories that are deeply embedded in classification systems.

Users, Communities, and Open Innovation

The last two decades have witnessed an extraordinary growth of new models of managing and organizing the innovation process that emphasizes users over producers. Large parts of the knowledge economy now routinely rely on users, communities, and open innovation approaches to solve important technological and organizational problems. This view of innovation, pioneered by the economist Eric von Hippel, counters the dominant paradigm, which cast the profit-seeking incentives of firms as the main driver of technical change.

Selected Writings on Open Access, 2002–2011

Peter Suber has been a leading advocate for open access since 2001 and has worked full time on issues of open access since 2003. As a professor of philosophy during the early days of the internet, he realized its power and potential as a medium for scholarship.

Essays in Honor of John D.C. Little

John D. C. Little of MIT’s Sloan School of Management is famous for his contributions to operations research and marketing science. He formulated a fundamental theorem in queuing theory known as Little’s Law, which is used widely in a variety of fields. His work on such topics as optimal advertising experimentation, advertising budgeting, and aggregate marketing models, and its subsequent applications, has generated entire streams of research.

On Software and Sovereignty

What has planetary-scale computation done to our geopolitical realities? In The Stack, Benjamin Bratton proposes that smart grids, cloud computing, mobile software and smart cities, universal addressing systems, ubiquitous computing, and other types of apparently unrelated planetary-scale computation can be viewed as forming a coherent whole—an accidental megastructure called The Stack that is both a computational apparatus and a new geopolitical architecture.

A maker of visually elegant and conceptually intricate games, Jason Rohrer is among the most widely heralded art game designers in the short but vibrant history of the field. His games range from the elegantly simple to others of almost Byzantine complexity. Passage (2007)—acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York—uses game rules and procedurals to create a contemporary memento mori that captures an entire lifetime in five minutes. In Chain World (2011), each subsequent player of the game’s single copy modifies the rules of the universe.

A Novel

One day, I was not famous, the next day, I was almost famous and the temptation to go wide with that and reject my past was too great. When I was legit famous, it was hard to tell when the change had occurred... If I had been born famous, the moment I would have started engaging in social media, I would have seen this fame, not the rise of it. But first I saw the low numbers, and later, the high ones.
—from Surveys

Although it is among the oldest of market institutions, the auction is ubiquitous in today’s economy, used for everything from government procurement to selling advertising on the Internet to course assignment at MIT’s Sloan School. And yet beyond the small number of economists who specialize in the subject, few people understand how auctions really work. This concise, accessible, and engaging book explains both the theory and the practice of auctions.

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