Diego Rasskin-Gutman

Diego Rasskin-Gutman is Research Associate and Head of the Theoretical Biology Research Group at the Institute Cavanilles for Biodiversity and Evolutionary Biology, University of Valencia, Spain.

  • Chess Metaphors

    Chess Metaphors

    Artificial Intelligence and the Human Mind

    Diego Rasskin-Gutman

    How the moves of thirty-two chess pieces over sixty-four squares can help us understand the workings of the mind.

    When we play the ancient and noble game of chess, we grapple with ideas about honesty, deceitfulness, bravery, fear, aggression, beauty, and creativity, which echo (or allow us to depart from) the attitudes we take in our daily lives. Chess is an activity in which we deploy almost all our available cognitive resources; therefore, it makes an ideal laboratory for investigation into the workings of the mind. Indeed, research into artificial intelligence (AI) has used chess as a model for intelligent behavior since the 1950s. In Chess Metaphors, Diego Rasskin-Gutman explores fundamental questions about memory, thought, emotion, consciousness, and other cognitive processes through the game of chess, using the moves of thirty-two pieces over sixty-four squares to map the structural and functional organization of the brain.

    Rasskin-Gutman focuses on the cognitive task of problem solving, exploring it from the perspectives of both biology and AI. Examining AI researchers' efforts to program a computer that could beat a flesh-and-blood grandmaster (and win a world chess championship), he finds that the results fall short when compared to the truly creative nature of the human mind.

    • Hardcover $6.75
    • Paperback $14.00
  • Modularity


    Understanding the Development and Evolution of Natural Complex Systems

    Werner Callebaut and Diego Rasskin-Gutman

    Experts from diverse fields, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, developmental and evolutionary biology, and the arts, discuss modularity.

    Modularity—the attempt to understand systems as integrations of partially independent and interacting units—is today a dominant theme in the life sciences, cognitive science, and computer science. The concept goes back at least implicitly to the Scientific (or Copernican) Revolution, and can be found behind later theories of phrenology, physiology, and genetics; moreover, art, engineering, and mathematics rely on modular design principles. This collection broadens the scientific discussion of modularity by bringing together experts from a variety of disciplines, including artificial life, cognitive science, economics, evolutionary computation, developmental and evolutionary biology, linguistics, mathematics, morphology, paleontology, physics, theoretical chemistry, philosophy, and the arts.

    The contributors debate and compare the uses of modularity, discussing the different disciplinary contexts of "modular thinking" in general (including hierarchical organization, near-decomposability, quasi-independence, and recursion) or of more specialized concepts (including character complex, gene family, encapsulation, and mosaic evolution); what modules are, why and how they develop and evolve, and the implication for the research agenda in the disciplines involved; and how to bring about useful cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer on the topic. The book includes a foreword by the late Herbert A. Simon addressing the role of near-decomposability in understanding complex systems.

    • Hardcover $57.00
    • Paperback $60.00


  • Modeling Biology

    Modeling Biology

    Structures, Behaviors, Evolution

    Manfred D. Laubichler and Gerd B. Müller

    Experts examine new modeling strategies for the interpretation of biological data and their integration into the conceptual framework of theoretical biology, detailing approaches that focus on morphology, development, behavior, or evolution.

    Abstract and conceptual models have become an indispensable tool for analyzing the flood of highly detailed empirical data generated in recent years by advanced techniques in the biosciences. Scientists are developing new modeling strategies for analyzing data, integrating results into the conceptual framework of theoretical biology, and formulating new hypotheses. In Modeling Biology, leading scholars investigate new modeling strategies in the domains of morphology, development, behavior, and evolution. The emphasis on models in the biological sciences has been accompanied by a new focus on conceptual issues and a more complex understanding of epistemological concepts. Contributors to Modeling Biology discuss models and modeling strategies from the perspectives of philosophy, history, and applied mathematics. Individual chapters discuss specific approaches to modeling in such domains as biological form, development, and behavior. Finally, the book addresses the modeling of these properties in the context of evolution, with a particular emphasis on the emerging field of evolutionary developmental biology (or evo-devo).

    ContributorsGiorgio A. Ascoli, Chandrajit Bajaj, James P. Collins, Luciano da Fontoura Costa, Kerstin Dautenhahn, Nigel R. Franks, Scott Gilbert, Marta Ibañes Miguez, Juan Carlos Izpisúa-Belmonte, Alexander S. Klyubin, Thomas J. Koehnle, Manfred D. Laubichler, Sabina Leonelli, James A. R. Marshall, George R. McGhee Jr., Gerd B. Müller, Chrystopher L. Nehaniv, Karl J. Niklas, Lars Olsson, Eirikur Palsson, Daniel Polani, Diego Rasskin Gutman, Hans-Jörg Rheinberger, Alexei V. Samsonovich, Jeffrey C. Schank, Harry B. M. Uylings, Jaap van Pelt, Iain Werry

    • Hardcover $11.75
    • Paperback $40.00