I have a Jekyll blog

With my SF writer hat on, I’ve spoken about and posted articles on my work as a simulation scientist many times. Every now and then, someone asks me for my code and whether it’s on Github. I always feel slightly sheepish because my simulations tend to pull from a large library of support classes I’ve built up, and I’ve been hopeless at documenting them. Add to that my reluctance to throw myself into the world of Git and what you get is a pretty poor track record for sharing my work.

I want to fix that. In this blog, I want to talk specifically about simulations and share code that people can adapt and explore for themselves. I’m going to try to rewrite a lot of it in Javascript so that it’s browser accessible.

I’m also going to try to talk about what I think simulation science can do and what it’s for. I’ve felt for a long time that simulation is an incredibly powerful tool that can allow curious non-scientists to reach the frontiers of human understanding within just two pages of code. I see the power to simulate the world as providing a kind of augmented intuition – rather like the way that mathematics helps us understand the world, but with different powers and emphasis.

For instance, try to model self-organized criticality mathematically and you will be struggling alongside some of the smartest people on the planet. Check out Per Bak’s wonderful book for details. Build a model for yourself to get an intuitive understanding of how it works and you will have something to look at after about twenty lines of Javascript. This is the power of simulation.

Written on June 29, 2017 by Alex Lamb