vonNeumannSelfReproducingAutomata

vonNeumannSelfReproducingAutomata - John von Neumann...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
John von Neumann COLLECTED WORKS GENERAL EDITOR A. H. TAUB RESEARCH PROFESSOR OF APPLIED MATHEMATICS DIGITAL COMPUTER LABORATORY UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS Volume v DESIGN OF COMPUTERS, THEORY OF AUTOMATA AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS PERGAMON PRESS
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
THE GENERAL AND LOGICAL THEORY OF AUTOMATA JOHN VON NEUMANN The Institute for Advanced Study I have to ask your forbearance for appearing here, since I am an outsider to most of the fields which form the subject of this conference. Even in the area in which I have some experience, that of the logics and structure of automata, my connections are almost entirely on one side, the mathematical side. The usefulness of what I am going to say, if any, will therefore be limited to this: I may be able to give you a picture of the mathematical approach to these problems, and to prepare you for the experiences that you will have when you come into closer contact with mathematicians. This should orient you as to the ideas and the attitudes which you may then expect to encounter. I hope to get your judgment of the modus procedendi and the distribution of emphases that I am going to use. I feel that I need instruction even in the limiting area between our fields more than you do, and I hope that I shall receive it from your criticisms. Automata have been playing a continuously increasing, and have by now attained a very considerable, role in the natural sciences. This is a process that has been going on for several decades. During the last part of this period automata have begun to invade certain parts of mathematics too-particularly, but not exclusively, mathematical physics or applied mathematics. Their role in mathematics presents an interesting counterpart to certain functional aspects of organization in nature. Natural organisms are, as a rule, much more complicated This paper is an only slightly edited version of one that was read at the Hixon Symposium on September 20, 1948, in Pasadena, California. Since it was delivered as a single lecture, it was not feasible to go into as much detail on every point as would have been desirable for a final publication. In the present write-up it seemed appropriate to follow the dispositions of the talk; therefore this paper, too, is in many places more sketchy than desirable. It is to be taken only as a general outline of ideas and of tendencies. A detailed account will be published on another occasion. 288 and subtle, and therefore much less well understood in detail, than are artificial automata. Nevertheless, some regularities which we observe in the organization of the former may be quite instructive in our thinking and planning of the latter; and conversely, a good deal of our experiences and difficulties with our artificial automata can be to some extent projected on our interpretations of natural organisms. PRELIMINARY CONSIDERATIONS
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 22

vonNeumannSelfReproducingAutomata - John von Neumann...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online