Can Computers Teach Us About Evolution of Cooperation?

Evolution can be merciless. It selects for success and banishes failure. It is therefore natural to assume that it favours genes that help themselves and not others. Yet for some reason, cooperative behaviour has managed to evolve, with no solid explanation as to why. But thanks to computer technology, we may now be closer to […]

HECToR: The 300 million dollar computer

In April 2003 UK’s national hero of informatics, HPCx, was the second most powerful supercomputer in the world, but a new superhero was destined to substitute it within four years: HECToR’s time had arrived. HECToR, whose acronym stays for High End Computing Terascale Resources, started to be under the spotlights in October 2007 and is […]

Birth of a galaxy

8 months in the making, this simulation is the most detailed picture of how the Milky Way formed. For more information visit http://www.hpc-ch.org/blog/2011/08/25/first-realistic-simulation-of-the-formation-of-the-milky-way-computed-at-cscs/

The volcanic tsunami that broke an empire

3700 years ago, Mount Thera exploded with a force that ruptured the fabric of an entire civilisation. Humans had been coping with the area’s angry tectonics for centuries, but for the Minoans of Crete, something made this eruption truly devastating. In 2000, scientists found tsunami traces in sediments from Crete and Turkey. Now, researchers have […]

The Dance of the Starlings

This amazing video by Mark Rigler demonstrates the beautiful complexity that exists throughout the natural world. Like a Bach fugue, patterns emerge and fade, interweave, and are exquisitely modified to form an endless variety of beautiful structures. The end result seems too complicated, too ordered, too apparently designed to have appeared by chance. But, like […]