Principles of Biological Computation

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  • Dates: May 19 - May 21, 2008
  • Location: Santa Fe Institute, Noyce Conference Room
  • Conference Hotel: Hotel Santa Fe
  • Pre-conference reception: May 18, 7:00 pm; Hotel Santa Fe
  • Conference dinner: May 19, Place: TBA
  • Please note that this event is by invitation only.
You will need to contact the Organizers if you want to attend the event.


Computational Biology is not Biological Computation. The order matters. Whereas Computational Biology typically involves the application of computational tools (models, data bases, etc) to the analysis of genetic, anatomical, physiological and behavioral data, Biological Computation seeks to isolate the elusive (and in many cases still undiscovered) computational primitives employed by naturally evolved systems, often abstracted from any particular physical implementation or specific species. Unfortunately, many conferences that address Biological Computation often do so as part of larger gatherings devoted to an entire field (i.e. the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting) in which the directly relevant presentations are widely scattered and general principles are difficult to synthesize. Even smaller, more focused conferences still typically mix research on computational methods with studies of how biological systems actually compute (often with a healthy dose of Systems Biology thrown in as well) or else include a heavy focus on Applications whose connection to "real" biology may be tenuous at best. The purpose of this workshop is to provide a forum in which the focus is exclusively on how natural biological systems compute. What are the computational primitives underlying biological computing and how can the corresponding principles be abstracted away from the physical implementation?