DIMACS Workshop on Computational Complexity, Entropy, and Statistical Physics

December 14, 2001
DIMACS Center, Rutgers Univiersity, Piscataway, NJ

Michael Fredman, Rutgers University, fredman@cs.rutgers.edu
Joel Lebowitz, Rutgers University, lebowitz@sakharov.rutgers.edu
János Komlós, Rutgers University, komlos@math.rutgers.edu
Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Mathematics and Foundations of Computer and Information Science
and the Special Focus on Computational Information Theory and Coding.

The workshop will explore some underlying connections between biology, computational complexity, discrete mathematics ,dynamical systems and statistical physics. All these disciplines use in one way or another something called entropy, a word first introduced by Rudolf Clausius in 1865 when he enunciated his famous two laws:

1.The energy of the universe stays constant
2.The entropy of the universe always increases.

But just what is entropy? It is frequently said that entropy is a measure of disorder, and while this needs many qualifications and clarifications it does represent something essential about it. We hope that by comparing the uses of entropy in these very different contexts we will be able to gain new insights into some universal aspects common to all of them.

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Document last modified on October 2, 2001.