Biology

Why do cheetahs have spots? / Pourquoi les guépards ont-ils des taches ?

In 1952, Alan Turing published an article called The Chemical Basis of Morphogenesis in which he offered an idea as to how reaction-diffusion equations could help explain various biological structures: the spacing of rows of alligator teeth, the spots on cheetahs, the position of leaves on some plants… Beside the article itself that is quite fascinating, it’s interesting to see that today, nearly 70 years later, there is still no scientific consensus on whether to accept or deny his theory.

Read More »Why do cheetahs have spots? / Pourquoi les guépards ont-ils des taches ?

Are we like Skinner’s pigeon? / Sommes-nous comme le pigeon de Skinner ?

During the 20th century, the American psychologist and behaviorist B. F. Skinner studied behavior analysis and conditioning and wrote various novels about human behavior. Since then, his work has been quoted many times and even applied to some of our contemporary systems in fields as diverse as video games, education or work management.

Read More »Are we like Skinner’s pigeon? / Sommes-nous comme le pigeon de Skinner ?

A peek at genetic algorithms

In computer science, genetic algorithms are metaheuristics that help solve optimization problems. Those evolutionary algorithms are inspired by the Darwinian evolution process and rely on iterative generation breeding to get from a (mostly random) initial population of individuals to one that counts many individuals “well-fit” for the task at hand.
Read More »A peek at genetic algorithms