Fellows WS 2015/16

What is a particle?

Methods of computer-aided data analysis, including Monte Carlo simulations, were introduced into high-energy physics in the 1950s, and historian Peter Galison (1997) has studied their impact on experimental practices, showing how simulations came to be regarded as experiments in their own right. I shall investigate how these techniques shaped theoretical practices and, in particular, I will ask how they contributed to transform the notion of “particle” around 1960. It was at that time that a group of high-energy phenomena observed since the early 1950s and known as “resonances” came to be regarded by the physics community as “particles” in their own right.


Visualization and Simulation of Architecture

My project deals with the question of imagery in architecture in relation to digital culture. In particular, it examines computer-based renderings of hyper-stylized perspectival visualizations, their atmospheres and narratives, and their visions for architectural and urban development. Thus I will focus on those changes that have occurred in the relationships among image, architecture and urban development. Indeed, the development and economic supremacy of mega-cities is often based on the staging of iconic buildings and the circulation within mass media of images that embody their utopic qualities. Rendering offices have specialized in producing images that create a narrative through juxtaposition.


Simulation of quantum phenomena

Currently I am focused on foundational issues, in particular on the development of discrete-event simulation of quantum phenomena and on establishing a bridge between objective knowledge gathered through simulation or experiment and their description in terms of concepts.


The Staging of Computer Simulations

The starting point for my research project will be a small number of artistic projects I did on urban simulation in cities like Manchester, Bradford and Lüneburg. Analysing urban simulation software and the staging of urban simulation will lead towards a critical assessment of types of CS-staging. Historic context will have to be looked into as well as the aesthetic framing of simulation, because it is not likely that Brenda Laurel captures the whole picture when she states that “the representation is all there is.” (Laurel 2013: 116).


Simulation and Game

My researches are questioning the epistemological status of computer-based simulations: In classical sense, do simulations equal experiments as theoretically predicted results? Or rather, due to their algorithmic structure, are they changing fundamentally the semantic and syntactic status of scientific theories as i.e. Paul Humphreys has argued? Or, as theoretically modeled and algorithmically programmed operations, are they especially delivering those insights which, in case of success, simply confirm the theory models applied as their condition? Epistemologically seen in the sense of Wittgenstein’s remark on notions, do simulations receive their meaning only through their use?


Simulation und Annäherung

Cui bono? Wem dient es, wenn Annäherung und Simulation auf bestimmte Art und Weise in Beziehung zueinander gesetzt werden? Diese klassische quellenkritische Frage möchte ich an wissenschaftliche und technische Publikationen aus den letzten drei Jahrzehnten richten. Mein Interesse gilt dabei vor allen Dingen Simulationstechniken, die für die Planung und Umsetzung von Zutritten verwendet wurden. Der Quellenkorpus wird auf Formate ausgerichtet, die Annäherungen beschreiben.

Adiabatic quantum computation

My current research interests include adiabatic quantum computation and the operation of the D-Wave Two quantum computer, quantum statistical physics, computational electrodynamics, discrete-event simulation of and the application of logical inference to quantum phenomena.


Machinization of Mental Labor & Art

In particular, I will keep an eye on computer art (better: algorithmic art), in particular on the simulation of randomness that plays an enormous role in that art. Meanwhile, a diploma thesis has been finished (Arjan Hoelke). Perhaps, the two of us can collaborate on some new kind of work. I want to position my Lüneburg work around the triangle of simulation / randomness / art (= media). This is still abstract, more a declaration of intent than a plan for action. Above all, however, I want to finish neglected work that has dearly been longing for completion. As I succeed in this, new work is to be taken up.


The Computation of Energy Conservation

At MECS I hope to more fully address the computational history of energy conservation, and the simulation of energy demand, and to reflect upon this engagement with the support of the MECS community. Before working at RAND, Roberts’ was taught by computer scientist Dana Scott (1932-) whose work on finite automata was closely linked to Alan Turing’s work on ‘universal machines’ and Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitt’s work on ‘neural nets’. Given the significance of these figures in the history of computing, I wish to explore the relation between Roberts’ work and the wider intellectual history of automation and simulation. Alongside this genealogical work, I hope to be able to reconstruct aspects of Roberts’ energy demand forecasting model, and to reflect on this simulation to reconsider the relation between computation and the political economy of energy resources.