Professor John Casti
Santa Fe Institute and Technical University of Vienna
Title: "BizSim: The World of Business in a Box"
Prof. Casti is an applied system modeler engaged in a collection of activities running the gamut from atmospheric radiative transfer to the shift of racial mixes in urban housing distribution and a good bit in between, with my more recent interests focusing upon the role of biological metaphors for economic and other social phenomena. He is broadly interested in complex systems and how they can be described, modelled and understood.
Books and current research interest include:
1989 Alternate Realities: Mathematical Models of Nature and Man (Wiley, 1989), a text-reference constituting the written version of a set of lectures I periodically give on system modeling at the Technical University of Vienna.
1989 Paradigms Lost: Images of Man in the Mirror of Science(Morrow, New York)
1991 Searching for Certainty, (Morrow, New York) deals with the degree to which the science of today is in a position to predict and/or explain everyday phenomena like the weather, the outbreak of warfare, or the fluctuation of stock market prices.
1993 - Reality Rules
1994, Complexification (HarperCollins, New York) is an account of the strange and wondrous behavior of the myriad types of complex systems we encounter in nature and in daily life.
1995 Five Golden Rules (Wiley, New York). This book is a layman's account of five great theorems of 20th-century mathematics and the great theories that have emerged from them.
1997 Would-Be Worlds (Wiley, New York, 1997). This is a volume outlining the transformation that large-scale computer simulation is bringing to the world of science.
1998 The Cambridge Quintet (Little, Brown, London and Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1998), a fictional account of a dinner party convened by novelist C. P. Snow in Cambridge, UK in 1949, involving the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, the mathematician Alan Turing, the physicist Erwin Schroedinger and the biologist J. B. S. Haldane. The question of the possibility of creation of a thinking machine is the focus of the dinner conversation at this party.
2000 Paradigms Regained (Morrow, NY), a sequel to Paradigms Lost, and Five More Golden Rules (Wiley, NY), a second volume of great theories of 20th-century Mathematics.
Current research interests center about the development of a coherent
theoretical framework for naturally incorporating the characteristic
features of living systems, self-repair and replication, into the standard
Newtonian framework generally used to model nonliving phenomena in physics,
chemistry and engineering. I am also engaged in exploring the question of
whether or not there are limits to our ability to answer questions in the
natural sciences by scientific means. This work involves making a bridge
between the ``impossibility'' results of Turing, Goedel and Chaitin in
mathematics and questions in physics, biology and economics that are of