Here’s something you don’t read every day. A new study of human war over the past 600 years that it appears to follow power law distribution.
The thinking goes like this. Society is a complex web of social, political, and economic forces that depend on the network of links between individuals and the countries they represent. These links are constantly rearranging, sometimes because of violence and death. When the level of rearrangement and associated violence rises above a threshold level, we describe the resulting pattern as war.
The second step is building a machine learning system that can predict when the next large-scale conflict is likely to occur. Or maybe we’ll have dystopian war AIs that will use this information against us.
Dr. John Gustafson is a professor of computer science, now at The National University of Singapore. He holds a Ph.D. in Applied mathematics from Iowa State University and also specializes in high performance (supercomputer) computing. (HPC). He’s worked at Sun Labs, Clearspeed Technology, Massively Parallel Technology, Intel, and AMD. At an early age, he was fascinated by chemistry and also had a good sized electronics lab in his basement (thanks to indulgent parents). But by the time he started his undergraduate degree at Cal Tech, he’d settled on applied mathematics with physics as a second major. It was at Cal Tech where he met and was influenced by the Nobel Prize winning physicist, Dr. Richard Feynman. John, describes his career arc, and at the end has some great advice for young scientists just getting started.