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e pluribus unum?

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Contemporary science is a huge undertaking, ranging from the inanimate and almost unimaginably enormous, as in cosmology, to the study of living processes, as in molecular biology and ecology. So varied and diverse does today's science appear that it is difficult sometimes to see the threads linking such apparently different intellectual disciplines. It is very pleasing therefore that this issue of Scientific Computing World contains some pertinent reminders of common themes and common methods.

 

Contemporary science is a huge undertaking, ranging from the inanimate and almost unimaginably enormous, as in cosmology, to the study of living processes, as in molecular biology and ecology. So varied and diverse does today's science appear that it is difficult sometimes to see the threads linking such apparently different intellectual disciplines. It is very pleasing therefore that this issue of Scientific Computing World contains some pertinent reminders of common themes and common methods.

Life-support systems in hospitals, the behaviour of slime molds, and the workings of industrial process plant, can all be understood in terms of control theory - for which software packages are now available, as described in the article by Brian Cogan on this website. Similarly, data analysis and visualisation software intended for the life sciences has much to offer other disciplines also, as Felix Grant discovers in his review article on Biosoft. Not so much 'unity out of many', as the founders of the USA put it; rather, 'diversity out of unity'.

Dr Tom Wilkie
Dr Tom Wilkie