Can a computer ultimately augment or replace human invention?
IMAGINE A LEGO SET AT YOUR DISPOSAL: Bricks, rods, wheels, motors, sensors and logic are your atomic building blocks, and you must find a way to put them together to achieve a given high-level functionality: A machine that can move itself, say. You know the physics of the individual components’ behaviors; you know the repertoire of pieces available, and you know how they are allowed to connect. But how do you determine the combination that gives you the desired functionality? This is the problem of Synthesis. Although we do it and teach it all the time, we do not have a formal model of how this can be done automatically. More… Visit the Computational Synthesis Lab See also: The end of engineering’s hegemony Bio In 2001 Hod Lipson joined the departments of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and the faculty of Computing & Information Science of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. He is also a member of the Computer Science and Computational Biology graduate fields at Cornell. Prior to th