Roger Antonsen

Associate Professor of Computer Science
University of Oslo
Oslo, Norway
I am a logician, mathematician, computer scientist, researcher, inventor, author, columnist, lecturer, science communicator, and public speaker. I work at the University of Oslo, where I teach Logical Methods as an Associate Professor at the Department of Informatics in the research group Logic and Intelligent Data (LogID). I am very engaged in various forms of science communication and outreach. These videos are a part of a mathematics outreach project that I have called Magical Patterns. In conjunction with a YouTube channel, I write a mathematics column for Aftenposten, the largest newspaper in Norway.
Magical Patterns: Langton's Ant
Magical Patterns: Langton's Ant
Rubicon, Abel Prize, University of Oslo
In mathematics, simple rules often give rise to systems of great complexity, and Langton's ant is a good example of this. The simple cellular automaton was invented by Christopher Langton in 1986. While we have been able to prove a few things, like universality and the fact that the ant's path is unbounded, we are nowhere near understanding the emergent behaviour of this simple automaton. It is a beautiful mystery, and also a metaphor for mathematical activity: We make assumptions and investigate the consequences of these assumptions. While the rules are simple, the consequences are not.