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SFI Omidyar Fellow Simon DeDeo describes his interest in "natural computation" -- in particular whether researchers can describe and analyze conflicts in animal societies as a series of computations.

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"We can think of a computation as 'you have a problem, what steps do you take to solve it?'" he says. In an animal population, the problem might be who should be leading the group, for example.

The different ways animals use to solve that problem have a mathematical structure that can tell us a great deal about the nature of design in evolution, he says.

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