Special session on Physics and Computation at the Conference on Unconventional Computation & Natural Computation 2015

The interaction between the theory of computation and physical systems forms a mutually rich domain of research beyond the traditional use of mathematics as a tool to model and understand the behaviour of physical systems. The techniques and methods of the theory of computation and information permit new insights into physical systems and processes, and in turn these systems open up the possibility of new methods of computation (e.g. quantum and DNA computation) and new approaches to certain problems.

This workshop is an interdisciplinary meeting that will bring together researchers from various domains with interests in physics and computation. Research and important issues relating to the interface between the theories of computation, computability and information and their application to physical systems will be presented and discussed.

Topics of Interest (non-exhaustive):

  • Axiomatisation of physics: completeness, decidability, reduction
  • Church-Turing thesis
  • Dynamical systems: computability, complexity
  • Hypercomputation
  • Novel models of computation
  • Philosophy of physics and computation
  • Quantum computation and information
  • Quantum logics
  • Randomness: quantum, dynamical & physical randomness
  • Molecular computation and reaction-diffusion models
  • Multiple-substrate computation
  • Relativistic computation
  • Theory of measurement: axiomatisation, complexity

PROGRAMME (Wed 2 September)

The workshop has unfortunately had to be shortened to a special session on Physics and Computation.

  • 14:00–14:30: Susan Stepney, Abstraction and Representation in Physical Computing
  • 14:30–15:00: Celestine Preetham Lawrence, IQ of a Physical System

Invited speaker

Susan Stepney (University of York), in lieu of Clare Horsman

Title: Abstraction and Representation in Physical Computing

Which physical systems are computers? This seemingly simple question impacts on a huge range of areas, from the development of new computing technologies, to the role played by computing in biology, and fundamental issues of how physical reality relates to the abstract concepts of information and computation. The lack of consensus on how to address these issues has lead to confusion over new computing technologies (such as the controversy over the D-Wave ‘quantum computer’), the unclear use of computing analogies in biological descriptions, and even claims that every physical process is a computation.

Instructions for Authors

Authors are invited to submit original papers (12 pages maximum) and/or extended abstracts (4-5 pages) to be presented at the conference by 11 May 2015.

Submissions should be prepared in LaTeX/PDF using the EPTCS style (http://style.eptcs.org/) and submitted via EasyChair using the link


The papers must not have been submitted simultaneously to other conferences or workshops with published proceedings. All accepted papers must be presented at the conference.

The proceedings will be published in Electronic Proceeding in Theoretical Computer Science (EPTCS) and will be available online prior to the conference date. Following the conference, we will invite revised and extended versions of the accepted papers to be considered for publication in a special issue of the International Journal of Unconventional Computing.

Important Dates

  • Submissions Deadline: CLOSED
  • Notification of Acceptance: 6 July 2015
  • Final Versions Due: 4 August 2015
  • Workshop: 2 September 2015

Conference Participation

PC 2015 is part of the broader UCNC conference and all costs are included in registration for the primary conference. To attend, please register for the conference at:
We hope to see you in Auckland in 2015. If you have any questions about the workshop, do not hesitate to contact Alastair Abbott at a.abbott AT auckland.ac.nz.

Program Committee

  • Alastair Abbott (University of Auckland; École Normale Supérieure, Paris)
  • Pablo Arrighi (Aix-Marseille University)
  • Edwin Beggs (Swansea University)
  • Cristian Calude (University of Auckland)
  • Jerzy Górecki (Institute of Physical Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences)

  • Viv Kendon (Durham University)
  • Oron Shagrir (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  • Mike Stannett (University of Sheffield)
  • Susan Stepney (University of York)
  • Karl Svozil (Technical University of Vienna)

Organising Committee

  • Alastair Abbott (University of Auckland, École Normale Supérieure, Paris), a.abbott AT auckland.ac.nz
  • Viv Kendon (Durham University), viv.kendon AT durham.ac.uk
  • Susan Stepney (University of York), susan.stepney AT york.ac.uk
Skip to toolbar