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VisWall at Tufts' Center for Scientific Visualization (Image 4)

VisWall at Tufts University's Center for Scientific Visualization

Tufts University Mathematics Professor Boris Hasselblatt views a mathematical model of butterfly populations as they fluctuated through successive generations on the Visualization Wall at Tufts University's Center for Scientific Visualization. The model, used for research in dynamical systems theory, is based on a simple formula and is well-known to anyone familiar with chaos theory.

Visualizing the large population dataset with the 14-foot-wide, high-resolution graphical display enabled Hasselblatt to detect anomalies impossible to perceive with conventional displays: subtle traces of curving lines that he said indicated irregularities in variations in the population. The lines extended over different areas of the model and then converged at one distinct point. Hasselblatt has looked at smaller images of this classic model many times during the last 20 years but had never recognized this convergence. (Date image taken: 2008; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Sept. 20, 2017) [Image 4 of 6 related images. See Image 5.]

Credit: Melody Ko/Tufts University; ©2008 Trustees of Tufts College
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