About Universal Rule

This weblog is a personal notebook. I'll write about working in the information technology (IT) environment: notes and hints on how to survive in this rapidly changing world.

About the Author

My science background is in physics and applied mathematics. Since graduating I have worked for about 15 years in the field of computational science: supercomputers, applied mathematics, numerical analysis, programming, and mathematical software.

I have been involved with supercomputing since 1988. I have worked with vector supercomputers (IBM 3090 VF, Cray X-MP, Cray C94, Convex C3800), parallel supercomputers (Cray T3E, SGI Origin 2000, IBM SP, IBM SC), and clusters (PC and Alpha).

My responsibilities have usually included documentation, used support, training, and consultation, for example in code optimization, parallel computing, and numerical methods. The user guides which we have been written for these systems have been used also on other sites besides ours.

My name is printed on the cover of about 50 books, for example on Fortran 90/95, optimization, and numerical methods. I have published about 400 articles in journals, newspapers and magazines. I have also organized about two dozen courses, some short 1-5 day courses, some longer full semester courses and seminars. (See a listing of some books available on the web.)

Currently I lead a multi-disciplinary group of experts. I also have a small career as a columnist for an IT magazine in Finland.

If you are interested in my background, check the CV in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Or have a look at books available in PDF format.

What is this weblog?

This weblog is work in progress. I'll focus on science, IT, and writing. These are the three topics I have been involved for the most of my working life.

In addition to short daily entries, I'm planning on including longer texts. Here are links to some examples:


I have noticed that some of the opinion pieces do not feel like I had written them. That is partly due to my lack of English, and partly due to writing without polishing. Usually I read, edit, and rewrite my texts 4-7 times. Here I'm not doing that, partly because of lack of time, and partly because I don't want blogging to be too serious. So far I have written 4852 postings to this weblog.

About Cellular Automata

I studied cellular automata (CA) for my masters thesis about ten years ago. Now the topic is again popular due to Stephen Wolfram's book A New Kind of Science. However, I'm a sceptic of the promises made by Wolfram.

In any case, the name I gave to this site is from CA terminology, pointing to a cellular automaton which is capable of universal computation. Here is an illustration of a CA in action (using Mathematica software):

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