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Scientific visualizations in early mathematical biology and morphology.

In 1917, Darcy W. Thompson, a pioneering mathematical biologist wrote a beautiful and exceptional demonstration about the relation between morphology and biology. Indeed, Thompson introduces its famous and elegant form of varying the Cartesian space as a tool to show the analogies between species. The central thesis of Thompson was that biologists of his day overemphasized the role of evolution, and under-emphasized the roles of physics and mechanics as determinants of the form and structure of living organisms.

 

    In his works, Thompson establishes the seminal "theory of transformations” that one species evolves into another not by successive minor changes in individual body parts but by large-scale transformations involving the body as a whole.

 

   Thompson's work is a great example of scientific data visualization to show correlations between apparently different structural phenomena.

Applications are all around, for instance, in 2005 (Search space modulation in genetic algorithms: evolving the search ...), I applied this idea to modulate the search space of an optimization problem attacked with a Genetic algorithm (GA). The approach was to allow the GA to find the right transformation of the search space in order to improve the search mechanism by incorporating the parameters that transform the search space inside the features to be evolved.

For those who haven't read the book yet, I strongly recommend it for having a good weekend

(Thompson, D W., On Growth and Form)

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