The NCEAS Logo

About the NCEAS Logo and the
Lorenz Attractor


The NCEAS logo is derived from the Lorenz "butterfly", a beautiful strange attractor produced by the equations of MIT meteorologist Edward Lorenz. That  this elegant representation of nature can arise from clever computation is a  source of inspiration for NCEAS.    

The butterfly itself is also an apt symbol for NCEAS, which is located along a stretch of the California coast that hosts the most renowned Monarch butterfly over-wintering site in the western United States. Fittingly, two NCEAS Informatics products have been named in honor of members of this remarkable insect order: Monarch, an early workflow prototyping experiment, and Morpho, a metadata and data management software product, named for a genus of neotropical butterflies.    

Especially in this era of global climate change, the  problems tackled by NCEAS researchers resonate as much as ever in the immortal words of Lorenz himself: "Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil  set off a tornado in Texas?" 


The Lorenz attractor is an icon of chaos theory  

Photo Source for images:
Wikipedia Commons

Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus)