Class 4.2: Four Paradigms of Science, according to Microsoft Research

Methodology of Scientific Research

Andrés Aravena, PhD

March 10, 2022

1. Empiric (since prehistoric times)

  • observation of isolated facts
  • description of related facts
  • e.g. Botany, naming stars,
  • Represented by the Arab astronomers, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Carl Linneaus

2. Theoretical (Renaissance)

  • Abstract models and theories
  • Usually expressed in mathematical formulas
  • Correct predictions validate the models
  • e.g. Mendel laws of inheritance, Darwin natural selection theory, Kepler law of planet’s motion, Newton’s law of Gravity

3. Simulation Based (Mid 20th century)

  • Models that cannot be expressed in formulas
  • Formulas that cannot be solved
  • e.g. Protein structure prediction, three body problem, galaxy modeling
  • Computational Astronomy, Computational Biology

Represented by John Von Neumann

4. Data Based (21st century)

  • Discovering patterns hidden in data
  • Huge volumes of data
  • Complex interactions
  • e.g. Bioinformatics, Astroinformatics, Data mining
  • Big Data, Machine Learning