Ant colonies have long fascinated humans, not the least due to their parallels with human societies: millions of individuals with no central control, spanning many lifetimes and a large territory, yet able to solve complex problems through cooperation and division of labor. How do they do it? I attended a lecture by Deborah Gordon, a biologist at Stanford, on her decades-long research on ants. Later I found out that this TED talk she did on the same topic is remarkably close to the lecture she delivered. Enjoy!