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Wolfram Summer School

June 24–July 14, 2018
Bentley University, Waltham, MA


Thomas Speller

Class of 2004


Thomas's current position is as a Ph.D. candidate in the Engineering Systems Division of MIT's School of Engineering. This is an interdisciplinary division concentrating particularly on complex engineering systems. His specialization is in the emerging science of system architecture. Prior to this new career path in research and education, he worked in the aerospace industry for 27 years, and over time became the Chairman, President, and CEO of a company that manufactures automatic joining systems for automated assembly of aerostructures. After diversifying his interests in this enterprise, he has taken on this new educational adventure.

His educational background: M.S., MIT, System Design and Management, Engineering Systems Division; M.B.A., University of Chicago; Electro-Mechanical Engineering, University of Buffalo; B.S., Ohio University, majors in Economics, Chemistry, and Psychology.

Project: System Architecture from the Bottom Up of Arches and Bridges Using Cellular Automata and Assembly Theory Satisfying a Specification

A force flow can be viewed as a directed graph and equivalently as a force, moment, and constraint matrix. The force flow graph appears to be analogous to water running down a mountain minimizing angular momenta as the water finds its path. The goal for building a wall is to find a cellular automaton that will specify the bricks, but the goal for understanding the physics of the wall is to find a cellular automaton that will give the force flow.

Favorite Two-Color, Radius-2 Rule

Rule chosen: 1001833333