June 24–July 13, 2018

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Wolfram Summer School

June 24–July 13, 2018
Bentley University, Waltham, MA


Zachary Cooper

Class of 2006


Zac is currently working on his bachelor's degrees in molecular biology, biochemistry, and applied mathematics at Humboldt State University in northern California.

Project: Metabolic Strings

The aim of this project is to model a network of biochemical reactions. The possible reactants will be represented by a list of strings, each composed of two distinct elements ("A" and "B"). The criteria for a reaction to take place will be implemented by a set of substitution rules (i.e. AB->BA , BBA->AA). This network has two distinct reactions, anabolic and catabolic, which determine the growth and diversity of the overall network. The former compares each element of the initial list to one another and reacts if a specific pattern (AB) emerges when the two strings are put together. The overlapping region is substituted according to the rules, and the resulting strings are joined together. The strings produced at this step are then fed into the catabolic reaction, which simply cuts the strings behind a specific pattern (BBA) and alters the resulting end by adding a short sequence (AA). This system is visualized using a multiway network diagram that tracks the ancestry of each string. I expect the size of the strings to grow infinitely if the anabolic rule dominates the behavior of the system, and the size of the strings to remain small if the catabolic rule is dominant.

Favorite Four-Color, Radius-1/2 Rule

Rule chosen: 3567362484