Nathan Baur is entering his senior year at Cornell College, where he is studying mathematics, computer science, and art history.
Project: 3-Color Totalistic Rule 2058
The 3-color totalistic rule 2058 will readily produce complex structures from random initial conditions, but few such structures persist for more than several hundred steps before becoming periodic. Originally, the goal was to discover an initial condition that could create a region of complexity that would expand into black surroundings. Because typical random initial conditions settle into mostly black periodicity, if a complex and robust initial condition were to appear by chance as part of a large random initial condition it would be able to "take over" the long-term behavior of the rule. Unfortunately, it was discovered early in the project that it is actually impossible for any structure to penetrate black regions. As a result, focus shifted to the task of searching for an environment that minimizes the appearance of black regions within complex structures.
Favorite Radius 3/2 Rule
My favorite 2-color radius 3/2 rule is 23106 for entirely aesthetic reasons.