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Wolfram Summer SchoolFounded in 2003

16th Annual Wolfram Summer School, held at Bentley University June 24–July 13, 2018


Russell Foltz-Smith

Class of 2008


Russell Foltz-Smith is the principal and lead technology researcher of Crossroads Access, LLC., a product research and development company focused on an experimental analysis of behavior approach to product design. He is also an applied scholar who enjoys number theory, complexity, and learning theory. He received his BA in mathematics from the University of Chicago and now works from his garage in Venice, California.

NKS provides a conceptual backdrop and formal system helpful in analyzing complex real-world phenomena that resist prediction and control. There is constant pressure in business to forecast, model, predict, and respond faster and more accurately while our data streams, interaction with users, and competition grow faster than our abilities.

Project: Perturbing Turing Machines

Perturbations to elementary cellular automata have been investigated thoroughly. Under a certain level of perturbation, there are slight changes to local patterns but the automata tend to recover globally. The more complicated rules show greater disturbance but still can tolerate perturbations. This study considers similar perturbations to Turing machines.

Do Turing machines exhibit similar behavior?

"And the reason this is important is that in any real experiment, there are inevitably perturbations on the system one is looking at" (NKS p. 324). We must account for the effects of perturbations to draw any connections between these simple constructs and their natural counterparts.

Favorite Radius 3/2 Rule

Rule 39947

Rule 39947 has a little bit of everything we're looking for in automata. It's regular and random. It is interesting in many configurations. Gliders at various points indicate to me that we can make this do fun things like counting or encoding in interesting ways.

Did I mention it reminds me of space invaders (the classic video game)?

As far as my artistic impression... I love the idea of those gliders on the right escaping. Little rogue space invaders breaking free!