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Wolfram Summer SchoolFounded in 2003

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


Traian Turcu

Class of 2010


I am an undergraduate student from Romania, studying computer science. I am interested in psychology, astrophysics, and research in general. I like travelling and discovering new things and new people.

Project: Properties of Viral Ideas Based on Cellular Automata Study, or The Best Way to Hammer a Nail

New ideas emerge every moment, yet very few actually become viral. Through this project, I analyze the properties of viral ideas using cellular automata. Both ideas and CA are simple programs capable of producing high complexity behaviors. In the vast space of CA, there are 4,277 rules which achieve a very clear purpose: they double the size of their inputs. This particular class makes a great model for ideas.

First I take a look at the CA by studying their distribution, their evolutions, and their connectivity. Then I devise a simple experiment, in order to classify the rules according to their virality by making a parallel to the world of ideas and the way they work. Very interesting results are obtained, and even more interesting conclusions can be drawn by taking a look at the properties of the evolution which ranks highest.

Favorite Four-Color Totalistic Cellular Automaton

Rule 520842