Stefan Musser is a sophomore undergraduate student majoring in Physics at the University of Florida. He developed an interest in the ideas described in A New Kind of Science after learning about the wide variety of similar complex processes that govern the behavior of seemingly unconnected physical phenomena in a wide variety of scientific fields.
In addition to his scientific interests, Stefan is fond of history and the flora and fauna of his native Florida.
Project: A Comparative Survey of the World's National Flags from the Thirteenth Century to the Present
During the past thousand years, an increasingly large proportion of the human population has come to live within regions with unambiguous political leadership and well-defined geographical boundaries. As human states have appeared, shifted their boundaries, undergone political transitions, experienced demographic shifts and social changes, traded, fought wars, formed alliances, and dissolved over the course of history, the symbols that they have used to designate themselves (flags for the purposes of this project) have assumed myriad colors and shapes.
The aim of this project is to assemble a database that accounts for the connections that countries share based on their geographic proximity, linguistic and ethnic similarity, religious and philosophical commonalities, and historical relations, and to provide analysis of the their comparative color distributions and vexillological features. This combined data and analysis will hopefully permit patterns to be ascertained that might provide insight to those who study the growth and development of nations.
Favorite Four-Color, Four State Turing Machine