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Wolfram Summer School

June 24–July 14, 2018
Bentley University, Waltham, MA


Clark Tsai

Class of 2014


I'm a senior student majoring in applied mathematics in China Agricultural University and minoring in economics in Peking University. I'm interested in psychology, cognitive science, evolutionary biology, and analytic philosophy, all of which provide me with many kinds of thinking tools. I also have always hoped to learn coding nontrivially and that's why I attended the NKS Summer School this year.

When I'm free, I prefer to watch movies of various genres, such as film noir and western films and boxing movies. I hope to be a director while I'm young but it seems quite unrealistic in China's quite dogmatic education system. So maybe it's more likely that I will pursue a PhD in a mathematics-related field in the future.

Even though I'm an introvert, I'm happy to interact with people of different cultures and backgrounds, and think it's very interesting to learn a different perspective of seeing things from others. Most of my impressions and knowledge of western culture are picked up through news, films, books, and other kinds of media. This is the first time I've come to America and I am very excited to see this great country with my own eyes.


Everything should be simple, but not simpler. For a tree, or more precisely, a tree as a data structure, the most important thing is that it shows the whole structure of what we want to know. But most of the time, we don't need to see all the details at first glance. The need for a big picture at first pushes me to find the common subtrees in a tree. In this project, we will cut the unnecessary branches and substitute a simple symbol (node) without losing defining structure. The toy version of the idea is that we can substitute b^2-4a*c with delta in the solution to the quadratic equation. It helps students find the conjugate property more easily, and the fact that delta itself has important mathematical implications also convinces me to further my idea.

Because of the wide use of binary data tree structure in daily life, the project is expected to simplify mathematical equations in the ODE and the PDE fields, and therefore help students get rid of lengthy proofs, which mainly involve symbol substitution and the extraction of the core of proofs in a simple but not simpler sense.

Favorite Outer Totalistic r=1, k=2 2D Cellular Automaton

Rule 2142