Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Robert Morris

Summer School

Class of 2005


Rob Morris recent graduated from Brown University with a bachelor’s degree in mathematical physics. His interests are in high energy theory and theoretical cosmology. He started working with Wolfram Research in early June of 2005 and is working toward a better understanding of NKS. His current aspiration is to one day be a teaching professor at a small college somewhere. Outside of physics and NKS, he also has an interest in music. For the last few years, he has been playing jazz and blues piano with various stints at blues bars and in jazz bands around the country.

Project: Educational Implementation of NKS

My project focused on how to teach NKS ideas and methodology to children roughly between the ages of 6-13.

Some of the issues I addressed are:

  • Motivations for teaching NKS
    • Why do they need to know?
  • Prerequisites for teaching NKS
    • What do they need to know?
  • Developing fun, educational, yet effective methodology
    • How are they going to learn?

To address these issues, I have concocted numerous possible implementations. For the younger end of the age spectrum, I have developed interactive games and activities to be played by groups of children. For the intermediate ages in the range, I have written lesson plans that introduce the children to simple programs and their different classifications. For the older children, I have designed interactive 1D and 2D cellular automaton explorers.

Favorite Four-Color, Nearest-Neighbor, Totalistic Rule

Rule chosen: 252435

I particularly like it mostly because I think it exhibits much of the possible behavior one would hope to see in a CA–all within ~250 steps.