Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Joe Bolte

Summer School

Class of 2007


Joe was born and lived the first 18 years of his life in West Virgina, most notably in its highest incorporated town (pop. 600). Just before enrolling at St. John’s College in Annapolis, he was able to travel around the US for six weeks and is proud to have visited 42 states and counting. After a year at St. John’s, he transferred to the University of Chicago, graduating with a major in physics and a minor in classical studies. He soon after expatriated to South America, for a three-month research project in Chile on the Jarzynski Equality, but he found the weather much more agreeable in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he spent another eight months. Joe was subsequently recalled to the land of the free and the home of the brave to start working for Wolfram Research after informing Dr. Wolfram of a terrible premonition he had in his sleep. He currently manages The Wolfram Demonstrations Project from Wolfram Research’s shiny new Cambridge office.

Project: Automatic Ranking and Sorting of Cellular Automaton Complexity

In most cases, searches through CA models are performed by generating a set of CAs and manually searching through them by hand. I will investigate the possibility of automatic searching and clustering of a set of CA’s for interesting types of behavior. My hypothesis is that the StringLengths of the outputs of Compress, ExportString and similar compression functions will sort trivial, repetitive, nested, and complex evolutions reliably, and thus can be used to measure the “information density” of the output of various simple programs. Such a method would be very useful for quickly eliminating simple programs with non-interesting behavior before more involved searches are performed.

Favorite Outer Totalistic Three-Color Rule

Rule chosen: 14252360

My favorite outer totalistic 3-color CA so far is 14252360. Outer totalistic 3-color CAs are rife with regular, periodic, random, and complex structures interacting within the same evolution. I like this one because it appears to have small ECA embedded in it. In most cases, this is just an illusion, but it’s very enjoyable to go “cloud-watching” in its depths. Here is picture of the evolution starting from the initial conditions {{1, 0, 1, 2, 1, 1, 2, 2, 0, 1, 2, 1, 0, 1, 2}, 0}.