Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Steven Seif

Summer School

Class of 2008


Steven Seif is a mathematician at the University of Louisville. He does all the expected stuff–teaching a couple of classes each semester (ranging from college algebra and math for elementary teachers to graduate courses and seminars in his specialty) and doing research in universal algebra (any and all algebraic systems).

He came to academia late–he started as a “freshman” at age 31 and went through at one school, the University of Illinois at Chicago. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky with his wife, and enjoys hiking, reading, talking, “spirited” discussions about sports, politics, movies, mathematics…

Project: Gates of Eden Problem: Targets and Templates

Analyzing CAs with regard to “rule-smoothness”: consider all 256 elementary cellular automata {ECA(n): 0 <= n <= 127}, where "ECA" means "elementary cellular automaton." Each ECA(n) will be analyzed as an algebra on a set with two elements (0 and 1) and a single operation involving three variables. Of course the operation is given by the local rule that determines how the ECA transitions. Two criteria are defined, each determining a measure of the "smoothness" of the ECA rule.

The hope is that these criteria say something meaningful about the array plot of the ECA–and that the more complex ECAs will not satisfy the criteria. On the other hand, for an ECA satisfying the criteria, the wildest dream is that a tool will be provided to predict the behavior of the automaton, going backward and going forward.

Favorite Radius 3/2 Rule

Rule 61568