Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Anastasia Diakaki

Summer School

Class of 2009


Anastasia was born and raised in Athens, Greece, and has been living in New York since 2005. She has a BA in linguistics from New York University and is currently applying to PhD programs in comparative literature. In her free time she enjoys reading, playing tennis, running, and playing the flute.

Project: Letter Sequences in Popular Company and Domain Names—Everyday Language Suggestive?

The purpose of this project is to observe whether the letter sequences found in popular domain and company names reflect actual common letter sequences in everyday English. Mathematica will be used to generate all possible combinations of two, three, four, and five letters, and to import reliable data on the current most popular domain and company names and on the founding dates of the latter. The occurrence of all the possible letter sequences in all their possible positions in a word (word-initial, word-ending, middle) will be explored for a comprehensive list of one million domain names and around 25,000 company names. The statistical occurrence of all generated letter sequences in the English language will then be juxtaposed. It is suspected that a lot will have zero occurrences, especially in word-initial or word-ending positions, as has been explicitly explained in phonological studies of the English language.

The second part of the project will explore these same letter sequences in company names only as a function of those companies’ founding dates. Any possible time-specific trends for specific letter sequences, such as the “oo” in Yahoo! and Google, will be noted. Due to time limitations, this project will not be able to examine whether any such trends reflect periods of popularity of respective letter sequences in everyday English, but such research would make for another very interesting project and could provide useful commentary on sociolinguistic codependence between people and companies/domains, or in other words between consumers and products.

Favorite Three-Color Cellular Automaton

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