Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Kyle Laster

Summer School

Class of 2014


Kyle is currently a graduate student at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois, investigating how the three-dimensional architecture of the nucleus changes during cellular differentiation.

His research has largely consisted of wet work at the lab bench; however, he gained an appreciation for computer programming earlier in his graduate career after developing an image analysis algorithm to expedite data processing and compilation. Since then, his primary research focus has evolved into a pursuit to combine in silico approaches and cellular biology to develop a set of rules governing self-organization of the mammalian nucleus. After completing graduate school, he aspires to increase his understanding of systems-based approaches as a bioinformatician.

When he’s not spending his time dedicated to experiments, he enjoys playing Magic: The Gathering, reading, and learning how to program more efficiently.


Mitochondria are classically described as small, membrane-bound organelles that produce energy and regulate cellular metabolism through respiration. They are thought to exist in higher organisms as a result of a fusion event of two separate organisms long ago in our evolutionary history. One piece of evidence suggesting the occurrence of such an event is their circular self-contained genome that replicates independently of nuclear DNA replication. Its small genome is composed of roughly 16569bp, which encode for 37 genes, and organismal mitochondria stock is maternally inherited. These facts ultimately enabled scientists to lineage-trace the most recent common ancestor of Homo sapiens, Mitochondrial Eve, to Africa. Today, results from personal genome sequencing can be utilized to assess relatedness of individuals within the population, with respect to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence (rCRS1). Haplogrouping, as it is called, has become important in many fields, including evolutionary anthropology, population history, medical genetics, and forensic science. My project involves constructing a function that will compare the rCRS1 to user input, determine SNP frequency, and output the user haplogroup. My long-term goal will be to compile a database of SNPs associated with several disease states and construct a function that would enable comparison of user sequence for reference purposes.

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

Rule 208045