Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Eve Paul

Summer School

Class of 2014


Art → Design

My aesthetic is that I’ll almost always choose dessert and a cup of mint tea with someone over anything else. I think butterfly ranchers and truffle farmers are heroes worthy of action figures, and I considered becoming an early stage cyborg in the mid-’90s. My early life and talents were heavily involved in the world of art and design, and led to my choice to study manufacturing and systems engineering as a medium for useful creative production.

Design → Engineering

Designing led to experimentation: In my early career I created countless bronze sculptures, a kiln, a rocket, research on digital clay, and 3D printing in the Intelligent Machine Dynamics Laboratory at Georgia Tech, and continued my desire to become an early stage cyborg in the mid-’00s.

Engineering → Art

At work I enjoy creating new tools that help make creative and intelligent applications for business, and desire to apply those same skills for artistic and highly accessible applications for everyone. In particular, I have a strong interest in democratizing mathematical optimization in everyday settings, and believe that creating strong visual intuitions will help us to achieve new insights and abilities.

I’ve had broad experience in business and all sides of the software development life cycle. I have been a small business owner, a developer, a project lead, and program manager for a number of projects for both very small clients and for multi-national, enterprise-scale systems. As a management consultant for Realizer Media in New York City, my current role is in product development.

I’m excited by the work being done by Michael Porter et. al for The Shared Value Initiative, and enjoy the challenge of incorporating shared value modeling in applications where businesses can profit through making measurable social contributions.

I’ve employed these principles in supporting disaster resilience applications through my work as leader of Relief InSight, a group of over 30 hackers, designers, entrepreneurs, and data specialists who are creating civic and social-good applications relating to disaster resilience. Though many interesting challenges remain, the technology now exists for us to see great improvements in meeting the demands of people in need during disaster cycles while helping them to maximize their purchasing choices and power, particularly through multisided marketplaces.

I look forward to leveraging the tools Wolfram provides and disciplining my methods in this new kind of art and science.

Project: Mind Map of City Road Network Study

I used Wolfram’s stack to create a descriptive model of city road network degradation, within an interactive visualization where a Viking ship can degrade the city network via three modes. The underlying structure can be applied to model city road networks to create robust city network vulnerability analyses for prescriptive solution recommendations in crisis scenario planning.

The interactive, game-like interface is to show that simulations and visualizations of complex and useful systems can be designed in a manner to be rather easily embedded to add realistic complexity within gaming engines so that researchers and game producers can collaborate to create mutually beneficial results for strategic resiliency planning. Players can, in effect, help to solve challenges while enjoying an added level of applicability and realism in their experiences. Models can be sufficiently abstracted such that underlying structure is not evident online.

Summary of results and conclusions

I created a representation of Atlanta’s road network using shape files. I used inbuilt generic graphs to represent a city due to the size of the shape files and desired abstraction level for proof of concept. I included three types of network degradation: disabling a random road, disabling a random area, and disabling a targeted area. It is a base model for analysis and reporting. I created a game-like simulation of a Viking ship over a demonstration of how a city network degrades over successive levels of damage. No actual city is used for purposes of this demonstration.

Future directions:

Conduct vulnerability analysis. Integrate real-world graphs utilizing more realistic generic graphs in secure environments. Improve experience and gamification of the Viking ship level of the model and inherent descriptive accuracy of the model on the back end. Integrate the vulnerability analysis. Improve strategic targeting thresholds and algorithmic design. Add traffic intensity flows. Make model more city-independent such that it can be applied at several levels. Files available via open street map were so large that further manipulation of the data is needed. Improve the reporting outputs to include predictive and prescriptive measures directly in the “what-if” scenarios of the visualizations.

As a sculptor with an operations research background, I combined my three-dimensional modeling visualization skills with my understanding of mathematical modeling as a part of a larger project for Relief InSight, a service organization committed to finding and creating disaster-resilient solutions embedded in existing products and technologies.

The larger project involves use of Viking ships in visualizations of mathematical conceptualization similar to the Method of Loci for several NP-complete optimization challenges. “The Method of loci (plural of Latin locus for place or location), also called the memory palace, is a mnemonic device introduced in ancient Roman and Greek rhetorical treatises (in the anonymous Rhetorica ad Herennium, Cicero’s De Oratore, and Quintilian’s Institutio Oratoria). In basic terms, it is a method of memory enhancement which uses visualization to organize and recall information… Stephen M. Kosslyn remarks “[t]his insight led to the development of a technique the Greeks called the method of loci, which is a systematic way of improving one’s memory by using imagery'” (Wikipedia). Improving the interactivity of the visual models should allow for deeper investigation and personal experience in order to build memory and intuition with valuable models. Also, this method makes the deeper challenges of city disaster planning readily able to be inserted in gaming situations for insight and simulation purposes.

Gamification Model View

Atlanta Open Street Map View of City Road Network

Actual city graphs to show levels of complexity challenges researchers face in describing city networks:

Three-Dimensional Viking Ship Model

City Road Network Degradation Interactive Viking Model

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

Rule 123125