Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Anand Siththaranjan

Summer School

Class of 2015


Anand Siththaranjan is studying the International Baccalaureate at Wellington College, Berkshire, where his main subjects are mathematics, physics, and global politics. He is keen to pursue a degree in mathematics or physics, with a major in computer science. From there he would like to undertake research work, hopefully to form the basis for a PhD. He hopes to soon engage in his own research as part of his studies, focusing on ideas within physics and mathematics. Through the Summer School, he aims to supplement his knowledge as well as improve his ability to research.

Anand is also a programming tutor, teaching younger students how to program in Python or develop applications for iOS. He hopes to soon teach them the essential ideas behind NKS, allowing them to develop their own passion for computer science.

When he’s not studying, he can be found programming, reading a novel, or playing squash.

He looks forward to spending time coding in the Wolfram Language and engaging in computer science in a way that he has never done before.

Project: Analyzing a Bitwise Operation-Based Computational System

In 1962, the PDP-1 was first produced. Widely known though out various university “hacker” communities, one of the earliest hacks implemented with it was using the display, called “Munching Squares.”

Though this hack was visually entertaining for the previous generation, it has been left without greater exploration into variants of the bitwise xor function that creates Munching Squares. As such, my project aims to further investigate this kind of automata beyond what has already been accomplished.

To do this, I need to first develop a greater understanding of the system’s rules and the space in which it exists. As such, I will first devise an enumeration scheme to identify the variability of this computational system. This will allow me to later begin an analysis of the rules themselves, leading me to then visualize the system and begin an exploration into the space of its existence. And due to many areas for change within the system, this will be repeated numerous times across the different spaces.

Once this has been accomplished, discovering the thresholds of complexity and simplicity as well as the outcomes of rules will help to provide an understanding of the behavior that the rules exhibit. Pragmatically, this will be undertaken through the use of pattern recognition and filters to sort out non-relevant rules from those that are “interesting.” This will specify areas of peculiarity and thus help to classify different behaviors throughout the space of the system.

From there, I will continue to discover the behavior of this system in the context of other well-defined computational systems, such as cellular automata and Turing machines. This will lead to applying ubiquitous ideas and the further understanding of common attributes between the various systems. As such, understanding similar elements within different settings can allow for a greater consideration of the fundamental aspects that they are all ultimately concerned with.