Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Daniel Reynolds

Science and Technology

Class of 2017


Daniel Rockwitz Reynolds is currently working as a full-time teacher at Buffalo Public Schools in Buffalo, New York. He has a master’s in education and a bachelor’s in linguistics, both from the University at Buffalo. He also has a side career in the arts doing music, video, visual art and multimedia events for STEM outreach. His day work involves teaching using cross-cultural and cross-linguistic practices at PS 94 West Hertel Academy. He also teaches using the Wolfram Language at an after-school programming club at PS 363 Computing Academy of Technology Sciences. He has researched and presented on how culture, race and class interact regarding student investment in their learning environments. He has been a pioneer around the idea of integrating hip-hop within the urban classroom through work done at the University at Buffalo’s Center for Urban Studies.

In recent years, he has been developing the concept of a Computation Jockey (CJ). This platform involves connecting DJ equipment such as turntables and mixing consoles to control math and science visualizations, as well for educational content delivery. He has presented on this concept as a featured speaker at institutions such as The New School in New York City and Ithaca College’s Educational Technology Day in Ithaca, New York. He is currently designing STEM outreach shows for several major museums.

Computational Essay

Prime Difference Sequences and Cellular Automata »

Project: Computation Jockey (CJ)

Goal of the project:

The aim of the Computation Jockey project has been to show the efficacy of using DJ control interfaces in order to manipulate in real time Mathematica visualizations as a method and aid for educational exposition or outreach.

Summary of work:

We have connected an AKAI Professional APC40 MIDI controller to manipulate dynamical visualizations of Julia set fractals and elementary cellular automata. In order to do this, we had to use Hairless MIDI-to-serial bridge software along with the Virtual Serial Port Driver from Eltima software. We also have the VGA output from the computer converting to analog video in order to use video processing including: Kaoss Pad Entrancer video jockey (VJ) controller, a Roland V4 video mixer (which can “feedback” on itself) and a Dave Jones MVIP color processor powered through a Doepfer Eurorack A100 power system.

Results and future work:

The results of this work have been positive in that we have been able to connect a control console, AKAI Professional’s APC40 MIDI controller, to control Mathematica visualizations of both Julia set fractals and elementary cellular automata in real time. We have been able to map buttons to load different “systems” of visualizations (i.e. Julia sets or cellular automata) and sliders in order to control specific parameters within these systems. In the future, I will try to interface multiple MIDI controllers at once, as well as turntable controllers, to the system, and further develop the kinds of dynamical systems it can interface with. I also plan to create a system GUI for the CJ architecture interface. I will work on spreading this concept and paradigm in education, academia and STEM outreach.

Wolfram Summer School | Champaign, IL, USA | July 3 29–July 22, 2022