Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Henry Kim

Science and Technology

Class of 2019


Henry Kim is passionate about patterns, particularly those that relate to social networks and sociology. A lifelong goal is to intersect aspects of complexity science with sociology and theology. Finally, he is the greatest introvert you will never meet who loves to explore and find nothing.

Computational Essay: A Story in “His-Story”

Project: The C.W. Mills Award and can one measure “Thank You?”


In this project, I try to address various questions. Can extracting information from the prefaces of all of the C.W. Mills book awards reveal any patterns? Where did the winning authors go to college? Where did they receive their PhD? Where was the university of employment when they won the award? Who was the publisher? Who was thanked the most and who thanked others the most? Can basic SNA metrics shed any light on these inquires?

Summary of Results

First and foremost, exploring and finding nothing—and having both pain and joy in the process. It took more time than I thought to prepare the data with Mathematica, and it was more challenging than I thought it would be to create the requisite functions to analyze the data in a directed graph and preclude the disconnected subgraphs. Nonetheless, I did find some tentative answers to the questions above. Finally, my stupid computer won’t do what I want it to do; it only does what I tell it to do!

Future Work

Due to my incompetency with the Wolfram Language (one more language whereby I will be a lifelong illiterate?), I still wonder if the following (and more) rules or principles can be explored with respect to my data: Dunbar’s, Zipf’s, Sarnoff’s, Odlyzko’s, Metcalfe’s, Reed’s, Feigenbaum’s Constant and any others that measure (rates of) change. And here I really start rambling into Neverland. What about cellular automata, agent-based modeling, self-organized criticality, phase transitions and fractal geometry? What appropriate functions can help elucidate “thank you”? Finally, can key nodes or links be highlighted (visualizations) using the Manipulate function (for years 1 to n)? If some of these questions can be ascertained from the Mills corpus, can these tests be replicated with another corpus of winners?

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