Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Summer School


Thomas McBride

Science and Technology

Class of 2019


Thomas is a rising sophomore at Princeton University pursuing both Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with a certificate in Applications of Computing. His main interest is aerospace technologies and related propulsion systems; however, he has developed an affinity for machine learning and the potential capabilities of artificial intelligence. As a way to satiate his interest in new technologies, he has joined the Princeton Envision team, which hosts an annual conference to discuss breakthroughs in technology and the ethics associated with them. Outside of academics, Thomas enjoys playing soccer, weightlifting, and pole vaulting.

Computational Essay: Rocket Equation

Project: Implementing Pictogram Data Visualization in Wolfram Language


In my project, I sought to develop a function to generate pictograms. A pictogram is a form of data visualization that displays a number of images equal to an inputted value. Pictograms are used to display information that can be quickly understood by a viewer. For example, a user could want to show the fruits eaten in a day by different people: a row of four apples, a row of three oranges, etc.

Summary of Results

I wanted this implementation to be as customizable as possible. I have benchmarked different pictogram displays online, implemented graphics generation for various input types (image, graphic, 3D graphic), worked on several designs to let the user easily describe his needs and debugged, debugged, debugged.

Future Work

  • Supporting the use of Wolfram Language’s new entity type, “Icon”.
  • Utilizing a classifier function to interpret input strings and display appropriate images
  • Distributing the images not just in a grid pattern but on another object/shape