Stephen WolframStephen Wolfram is the author of A New Kind of Science and the principal lecturer at the Summer School. He is the creator of Mathematica, the creator of Wolfram|Alpha and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Having started in science as a teenager (he got his PhD at age 20), Wolfram had a highly successful early career in academia. He began his work on NKS in 1981 and spent ten years writing the NKS book, published in 2002. Over the course of 30 years, Wolfram has mentored a large number of individuals who have achieved great success in academia, business and elsewhere. Starting the NKS Summer School (now called the Wolfram Summer School) was his first formal educational undertaking in 16 years.
Catherine Boucher joined Wolfram Research in 1998. She led project management during the production of A New Kind of Science and is currently the director of special projects for Wolfram Research. Her team is responsible for early development of new initiatives at Wolfram Research, along with projects related to Wolfram Science. She and her team led the original development of Wolfram|Alpha and currently handle its mathematical content and parser development. Catherine received her PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in cluster analysis.
Todd Rowland assisted Stephen Wolfram with mathematical issues found in A New Kind of Science chapters 5, 9 and 12. Before joining the NKS team in 2001, he wrote entries for MathWorld. Todd received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1999, where he studied traditional mathematics, such as algebraic and differential geometry. Currently, he is the managing editor of Complex Systems . His interests include the fundamental theory of physics, and more recently education, both NKS and the Wolfram Language.
Abigail Devereaux joined Wolfram Research in 2007. She has a bachelor's degree in physics (2004) and a master's degree in mathematics (2007) from Boston University and is currently a Mercatus PhD Fellow in economics at George Mason University. She was involved in the Wolfram Science Summer School from 2008–2015 as event director, as a participant in 2008 and 2010, as a teaching assistant in 2011 and as an instructor from 2012–2015. Her presentation on cellular automata over graph topologies at the 2008 Midwest NKS Conference was later written into an article and published in Complex Systems . In her spare time she sings operatic soprano and writes speculative fiction.
Eric Rowland is an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics at Hofstra University. He received his PhD from Rutgers University and held postdoctoral positions in the US, Canada and Belgium. He has coauthored over 30 research papers on topics in number theory, combinatorics and theoretical computer science, including several concerning cellular automata. In 2008 he proved that a simple recurrence discovered at the Summer School generates primes. He also develops mathematics content for Wolfram|Alpha.
InstructorsHector Zenil joined Wolfram Research as an R&D fellow in 2006. He graduated with a BS in math from the National University of Mexico (UNAM) and with a master’s degree in logic (LoPhiSS) from the Sorbonne. He is a graduate student at Lille 1 and Paris 1 universities in computer science and philosophy of science, both on algorithmic complexity and randomness. He has been an intern at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University and is a senior research associate for the Wolfram|Alpha project.
Jamie Williams is a senior computable data architect with the Wolfram|Alpha team. He received a PhD in theoretical low-temperature atomic physics from the University of Colorado in 1999. Before joining the Wolfram team, Jamie was a scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, investigating nonequilibrium dynamics and quantum computing in ultracold atomic systems. He first encountered the ideas in NKS in 2002 while researching a project on entanglement dynamics in quantum cellular automata. He is interested in the deployment of NKS-based approaches for solving real-world problems in physics, as well as the application of NKS methodology in the architecture of computational knowledge systems.
InstructorsJan Baetens graduated as an environmental engineer from Ghent University in 2007, after which he joined that university’s Research Unit Knowledge-Based Systems ( KERMIT ). Having struggled with traditional modeling approaches and their weaknesses while completing his master’s thesis, he finds that cellular automata provide an alternate perspective for solving engineering problems. He attended the NKS Summer School 2008 to expand his knowledge of the topic and was an instructor for the NKS Summer School 2009 and 2010. In the framework of his ongoing PhD research, he addresses the usability of CA for describing biological spatio-temporal processes as well as the stability characteristics of CA. The research has led to several published papers and Wolfram Demonstrations. Currently, he is affiliated with Ghent University, at which he teaches several mathematics courses.
Jason Cawley first discussed the ideas in A New Kind of Science with Stephen Wolfram in the early 1990s, and read early drafts of the work around that time. In the last few years before publication, Jason worked for Stephen Wolfram as a research assistant on historical and philosophical issues, including many topics covered in the notes. Jason's graduate studies were in political science at the University of Chicago, and his wide-ranging interests include philosophy, social science, economics, finance and the history of thought. After the book was published, Jason created and moderated the NKS Forum, answering reader questions about NKS. Jason then worked for Wolfram Research developing Mathematica's capabilities in the social sciences, including the development of CountryData and FinancialData. He worked on the Wolfram|Alpha project from its inception to its public release, including much of its social science content. For the last five years, Jason has been Director of Architecture at Wolfram Solutions, the consulting arm of Wolfram Research, bringing its technologies and methods to a wide range of corporate and government clients. He lives in Anthem, Arizona.
InstructorsMatthew Szudzik made significant contributions to A New Kind of Science from 1998 through 2000 and during the summer of 2001 as a research assistant to Stephen Wolfram. His work focused primarily on the analysis of simple programs and on the theoretical foundations of computational mathematics. He holds a PhD in mathematical logic from Carnegie Mellon University. Matthew Szudzik has also worked as a special lecturer and as an assistant teaching professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon’s campuses in Pennsylvania and Qatar.
Paul-Jean Letourneau attended the NKS Summer School 2004, where he completed a pure NKS project on elementary cellular automata with memory. He has been an instructor at the Summer School since 2005. His 2004 project developed into his master's thesis in theoretical physics, "Statistical Mechanics of Cellular Automata with Memory." He has worked in several industrial and academic laboratories around North America, where he made original contributions to real-world problems in medical imaging, geophysical seismic imaging, protein structure prediction and DNA-protein interactions. Paul-Jean is now lead developer of computational biology for Wolfram|Alpha.
Erin Craig graduated from New College of Florida with a BA in mathematics. Inspired by the beauty of both algebra and automata, she spent her final year of college at University of California, Berkeley exploring an extension of rule 90 to cellular automata over non-Abelian groups. Erin attended the NKS Summer School in 2009, where she explored reducibility of string substitution systems. She joined Wolfram Research as a software developer in 2009.