Explore the Computational Universe at NKS Summer School 2011
March 25, 2011 — Abigail Nussey, Wolfram Science Summer School Event Director
There’s still time to apply to NKS Summer School 2011, a complex systems research school based on Stephen Wolfram’s seminal tract on the subject, A New Kind of Science (NKS), published in 2002. The first NKS Summer School was held soon after the book’s publication, and, this summer, Wolfram Research will host its 9th annual program, centered on doing research on the topics and methods introduced by the book. The 2011 NKS Summer School is being held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA from June 27 through July 15, 2011. The concepts introduced in NKS have already made significant contributions to research and technological innovation. Taking a look at Wolfram|Alpha’s About page, we see that ideas from NKS were crucial in the development of the computational knowledge engine:
Beyond Mathematica, another key to Wolfram|Alpha was A New Kind of Science (NKS). Many specific ideas from NKS—particularly related to algorithms discovered by exploring the computational universe—are used in the implementation of Wolfram|Alpha. But still more important is that the very paradigm of NKS was crucial in imagining that Wolfram|Alpha might be possible.
For many more examples of NKS in cutting-edge research, browse through the archives of the journal of Complex Systems or play with any one of the hundreds of Demonstrations illustrating or built using NKS concepts. If you look a bit more carefully, you’ll notice that NKS doesn’t just excel in computation or linguistics, but also in architecture, law, economics, finance, agent-based modeling, ecology, mathematics, physics, and music. Here’s one of my favorite Demonstrations, Simulating Flickering Fire with Noisy Cellular Automaton (authored by Vitaliy Kaurov, a 2010 NKS Summer School alumnus):
Our alumni represent a diverse set of ages and specialties. While the bulk of our students are in graduate school or beyond, we have had numerous undergraduates, professionals, artists, and even the occasional exceptional high schooler. If you are interested in NKS and have read the book, we encourage you to apply!
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