Wolfram Summer Camp 2016 Wrap-Up
September 16, 2016 — Greg Hurst, Kernel Developer, Mathematica Algorithm R&D
Thirty-nine students from seven different countries attended our camp at Bentley University this summer. Students arrived at camp with some programming experience, but most had little or no familiarity with the Wolfram Language. Despite this, in nine short days they were all able to complete amazing projects.
Throughout the two weeks, students learned the Wolfram Language from faculty and a variety of guest speakers. They had the opportunity to see Stephen Wolfram give a “live experiment” and speak about the company, entrepreneurialism and the future of technology. Students also heard from guest speakers such as Etienne Bernard and Christopher Wolfram, who showed off other aspects of the Wolfram Language.
Although students spent a vast amount of time hard at work on their projects, they also had many laughs throughout the program. They participated in group activities such as the human knot, the Spikey photo scavenger hunt and the toothpick-and-gumball building contest, as well as weekend field trips to the Boston Museum of Science and the New England Aquarium.
The students completed phenomenal projects on a wide range of topics, ranging from geospatial analysis, textual analysis, machine learning and neural nets, physical simulations, pure math and much more. Here are just a few projects:
“Where Is Downtown?” by Kaitlyn Wang. This project uses cluster analysis and data from Yelp and Wikipedia obtained with ServiceConnect to estimate the polygon of a city’s downtown.
“Where Will Your Balloon Go?” by Cyril Gliner. This project uses WindVectorData to simulate where a balloon would travel when let go at a given time and location on Earth.
“Tiling Polyominoes Game,” by Jared Wasserman. This drag-and-drop game asks the user to place the polyominoes on the right to cover all the gray areas on the left without overlapping the tiles.
“Automatic Emoji Annotator!” by Marco Franco. This project imported over 50,000 tweets to create a neural network that gives the emojis that best represent a sentence.
“Automated Face Anonymizer,” by Max Lee. This is perhaps the project I found to be the most fun, only because it involved me. It anonymizes an image by replacing faces with my head.
This word cloud represents the most common Wolfram Language symbols the students collectively used in their projects:
Here are frequencies of the 30 most commonly used symbols by the students. The first few symbols were used so frequently, a log scale is used:
How do these frequencies compare with normal, everyday usage of the Wolfram Language? We can answer this with the WolframLanguageData property "Frequencies". It turns out the usage frequencies from camp versus normal usage have a correlation coefficient of about 0.8. Here’s how the first few symbols compare:
Lastly, we can use the WolframLanguageData property "RelatedSymbols" and CommunityGraphPlot to group the symbols used by the students into clusters based on topic. It shows how eclectic this group of 39 students’ projects were: