Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2012 December

Education & Academic

Hunting for Turing Machines at the Wolfram Science Summer School

This year is the 100th birthday of Alan Turing, so at the 2012 Wolfram Science Summer School we decided to turn a group of 40 unassuming nerds into ferocious hunters. No, we didn't teach our geeks to take down big game. These are laptop warriors. And their prey? Turing machines! In this blog post, I'm going to teach you to be a fellow hunter-gatherer in the computational universe. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to FIND YOUR FAVORITE TURING MACHINE. First, I'll show you how a Turing machine works, using pretty pictures that even my grandmother could understand. Then I'll show you some of the awesome Turing machines that our summer school students found using Mathematica. And I'll describe how I did an über-search through 373 million Turing machines using my Linux server back home, and had it send me email whenever it found an interesting one, for two weeks straight. I'll keep the code to a minimum here, but you can find it all in the attached Mathematica notebook. Excited? Primed for the hunt? Let me break it down for you. The rules of Turing machines are actually super simple. There's a row of cells called the tape:
Announcements & Events

Welcome, National Museum of Mathematics

I was just in New York City for the grand opening of the National Museum of Mathematics. Yes, there is now a National Museum of Mathematics, right in downtown Manhattan. And it’s really good—a unique and wonderful place. Which I’m pleased to say I’ve been able to help in various ways in bringing into existence […]


Modeling in the Search for New Drugs—G-Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs)

Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram SystemModeler trial. Yesterday, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka for having mapped how a family of cellular receptors called G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) work. The Nobel Prize winners' research has proven to be very important in the development of novel therapeutic drugs—about 40–50% of all therapeutic drugs in use today are centered on GPCRs. The real beauty of GPCR-based response systems is that they include components that are used over and over again for the response to external signals in many kinds of cellular functions throughout our bodies. Sight, smell, and the adrenaline response are examples of these GPCR-mediated responses with physiologically important functions. Identifying new targets for therapeutic drug intervention includes analysis of the complex webs of signaling pathways and feedback systems in our cells, extending beyond the first event of a signal connecting with the GPCR on the cell surface, which is non-trivial. Lately the cost-effective practice of using mathematical models as an initial step for finding those elusive new targets, and also as a tool for understanding how other reactions of a cell might be affected by a new drug, has been growing. In this blog post we are going to use modeling and simulation in order to illustrate how the GPCR-based cellular response to an external signal can be modified. And by performing this analysis, I thought we should also see how we can find promising targets for therapeutic drug design, which are then aimed at either increasing or decreasing the response. Since the first two steps in the pathways are identical in most of the GPCR-based signal responses in a cell, we can freely choose a representative model. One such well understood signal response pathway that uses GPCR is the mating pheromone response in yeast, which we are here going to explore using Mathematica and Wolfram SystemModeler.
Announcements & Events

“What Are You Going to Do Next?”
Introducing the Predictive Interface

There aren’t very many qualitatively different types of computer interfaces in use in the world today. But with the release of Mathematica 9 I think we have the first truly practical example of a new kind—the computed predictive interface. If one’s dealing with a system that has a small fixed set of possible actions or […]

Announcements & Events

Mathematica Experts Live: New in Mathematica 9

Curious about Mathematica 9? You can see it in action in three free online events. Our experts will introduce you to new features in usability, computation, data manipulation, and visualization. Live Q&A sessions during each event will give you a chance to ask questions. Topics covered: Predictive Interface and Units: December 10, 1–2pm EST Get a look at the new interface paradigm and systemwide units support. Our experts will demonstrate the next-computation Suggestions Bar, context-sensitive Input Assistant, and units features, from unit conversion to dimensional analysis.   Social Networks and Data Science: December 12, 1–2:30pm EST Learn about Mathematica 9's new social network analysis capabilities with built-in access to social media data, plus other graphs and networks enhancements and new computational features in data science, such as reliability, survival analysis, and random processes.   Data Manipulation and Visualization: December 14, 1–2:30pm EST Get the scoop on new features for image and signal processing, interactive gauges, legends for plots and charts, and integrating with R directly from our experts.