An NKS High School Curriculum
Table of Contents
Introduction
Objectives: Core Lessons
Core Lessons
Objectives: Advanced Lessons
Advanced Lessons
NKS Glossary
Introduction
Introduction To Teachers
Objectives: Core Lessons
Remarks
Teaching NKS should be simple. Not only is the material accessible, but it is also engaging on several different levels. Even young children starting school can do the basic experiments. Older kids studying simple rules can learn to think rigorously and critically, as well as take on challenging problems.
I will survey an alpha version of the educational materials that we at Wolfram Research have been making to introduce NKS. There will be a core twoweek course geared towards high school students, which could also be used at the college level. There will also be a set of lessons which can lead to more openended instruction, treating some material more deeply or posing challenging problems. In addition, we will make lessons geared to the elementary and middle school levels.
I will also talk about the process of learning about NKS, which is related to making original NKS discoveries. The science of NKS has some things to say about learning and knowledge, at least in the context of studying simple programs.
There are definite phases of understanding, and we are concentrating on the introductory levels with these materials. We hope that these materials will be easily understood by teachers, and that they will find them flexible enough to fit in with their own style and philosophy of teaching.
Objectives
Developing comfort with digital information and simple programs
Developing comfort with use of computer.
Understanding use of "simple" and "complex", for rules, and for behaviors
Know ECA
Develop basic NKS observations and intuition
Searching simple programs as a tool or to find interesting behavior
Collect facts about ECA
Understanding use of "simple" and "complex", for rules, and for behaviors
Core Lessons
[10 Lessons approximately 2 weeks]
NKS Basics
Introduction To Digital Information
Unary Functions
Boolean Operators
Introduction to Elementary Cellular Automaton : Rule 250
Introduction to Elementary Cellular Automaton: Rule 90
Introduction to Elementary Cellular Automata: Enumerate Rules
Introduction to Elementary Cellular Automata: Enumerate Behaviors
Introduction to the Concept of Irreducibility : Rule 30
Introduction to the Concept of Universality : Rule 110
Introduction to the Principle of Computational Equivalence
Objectives: Advanced Lessons
[Possibly in the core lessons, or better phrased, not necessarily in the core lessons]
Remarks
Objectives
Learn preMathematica Skills
Learn (or discover) analysis tools for finding properties of behaviors
Introduce information theory
Introduce NKS modeling
Learn other simple rule systems
Apply NKS Way of thinking
Advanced Lessons
Remarks
Lessons
Binary Arithmetic: Advanced
Introduction to Reducibility: Arithmetic
Advanced Enumeration I
Investigating Rule 250
Colliding Structures: Rule 250
Difference Pattern: Rule 250
Advanced ECA: Rule 250
Reducibility: Rule 250  Part I
Reducibility: Rule 250  Part II
Investigating Rule 90
Reducibility: Rule 90  Part I
Reducibility: Rule 90  Part II
Additivity: Rule 90
Generalized Additivity: Rule 250
Introduction to Probability: Rule 30
Emulation: Rule 90
Other Systems
Introduction to Turing Machines
Interesting Behavior in Turing Machines
Register Machines
NKS Glossary
NKS Glossary
