Stephen Wolfram is the author of A New Kind of Science and was the principal lecturer at the Summer School. He is the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research, and the creator of Mathematica. Having started in science as a teenager (he got his Ph.D. 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 25 years Wolfram has mentored a large number of individuals who have achieved great success in academia, business, and elsewhere. The NKS Summer School was his first formal educational undertaking in sixteen years.
Todd Rowland—Academic Director
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 a couple of years ago, he wrote entries for MathWorld. Todd received his Ph.D. 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 automated theorem proving, and the fundamental theory, as well as NKS education.
Catherine Boucher—Program Director
Catherine Boucher joined Wolfram Research in 1998. She led project management during the production of A New Kind of Science and is currently the Special Projects Director for Wolfram Research. Catherine received her Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, specializing in cluster analysis.
Kovas Boguta joined the Stephen Wolfram Science Group in 2003. Kovas earned a B.A. in mathematics from the University of Chicago, although his NKS education began at a much younger age, playing the Game of Life and Rocky's Boots. At Wolfram Research, Kovas works on a variety of projects, including NKS-related Mathematica development and NKS outreach/education.
Jason Cawley has been talking to Stephen Wolfram about the ideas in A New Kind of Science and reading early drafts of the work for over 10 years. In the last few years before publication, Jason worked for Wolfram Research as a research assistant on historical and philosophical issues, including many topics covered in the notes. A former graduate student in political science at the University of Chicago, Jason's wide-ranging interests include philosophy, social science, and the history of thought. The developer of the NKS Forum, he has been its most active Wolfram Research participant, answering user questions about NKS. He also works on applications of NKS ideas in the social sciences, arts, and humanities.
- Historical Ideas of Formal Uncertainty and NKS Irreducibility
- NKS in the Social Sciences
- Philosophical Implications
Seth J. Chandler
Seth J. Chandler is a professor of law and vice dean at the University of Houston Law Center, where he also serves as co-director of its nationally ranked Health Law & Policy Institute. He is a longtime Mathematica enthusiast and has presented at numerous Mathematica conferences and has used the program extensively in his scholarship on the economics of insurance, law and economics, social networks, and, most recently, the network structure of law. He currently teaches a diverse set of courses, including insurance law, health law, and contract law, as well as an introductory course in analytic methods for lawyers. His educational background includes an AB from Princeton University (1979) and a JD from Harvard Law School (1983). He is self-taught in Mathematica and NKS. He is married to an immigration lawyer and has three children, ranging from age 4 to 17.
Paul-Jean Letourneau grew up in Calgary and avidly pursued the arts almost exclusively. Around the age of 16, he underwent a phase transition and became interested in mathematics to learn more about things like fractal geometry. He devoted himself to learning the sciences, particularly physics, and in 1998 he enrolled in the honors physics program at the University of British Columbia. While there, he did a number of work-experience placements, including medical imaging at the Vancouver General Hospital, NMR at the University of Alberta, geophysics in Calgary, and biophysics at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. He graduated with a B.Sc. in physics in December 2003. Paul-Jean is currently pursuing his master's degree in physics, where he is elucidating the connections between fluctuations seen in simple programs and those present in physical systems.
Frederico Meinberg was born in Brazil and did his studies at Freiburg University, Germany, from which he holds a master's degree in romance philology. His primary field of research was linguistic typology, the study of the variety among grammatical structures across the world's languages. He also has interests in computer science, economics, and the philosophy of science. Fred attended the first NKS Summer School in 2003, where he completed a project in pure NKS investigating the properties of symbolic systems. After he finished his M.A., Fred joined Wolfram Research as an R&D fellow, and he's now a research associate at the organization's Boston Special Projects Office.
Ed Pegg Jr.
Ed Pegg Jr. was a research assistant to Stephen Wolfram during the production of A New Kind of Science and helped with topics ranging from bismuth crystals and leaves to Diophantine equations and CA constructions. Prior to this, Ed received a master's degree in mathematics from the University of Colorado. He is a full-time employee of Wolfram Research, primarily involved in work on MathWorld and the Mathematica Information Center. In his spare time, he works on mathpuzzle.com and is a columnist for the Mathematical Association of America.
- Systems Based on Numbers
- Famous 2D CA Rules
- Identification of Cyclic Behavior
- Modeling Natural Behavior
Matthew 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 is currently a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, working toward a Ph.D. in mathematical logic.
- The Analysis of an S-K Combinator Expression
- A Survey of "Other" Rule Systems
- Turing Machines
- The Enumeration of Computational Systems
- Emulation and Irreducibility
- The Analysis of a Turing Machine
- Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics
Øyvind Tafjord has been working on various aspects of A New Kind of Science since 2001, touching on a wide range of topics from details of theoretical physics to technical book-production issues. He is also interested in the general development of Mathematica. His educational background consists of a degree in physics from the Norwegian Institute of Technology (1994) and a PhD from Princeton University (1999), working on string theory as a possible framework for a unified theory of gravitation and quantum mechanics. He also spent two years as a postdoc at McGill University before coming to Wolfram Research.