A New Kind of Science: Third Anniversary
Date: May 14, 2005
From: Stephen Wolfram
Subject: NKS: Three Years Later
Today it is three years since I published my book A New Kind of
Science. It seems like a lot longer than that--so much has
happened in the intervening time. What started as a book is
steadily emerging as a major intellectual movement with its own
structure and community.
The first year after the book came out was dominated by a
certain amount of "paradigm shift turbulence." But by the second
year, many serious projects were starting, and indicators like
the publication rate of NKS-based papers began to climb.
Now, in the third year, a recurring theme has been the emergence
of a growing group of exceptional individuals who are planning
to base their careers on NKS. There are scores of NKS-based
Ph.D. theses underway, and all sorts of NKS-based corporate
ventures--as well as our own growing NKS R&D operation in
Later this year, the first full-length independent book based on
NKS will be published, and the first independent NKS conference
will be held. In late June, we will be holding our third annual
NKS Summer School--for which there were a record number of
exceptional applicants. We are planning to have our next major
NKS conference in spring 2006; we'll be announcing the details
shortly. There will also be an NKS mini-course at our Wolfram
Technology Conference this October.
This year I myself have mostly been in a tool-building phase,
working on major new Mathematica technology that, among other
things, will be very important for NKS research--and which I
can't wait to use.
There's a lot more in the pipeline too. We're developing plans
for a new kind of publishing medium for NKS (partly based on the
Complex Systems journal that I've been publishing since 1986).
We're also planning later this year to start regular "live
experiments," in which I'll be leading public web-conferenced
explorations into the computational universe.
Also in the next few months we're planning to release a rather
unexpected consumer-oriented application of NKS, which I expect
we'll all be hearing quite a bit about.
As we begin the fourth year of NKS, I feel more optimistic than
ever before about its promise--and its significance in science,
technology, the arts, and beyond. It will be fascinating to see
where the most important NKS-based breakthroughs come from, and
what they will be.
I hope you'll have the opportunity to take part in the
excitement of the upcoming years of early NKS growth.