An NKS High School CurriculumTable of ContentsIntroductionObjectives: 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 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
