Proposal for Stephen Wolfram: A New Kind of Culture
- Greetings from Vermont, where I am attending Stephen Wolfram's summer camp
for his "A New Kind of Science".
We met last Wednesday and talked for one hour about how our Minciu Sodas
laboratory might work to expand the "A New Kind of Science" community. He
is very personable and also an inspiring independent thinker. I hope we
might work for him. I appreciate our thoughts on my proposal which I
Stephen Wolfram is the inventor of Mathematica, software used for all
manner of mathematical investigation. He authored "A New Kind of Science"
which encourages us to explore computational systems and open our eyes to
the complexity around us which we have learned to ignore.
I propose that we organize a culture of investigation in which we would
explore our investigatory questions with step-by-step research projects
such as the Mathematica demonstrations http://demonstrations.wolfram.com
I share my proposal.
A New Kind of Culture
Proposal from Andrius Kulikauskas of Minciu Sodas to Stephen Wolfram of
Wolfram Science to organize a culture of investigation, at the heart of
which is "A New Kind of Science".
* Expand the NKS ("A New Kind of Science") community.
* Provide a global online social networking system which extends beyond
the official Wolfram Science websites.
* Encourage local activity (such as Math Circles and BarCamps).
* Open opportunities to NKSers for education and employment.
* Reach out to engage other intellectual communities.
* Offer leadership for a culture of investigation, at the heart of which
is "A New Kind of Science".
* Encourage a culture of investigation where we look to all aspects of our
lives as sources of inspiration for our investigations.
* Champion computational exploration as fostering our minds for "A New
Kind of Science" that expands our horizons for exploration, just as
mathematics fosters our minds for traditional science.
* Cherish complexity in all its instances, look for its origins in the
simplest situations, try to break down the complex in terms of the simple,
but also respect complexity on its own terms.
* Help investigators, computational explorers:
o find questions that interest them;
o grow closer by sharing questions, solutions, ideas;
o make step-by-step progress in their research;
o publish their progress in demonstrations that delight, enlighten,
inspire and instruct;
o share their demonstrations in the Public Domain so that all might
build further on them;
o share their delight and appreciation so there is an abundance of
esteem and encouragement;
o find their niche where they excel.
* Focus on high school teachers, especially in mathematics, but more
broadly, champions of self-learning.
* Identify local clusters, build support within regions.
* Organize a global network with a shared culture of independent thinkers.
* Encourage people to think about the questions that the don't know the
answer to, but wish to answer.
* Help them make progress on their questions through step-by-step research
projects which they publish as demonstrations.
* Embolden large groups of people to work together by taking on big
$200,000 total for 2 years of work. Increments of $50,000, paid in advance.
Additionally, a total of 200 copies of the Student version of Mathematica,
the relevant modules for work on specific challenges, and grid computing
time for difficult computations.
Participation, as described below, by "A New Kind of Science" leaders who
work for Wolfram Research or Wolfram Science.
Minciu Sodas Team
Social Network Leader ($25,000 per year) AndriusKulikauskas will lead the
team, organize the global network, and take responsibility for all
deliverables, including a culture of investigation, a data format for
publishing research projects, a distributed social networking system, a
bold research program, and a strategy for encouraging investigators and
promoting "A New Kind of Science". Andrius Kulikauskas is sole proprietor
of Minciu Sodas, and is a dual citizen and taxpayer of Lithuania and the
United States of America.
Challenge Leaders (5 x $5,000 per year) will lead five challenges such as
* a unified theory for understanding gravity and quantum mechanics
* an answer to the P vs. NP problem
* beauty in mathematics and the world
* a model for sharing our human intuitions
* data tools for designing self-reliant villages and neighborhoods
* economics tools, macro and micro, for microbusiness in the developing world
* a cure for cancer, AIDS or tropical diseases
* a strategy for stewardship of our planet's ecosystems
Each year we would start up five new challenges. Challenge leaders would
excel as social networkers able to engage and encourage all who might help
with the challenge. They will also help Wolfram Science leaders social
network effectively. Such leaders at our lab include: PamelaMcLean,
RicardoSanchez, JohnRogers, FranzNahrada, BenoitCouture, SamwelKongere,
JosephatNdibalema, JanetFeldman, BenDeVries, MarkRoest, TomasCepaitis,
SashaMrkailo, EdwardCherlin, MarkusPetz, DanteGabryellMonson,
MarcinJakubowski, DennisKimambo, RachelWambuiKungu, DavidMutua,
TomWayburn, JeffBuderer, LucasGonzalez, FredKayiwa, KennedyOwino.
Investigator Coaches (25 x $1,000 per year) will be champions of
self-learning, who might be high school teachers, home school leaders,
traveling self-learners who can nurture a local hub, teach others
Mathematica and NKS, and mentor investigators.
Investigators (125 x $200 per year) will do a research project and publish
it, and exemplify our culture of investigation. Priority will be given to
Wolfram Science Team
Members of the Minciu Sodas team will work closely and publicly with
members of the Wolfram Science "A New Kind of Science" team in order to
encourage effective contacts inside and outside Wolfram Science. The
Minciu Sodas team will provide social networking venues (including blogs)
and coaching for online leadership.
1 Social Networking Leader (such as Michael Schreiber) will work with
Andrius Kulikauskas to think through the direction and values of the
culture of investigation and the role of "A New Kind of Science" within
5 Challenge Leaders (such as the leaders of the summer camp) will make
clear what NKS and Mathematica tools are available for each challenge,
respond to needs for new tools, and clarify the role of NKS and of Wolfram
Science's leadership. They will also provide inspiration for tackling the
25 Advisors (summer camp leaders and alumni) will work with the
Investigator Coaches to answer questions they may have about Mathematica
and "A New Kind of Science".
125 Mentors (summer camp alumni and NKS enthusiasts, as available) will
work with Investigators to advise them on research projects of mutual
Expand leadership opportunities within the NKS world and beyond it:
* Social networking presence for dozens of NKS leaders.
* System for responding to hundreds of new people and including them and
encouraging their work.
* Dozens of local bases for investigating together, and learning NKS and
Mathematica, which might be linked to local universities.
* Networking for NKS educational and employment opportunities at colleges,
high schools and industry.
* Leaders of challenges that embolden thousands of people.
Establish a culture of investigation that makes NKS central to many
* Data format for "demonstrations" so that research of all kinds is
published in meaningful steps.
* Distributed social networking system that is well organized, but
distinct from the official Wolfram Science websites.
* Links with a wide variety of intellectual communities and their endeavors.
* Ways to post open problems, requests for help, solutions, and
* Support network for investigation, NKS and Mathematica, especially among
high school teachers.