The 2009 NKS Summer School is over, and thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it a success! It was our first year international and our largest student group ever, and it went very well.
This summer I learned quite a bit from the various projects being conducted at the school. One of my favorite projects was by Earl Mitchell, a Pepperdine MBA, on social choice theory (for more info on the theory, read Kenneth Arrow). It attempted to simulate social choice in models of democracy, dictatorship, theft, exchange, and oligarchy, with some very interesting results.
We also had a lot of musicians this summer, which I personally find fantastic. It inspired me to dig into the project on NKS and music I’ve been wanting to do for a while — stay tuned!
There has also been a noticeable ripple effect in what was done at the Summer School and what has started to appear elsewhere. On the blog “Unconventional Everything (Mikamai),” Sebastiano Scròfina wrote the post Pasta, Oil, and Mathematica. They used Timothy Walker’s (a participant at this year’s summer school) code from his project to quickly graph some Facebook social data:
I get excited, and ask him if I can play with it to visualize social graph data. He gets excited too: we both leave our pasta aside and start coding in the middle of lunch. After a few minutes, under his patient and skillful guidance, we’ve got 2 Lines Of Code rendering 1000 nodes of Facebook’s icelandic network. How cool is that ?