Wednesday, October 24, 2007

An update: results and research

I have seen the ICFP, and it is full of funky symbols. Yes, we won a prize; two of the twelve of us headed of to Freiburg-im-Breisgau; and we came second, beaten by Team Smartass of Google. Interestingly, of the four contestants in Freiburg to collect prizes, three were South African (myself and Marco from the United Coding Team, as well as Daniel Wright of Team Smartass).

A few months ago I posted an translation of Wolfram's (2, 3) Turing Machine into Fuun DNA. What I called "an open problem of Wolfram" is now closed. Today Wolfram announced that this machine has been proven universal by Alex Smith. Since there is known to be no (2, 2) UTM, Wolfram and Smith's machine is the smallest Universal Turing Machine.

Somewhat related to Wolfram and Smith, but *very* related to programmable Fuun DNA: programmable terrestial DNA — Programmed Mutagenesis Is a Universal Model of Computation by Khodor and Gifford. Perhaps Endo isn't as alien as we thought?


  1. What's your opinion on the latest controversy about Alex Smith's proof? It seems that you might have to update your post slightly depending on how things turn out!

    If you haven't already read it, the original objection from Vaughan Pratt, and a response from Todd Rowland at Wolfram Research can be read here.

  2. Sorry it's taken me so long to respond to your comment, Clive.

    I'm not really knowledgeable enough to understand the controversy, but we shall see.

    In the mean time, don't cite this blog post in your thesis :)