[FOM] The Wolfram 2, 3 Turing Machine Research Prize - Call for participation

Hector Zenil hzenilc at gmail.com
Mon May 14 22:24:54 EDT 2007

[We apologize if you receive multiple copies of this announcement]
Call for Participation

May 14th, 2007


We are pleased to announce the Wolfram 2,3 Turing Machine Research
Prize in celebration of the 5th anniversary of Stephen Wolfram's A New
Kind of Science (http://www.wolframscience.com/nksonline).

The research prize is sponsored by Wolfram Research and Stephen
Wolfram and consists of $25,000 US to the first individual or group to
successfully determine whether or not a particular 2-state 3-color
Turing machine is universal, and submit a full proof of such claim to
the satisfaction of the Prize Committee.


The purpose of the prize is to encourage research that will help fill
in foundational questions associated with the structure of the
computational universe. The subject matter of A New Kind of Science
is, as the title of Wolfram's book suggests, not something that fits
into existing areas of science. This prize is an attempt to provide
support that goes outside of the normal channels of scientific
funding. We particularly hope that the prize will stimulate young
researchers--either "professional" or "amateur"--to pursue this
exciting direction.


The longstanding best result for the smallest universal Turing machine
was found by Marvin Minsky in the early 1960s. His machine has 7
states and 4 colors. In A New Kind of Science, Stephen Wolfram found a
universal 2,5 machine, and suggested that the particular 2,3 machine
that is the subject of the prize might be universal. Wolfram's A New
Kind of Science had the immediate consequence of showing that finding
minimal examples of computation universality was not just a curiosity,
but was something connected to core questions about science, nature,
and the foundations of mathematics and computer science.


The invitation to participate, and eligibility to win the prize is
extended to everyone. Each submitter must agree to be bound and abide
by the rules, decisions and interpretations promulgated by the Prize
Committee. All documents must be submitted electronically via the
website (http://www.wolframprize.org) following the rules and
guidelines. Submissions remain the sole property of submitters, but we
reserve the right to publish summaries of any winning submission and
the name of the submitters on our website. It is also anticipated that
any winning submission will be expanded into a scholarly paper that
could be published in the Complex Systems journal.

Prize Committee

Lenore Blum
Greg Chaitin
Martin Davis
Ron Graham
Yuri Matiyasevich
Marvin Minsky
Dana Scott
Stephen Wolfram


Todd Rowland
Hector Zenil

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