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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Alien Spacecraft, Computing and Mathematics

Have long been a big student of how computing, mathematics, analytics and visualization are presented in film.    In particular how they portray real science and engineering involved.  And how this is a useful inspiration and training for the practitioners of the future.  Being an adviser in a futurist sense is interesting. The article is long, and in places technical, but well worth a look if you have interest.    And happened to have met a few of these people.   Just a short snippet below.

Quick, How Might the Alien Spacecraft Work?    Stephen Wolfram
November 10, 2016
[This post is about the movie Arrival; there are no movie spoilers here.]
" ... As a company we’ve had a certain amount of experience working with Hollywood, for example writing all the math for six seasons of the television show Numb3rs. I hadn’t personally been involved—though I have quite a few science friends who’ve helped with movies. There’s Jack Horner, who worked on Jurassic Park, and ended up (as he tells it) pretty much having all his paleontology theories in the movie, including ones that turned out to be wrong.

 And then there’s Kip Thorne (famous for the recent triumph of detecting gravitational waves), who as a second career in his 80s was the original driving force behind Interstellar—and who made the original black-hole visual effects with Mathematica. From an earlier era there was Marvin Minsky who consulted on AI for 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Ed Fredkin who ended up as the model for the rather eccentric Dr. Falken in WarGames. And recently there was Manjul Bhargava, who for a decade shepherded what became The Man Who Knew Infinity, eventually carefully “watching the math” in weeks of editing sessions.   ...."

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