Will Mayner

Resume

Check it out here.

Consciousness Research

I’ve joined the Integrated Information Theory group at the Center for Sleep and Consciousness at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, headed by Dr. Giulio Tononi. Right now I’m working on vPhi, a visual interface to PyPhi. It’ll be available soon at integratedinformationtheory.org. I’m also working on a paper about some of the implications of IIT for digital computers.

PyPhi

PyPhiis a Python library to calculate integrated information, the quantity that integrated information theory identifies with consciousness.

Marbl

Marbl is a specification for a normal form for Markov blankets in Bayesian networks. It arose in the course of developing PyPhi.

The calculation of integrated information is intractable for even very small networks. One of the most useful and obvious strategies for dealing with this is to memoize the calculation, building up a database of results over time.

The purpose of Marbl is to clearly define the equivalence class of inputs for which the output of certain PyPhi subroutines remains the same, so this memoization strategy can be applied as much as possible.

Accordingly, the specification is currently implemented in Python.

PyEMD

PyEMD is a small Python wrapper, written in Cython, of an excellent C++ implementation of the Earth Mover’s Distance metric. I made it for use within PyPhi.

Applied Mathematics Research

Over the summer of 2012 I did some research in applied mathematics at the Illinois Institute of Technology. My research partner and I made a poster summarizing the results and presented it at a couple of conferences.

Dotfiles

Much like a turtle, I never leave my shell. So I made it really nice!

My dotfiles are on GitHub. There’s a lot of customization for Vim and the terminal prompt. Someday I’ll package them properly, but for now there’s a half-baked approximation:

git clone https://github.com/wmayner/dotfiles.git ~/dotfiles
cd ~/dotfiles
rake install

The rakefile is quite old, and doesn’t install any of the various dependencies. See the README for information on those.

If you try it out, be sure to carefully follow the prompts from rake install to backup your existing dotfiles.

LizWikstrom.com

I designed a portfolio site for illustrator Liz Wikstrom. It’s built on Cargo Collective’s platform so she can maintain it easily — they have a decent UI for adding projects, thumbnails, etc.

Check out some beautiful art.

The Mandelbrot Set

In my senior year of high school I hacked together a Java applet that lets you explore the Mandelbrot Set, an incredibly fascinating and beautiful mathematical object.

I first came across it when I read Chaos by James Gleick in 10th grade. Right after that, I read Hofstadter’s Gödel, Escher, Bach (like every other introspective nerd). This was my first glimpse of real mathematics. I had always thought I didn’t like math, but after seeing this I realized that I just didn’t like math class.

The Mandelbrot Set is the set of complex numbers \(c\) for which the orbit of \(0\) remains bounded under iteration of this beautifully simple equation:

\[ z_{n+1} = z^2_n + c \]
Check it out.

Pandata

A while back I made a Node.js port of a Ruby module for scraping public Pandora data.