Stewart Dickson–Bridging the Science of Computing and the Science of Consciousness

Stewart Dickson–Bridging the Science of Computing and the Science of Consciousness

Computer Science master’s student Stewart Dickson

Stewart’s cover art for the book The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene

Lecturing at a symposium on “Art and Mathematics” in Maubeuge, France, 2000
(Photo by John M. Sullivan)

Stewart Dickson’s unique computer-generated images of mathematical formulas have appeared on the cover of numerous scientific books since the 1980s. He was also a pioneer in creating digital sculptures of these mathematical formulas with a technology that later evolved into 3D printing.

Stewart earned a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Delaware in 1981, where he also took classes in electronic music, drawing, sculpture, visual design, and optics. For his undergraduate thesis, he developed and patented a stringed musical instrument with electrical feedback.

Since then, Stewart has combined his computer skills with his interest in science, graphics, and animation to create visual effects at Walt Disney Animation Studios, design a software to visualize biomedical data, and build computer graphic tools for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Since 2011 he has been working for WolframAlpha, the online computational knowledge engine, which answers factual queries directly by computing the answer from externally-sourced curated data.

Stewart learned about MUM in 2012, when a university editor contacted him about using one of his computer graphics for a presentation by MUM President John Hagelin. Later the editor sent Stewart a copy of the proceedings of the symposium on Consciousness-BasedSM education. After reading the book, Stewart was convinced. “All the science is logically sound; all the philosophy is logically sound here.”

Stewart has always wanted to attend graduate school, but he also wanted keep working while going school. MUM’s ComPro Program was a great fit because he could take most of his classes via distance education and keep his job.

“I really like the theory of computation blended with the Science of Creative Intelligence®; I find it very interesting,” he said. “As we start building quantum computers, I think we are going to learn a lot about the interface between information theory and quantum physics. And that really is the language of natural law.”

Stewart’s interest in computer science and the science of consciousness recently spurred him to write a paper about the convergence of computational theory and consciousness, which he intends to publish in the International Journal of Mathematics and Consciousness.

Expedia Travel Site Names Fairfield a ‘Best Place to Escape’

Expedia Travel Site Names Fairfield a ‘Best Place to Escape’

From beautiful small towns to quiet nature preserves, our country offers many great places in which to find your escape, and Expedia has chosen its favorites in each state, highlighting the rejuvenative things to do in such places. What is the “best of Iowa” in this category? Fairfield, of course, home of MUM… read on:


Megann Kammerman—Fiction Writer and Aikido Student

Megann Kammerman—Fiction Writer and Aikido Student

MUM creative writing student Megann Kammerman

With a self-portrait she made in a sculpture class

During an Aikido demonstration in downtown Fairfield

When MUM student Megann Kammerman saw a video of Jim Carrey’s MUM commencement speech, she immediately became intrigued by the university’s non-conventional approach to education. But she waited until her younger sister graduated from high school and, in August 2015, they both enrolled at MUM.

Prior to coming to MUM, Megann had pursued various types of art, including making gemstone bracelets and drawing portraits, so she naturally chose art as her major. At the same time, she was an avid reader of fantasy and had always wanted to write. Eventually she realized that she could be more creative through telling stories and switched her major to creative writing. “I love writing fiction because I can do anything, especially with fantasy,” she said. “There are no limits.”

Over the past two years she has written numerous short stories and flash fiction and began working on the draft of a novel in a recent novel-writing class. Megann also enjoys editing and helping fellow students improve their writing at the MUM Writing Center.

As a writer who is constantly thinking about characters and plot twists, Megann welcomes the interruption of the daily practice of the Transcendental Meditation® technique, which allows her to unwind.

“Consciousness-Based education puts the student first,” Megann said. “Rather than putting emphasis on test scores or memorization skills, it works to develop our understanding and knowledge and creativity. It gives us the tools (TM is one of them) to build a life that allows us to follow our dreams.”

When she arrived at MUM, Megann also joined MUM’s Aikido Club, where she is now the president. She enjoys the harmonious, non-violent practice of the martial art and attends practice four times a week. Her dedication has resulted in rapid progress, and she recently passed the fifth level of testing at a seminar in Missouri. She is now only one more level away from beginning training for a black belt test.