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Call to Action: Look, then Vote! (and Give to Charity)

Something special is going on. Look at all these images.

You're looking at 96 images from the ongoing Mini Hack contest that we're doing in honor of MATLAB Central's 20th anniversary. This entire tableau is the result of no more than 26,880 characters (that is, 96 * 280) of MATLAB code. You can read all the details here, but the basic idea is that you get 280 characters to paint an algorithmic picture.

With 187 players and more than 1000 images so far, we're seeing entries from all points of the compass. And they are gorgeous! Many of them strain belief that they could could possibly be encoded by so few characters. For instance, could you code Peter Stampfli's exuberant entry double 5 in a tweet worth of MATLAB code?

Or how about the contemplative Buddahbrot in Color by Tucker Downs?

Or the tranquil Lake view to the West from the artistic keyboard of Jenny Bosten (look at all her stuff!)

I've enjoyed jumping into people's entries and asking myself "How did they do that?" For instance, Mike Croucher's entries taught me about the Chaos Game, which I learned makes an appearance in a Tom Stoppard play.

I find the whole process magical, a fantastic image compression scheme. How does the rabbit fit in the top hat? To think that these mysterious images are somehow folded up, like tiny seeds, inside a few hundred keystrokes, waiting to be liberated by a shower of MATLAB... It speaks to the leverage of MATLAB, of software, of mathematics, of the human mind. With a wave of my hand, I can send dazzling fireworks and delicate smoke rings out into the ether. I can give this power to you and you can give it to me. I think that should make you smile. Anyway, it makes me smile.

So here is your call to action: We need to hear from you! Look at the entries, and if they make you smile, vote! (Note: vote = liking an entry by pressing the heart icon next to it.) The authors will appreciate it, and I will appreciate the fact that you are appreciating them. But more than that, every time you vote, MathWorks will donate $1 to Direct Relief (with a maximum amount of $20 donated per entry).

And of course, you can still play, too!

Also: see if you can find the pretzel. I found it.

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