Michael Gammon

Creating Mathematical Gems in the Wolfram Language

December 14, 2017 — Michael Gammon, Blog Administrator, Document and Media Systems

The Wolfram Community group dedicated to visual arts is abound with technically and aesthetically stunning contributions. Many of these posts come from prolific contributor Clayton Shonkwiler, who has racked up over 75 “staff pick” accolades. Recently I got the chance to interview him and learn more about the role of the Wolfram Language in his art and creative process. But first, I asked Wolfram Community’s staff lead, Vitaliy Kaurov, what makes Shonkwiler a standout among mathematical artists.

Stereo Vision Rise Up

CONTINUE READING »


Jon McLoone

Tracking a Descent to Savagery with the Wolfram Language: Plotting Sentiment Analysis in Lord of the Flies

December 7, 2017 — Jon McLoone, Director, Technical Communication & Strategy

Computation is no longer the preserve of science and engineering, so I thought I would share a simple computational literary analysis that I did with my daughter.

Shell Lord of the Flies

CONTINUE READING »


Vitaliy Kaurov

Finding X in Espresso: Adventures in Computational Lexicology

November 30, 2017 — Vitaliy Kaurov, Academic Director, Wolfram Science and Innovation Initiatives

When Does a Word Become a Word?

“A shot of expresso, please.” “You mean ‘espresso,’ don’t you?” A baffled customer, a smug barista—media is abuzz with one version or another of this story. But the real question is not whether “expresso” is a correct spelling, but rather how spellings evolve and enter dictionaries. Lexicographers do not directly decide that; the data does. Long and frequent usage may qualify a word for endorsement. Moreover, I believe the emergent proliferation of computational approaches can help to form an even deeper insight into the language. The tale of expresso is a thriller from a computational perspective.

X in expresso data analysis poster

CONTINUE READING »


Jon McLoone

How to Win at Risk: Exact Probabilities

November 20, 2017 — Jon McLoone, Director, Technical Communication & Strategy

The classic board game Risk involves conquering the world by winning battles that are played out using dice. There are lots of places on the web where you can find out the odds of winning a battle given the number of armies that each player has. However, all the ones that I have seen do this by Monte Carlo simulation, and so are innately approximate. The Wolfram Language makes it so easy to work out the exact values that I couldn’t resist calculating them once and for all.

Risk battle odds flow chart

CONTINUE READING »


Stephen Wolfram

What Is a Computational Essay?

November 14, 2017 — Stephen Wolfram

A Powerful Way to Express Ideas

People are used to producing prose—and sometimes pictures—to express themselves. But in the modern age of computation, something new has become possible that I’d like to call the computational essay.

I’ve been working on building the technology to support computational essays for several decades, but it’s only very recently that I’ve realized just how central computational essays can be to both the way people learn, and the way they communicate facts and ideas. Professionals of the future will routinely deliver results and reports as computational essays. Educators will routinely explain concepts using computational essays. Students will routinely produce computational essays as homework for their classes.

Here’s a very simple example of a computational essay:

Simple computational essay example

CONTINUE READING »


Devendra Kapadia

Limits without Limits in Version 11.2

November 9, 2017 — Devendra Kapadia, Kernel Developer, Algorithms R&D

Limits lead image

Here are 10 terms in a sequence:

Table[(2/(2 n + 1)) ((2 n)!!/(2 n - 1)!!)^2, {n, 10}]

And here’s what their numerical values are:

N[%]

But what is the limit of the sequence? What would one get if one continued the sequence forever?

In Mathematica and the Wolfram Language, there’s a function to compute that:

DiscreteLimit[(2/(2 n + 1)) ((2 n)!!/(2 n - 1)!!)^2, n -> \[Infinity]]

Limits are a central concept in many areas, including number theory, geometry and computational complexity. They’re also at the heart of calculus, not least since they’re used to define the very notions of derivatives and integrals.

Mathematica and the Wolfram Language have always had capabilities for computing limits; in Version 11.2, they’ve been dramatically expanded. We’ve leveraged many areas of the Wolfram Language to achieve this, and we’ve invented some completely new algorithms too. And to make sure we’ve covered what people want, we’ve sampled over a million limits from Wolfram|Alpha.

CONTINUE READING »

Posted in: Uncategorized

Christopher Carlson

What Can You Say in One Line of the Wolfram Language? The 2017 One-Liner Competition

November 8, 2017 — Christopher Carlson, Senior User Interface Developer, User Interfaces

The One-Liner Competition is a tradition at our annual Wolfram Technology Conference, which took place at our headquarters in Champaign, Illinois, two weeks ago. We challenge attendees to show us the most impressive effects they can achieve with 128 characters or fewer of Wolfram Language code. We are never disappointed, and often surprised by what they show us can be done with the language we work so hard to develop—the language we think is the world’s most powerful and fun.

Melting flags

This year’s winning submissions included melting flags, computer vision and poetry. Read on to see how far you can go with just a few characters of Wolfram Language code…

CONTINUE READING »

Posted in: Uncategorized

Jesse Dohmann

From Aircraft to Optics: Wolfram Innovator Awards 2017

November 2, 2017 — Jesse Dohmann, Technical Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

As is tradition at the annual Wolfram Technology Conference, we recognize exceptional users and organizations for their innovative usage of our technologies across a variety of disciplines and fields.

Award winners with Stephen Wolfram

Nominated candidates undergo a vetting process, and are then evaluated by a panel of experts to determine winners. This year we’re excited to announce the recipients of the 2017 Wolfram Innovator Awards.

CONTINUE READING »

Posted in: Events

Swede White

Inside Scoops from the 2017 Wolfram Technology Conference

November 1, 2017 — Swede White, Media & Communications Specialist

Wolfram Technology Conference

Two weeks ago at the Wolfram Technology Conference, a diverse lineup of hands-on training, workshops, talks and networking events were impressively orchestrated over the course of four days, culminating in a one-of-a-kind annual experience for users and enthusiasts of Wolfram technologies. It was a unique experience where researchers and professionals interacted directly with those who build each component of the Wolfram technology stack—Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, the Wolfram Language, Wolfram SystemModeler, Wolfram Enterprise Private Cloud and everything in between.

CONTINUE READING »

Posted in: Events

Etienne Bernard

Building the Automated Data Scientist: The New Classify and Predict

October 10, 2017 — Etienne Bernard, Lead Architect, Advanced Research Group

Automated Data Science

Imagine a baker connecting a data science application to his database and asking it, “How many croissants are we going to sell next Sunday?” The application would simply answer, “According to your recorded data and other factors such as the predicted weather, there is a 90% chance that between 62 and 67 croissants will be sold.” The baker could then plan accordingly. This is an example of an automated data scientist, a system to which you could throw arbitrary data and get insights or predictions in return.

One key component in making this a reality is the ability to learn a predictive model without specifications from humans besides the data. In the Wolfram Language, this is the role of the functions Classify and Predict. For example, let’s train a classifier to recognize morels from hedgehog mushrooms:

c = Classify[{

CONTINUE READING »