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


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


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:


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.


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…


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.


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.


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[{


John Fultz

Notebooks in Your Pocket—Wolfram Player for iOS Is Now Shipping

October 4, 2017 — John Fultz, Director of User Interface Technology

Ten months ago, I announced the beginning of our open beta program for Wolfram Player for iOS. The beta is over, and we are now shipping Wolfram Player in the App Store. Wolfram Player for iOS joins Wolfram CDF Player on Windows, Mac and Linux as a free platform for sharing your notebook content with the world.

Wolfram Player

Wolfram Player is the first native computational notebook experience ever on iOS. You can now take your notebooks with you and play them offline. Wolfram Player supports notebooks running interfaces backed by Version 11.1 of the Wolfram Language—an 11.2 release will come shortly. Wolfram Player includes the same kernel that you would find in any desktop or cloud release of the Wolfram Language.


Shadi Ashnai
Markus van Almsick

Computational Microscopy with the Wolfram Language

September 29, 2017
Shadi Ashnai, Manager, Image Processing
Markus van Almsick, Consultant, Algorithms R&D

Microscopes were invented almost four hundred years ago. But today, there’s a revolution in microscopy (as in so many other fields) associated with computation. We’ve been working hard to make the Wolfram Language a definitive platform for the emerging field of computational microscopy.

It all starts with getting an image of some kind—whether from a light or x-ray microscope, transmission electron microscope (TEM), confocal laser scanning microscope (CLSM), two-photon excitation or a scanning electron microscope (SEM), as well as many more. You can then proceed to enhance images, reconstruct objects and perform measurements, detection, recognition and classification. At last month’s Microscopy & Microanalysis conference, we showed various examples of this pipeline, starting with a Zeiss microscope and a ToupTek digital camera.

Microanalysis tools


Stephen Wolfram

It’s Another Impressive Release! Launching Version 11.2 Today

September 14, 2017 — Stephen Wolfram

Our Latest R&D Output

I’m excited today to announce the latest output from our R&D pipeline: Version 11.2 of the Wolfram Language and Mathematica—available immediately on desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and cloud.

It was only this spring that we released Version 11.1. But after the summer we’re now ready for another impressive release—with all kinds of additions and enhancements, including 100+ entirely new functions:

New functions word cloud