Adriana O'Brien

Using the Wolfram Language in the Classroom: History

October 8, 2015 — Adriana O'Brien, Business Development, Partnerships

It’s on to history for the Wolfram Language in the Classroom series. History and social studies have the potential to incorporate lots of real-world data to examine relationships between politics, economics, and geography. The Wolfram Language comes with built-in knowledge on a wide variety of topics, including historical events, financial information, socioeconomic data, and geographic data.

We’ve mentioned previously in this series the computational approach to thinking that introducing the Wolfram Language into a classroom environment supports; in a social studies class, this approach allows students to find connections by analyzing real-world data. In the following lesson, I’ll show you how to help students use historical financial data to explore connections between Vietnam War battles and the US economy.


Rob Morris

Using the Wolfram Language in the Classroom: Chemistry

October 7, 2015 — Rob Morris, Education Product Analyst, Business Analysis

Welcome to day three of the Wolfram Language in the Classroom series. I hope you’ve enjoyed the lessons so far. Today I want to show you how data built into the Wolfram Language can be used in the chemistry classroom. The Wolfram Language has information on over 44,000 chemicals and thus provides a perfect environment for chemistry students to do comparative, data-driven analysis.

The unique advantage of using the Wolfram Language for computational thinking in a chemistry class is that it allows students to analyze curated data to create hypotheses and show correlations in a new way.


Adriana O'Brien

Using the Wolfram Language in the Classroom: English

October 6, 2015 — Adriana O'Brien, Business Development, Partnerships

It’s day two of the Wolfram Language in the Classroom series, and I’ll be bringing coding into an English class today. For the most part, educators and administrators consider programming a tool only for STEM courses. While coding in the Wolfram Language is excellent for STEM, it is an invaluable tool for many other subject areas as well.

Using the Wolfram Language in an English class supports a computational approach to critical thinking, which allows students to collect and analyze data to become reflective writers. In the following lesson, educators can prompt students to write just a little bit of code to reflect on their written work.


Rob Morris

Using the Wolfram Language in the Classroom: Math

October 5, 2015 — Rob Morris, Education Product Analyst, Business Analysis

Welcome to the first in a series of posts on using the Wolfram Language in the classroom! Each day this week my colleagues and I will share some of our thoughts about how to use the Wolfram Language in various classroom settings. Each post will focus on a different subject and will provide an example lesson for instructors to use with their students, complete with the appropriate grade levels, goals, and procedures. Our lessons are designed with the principles of computational thinking in mind, and we will highlight specifically how these lessons fit into that paradigm.

Today I’ll discuss a subject the Wolfram Language was born and bred to tackle: math. But since there is so much to do with math in the Wolfram Language, we need to focus on a specific aspect. I want to talk about how to use the Wolfram Language to create exploratory tools that allow students to develop their intuition and curiosity without the pressures of rigorous formalization.


Peter Barendse
Emily Suess

Literary Analysis and the Wolfram Language: Jumping Down a Reading Rabbit Hole

October 1, 2015
Peter Barendse, Senior Wolfram|Alpha Developer
Emily Suess, Technical Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

As summer wraps up and students are hitting the books once again here in the US, it’s fun to explore how the Wolfram Language can be used in the classroom to analyze texts.

Take the beloved classic Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll as an example. In just a few lines of code, you can create a word cloud from its text, browse its numerous covers, and visualize its emotional content.

Jump right in by creating a WordCloud:

Creating a WordCloud for <em>Alice in Wonderland</em>


Jeffrey Bryant

Stranded on Mars: Exploring Travel on Mars in The Martian

September 24, 2015 — Jeffrey Bryant, Scientific Information Group

The popular book The Martian by Andy Weir will be released in movie form on October 2. The Martian is about an astronaut, Mark Watney, stranded alone on Mars. The crew of Ares 3, the third manned mission to Mars, thought he had been killed during an evacuation. When the crew left, they took the only planned means of escape and communication with them. The next manned mission to Mars isn’t for four years, so Watney has to face the fact that he must either figure out how to survive for up to four years on Mars or die. The book does a wonderful job of supplying technical details of the conditions and supplies available, as well as of the problems that arise as a result of using things in ways for which they were not designed. The details are great for allowing us to explore the travels of the main character with the Wolfram Language.

It’s at this point I should probably post a warning: SPOILER ALERT! From here on I will be exploring aspects of the story and so will be giving away plot points. If you don’t like those kinds of details, stop here and go read the book… and then come back and read this blog.


Posted in: Wolfram|Alpha

Wolfram Blog Team

MHacks 6 Brings Hacking to a Higher Level

September 23, 2015 — Wolfram Blog Team

MHacks is a hackathon hosted by the University of Michigan every year that brings together a diverse group of students to redefine the modern perception of hackers as criminals or programming experts and to make something amazing. At this year’s MHacks 6, Wolfram was proud to be a sponsor and see our technologies in action in several of the group projects.

Last year’s winners, Olivia Walch and Matt Jacobs, returned with new teammates Sam Oliver and David Renardy as Team Fusion Furniture. Their hack, which tied for first place in Best Use of Wolfram Technology, allows users to turn photos and pictures from their phones into custom, 3D-printed tables and chairs. Team Fusion Furniture used the Wolfram Language and Wolfram Development Platform (formerly known as Wolfram Programming Cloud) to “generate, export, and email the 3D model from the images” and for other back end needs.

Team Fusion Furniture


Posted in: Wolfram Language

Arnoud Buzing

The Coffee “Flavor-Rator”

September 21, 2015 — Arnoud Buzing, Director of Quality and Release Management

I drink too much coffee—it’s one of my few vices. Recently, my favorite espresso machine at the Wolfram Research headquarters in Champaign, Illinois, was replaced with a fancy new combination coffee and espresso maker. The coffee now comes in little pouches of various flavors, ranging from “light and smooth” to “dark and intense”. There even is a “hot chocolate” pouch and a way to make cappuccinos using both a “froth” pouch and an “espresso” pouch. Here is a picture of the new coffee selection:

Coffee flavor display


Jonathan Wallace

The Republican Presidential Debate Clouds: Round 2

September 18, 2015 — Jonathan Wallace, Manager, Marketing Communications

After the first Republican presidential debate, we showed you how the WordCloud function in the Wolfram Language can be used to create compelling visualizations of what the candidates said.

This time around, Alan Joyce and Vitaliy Kaurov have done an even cooler analysis over at Wolfram Community, delving further into what words were used most frequently and what subjects the candidates had in common—and how they set themselves apart.

For example, check out the words uniquely used by each candidate in Wednesday’s debate below.

Jeb Bush WordCloud Ben Carson WordCloud Chris Christie WordCloud Ted Cruz WordCloud Carly Fiorina WordCloud Mike Huckabee WordCloud John Kasich WordCloud Rand Paul WordCloud Marco Rubio WordCloud Donald Trump WordCloud Scott Walker WordCloud


Dana Flinn

Experts in Action: Live-Coding with Christopher Wolfram

September 17, 2015 — Dana Flinn, Project Administrator, Public Relations

If you’ve ever hit a roadblock while learning to code, then you know the frustration of trying to find the best resource to help you out. We have good news. We are happy to announce that Christopher Wolfram, son of Wolfram Research’s founder, Stephen Wolfram, will be live-coding on This new Y Combinator–backed coding platform brings programmers together to watch live streams of people coding real products.

Christopher live-coding onstage at Maker Faire

Enhance your coding skills and learn directly from someone with the knowledge and expertise that results from working directly with Stephen Wolfram. Christopher’s presentation will focus on education analytics; users who tune in will see a firsthand demonstration of how to interact with datasets and visualizations in the Wolfram Language. The live streaming is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22 at 7pm CDT.