Michael Trott

An Exact Value for the Planck Constant: Why Reaching It Took 100 Years

May 19, 2016 — Michael Trott, Chief Scientist

Blog communicated on behalf of Jean-Charles de Borda.

Some thoughts for World Metrology Day 2016

Please allow me to introduce myself
I’m a man of precision and science
I’ve been around for a long, long time
Stole many a man’s pound and toise
And I was around when Louis XVI
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that metric rules
Through platinum standards made forever
Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name

Introduction and about me

In case you can’t guess: I am Jean-Charles de Borda, sailor, mathematician, scientist, and member of the Académie des Sciences, born on May 4, 1733, in Dax, France. Two weeks ago would have been my 283rd birthday. This is me:

Jean-Charles de Borda

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Oleg Marichev
Yury Brychkov

New Derivatives of the Bessel Functions Have Been Discovered with the Help of the Wolfram Language!

May 16, 2016
Oleg Marichev, Integration & Special Function Developer, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content
Yury Brychkov, Consultant, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content


Nearly two hundred years after Friedrich Bessel introduced his eponymous functions, expressions for their derivatives with respect to parameters, valid over the double complex plane, have been found.


In this blog we will show and briefly discuss some formerly unknown derivatives of special functions (primarily Bessel and related functions), and explore the history and current status of differentiation by parameters of hypergeometric and other functions. One of the main formulas found (more details below) is a closed form for the first derivative of one of the most popular special functions, the Bessel function J:

The first derivative of the Bessel J function with respect to its parameter

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Rob Morris

Special Event: New Wolfram Language Resources for the Classroom

May 13, 2016 — Rob Morris, Education Product Analyst, Business Analysis

Earlier this year we launched Wolfram Programming Lab as the place to start learning the Wolfram Language. And since launch, we’ve received a lot of feedback and support from educators and students interested in using Programming Lab in their classrooms.

Programming Lab was conceived and designed with teaching in mind, and to help make Programming Lab the best possible learning environment, we’ve developed some new tools for both students and teachers. We invite you to preview these new materials at a special virtual event, New Resources for the Classroom: Virtual Workshop for Educators.

New Resources for the Classroom: Virtual Workshop for Educators

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Posted in: Education

Silvia Hao

Computational Stippling: Can Machines Do as Well as Humans?

May 6, 2016 — Silvia Hao, Consultant, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

Stippling in art

Stippling is a kind of drawing style using only points to mimic lines, edges, and grayscale. The entire drawing consists only of dots on a white background. The density of the points gives the impression of grayscale shading.

Back in 1510, stippling was first invented as an engraving technique, and then became popular in many fields because it requires just one color of ink.

Here is a photo of a fine example taken from an exhibition of lithography and copperplate art (the Centenary of European Engraving Exhibition held at the Hubei Museum of Art in March 2015; in case you’re curious, here is the museum’s official page in English).

Photo of a piece from lithography and copperplate art exhibit at Hubei Museum of Art

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Hy Nguyen

Celebrate Math Awareness with This Wolfram|Alpha Promo

April 25, 2016 — Hy Nguyen, Consultant, Public Relations

April and Mathematics Awareness Month will soon be coming to an end, and so will these special offers on Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha. As I mentioned in my last post, this year’s Mathematics Awareness Month explores “the Future of Prediction” via mathematics and statistics. Ever since the earliest recognition of mathematics, people have used it to make accurate predictions not only in math but also in related fields.

Math Awareness Month

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Jofre Espigule-Pons

Analyzing Shakespeare’s Texts on the 400th Anniversary of His Death

April 21, 2016 — Jofre Espigule-Pons, Consultant, Technical Communications and Strategy Group


Putting some color in Shakespeare’s tragedies with the Wolfram Language


After four hundred years, Shakespeare’s works are still highly present in our culture. He mastered the English language as never before, and he deeply understood the emotions of the human mind.

Have you ever explored Shakespeare’s texts from the perspective of a data scientist? Wolfram technologies can provide you with new insights into the semantics and statistical analysis of Shakespeare’s plays and the social networks of their characters.

William Shakespeare (April 26, 1564 (baptized)–April 23, 1616) is considered by many to be the greatest writer of the English language. He wrote 154 sonnets, 38 plays (divided into three main groups: comedy, history, and tragedy), and 4 long narrative poems.

Shakespeare's works

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Eila Stiegler

The 26.2 Blog

April 15, 2016 — Eila Stiegler, Quality Analysis Manager, Wolfram|Alpha Quality Analysis

It’s four months into the new year. Spring is here. Well, so they say. And if the temperatures do not convince you, the influx of the number of runners on our roads definitely should. I have always loved running. Despite the fact that during each mile I complain about various combinations of the weather, the mileage, and my general state of mind, I met up with 37,000 other runners for the Chicago Marathon on October 11, 2015. As it turns out, this single event makes for a great example to explore what the Wolfram Language can do with larger datasets. The data we are using below is available on the Chicago Marathon results website.

This marathon is one of the six Abbott World Marathon Majors: the Tokyo, Boston, Virgin Money London, BMW Berlin, Bank of America Chicago, and TCS New York City marathons. If you are looking for things to add to your bucket list, I believe these are great candidates. Given the international appeal, let’s have a look at the runners’ nationalities and their travel paths. Our GeoGraphics functionality easily enables us to do so. Clearly many people traveled very far to participate:

GeoGraphics shows where runners have traveled from

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Wolfram Blog Team

Newest Wolfram Technologies Books Cover Range of STEM Topics

April 7, 2016 — Wolfram Blog Team

Authors that choose to incorporate Wolfram technologies into their books are practitioners in a variety of STEM fields. Their work is an invaluable resource of information about the application of Mathematica, the Wolfram Language, and other Wolfram technologies for hobbyists, STEM professionals, and students.

Handbook of Mathematics, sixth edition; Advanced Calculus Using Mathematica: Notebook Edition; Handbook of Linear Partial Differential Equations for Engineers and Scientists, second edition

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Devendra Kapadia

New in the Wolfram Language: GreenFunction and Applications in Electricity, ODEs, and PDEs

March 31, 2016 — Devendra Kapadia, Mathematica Algorithm R&D

Green's Windmill
Picture of Green’s Windmill by Kev747 at the English language Wikipedia.

In 1828, an English corn miller named George Green published a paper in which he developed mathematical methods for solving problems in electricity and magnetism. Green had received very little formal education, yet his paper introduced several profound concepts that are now taught in courses on advanced calculus, physics, and engineering. My aim in writing this post is to give a brief biography of this great genius and provide an introduction to GreenFunction, which implements one of his pioneering ideas in Version 10.4 of the Wolfram Language.

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Wolfram Blog Team

Ready? Review. Register: The 2016 Wolfram Technology Conference Is on the Way!

March 25, 2016 — Wolfram Blog Team

Mark your calendars now for the 2016 Wolfram Technology Conference! Join us October 18–21 at Wolfram headquarters in Champaign, Illinois, where we’ll be getting things off to an exciting start with a keynote address by Wolfram founder and CEO Stephen Wolfram on Tuesday, October 18 at 5pm.

Our conference gives developers and colleagues a rare opportunity for face-to-face discussion of the latest developments and features for cloud computing, interactive deployment, mobile devices, and more. Arrive early for pre-conference training opportunities, and come ready to participate in hands-on workshops, nonstop networking opportunities, and the Wolfram Language One-Liner Competition, just to name a few activities.

We are also looking for users to share their own stories and interests! Submit your presentation proposal by July 15 for full consideration. Last year’s lineup included everything from political data science to winning hackathon solutions to programming in the Wolfram Cloud… and literally almost everything in between. Review a sampling of the 2015 talks below, or visit our website for more.

Commanding the Wolfram Cloud—Todd Gayley

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