July 21, 2015 — Emily Suess, Technical Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group
Wolfram Community connects you with users from around the world who are doing fun, innovative, and useful things with the Wolfram Language. From game theory and connected devices to astronomy and design, here are a few posts you won’t want to miss.
Are you familiar with the Reddit 60-second button? The Reddit experiment was a countdown that would vanish if it ever reached zero. Clicking a button gave the countdown another 60 seconds. One Community post brings Wolfram Language visualization and analysis to Reddit’s experiment, which has sparked questions spanning game theory, community psychology, and statistics. David Gathercole started by importing a dataset from April 3 to May 20 into Mathematica and charted some interesting findings. See what he discovered and contribute your own ideas.
July 16, 2015 — Bob Sandheinrich, Software Engineer, Connectivity Group
Despite the ever-growing list of tools I have for communication, email remains one of the most important. I depend on email to find out about all sorts of things: my ultimate Frisbee game is rained out, flights to Denver are only $80, my Dropbox account is almost full, my neighbor’s cat is missing (again). While filters are able to hide the pure junk and sort everything else into reasonable categories, reading and responding to email still requires a lot of manual interaction. The new mail receivers in the Wolfram Language finally let me automatically interact with email.
MailReceiverFunction is a Wolfram Language function that I deploy to the cloud to operate on incoming emails. When I deploy a function, I get an email address. Emails sent to that address will be processed by the function.
The first Wolfram Language Summer School Oxford—AKA Ecole d’été ‘Informathiques’ (click here for the French version of this blog post)—took place June 22 to July 3 at Wolfram’s European headquarters just outside the historic English university city.
Twenty-nine French students and three teachers traveled across the English Channel to attend the school, which drew scholars from the Créteil and the Nice and Versailles academies, as well as the Lycée d’Altitude de Briançon. The summer school was a result of the partnership between Wolfram, the three academies, and the INRIA Mediterranean Research Center.
July 9, 2015 — Nick Lariviere, Kernel Developer, Core Mathematica Engineering
A classic problem in numerical date notation is that various countries list year, month, and day in different orders, which was one of the motivations for the introduction of the ISO-8601 date element and interchange formats (Randall Monroe has a nice summary in this xkcd comic). In the upcoming release of the Wolfram Language, we’ve added built-in support for these ISO date formats:
The ISO specification also provides some alternative date representations, such as week dates (year, week of year, and day of week) and ordinal dates (year and day of year):
July 2, 2015 — Jenna Giuffrida, Content Administrator, Technical Communications and Strategy Group
We’re always on the lookout for new ideas and ways of using the Wolfram Language that our users produce and choose to write about in their books. In this quarter, we have applications that bridge the gap between art and geometry, and demonstrate intuitive data analysis. In addition to writing books, Wolfram welcomes authors to submit articles for publication in The Mathematica Journal, our very own in-house periodical.
June 28, 2015 — Giorgia Fortuna, Consultant, Advanced Research Group
Three months ago the world (or at least the geek world) celebrated Pi Day of the Century (3/14/15…). Today (6/28) is another math day: 2π-day, or Tau Day (2π = 6.28319…).
Some say that Tau Day is really the day to celebrate, and that τ(=2π) should be the most prominent constant, not π. It all started in 2001 with the famous opening line of a watershed essay by Bob Palais, a mathematician at the University of Utah:
“I know it will be called blasphemy by some, but I believe that π is wrong.”
Which has given rise in some circles to the celebration of Tau Day—or, as many people say, the one day on which you are allowed to eat two pies.
But is it true that τ is the better constant? In today’s world, it’s quite easy to test, and the Wolfram Language makes this task much simpler. (Indeed, Michael Trott’s recent blog post on dates in pi—itself inspired by Stephen Wolfram’s Pi Day of the Century post—made much use of the Wolfram Language.) I started by looking at 320,000 preprints from arXiv.org to see in practice how many formulas involve 2π rather than π alone, or other multiples of π.
Here is a WordCloud of some formulas containing 2π:
June 26, 2015 — Richard Asher, Public Relations
Thirty talks, one Wolfram Language code tutorial, one image processing workshop, and 130 delegates—plus a rogue appearance from a strategically placed pineapple—all added up to another successful and entertaining European Wolfram Technology Conference in Germany earlier this month.
Dates Everywhere in Pi(e)! Some Statistical and Numerological Musings about the Occurrences of Dates in the Digits of Pi
June 23, 2015 — Michael Trott, Chief Scientist
In a recent blog post, Stephen Wolfram discussed the unique position of this year’s Pi Day of the Century and gave various examples of the occurrences of dates in the (decimal) digits of pi. In this post, I’ll look at the statistics of the distribution of all possible dates/birthdays from the last 100 years within the (first ten million decimal) digits of pi. We will find that 99.998% of all digits occur in a date, and that one finds millions of dates within the first ten million digits of pi.
Here I will concentrate on dates than can be described with a maximum of six digits. This means I’ll be able to uniquely encode all dates between Saturday, March 14, 2015, and Sunday, March 15, 1915—a time range of 36,525 days.
June 18, 2015 — Bernat Espigulé-Pons
“All of us are makers. We’re born makers. We have this ability to make things, to grasp things with our hands. We use words like ‘grasp’ metaphorically to also think about understanding things. We don’t just live, but we make. We create things.”
I joined the maker movement last year, first by making simple things like a home alarm system, then by becoming a mentor in local hackathons and founding a Wolfram Meetup group in Barcelona. There is likely an open community of makers that you can join close to where you live; if not, the virtual community is open to everyone. So what are you waiting for? With the Raspberry Pi 2 combined with the Wolfram Language, you really have an amazing tool set you can use to make, tinker, and explore.
June 9, 2015 — Anneli Mossberg
The SystemModeler Library Store, launched with the release of Wolfram SystemModeler 4, is continually growing with free and purchasable libraries developed by both Wolfram and third parties. One of our commercial newcomers is SmartCooling, a Modelica library developed by the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) that is used for modeling and simulating cooling circuits. When I was asked to present this library on our blog, my first thought was, “Who better to demonstrate the ideas of SmartCooling than the people who actually developed it?” So I asked Thomas Bäuml, one of the creators of SmartCooling, to help answer some of my questions regarding the principles behind the library and its applications.