Michael Trott

Which Is Closer: Local Beer or Local Whiskey?

August 19, 2014 — Michael Trott, Chief Scientist

In today’s blog post, we will use some of the new features of the Wolfram Language, such as language processing, geometric regions, map-making capabilities, and deploying forms to analyze and visualize the distribution of beer breweries and whiskey distilleries in the US. In particular, we want to answer the core question: for which fraction of the US is the nearest brewery further away than the nearest distillery?

Disclaimer: you may read, carry out, and modify inputs in this blog post independent of your age. Hands-on taste tests might require a certain minimal legal age (check your countries’ and states’ laws).

We start by importing two images from Wikipedia to set the theme; later we will use them on maps.

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Tom Sherlock

Fixing Bad Astrophotography II: Imaging Mars with Mathematica

August 14, 2014 — Tom Sherlock, User Interface Group

The planet Mars comes into opposition, the point closest to the Earth, about every 780 days, or a bit over two years. The Martian opposition this year was on April 9. This past May, on a rare clear, warm night, I attempted to capture some images of the red planet. Unfortunately once I had my telescope set up, Mars had passed behind a large tree, so the images I captured were distorted by tree branches. Nevertheless, I did manage to capture a set of frames, and hoped that image processing with Mathematica could produce something usable.

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Stephen Wolfram

Computational Knowledge and the Future of Pure Mathematics

August 12, 2014 — Stephen Wolfram

Every four years for more than a century there’s been an International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM) held somewhere in the world. In 1900 it was where David Hilbert announced his famous collection of math problems—and it’s remained the top single periodic gathering for the world’s research mathematicians.

This year the ICM is in Seoul, and I’m going to it today. I went to the ICM once before—in Kyoto in 1990. Mathematica was only two years old then, and mathematicians were just getting used to it. Plenty already used it extensively—but at the ICM there were also quite a few who said, “I do pure mathematics. How can Mathematica possibly help me?”

Mathematics

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Posted in: Mathematics

Jeffrey Bryant

Rosetta—First Mission to Orbit and Land on a Comet

August 7, 2014 — Jeffrey Bryant, Scientific Information Group

We are reposting this blog post due to the ESA’s success yesterday, August 6, 2014.

We recently posted a blog entry celebrating the anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the Moon. Now, just a couple weeks later, we are preparing for another first: the European Space Agency’s attempt to orbit and then land on a comet. The Rosetta spacecraft was launched in 2004 with the ultimate goal of orbiting and landing on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. Since the launch, Rosetta has already flown by asteroid Steins, in 2008, and asteroid 21 Lutetia, in 2010.

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) have a long history of sending probes to other solar system bodies that then orbit those bodies. The bodies have usually been nice, well-behaved, and spherical, making orbital calculations a fairly standard thing. But, as Rosetta recently started to approach comet 67P, we began to get our first views of this alien world. And it is far from spherical.

Far from spherical comet 67P

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Devendra Kapadia

The ABCD of Divergent Series

August 6, 2014 — Devendra Kapadia, Mathematica Algorithm R&D

What is the sum of all the natural numbers? Intuition suggests that the answer is infinity, and, in calculus, the natural numbers provide a simple example of a divergent series. Yet mathematicians and physicists have found it useful to assign fractional, negative, or even zero values to the sums of such series. My aim in writing this post is to clear up some of the mystery that surrounds these seemingly bizarre results for divergent series. More specifically, I will use Sum and other functions in Mathematica to explain the sense in which the following statements are true.

Using Sum

The significance of the labels A, B, C, and D for these examples will soon become clear!

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Posted in: Mathematics

Arnoud Buzing

Wolfram Language and Mathematica Updated for the Raspberry Pi

August 1, 2014 — Arnoud Buzing, Director of Quality and Release Management

Earlier this month we released Mathematica 10, a major update to Wolfram’s flagship desktop product. It contains over 700 new functions and improvements to just about every part of the system.

Mathematica + Raspberry Pi

Today I’m happy to announce an update for Mathematica and the Wolfram Language for the Raspberry Pi that brings those new features to the Raspberry Pi. To get the new version of the Wolfram Language, simply run this command in a terminal on your Raspberry Pi:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install wolfram-engine

This new version will also be pre-installed in the next release of NOOBS, the easy setup system for the Raspberry Pi.

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Wolfram Blog

Creating Escher-Inspired Art with Mathematica

July 30, 2014 — Wolfram Blog

Kenzo Nakamura uses Mathematica to create Escher-inspired mathematical art. His trademark piece, Three-Circle Mandala, depicts a large circle covered by three smaller, repeating circles that form a Sierpinksi gasket.

When Nakamura began using Mathematica, he didn’t originally intend to use it for his artistic endeavors. He found the program by chance at a seminar while looking for the right tool to help him write his master’s thesis.

Now, in addition to using Mathematica for technical and operations research, Nakamura uses it to create Mathematica-derived visual illusions. Although his works are static drawings, their infinite properties create the illusion of movement.

Watch Nakamura discuss using Mathematica to create his drawings, and see a few of his creations.


(YouTube in Japanese)

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Roger Germundsson
Jan Brugård

Announcing Wolfram SystemModeler 4

July 23, 2014
Roger Germundsson, Director of Research & Development
Jan Brugård, CEO, Wolfram MathCore

Today we are proud to announce the release of Wolfram SystemModeler 4.

Wolfram SystemModeler Logo

For SystemModeler 4, we have expanded the supported model libraries to cover many new areas. We’ve also improved workflows for everything from learning the software to developing models to analyzing and deploying them.

People have been using SystemModeler in an astonishing variety of areas. Many of those have been well supported by built-in libraries, but many are totally new domains where models typically need to be built from scratch.

For most applications, using existing model libraries gives a real boost to productivity, but developing a good library takes a lot of effort. There are many aspects to think of: the best structure for easy modeling, the right level of detail, the interfaces to other components, which components to include, documentation, etc. And you may very well have to refactor the library more than once before you’re done. Reusing components and interfaces from already tested and documented libraries not only speeds up development and learning, but also improves quality.

So we’ve made SystemModeler‘s already broad collection of built-in libraries even larger. For instance, we’ve added Digital, for digital electronics following the VHDL multivalued logic standard; QuasiStationary, for efficient approximate modeling of large analog circuits; and FundamentalWave, for modeling multiphase electrical machines. There are also many improvements to existing libraries, such as support for thermal ports in the Rotational and Translational mechanics libraries so that heat losses can be captured.

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Posted in: SystemModeler

Wolfram Blog

How Citizen Computation Changes Democracy: Conrad Wolfram at TEDxHousesofParliament

July 22, 2014 — Wolfram Blog

Conrad Wolfram at TEDxHOP
Photography by Tracy Howl and Paul Clarke

Has our newfound massive availability of data improved decisions and lead to better democracy around the world? Most would say, “It’s highly questionable.”

Conrad Wolfram’s TEDx UK Parliament talk poses this question and explains how computation can be key to the answer, bridging the divide between availability and practical accessibility of data, individualized answers, and the democratization of new knowledge generation. This transformation will be critical not only to government efficiency and business effectiveness—but will fundamentally affect education, society, and democracy as a whole.

Wolfram|Alpha and Mathematica 10 demos feature throughout—including a live Wolfram Language generated tweet.

More about Wolfram’s solutions for your organization’s data »


Stephen Wolfram

Launching Mathematica 10—
with 700+ New Functions and a Crazy Amount of R&D

July 9, 2014 — Stephen Wolfram

We’ve got an incredible amount of new technology coming out this summer. Two weeks ago we launched Wolfram Programming Cloud. Today I’m pleased to announce the release of a major new version of Mathematica: Mathematica 10.

Wolfram Mathematica 10

We released Mathematica 1 just over 26 years ago—on June 23, 1988. And ever since we’ve been systematically making Mathematica ever bigger, stronger, broader and deeper. But Mathematica 10—released today—represents the single biggest jump in new functionality in the entire history of Mathematica.

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