Jeffrey Bryant

A Big Year for Dwarf Planets

March 2, 2015 — Jeffrey Bryant, Scientific Information Group

2015 is shaping up to be an interesting year in space exploration. For the first time, we will get up-close views of a dwarf planet. In fact, two different spacecraft will visit two different dwarf planets. The Dawn spacecraft is nearing its second primary target, Ceres, later this week. Later this year, the New Horizons spacecraft will visit Pluto.

Dawn deep space probe data

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Posted in: Astronomy

Vitaliy Kaurov

Find Waldo Faster

February 27, 2015 — Vitaliy Kaurov, Technical Communication & Strategy

Martin Handford can spend weeks creating a single Where’s Waldo puzzle hiding a tiny red and white striped character wearing Lennon glasses and a bobble hat among an ocean of cartoon figures that are immersed in amusing activities. Finding Waldo is the puzzle’s objective, so hiding him well, perhaps, is even more challenging. Martin once said, “As I work my way through a picture, I add Wally when I come to what I feel is a good place to hide him.” Aware of this, Ben Blatt from Slate magazine wondered if it’s possible “to master Where’s Waldo by mapping Handford’s patterns?” Ben devised a simple trick to speed up a Waldo search. In a sense, it’s the same observation that allowed Jon McLoone to write an algorithm that can beat a human in a Rock-Paper-Scissors game. As Jon puts it, “we can rely on the fact that humans are not very good at being random.”

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Hector Zenil

Why Alan Turing Has Already Won, No Matter How The Imitation Game Does at the Oscars

February 20, 2015 — Hector Zenil, Special Projects Group

When I was invited to join the Turing Centenary Advisory Committee in 2008 by Professor Barry Cooper to prepare for the Alan Turing Year in 2012, I would have never imagined that just a few years later, Turing’s life and work would have gained sufficient public attention to become the subject of a Hollywood-style feature film, nor that said movie would go on to earn eight Oscar nominations.

Imitation game nominations using Wolfram|Alpha

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Posted in: Mathematics

Johan Rhodin

Q&A with Michael Tiller, Author of Modelica by Example

February 11, 2015 — Johan Rhodin, Kernel Developer

Modelica is the object-oriented modeling language used in SystemModeler to model components and systems. When I first learned Modelica, I read all books available about the language (there are not that many!) and found the book Introduction to Physical Modeling with Modelica by Michael Tiller to be the best out there.

In 2012, when Michael started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the development of a Creative Commons licensed book about Modelica, I was the first person to back it, and Wolfram Research became one of the gold sponsors of the book. A new key feature in SystemModeler 4.0 is the full Modelica by Example book included in the product. This makes it much easier to get started learning Modelica.

I had the opportunity to ask Michael a couple of questions about the new book and Modelica.

Michael and Johan

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Posted in: SystemModeler

Jenna Giuffrida

New Wolfram Technologies Books

February 9, 2015 — Jenna Giuffrida, Content Administrator, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

We are once again thrilled by the wide variety of topics covered by authors around the world using Wolfram technologies to write their books and explore their disciplines. These latest additions range from covering the basics for students to working within specialties like continuum mechanics.

Books

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Emily Suess

Sweet Tweets: Valentine’s Day Tweet-a-Program Challenge

February 5, 2015 — Emily Suess, Technical Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

As Valentine’s Day approaches, Wolfram is holding a Tweet-a-Program challenge. To help us celebrate the romantic holiday, tweet us your best Valentine-themed Wolfram Language code. As with our other challenges, we’ll pin, retweet, and share your submissions with our followers—and we’ll use the Wolfram Language to randomly select winning tweets, along with one or two of our favorites. If you’re a lucky winner, we’ll send you a Wolfram T-shirt!

Submissions aren’t limited to heart-themed programs, but check out these examples if you need a little inspiration:

Wolfram Tweet-a-Program ContourPlot3D

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Posted in: Wolfram Language

Jenna Giuffrida

On Super Bowls and Puppy Bowls

January 30, 2015 — Jenna Giuffrida, Content Administrator, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

This weekend marks the culmination of blood, sweat, and, oh yes, tears (Deflategate, anyone?) from months of struggle: Super Bowl XLIX.

For those of you who are interested, Wolfram|Alpha possesses a wealth of sports stats so that you can get all the cold, hard facts about the Patriots and the Seahawks.

Patriots vs. Seahawks

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Wolfram Blog Team

MHacks V’s Winning Hack Uses Wolfram Programming Cloud

January 22, 2015 — Wolfram Blog Team

Draw Anything, an iOS app designed and created by Olivia Walch and Matt Jacobs, was the winning hack at the recent MHacks V. Utilizing the power of Wolfram Programming Cloud, the two Draw Anything hackers came out on top after a fierce competition between more than 250 talented teams, made up of 1,200 hackers representing over 100 universities. Students from around the world came to learn, network, and “spend 36 hours building anything they can imagine.”

MHacks V winners: Draw Anything team, Olivia Walch and Matt Jacobs

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Posted in: Wolfram Cloud

Oleksandr Pavlyk

Jacob Bernoulli’s Legacy in Mathematica

January 15, 2015 — Oleksandr Pavlyk, Kernel Technology

January 16, 2015, marks the 360th birthday anniversary of Jacob Bernoulli (also James, or Jacques).

Input 1 through Output 4

Jacob Bernoulli was the first mathematician in the Bernoulli family, which produced many notable mathematicians of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Jacob Bernoulli’s mathematical legacy is rich. He introduced Bernoulli numbers, solved the Bernoulli differential equation, studied the Bernoulli trials process, proved the Bernoulli inequality, discovered the number e, and demonstrated the weak law of large numbers (Bernoulli’s theorem).

Jacob Bernoulli's mathematical achievements

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Mikael Forsgren

Can AstraZeneca Count on Your Liver? A Mathematical Modeling Approach to Monitoring Liver Function in Drug Trials

January 6, 2015 — Mikael Forsgren, Wolfram MathCore

Mathematical modeling is not just used for understanding and designing new products and drugs; modeling can also be used in health care, and in the future, your doctor might examine your liver with a mathematical model just like the one researchers at AstraZeneca have developed.

Liver

The liver is a vital organ, and currently there isn’t really a way to compensate for loss of liver function in the long term. The liver performs a wide range of functions, including detoxification, protein synthesis, and secretion of compounds necessary for digestion, just to mention a few. In the US and Europe, up to 15 % of all acute liver failure cases are due to drug-induced liver injury, and the risk of injuring the liver is of major concern in testing new drug candidates. So in order to safely monitor the impact of a new drug candidate on the liver, researchers at the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca have recently published a method for evaluating liver function that combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and mathematical modeling—potentially allowing for early identification of any reduced liver function in humans.

Last year, Wolfram MathCore and AstraZeneca worked together on a project where we investigated some modifications of AstraZeneca’s modeling framework. We presented the promising results at the ISMRM-ESMRMB Joint Annual Meeting, which is the major international magnetic resonance conference. In this blog post, I’ll show how the Wolfram Language was used to calculate liver function and how more complex models of liver function can be implemented in Wolfram SystemModeler.

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