Stephanie Oh

Introducing Wolfram|Alpha Add-ons for Google Drive

July 28, 2016 — Stephanie Oh, Manager, Education Software Technology

Wolfram|Alpha answers a ton of computational and factual questions every day—through our website, mobile apps, APIs, and from within the Wolfram Language itself. Now we would like to introduce a new way to harness the power of computation with the Wolfram|Alpha Add-ons for Google Drive. These free add-ons for Google Docs and Google Sheets enable you to bring up a Wolfram|Alpha sidebar next to your file or get Wolfram|Alpha results instantly, all without interrupting your workflow. To install these add-ons in your Google Drive, click the buttons at the top of our support page.

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Posted in: Wolfram|Alpha

Jon McLoone

Finding the Most Unhygienic Food in the UK

July 21, 2016 — Jon McLoone, International Business & Strategic Development

The UK, like many other countries, runs a food hygiene inspection system that tries to ensure that establishments with poor hygiene standards improve or are shut down. As is often the case, the data collected for operational reasons can provide a rich source of insight when viewed as a whole.

Questions like “Where in the UK has the poorest food hygiene?”, “What kinds of places are the most unhygienic?”, and “What kinds of food are the most unhygienic?” spring to mind. I thought I would apply Mathematica and a little basic data science and provide the answers.

The collected data, over half a million records, is updated daily and is openly available from an API, but this API seems to be targeted at performing individual lookups, so I found it more efficient to import the 414 files from this site instead.

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Posted in: Wolfram Language

Connor Flood

Behind Wolfram|Alpha’s Mathematical Induction-Based Proof Generator

July 14, 2016 — Connor Flood, Consultant, Wolfram|Alpha Math Content

An idea, some initiative, and great resources allowed me to design and create the world’s first online syntax-free proof generator using induction, which recently went live on Wolfram|Alpha.

Induction-based proof generator on Wolfram|Alpha

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Zach Littrell

Wolfram Language Books around the World

July 6, 2016 — Zach Littrell, Technical Content Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

The population of Wolfram Language speakers around the globe has only grown since the language’s inception almost thirty years ago, and we always enjoy discovering users and authors who share their passion for Wolfram technologies in their own languages. So in this post, we are highlighting foreign-language books around the world that utilize Wolfram technologies, from a mathematical toolbox in Japanese to an introduction on bioinformatics from Germany.

Basic Mathematica Primer; Mathematica Basic Training Course; Mathematica-Based Digital Physics

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Andrew Steinacher

Comparing Apples and Oranges with the Wolfram Language

June 30, 2016 — Andrew Steinacher, Junior Wolfram|Alpha Developer, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content

We’ve all heard the phrase “You can’t compare apples and oranges.” Well, the “impossible” can now be done within the Wolfram Language. With the help of new features and new data, you can finally compare the two fruits from the inside out. Along with a variety of interactive visualizations, the real difference between apples and oranges—or between frozen and chain pizzas, or even food-related Pok√©mon—is just a few lines of code away.

Difference between an apple and an orange

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Posted in: Wolfram Language

Kristin McCoy

Explore Yoga with Wolfram|Alpha

June 20, 2016 — Kristin McCoy, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content

Each person enters a yoga class with their own unique goals. Some hope to stretch their legs, while others might want to strengthen their core, improve their balance, perform an advanced pose, or simply destress. As a yoga teacher, my goal is to balance my classes to accommodate everyone’s needs and deliver information that will be potent and relevant for as many students as possible. However, there is so much information to explore in the field of yoga that it would be impossible to deliver it all in an hour-long class. Now it is possible for yoga enthusiasts and budding students alike to explore yoga using Wolfram|Alpha.

Camel Pose Extended Leg Stretch

You can now use Wolfram|Alpha to discover information about 216 yoga poses. If you want to learn about a pose, you can search by either its English or Sanskrit name and find basic instructions, along with an illustration. You can also look at the muscles that the pose stretches and strengthens, get ideas for ways to vary the pose, or learn about preparatory poses that you can use to build up toward more difficult poses. If you are recovering from an injury or ailment, you can check a list of precautions and contraindications to discover if the pose might be aggravating for your condition. You can also learn about commonly practiced sequences of yoga poses, such as the Sun Salutation.

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Zach Littrell

Special Event: Solving Image Processing Problems

June 17, 2016 — Zach Littrell, Technical Content Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

Satellite images, MRIs, live video feeds, and your family vacation photos can sometimes need light or heavy-duty touchups. Finding features, removing backgrounds, filtering for noise, and fixing oddities are common image processing problems for all sorts of 2D and 3D images. Luckily, the Wolfram Language can help you solve them.

Join us for a free special virtual event, Solving Image Processing Problems: Wolfram Language Virtual Workshop, on June 22, 2016, 1–3pm US EDT (5–7pm GMT). Learn how to tackle problems involving images using current and upcoming features of the Wolfram Language and Mathematica 11. Also engage in interactive Q&A with the workshop’s hosts, Wolfram Language experts Shadi Ashnai and Markus van Almsick.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa The Unleaning Tower of Pisa, courtesy of a few lines of Wolfram Language code

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Posted in: Image Processing

Emily Suess

Wolfram Community Highlights: Animation, Chernoff Faces, Fingerprint ID, and More

June 14, 2016 — Emily Suess, Technical Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

Wolfram Community members continue to create amazing applications and visuals. Take a look at a few of our recent favorites.

Wolfram Language animations make it easier to understand and investigate concepts and phenomena. They’re also just plain fun. Among recent simple but stunning animations, you’ll find “Deformations of the Cairo Tiling” and “Contours of a Singular Surface” by Clayton Shonkwiler, a mathematician and artist interested in geometric models of physical systems, and “Transit of Mercury 2016” by Sander Huisman, a postdoc in Lyon, France, researching Lagrangian turbulence.

Recreation of the Cairo pentagonal tiling

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Rob Morris

Special Event: Computational Thinking with Wolfram|Alpha

June 9, 2016 — Rob Morris, Education Product Analyst, Business Analysis

Last month marked the seventh anniversary of Wolfram|Alpha. Since its launch, Wolfram|Alpha has earned a reputation as an indispensable tool for learning math and many other topics. We have been continually adding new content and capabilities to Wolfram|Alpha, and now we want to show you how it can be used to support computational thinking in any classroom.

We invite you to join us at a special virtual event, Wolfram|Alpha in Your Classroom: Virtual Workshop for Educators, on June 15, 2016, 2–3pm US EDT (6–7pm GMT). Come see examples of how Wolfram|Alpha’s built-in data and analysis capabilities can be used to enrich many types of classes, and take the opportunity to preview upcoming tools from Wolfram that will make teaching and learning easier.

Special event: Wolfram|Alpha in Your Classroom: Virtual Workshop for Educators

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Posted in: Education, Wolfram|Alpha

Michael Trott

What Do Gravitational Crystals Really Look (i.e. Move) Like?

June 2, 2016 — Michael Trott, Chief Scientist

In a recent blog, Stephen Wolfram discusses the idea of what he calls “gravitational crystals.” These are infinite arrays of gravitational bodies in periodic motion. Two animations of mesmerizing movements of points were given as examples of what gravitational crystals could look like, but no explicit orbit calculations were given.

In this blog, I will carefully calculate explicit numerical examples of gravitational crystal movements. The “really” in the title should be interpreted as a high-precision, numerical solution to an idealized model problem. It should not be interpreted as “real world.” No retardation, special or general relativistic effects, stability against perturbation, tidal effects, or so on are taken into account in the following calculations. More precisely, we will consider the simplest case of a gravitational crystal: two gravitationally interacting, rigid, periodic 2D planar arrays embedded in 3D (meaning a 1/distance2 force law) of masses that can move translationally with respect to each other (no rotations between the two lattices). Each infinite array can be considered a crystal, so we are looking at what could be called the two-crystal problem (parallel to, and at the same time in distinction to, the classical gravitational two-body problem).

Crystals in motion

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Posted in: Wolfram Language