August 2, 2017 — Stephen Wolfram
The Summer Camp Was a Success!
How far can one get in teaching computational thinking to high-school students in two weeks? Judging by the results of this year’s Wolfram High-School Summer Camp the answer is: remarkably far.
I’ve been increasingly realizing what an immense and unique opportunity there now is to teach computational thinking with the whole stack of technology we’ve built up around the Wolfram Language. But it was a thrill to see just how well this seems to actually work with real high-school students—and to see the kinds of projects they managed to complete in only two weeks.
March 21, 2017 — Lizzie Turner, Program Manager, Advanced Research Group
This year’s Wolfram Summer School will be held at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts, from June 18 to July 7, 2017.
Maybe you’re a researcher who wants to study the dynamics of galaxies with cellular automata. Perhaps you’re an innovator who wants to create a way to read time from pictures of analog clocks or build a new startup with products that use RFID (radio-frequency identification) to track objects. You might be an educator who wants to build an algebra feedback system or write a textbook that teaches designers how to disinvent the need for air conditioning. These projects show the diversity and creativity of some of our recent Summer School students. Does this sound like you? If so, we want you to join us this summer!
December 12, 2016 — Stephen Wolfram
Code for Everyone
Computational thinking needs to be an integral part of modern education—and today I’m excited to be able to launch another contribution to this goal: Wolfram|Alpha Open Code.
Every day, millions of students around the world use Wolfram|Alpha to compute answers. With Wolfram|Alpha Open Code they’ll now not just be able to get answers, but also be able to get code that lets them explore further and immediately apply computational thinking.
December 5, 2016 — Alyson Gamble, Wolfram Blog Team
Whatever their future fields, students need to learn computational thinking, a method of problem solving in which questions are framed in a way that can be communicated to a computer.
October 5, 2016 — Zach Littrell, Technical Content Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group
After 36 hours, two math graduate students created Draw Anything, the grand prize–winning, Wolfram Cloud–powered app, at the MHacks V hackathon. We’ve written about Olivia Walch and Matt Jacobs’s winning iOS app before. Now, the pair of prize-winning Wolfram hackers have taken the time to talk with us about how they used the Wolfram Language and fast Fourier transforms to create step-by-step drawing guides for any input image—whether it’s a picture of Homer Simpson, a dog, yourself or your future dream car.
September 16, 2016 — Greg Hurst, Wolfram|Alpha Math Content Manager
Thirty-nine students from seven different countries attended our camp at Bentley University this summer. Students arrived at camp with some programming experience, but most had little or no familiarity with the Wolfram Language. Despite this, in nine short days they were all able to complete amazing projects.
September 7, 2016 — Stephen Wolfram
The Computational Future
Computational thinking is going to be a defining feature of the future—and it’s an incredibly important thing to be teaching to kids today. There’s always lots of discussion (and concern) about how to teach traditional mathematical thinking to kids. But looking to the future, this pales in comparison to the importance of teaching computational thinking. Yes, there’s a certain amount of traditional mathematical thinking that’s needed in everyday life, and in many careers. But computational thinking is going to be needed everywhere. And doing it well is going to be a key to success in almost all future careers.
Doctors, lawyers, teachers, farmers, whatever. The future of all these professions will be full of computational thinking. Whether it’s sensor-based medicine, computational contracts, education analytics or computational agriculture—success is going to rely on being able to do computational thinking well.
I’ve noticed an interesting trend. Pick any field X, from archeology to zoology. There either is now a “computational X” or there soon will be. And it’s widely viewed as the future of the field.
August 22, 2016 — Ishwarya Vardhani, Educational Partnerships
Are you a teacher who’s been asked “Why am I learning this?”, “How is this going to help me in real life?” and other variations of this question by your students? I know that I faced this when I was teaching, and it can be tough to provide a satisfactory response. However, being able to address this issue is critical in the classroom. We believe that Wolfram|Alpha provides one way to do so.
The Wolfram Knowledgebase, our ever-growing repository of curated computable data, gives you instant access to trillions of data elements across thousands of domains. With Wolfram|Alpha, you can query these data points using natural language (plain English) right in your classroom.
By using real-world data, students have the opportunity to direct their learning toward areas that they care about. In the economics classroom, you can discuss GDP using data about real countries, data that is current and citable. Explore Wolfram|Alpha’s trove of socioeconomic data that will open multiple areas of inquiry in the classroom. A wonderful side effect that I’ve found with using a tool like Alpha is that it also teaches you to pose queries intelligently. Being able to carefully construct a problem is an integral step in the process of thinking critically.
Join us for a special training event on August 24 to learn more about using Wolfram|Alpha in the classroom. This session in the Wolfram|Alpha for Educators: Webinar Training Series will focus on the economics classroom. Previous sessions in this series focused on calculus and physics classrooms, and you can watch our past event recordings online.
August 17, 2016 — Zach Littrell, Technical Content Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group
3D printing. Audio. Machine learning. Neural networks. There are 555 completely new functions, major new areas of functionality and a vast deepening of core capabilities in Version 11 of the Wolfram Language and Mathematica. Continuing a three-decade tradition of aggressive innovation, Version 11 is filled to the brim with cutting-edge technology, and we’re excited to share with you how to put all these new features to use.
Join us for a special two-part webinar event, New in the Wolfram Language and Mathematica Version 11, on August 23, 2016, from 2–3:30pm EDT (6–7:30pm GMT) and August 30, 2016, from 2–4pm EDT (6–8pm GMT). Take the opportunity to explore the new features in the Wolfram Language and Mathematica with experts at Wolfram Research, then engage in interactive Q&A with the developers after the presentations.
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.