August 2, 2016 — Zach Littrell, Technical Content Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

Happy National Coloring Book Day! When my coworkers suggested that I write a blog post celebrating this colorful occasion, I was, frankly, tickled pink by the idea. Coloring is a fun, therapeutic activity for anyone of any age who can color inside the lines—or occasionally just a little outside, if they’re more like me. And as the newest member of the Wolfram Blog team, I wanted to see in what fun ways I could add a little color to the Wolfram Blog.

While looking through Wolfram|Alpha’s massive collection of popular curves, from Pokémon to ALF to Stephen Wolfram, I realized that all of the images built into the Wolfram Knowledgebase would be great for coloring. So, I figured, why not make my own Wolfram coloring book in Mathematica? Carpe colores!

Each of the popular curves in the Knowledgebase can be accessed as an Entity in the Wolfram Language and comes with a wide variety of properties, including their parametric equations. But there’s no need to plot them yourself—they also conveniently come with an "Image" property already included:

Stephen Wolfram curve from Wolfram|Alpha

Read More »


February 3, 2016 — Bernat Espigulé-Pons, Consultant, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

When I hear about something like January’s United States blizzard, I remember the day I was hit by the discovery of an infinitely large family of Koch-like snowflakes.

The Koch snowflake (shown below) is a popular mathematical curve and one of the earliest fractal curves to have been described. It’s easy to understand because you can construct it by starting with a regular hexagon, removing the inner third of each side, building an equilateral triangle at the location where the side was removed, and then repeating the process indefinitely:

Koch snowflakes

If you isolate the hexagon’s lower side in the process above you’ll get the Koch curve, described in a 1904 paper by Helge von Koch (1870–1924). It has a long history that goes back way before the age of computer graphics. See, for example, this handmade drawing by the French mathematician Paul Lévy (1886–1971):

Handmade drawing by the French mathematician Paul Lévy

Read More »


December 18, 2015 — Eila Stiegler, Quality Analysis Manager, Wolfram|Alpha Quality Analysis

It has been quite a while since I graduated from college in Germany with a degree in mathematics. Of course, I have plenty of memories of long study nights, difficult homework assignments, and a general lack of a social life. But I also vividly remember having to take programming classes. I had done my best to avoid these for as long as I could. But when they became part of my curriculum, I could not continue ignoring them. Not being a native English speaker, I was not just dealing with the concept of programming, which was completely abstract to me—I also had to find my way around function names always given in English. Though I struggled in those classes, I successfully graduated, and years later am now part of a project that would have helped me tremendously back then: the Wolfram Language Worldwide Translations Project.

The Wolfram Language Worldwide Translations Project provides any non-English-speaking programming novice with an effortless way into the Wolfram Language. It aims to introduce the Wolfram Language while at the same time addressing any lack of English language skills.

Read More »