March 16, 2017 — Stephen Wolfram

A Minor Release That’s Not Minor

I’m pleased to announce the release today of Version 11.1 of the Wolfram Language (and Mathematica). As of now, Version 11.1 is what’s running in the Wolfram Cloud—and desktop versions are available for immediate download for Mac, Windows and Linux.

What’s new in Version 11.1? Well, actually a remarkable amount. Here’s a summary:

Summary of new features

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March 2, 2017 — Håkan Wettergren, Applications Engineer, SystemModeler (MathCore)

Until now, it has been difficult for the average engineer to perform simple vibration analysis. The initial cost for simple equipment, including software, may be several thousand dollars—and it is not unusual for advanced equipment and software to cost ten times as much. Normally, a vibration specialist starts an investigation with a hammer impact test. An accelerometer is mounted on a structure, and a special impact hammer is used to excite the structure at several locations in the simplest and most common form of hammer impact testing. The accelerometer and hammer-force signals are recorded. Modal analysis is then used to get a preliminary understanding of the behavior of the system. The minimum equipment requirements for such a test are an accelerometer, an impact hammer, amplifiers, a signal recorder and analysis software.

I’ve figured out how to use the Wolfram Language on my smartphone to sample and analyze machine vibration and noise, and to perform surprisingly good vibration analysis. I’ll show you how, and give you some simple Wolfram Language code to get you started.

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January 31, 2017 — Michael Gammon, Blog Coordinator

Black and white logogram

If aliens actually visited Earth, world leaders would bring in a scientist to develop a process for understanding their language. So when director Denis Villeneuve began working on the science fiction movie Arrival, he and his team turned to real-life computer scientists Stephen and Christopher Wolfram to bring authentic science to the big screen. Christopher specifically was tasked with analyzing and writing code for a fictional nonlinear visual language. On January 31, he demonstrated the development process he went through in a livecoding event broadcast on LiveEdu.tv.

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January 24, 2017 — Jeremy Sykes, Publishing Assistant, Wolfram Media

Hands-on Start cover

Jeremy Sykes: To celebrate the release of Hands-on Start to Wolfram Mathematica and Programming with the Wolfram Language (HOS2), now in its second edition, I sat down with the authors. Working with Cliff, Kelvin and Michael as the book’s production manager has been an easy and engaging process. I’m thrilled to see the second edition in print, particularly now in its smaller, more conveniently sized format.

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January 3, 2017 — John Moore, Marketing and Technical Content Team Lead

Story image collage

It’s been a busy year here at the Wolfram Blog. We’ve written about ways to avoid the UK’s most unhygienic foods, exciting new developments in mathematics and even how you can become a better Pokémon GO player. Here are some of our most popular stories from the year.

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December 28, 2016 — Kathryn Cramer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group

When looking through the posts on Wolfram Community, the last thing I expected was to find exciting gardening ideas.

The general idea of Ed Pegg’s tribute post honoring Martin Gardner, “Extreme Orchards for Gardner,” is to find patterns for planting trees in configurations with constraints like “25 trees to get 18 lines, each having 5 trees.” Most of the configurations look like ridiculous ideas of how to plant actual trees. For example:

One of Pegg's orchard plans

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December 16, 2016 — Robert Cook, Senior Consultant, Wolfram Technical Services

The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is in crisis. With a current budget of just over £100 billion, the NHS predicts a £30 billion funding gap by 2020 or 2021 unless there is radical action. A key part of this is addressing how the NHS can predict and prevent harm well in advance and deliver a “digital healthcare transformation” to their frontline services, utilizing vast quantities of data to make informed and insightful decisions.

This is where Wolfram comes in. Our UK-based Technical Services Team worked with the British NHS to help solve a specific problem facing the NHS—one many organizations will recognize: data sitting in siloed databases, with limited analysis algorithms on offer. They wanted to see if it was possible to pull together multiple data sources, combining off-the-shelf clinical databases with the hospital trusts’ bespoke offerings and mine them for signals. We set out to help them answer questions like “Can the number of slips, trips and falls in hospitals be reduced?”

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December 12, 2016 — Stephen Wolfram

Wolfram|Alpha and Wolfram Language logos

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.

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December 9, 2016
Zach Littrell, Technical Content Writer, Technical Communications and Strategy Group
John Moore, Marketing and Technical Content Team Lead

If you’re like many of us at Wolfram, you probably know that November was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Maybe you even spent the past few weeks feverishly writing, pounding out that coming-of-age story about a lonely space dragon that you’ve been talking about for years.

Congratulations! Now what? Revisions, of course! And we, the kindly Wolfram Blog Team, are here to get you through your revisions with a little help from the Wolfram Language.

Woolf, Verne, You

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December 2, 2016 — Etienne Bernard, Lead Architect, Advanced Research Group

Two years ago, we introduced the first high-level machine learning functions of the Wolfram Language, Classify and Predict. Since then, we have been creating a set of automatic machine learning functionalities (ClusterClassify, DimensionReduction, etc.). Today, I am happy to present a new function called FeatureExtraction that deals with another important machine learning task: extracting features from data. Unlike Classify and Predict, which follow the supervised learning paradigm, FeatureExtraction belongs to the unsupervised learning paradigm, meaning that the data to learn from is given as a set of unlabeled examples (i.e. without an input -> output relation). The main goal of FeatureExtraction is to transform these examples into numeric vectors (often called feature vectors). For example, let’s apply FeatureExtraction to a simple dataset:

fe = FeatureExtraction[{{1.4, "A"}, {1.5, "A"}, {2.3, "B"}, {5.4,      "B"}}]

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