Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2007 May

Computation & Analysis

Computable Data—Already Updated in Mathematica

Well, Mathematica 6 has only been out a week, and I’m happy to announce that we’ve already released an update! What’s better, you probably already have it if you use Mathematica 6! How is that possible? After exploring the What’s New website, you might have noticed the page for Load-on-Demand Curated Data, which says our “efficient load-on-demand mechanism makes hundreds of gigabytes of carefully curated and continually updated data immediately available inside Mathematica for use in computations.” We’ve done a lot of work to aggregate data in a variety of disciplines, from chemistry to graph theory, geography to linguistics. This data is collected from a broad range of sources and processed both automatically and by knowledgeable experts here at Wolfram Research, with the goal of providing data that is consistent, computable and accurate. How is this data delivered to you? At first, you might guess it’s shipped along with the many other features of the product. But the box doesn't have a dozen CDs in it and there’s only a single download from our online store. That’s because Mathematica itself automatically downloads the data it needs, when it needs it.

Illuminating Ideas: The Wolfram Demonstrations Project

Now that Mathematica 6 is out, I can finally talk about an amazing site we’ve built with it---the Wolfram Demonstrations Project. The Demonstrations Project is a collection of interactive visualizations made using Mathematica 6. You can preview the Demonstrations on the web and download them to run in Mathematica or the free Mathematica Player. We began the project last year, when Stephen Wolfram realized that the dynamic capabilities we were building into Mathematica 6 would allow users to create and share new interactive content much faster than ever before. From an initial seed of a few dozen, the site has already grown to almost 1,300 Demonstrations, with more pouring in each day. And if you have Mathematica 6, making your own Demonstrations is as easy as completing and uploading an authoring notebook. Any Mathematica 6 user can participate. The Demonstrations are all open-code, so you can even see how each one is built (usually with just a few short lines of Mathematica). Take a few moments to explore the site. It’s grown so much that even someone like me---who works on it full time---is constantly surprised by what’s there. It has everything from interactive addition tables to molecular models and more.

Explore 3D graphics. Watch calculus being done. Create your own computer-generated art. I can’t wait to see how the new methods of education, research and collaboration that the site enables take form in this exciting publishing medium. The site’s features and the collection of Demonstrations that you’ll find there now are just the beginning. I hope you enjoy what we’ve made, and that you’ll let us know any ideas you have about it.
Announcements & Events

Today, Mathematica Is Reinvented

Mathematica 1.0 was released on June 23, 1988—now nearly 19 years ago. And normally, after 19 years, pretty much all one expects from software products is slow growth and incremental updates. But as in so many things, Mathematica today just became a big exception. Some people have said that Mathematica 6.0 shouldn’t even be called […]

Announcements & Events

Welcome to the Wolfram Blog

We move fast at Wolfram Research. Just today, we’re launching a radically new version of Mathematica, going live with a major new interactive website, and have completely redesigned our entire web presence. With so much going on---not to mention all that’s in the pipeline for the future---we want to have a quick and easy way to keep you current on our latest advances. Enter the Wolfram Blog. Starting today, you’ll be able to get important insights from the front lines at Wolfram Research. Our developers, researchers, and other employees from our offices around the world---all giving you rare access to what goes on behind the scenes. All in addition to the regular announcements you’ll find in MATHwire and on our News & Events page. What goes into making Mathematica? Where is our technology headed? And what does it all mean for the future? We’ll try to answer those questions and give you an inside look at many of Mathematica’s latest features and enhancements. So stay tuned. Subscribe to the feed. Send us an email, and let us know what you think or if you have any insights that you think we should share.