Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2009 July

Announcements & Events

Sponsoring the Olympiads

Billions of people around the globe tuned into the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, witnessing the skill and dedication displayed by some of the world's greatest athletes competing at the highest level of sport. The Summer Olympics only happen every four years. Fortunately, there are other olympiads that are held annually—such as the International Science Olympiads (ISO). These academic competitions bring together the most gifted and talented students from over 90 countries. The Olympiads include physics, mathematics, chemistry, informatics, and several other categories. Like the athletes at Beijing, ISO competitors devote hundreds of hours in their home countries to rigorously prepare for their Olympic competition. Together, these elite students are the vanguard of the next generation of global scientific and mathematical talent. Wolfram Research is proud to have sponsored the 50th International Mathematical Olympiad, held this year from July 10–22 in Bremen, Germany. Hundreds of brilliant students will receive complimentary Mathematica for Students licenses for participating in this event.

The Celebration Continues: 5,000+ Demonstrations

Last week we proudly celebrated the milestone of 5,000 Demonstrations. As each one is a separate program, this represents a huge collaborative software development. And now, every Demonstration has its preview animation available on YouTube. Each has a unique soundtrack created with variations on a custom WolframTones selection. Some facts and figures: over the last year, there have been nearly 14 million visits to all Demonstrations pages, with 3.5 million unique visitors to the main site. As stated in the previous blog post, Demonstrations have been viewed over 6 million times. Over 1 million notebooks have been downloaded using the Mathematica Player and over half a million source notebooks have been downloaded. Here are the top Demonstration topics:
Announcements & Events

Advanced Mathematica Summer School 2009

"The journey is the reward," stated Roger Germundsson, Wolfram Research Director of R&D, while handing out certificates of completion for the Advanced Mathematica Summer School 2009 (AMSS). That was the motto of this year's Summer School, which ended June 19. The two-week journey emphasized hard work, vast amounts of learning, and great accomplishments from one-on-one interactions with top Wolfram Research developers.

5,000 Demonstrations: The Time to Go Interactive Is Now

Today we passed a remarkable milestone: the 5,000th Demonstration was published by the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, the free, interactive resource we created in 2007. This makes the Demonstrations Project the largest collection of open, instructional applets anywhere. And it's also much needed proof that you can create a viable and vibrant technical publishing ecosystem based on interactive applications rather than dead documents---pivotal to moving technical communication into a major new era. What's the significance of this?
Design & Visualization

Designing the Brick Wall of the Future

I created this design for a brick wall in Mathematica. Constructing it would be tedious and technically demanding work indeed, requiring numerous jigs and repeated measurements, not to mention an unusually skilled mason. Or a robot. A few groups have begun to experiment with the idea of robotically laid brick construction, most notably the Swiss firm Gramazio & Kohler (Facade Gantenbein Winery, Structural Oscillations), and recently, students at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (On the Bri(n)ck). Inspired by these efforts, I set out to investigate the possibilities of robotic brick-wall construction with Mathematica.
Education & Academic

Graduating from Student to Professional

As a fan of cars, I find that even when I am perfectly happy with my vehicle, I check car lots and classifieds and car-dealer ads. This began in college when I had to drive a car that, let me just say, was not a high-performance vehicle. It got me from point A to point B most of the time, but it always needed work and I never knew when it would break down and leave me stranded. I always dreamed of driving a really nice automobile. Working at Wolfram Research, I have many times heard the analogy of Mathematica as a high-performance computational engine. The high-performance phrase takes me back to cars and I wondered, what kind of car would Mathematica be? In my mind, it would clearly be something very fast that has a great engine under the hood but is easy to drive. A car I would've liked to have had in college. Then I thought about how many students have access to Mathematica, which is much like a college student driving a brand-new sports car. It has more than enough power for most applications, and using it can make you look good.