Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2010 July

Computation & Analysis

Is the Weather Biased?

My mother has a theory: "The nicest weather is when you are at work, and then it rains on the weekend." Hearing this from her once again, I think it is time to expose her theory to the facts and prove her wrong. We'll start by setting up some tools to help retrieve and categorize the data in terms of the type of day. In the United Kingdom, the weekend is Saturday and Sunday.

Seven Fun Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with the Wolfram Demonstrations Project

You already know that Mathematica can do anything technical---modeling, simulation, development, documentation, and so on. But it's also a great tool for relaxing. When you need to take a break from your engineering project or math homework, you don't have to shut down Mathematica. Clear your head with one of these fun activities created by Mathematica users for the Wolfram Demonstrations Project.
Announcements & Events

Check Out Mathematica at SIGGRAPH 2010

SIGGRAPH is one of the most prestigious conferences around for computer graphics professionals. SIGGRAPH 2010 is in Los Angeles, California on July 25–29. We will be there, and if you will be, we hope you'll come visit us. Mathematica has a long history at SIGGRAPH, starting with the Version 1.0 display at the Apple Computer booth in 1988. At past SIGGRAPH conferences, we've showcased many things, including Mathematica features and graphics capabilities. Here’s a short video we played in the background at SIGGRAPH 2009:
Education & Academic

Math Coaches and Mathematica

When I attended this year's National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference in San Diego, I met many "math coaches". All teachers are coaches of their classrooms, but I'm referring to teachers whose titles are "coach". These coaches spend time with at-risk or struggling students, trying to help the students gain further success in their education. Coaches spend time working one on one or in small groups with these students to help them achieve a higher level of knowledge. They are looking for interactive ways to get students excited about all of their homework as well as to prepare them for standardized tests—especially in math—in new ways, relevant to the students and the topics. However, very few of these math coaches have computer programming backgrounds. Quite often, their main technology tool has been the basic calculator. These coaches were interested in a tool that would not cost them hours of time to learn. Insert Mathematica!
Computation & Analysis

Developing the Kronos Retail Labor Index with Mathematica

In recent years, predicting the health of the U.S. economy has become more complicated than ever. Economists are constantly on the lookout for new ways to predict the economy's future path, but discovering significant new economic indicators has become more difficult. The Kronos Retail Labor Index is an exciting new leading economic indicator of the overall health of the U.S. economy. Dr. Robert Yerex, chief economist at Kronos, used Mathematica exclusively in its development and monthly production.
Education & Academic

Sicherman Dice

Is it possible to have a pair of nonstandard dice with the same odds as regular dice? Sure. You just need to know how to calculate the odds, and how to determine what different numbers could be on the faces to give the same odds. Let's start with some tables. The addition table is one of the first tables learned in school. Here is one way to present an addition table in Mathematica.
Best of Blog

Doing Spy Stuff with Mathematica

I was reading about the IT problems of the recently arrested, alleged Russian spies, and I wondered if they could have managed secret communications better with Mathematica. One of the claims was that they were using digital steganography tools that kept crashing. I wanted to see how quickly I could implement digital image steganography in Mathematica using a method known as "least significant bit insertion". The idea of steganography is to hide messages within other information so that no one notices your communications. The word itself comes from a Latin-Greek combination meaning "covered writing", from earlier physical methods that apparently included tattooing a message on a messenger's head before letting him grow his hair back to hide it. In the case of digital steganography, it is all done in the math.