Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2013 June

Best of Blog

Is There Any Point to the 12 Times Table?

My government (I'm in the UK) recently said that children here should learn up to their 12 times table by the age of 9. Now, I always believed that the reason why I learned my 12 times table was because of the money system that the UK used to have---12 pennies in a shilling. Since that madness ended with decimalization the year after I was born, by the late 1970s when I had to learn my 12 times table, it already seemed to be an anachronistic waste of time.
Announcements & Events

Celebrating Mathematica’s First Quarter Century

Today it’s exactly a quarter of a century since we launched Mathematica 1.0 on June 23, 1988. Much has come and gone in the world of computing since that time. But I’m pleased to say that through all of it Mathematica has just kept getting stronger and stronger.


Energy Resource Dynamics with the New System Dynamics Library for SystemModeler

Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram SystemModeler trial. Wolfram SystemModeler ships with model libraries for a large selection of domains such as electronics, mechanics, and biochemistry. Now I am pleased to present a new library in the family, the SystemDynamics library by François E. Cellier and Stefan Fabricius. System dynamics, a methodology developed by Jay Forrester in the '60s and '70s, is well suited for understanding the dynamics of large-scale systems with diverse components. It has been famously applied by the Club of Rome to investigate the limits of human growth; other applications include production management, life sciences, and economics (some showcases of the methodology can be found here).
Announcements & Events

There Was a Time before Mathematica

In a few weeks it’ll be 25 years ago: June 23, 1988—the day Mathematica was launched. Late the night before we were still duplicating floppy disks and stuffing product boxes. But at noon on June 23 there I was at a conference center in Santa Clara starting up Mathematica in public for the first time:

Education & Academic

A “Trivial” Probability Problem

I am a junkie for a good math problem. Over the weekend, I encountered such a good problem on a favorite subject of mine--probability. It's the last problem from the article "A Mathematical Trivium" by V. I. Arnol'd, Russian Mathematical Surveys 46(1), 1991, 271–278. It's short enough to reproduce in its entirety: "Find the mathematical expectation of the area of the projection of a cube with edge of length 1 onto a plane with an isotropically distributed random direction of projection." In other words, what is the average area of a cube's shadow over all possible orientations? This blog post explores the use of Mathematica to understand and ultimately solve the problem. It recreates how I approached the problem.