Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2013 September

Education & Academic

Reliability Mathematics in Mathematica

What is the cost of extending a warranty for a car? I'd be interested to know, since my car broke down just past the 100,000 mile marker on a road trip through America. With Mathematica 9 comes complete functionality for reliability analysis that can help us analyze systems like cars. I thought it might be worthwhile to take Mathematica for a spin and look at how some technical systems can be modeled and analyzed.
Education & Academic

Is High Debt Bad for Economic Growth?

Recent events have brought to light that a famous research paper by noted economists Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff published in the 2010 National Bureau of Economic Research working paper series contained serious programming, methodological, and statistical errors. Their paper claimed to show that there is a sharp decline in GDP whenever an economy reaches the 90% debt level. Policy makers at the European Commission and in Washington paid heed to these results and formulated real policies such as "debt stabilization" in Europe and the sequester in the USA that have led to sustained high unemployment and weakened economies. But subsequent analyses have shown that no such 90% cliff exists.
Education & Academic

Exploring Maxwell’s Equations with Mathematica 9

I love Maxwell's equations. As a freshman in college, while pondering whether to major in physics, computer science, or music, it was the beauty of these equations and the physical predictions that can be elegantly extracted from them that made me decide in favor of physics. On a more universal level, the hints in Maxwell's equations led Einstein to write Zur Elektrodynamik bewegter Körper ("On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies"), more commonly known as Einstein's first paper on the theory of relativity. The quantum version of the equations, quantum electrodynamics (QED), remains our most successful physical theory, with predictions verified to 12 decimal places. There are many reasons to love Maxwell's equations. And with Mathematica 9's new vector analysis functionality, exploring them has never been easier.
Education & Academic

Good Times, Great Computations: Wolfram Summer Internship Projects

Each summer a group of interns arrives at Wolfram Research to work on a host of exciting projects that not only prepare them for their future careers, but also give them the opportunity to make some great contributions to Wolfram technologies. One such contribution this year was the “Fun Curves” project for Wolfram|Alpha that took drawings of famous cartoon characters and turned them into mathematical equations.