Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

A Highly Interactive SXSW

If you were one of the 72,000 highly energized people in Austin, Texas, earlier this month for the 2014 SXSW Music, Film, and Interactive Festival, you might have had the opportunity to connect with Stephen Wolfram and the Wolfram team at this year’s event. Known for showcasing cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity, Stephen was invited by the SXSW committee to present a featured talk for the third year in a row.

SXSW logo

If you missed Stephen live in Austin—and even if you didn’t—the “speaker’s cut” of his featured talk, “Injecting Computation Everywhere,” was posted to his Blog last week. In it, Stephen presents his vision of a future where there is no distinction between code and data, and showcases the Wolfram Language through examples and demos using Wolfram Programming Cloud, Data Science Platform, and other upcoming Wolfram technologies.

Response to Stephen’s talk was overwhelmingly positive, as attendees were inspired and impressed by the possibilities of the Wolfram technology stack. Business Insider, Popular Science, and VentureBeat were just a few of the media outlets on hand to cover the event. In other favorable receptions: Immediately following his featured talk, a book signing of Stephen’s award-winning work, A New Kind of Science, was so well attended that the SXSW bookstore ran out of copies!

All this activity paved the way for interesting conversations in the Wolfram booth throughout the event, where attendees of every age and level had the opportunity to see the Wolfram Cloud and Wolfram Language in action, talk to Wolfram experts, and get hands-on experience with our technologies, including the Wolfram Language and Mathematica running on the Raspberry Pi.

SXSW booth

One of the most popular activities in the Wolfram booth at SXSW was “live-coding” with Stephen and other Wolfram team members. Some neat examples of these spontaneous coding demos—from color-mapping countries of the world by GDP and computing stock values over time, to webcam face detection and pop art creation—can be seen and discussed further in the online Wolfram Community.

And in a unique mashup, Rolling Stone captured the moment when computational genius met musical genius at Slashathon, the first-ever music-focused hackathon. The event was hosted by Slash from Guns N’ Roses, and Wolfram provided mentoring for the competition in the form of onsite coding experts and technology access.

If we missed you at SXSW 2014, perhaps we’ll see you in Austin next year. In the meantime, consider joining us for our European Wolfram Technology Conference in Germany in May. You can also look for Wolfram in Boston in May at Bio-IT World, or in Indianapolis in June at the ASEE Annual Conference. Bookmark our events page for updates on future trade shows and conferences where you can connect with Wolfram!


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