Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Get Hacking with Wolfram Technologies

It probably comes as no surprise that Wolfram has been asked to participate in a number of hackathons recently, including the upcoming HackIllinois. There’s a natural fit between our pioneering, agile approach to technology development and the growing hackathon phenomenon, in which coders come together for a short but intensive time—either individually or in teams—to create new and unique software or hardware applications.


Last month while at SXSW 2014, Wolfram helped provide support for Slashathon, the first-ever music-focused hackathon. Hosted by Slash from Guns N’ Roses, the winning hack will be used to help release Slash’s new album. Wolfram provided mentoring for the competition in the form of onsite coding experts and technology access.

Also last month, Wolfram supported both hackBCA and HackPrinceton in New Jersey for high school and college students, respectively. In addition to having Wolfram programming experts available as mentors, Stephen Wolfram attended both of these events, where he spoke about the Wolfram Language and what the Wolfram technology stack is making possible.

Stephen Wolfram gives talk about Wolfram Language

At hackBCA, several projects made use of the Wolfram|Alpha API and the emerging Wolfram Cloud platform. We also saw some neat uses of Wolfram technologies at HackPrinceton. The Wolf Cocoa team developed a solution for making OS X apps by creating Wolfram Language bindings to the Objective-C runtime. Another group, Pokebble, used the Wolfram|Alpha API to enable users to play Pokémon on the wearable Pebble smart watch. And the third place overall software project winner, α-TeX, used the Wolfram Cloud to enable users to embed computed results into LATEX.

Graphic command

This weekend Wolfram is again going where the coders are. Which isn’t far, as HackIllinois—the first-ever student-run hackathon at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—will be happening right down the road from Wolfram’s headquarters. Over 1,000 college students from across the country will be converging on the UIUC campus to imagine, learn, and launch their latest ideas as mobile apps, web apps, or other software and hardware projects.

As an event sponsor, Wolfram will be on hand to give a tech talk and demo our technologies, and to provide other event support. We’re excited to see what the winning teams can produce in only 36 hours!

Whether for educational purposes or fully commercial applications, we’re glad to see hackathons catching on as a way to develop the next generation of cutting-edge programmers. Maybe we’ll see you or your students at future hackathons. In the meantime, happy coding!


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