Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Date Archive: 2020 December

Computation & Analysis

Data Science at Home: Leverage Wolfram’s Device Integration to Analyze Your Vehicle’s Performance

Cars are getting smarter and more connected, yet how much have you explored the technology that helps run our vehicles? I was curious to see how I could connect to my vehicle’s communication center and what kind of interface I could create in Wolfram Notebooks to report on the data gathered.

Education & Academic

Consolidate Wolfram Logins for Education with Single Sign‑On

I’ll begin this blog post by admitting that I personally have forgotten many passwords in my lifetime. If you’re like me (which I’m sure you are in this regard), you use many online tools and websites that require a login and password. We also know it’s wise practice to use a variety of passwords and to change them frequently. We hope a new feature of Mathematica Online has made this a little less daunting for you in your educational settings.

Current Events & History

2020’s Winter Solstice Hosts the Greatest Conjunction in Nearly Four Hundred Years

On December 21, 2020, a visual astronomical spectacle will occur. The planets Jupiter and Saturn will pass so close to each other in the sky that, to the unaided eye, they will be difficult to separate. This is the closest the two planets have come in 397 years; the last time they were this close was July 16, 1623. When Jupiter and Saturn come close to each other in the sky as seen from Earth, this is known as a “great conjunction” and happens about every 20 years or so. But not all great conjunctions are as close as this one. The next great conjunction will be on November 5, 2040, and again on April 10, 2060, but the planets will be a bit over a degree apart, so not as close as the 2020 event. The next comparable event will be on March 15, 2080.

Computation & Analysis

Simulating Zero Gravity to Demonstrate the Dzhanibekov Effect and Other Surprising Physics Models

Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram System Modeler trial. Wolfram System Modeler 12.2 was just released, featuring things such as personalization of plots, new model libraries and extended GUI support for advanced modeling. One of the other additions is a new workflow for generating 3D models from 3D shapes. We will use this feature to illustrate some bizarre and counterintuitive physics.

Announcements & Events

Crop Production Forecasts and Groundwater Trends Based on the Predator–Prey Model

Ever since Thomas Robert Malthus’s book An Essay on the Principle of Population, scientists have sought to determine the limit to the growth of human population due to finite resources. One such resource is groundwater. About 40% of global food production ultimately depends on irrigation and, increasingly, the source of irrigation water is groundwater aquifers. Groundwater irrigation allows farmers to increase crop yields, maintain them in dry spells and overcome temporal mismatches between growing seasons and seasonal rain. In many parts of the world, groundwater withdrawal (or pumping from wells) exceeds recharge, leading to groundwater depletion. In these regions, the “lifespan” of groundwater aquifers is limited, putting a bound on the amount of irrigation per year and the sustainability of groundwater-based agriculture. The goal of this study was to propose a dynamical systems framework capable of explaining past trends in groundwater-based irrigation and providing forecasts of food production.

Current Events & History

Wolfram Media Publishing: Reflecting on a Big Year and Unwrapping Plans for the Next

This year has been Wolfram Media’s most productive yet, with five new titles and another published in partnership. While 2020's state and global shutdowns created unprecedented logistical challenges for the Wolfram Media team, I'm really proud of how we pulled together this year's list, with several more books already in production for release next year.