Wolfram Media Publishing: Reflecting on a Big Year and Unwrapping Plans for the Next
December 4, 2020 — Jeremy Sykes, Publishing Supervisor, Document & Media Systems
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.
A great experience was working with Conrad Wolfram and his team at Wolfram Research Europe on his debut, The Math(s) Fix. Contributing to a project of such importance to math education and beyond was, for our little part of Wolfram Research, exciting and novel.
Another expansive book project was the making of Stephen Wolfram’s A Project to Find the Fundamental Theory of Physics—a monumental computing and publishing effort. Back in December 2019, we were excited to learn that Stephen Wolfram was one hundred pages into this game-changing book, a continuation of sorts to his 2002 blockbuster, A New Kind of Science. By April, seven hundred pages later, he had formally announced the project and we were touching up the final files for print! If you don’t have a copy yet, this book really deserves to be added to your library. Keep an eye on the Amazon listing for the release of the Kindle version coming soon. If you want a copy of the academic paper at the heart of the work, subscribe to Complex Systems and check out volume 29 for a compact version (as well as some phenomenal papers rounding out the whole year).
Gearing Up for School
By midsummer, we were engaged in marketing and managing our biggest book launches of the year, while also making sure stock of in-print titles was in place everywhere needed. We were already hard at work trying to get a new third edition of one of our most popular titles to market before the fall semester—Hands-on Start to Wolfram Mathematica, Third Edition, while stock of the previous edition was fast running out. Working with Cliff Hastings and Kelvin Mischo was as easy and fun as always, and we hustled through in record time to market this title just as school began.
During that entire effort, we’d been hearing rumors of a second book by Cliff and Kelvin: a companion piece to the product launch of Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition from last year. By mid-August, it was nearly complete. With the help of a great team, we released Hands-on Start to Wolfram|Alpha Notebook Edition just a few weeks ago.
This is another exciting new book for educators. If you want your students to harness the power of Wolfram|Alpha, teach coding and create awesome-looking reports, papers and other submissions built on real, up-to-date, bona fide data that is constantly maintained and fact-checked by the Wolfram|Alpha team, then this is the book for you. If you’re a student with a Wolfram|Alpha addiction (“What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen African swallow?”), grab a copy. This book can turn your zaniest queries into computational explorations, or maybe just help you wow your high-school geometry teacher.
More Notable Releases
Besides our internal projects, we’ve also been working with four new authors on some really great Wolfram Language books on statistics, data science and game theory that you’re going to want to read.
We’re currently wrapping Juan H. Klopper’s Introduction to Statistics with the Wolfram Language. What’s novel about this introductory book is that as a practicing surgeon at Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, the author’s target audience is medical students and practicing research MDs. (See his YouTube video series and Coursera work.) We very much hope to see this book added as a Wolfram U course in 2021, so be on the lookout!
Another project we were happy to contribute to was Cut the Knot, Alexander Bogomolny’s treasured internet probability website—in print. Working with Nassim Nicholas Taleb and his STEM Academic Press, this is a tribute to Bogomolny, who passed away in 2018. While not strictly a Wolfram Language book, its handpicked selection of probability riddles were peer reviewed by Taleb and STEM Academic Press. All proceeds directly benefit the Bogomolny family, and I hope you’ll take the time to check it out.
Coming in 2021
As noted, a batch of new titles is already on the way, by Seth Chandler, Gerald Thomas and Alan Calvitti. You’ve seen Seth Chandler’s work on Wolfram Community, and this is an entire book on his methods. Transforming Data into Information should fill a need in the Wolfram Language canon for explorations in data science. Introduction to Decision Process Theory by Gerald Thomas is possibly the first Wolfram Language book that is fully focused on game theory and provides a substantive list of fully coded games. Alan Calvitti’s book takes an extremely large and complicated dataset, cleans and refines it, analyzes it, and presents it—with a slew of personalized functions. It is tentatively titled Functional Data Analysis.
We are expecting to release a third edition of our signature title, An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language, as well as the same title in its first Russian translation. We also expect a generalized intermediate-level Wolfram Language book for next year. And, I think it’s safe to say, at least one new book by Stephen Wolfram as well.
Publish with Wolfram Media
Books on the Wolfram Language are very much in demand, and we hope you all continue to send in your proposals. Though we may not be able to publish everything submitted for consideration, it’s very much part of our mandate that Wolfram Media showcase the latest in the Wolfram Language. If we cannot publish them ourselves, we’ll work with you to find a publisher—we’re happy to see all publishers get access to worthy Wolfram Language content!