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Static Analysis Tools in the Wolfram Language

Catching Common Problems

Finding bugs and fixing them is more than a passion of mine—it’s a compulsion. Several years ago, as a QA developer, I created the MUnit unit testing framework for the Wolfram Language, which is a framework for authoring and running unit tests in the language. Since then, I’ve created more tools to help developers write better Wolfram Language code while seamlessly checking for bugs in the process.

Writing good tests requires a lot of knowledge and a great deal of time. Since we need to be able to test and resolve bugs as quickly as possible in order to release new features on schedule, we turn to static analysis to be able to do so.

Current Events & History

Is Your Function Continuous? Squaring Away the New Function Properties in the Wolfram Language

The Wolfram Language has several hundred built-in functions, ranging from sine to Heun. As a user, you can extend this collection in infinitely many ways by applying arithmetic operations and function composition. This could lead you to defining expressions of bewildering complexity, such as the following:

&#10005 f = SinhIntegral[ LogisticSigmoid[ ScorerHi[Tanh[AiryAi[HermiteH[-(1/2), x] - x + 1]]]]];
You may then ask, “Is continuous?” or “Can be written as a composition of an increasing function with another function?” The powerful new tools for studying function properties in Version 12.2 provide quick answers to such questions—opening the doors for applying a network of theorems and ideas that have been developed by mathematicians during the last few centuries.
Current Events & History

Florida Spring Break 2021: February COVID-19 Data Forecasts the March of the Variants

It is widely believed that students and others spending their 2020 spring break in Florida helped spread COVID-19 far and wide, in the US and elsewhere (see also this study). The picture in 2021 is quite different in several ways. For one, the disease has been in the US for over a year, and an approximated 30% of the population has antibodies from prior exposure. Also, several vaccines are now in use, and close to 20% have received at least one inoculation at the time of this writing. (Since those two groups overlap, the total is believed to be in the ballpark of 45% of the total population.) We now know that children under the age of 16 do not get the disease in large numbers and are not a major vector for its spread. Social distancing practices are in use to varying degrees, and infection numbers are currently falling across the country. This is believed to be due to a combination of increased immunity and non-pharmacological interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing and mask use.
Computation & Analysis

Enhanced Association Tools Now Available in the Wolfram Function Repository

Association has become one of the most commonly used symbols for developers working with any kind of data since it was introduced in Version 10 of the Wolfram Language in 2014. While there are many built-in tools for working with an Association, developers also made many tools themselves as they modernized their code. Now many of those tools have found their way into the Wolfram Function Repository. Here I’ll highlight some of my favorites and show how they compare to built-in Wolfram Language functions.

Computation & Analysis

System Dynamics Modeling—Now Available with the Business Simulation Library

Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram System Modeler trial.

System dynamics (SD) is a very powerful and flexible modeling paradigm, ideally suited to tackle strategic business, economics and public policy issues. Some years ago, Guido Wolf Reichert, management consultant and developer for BSL Management Support, Germany, stumbled into problems while modeling the public transport system in a German metropolis. He had reached the technical limits of the established SD software. While looking for alternatives, he discovered Wolfram System Modeler.

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.

Computation & Analysis

Investigating the Ethereum Gold-Bug and Blockchain in the Wolfram Language

Blockchain was integrated into the Wolfram Language in 2018 with the release of Version 11.3, featuring a set of functions that is constantly improved and expanded upon by our team. Currently supporting a seamless connection to the Bitcoin, Ethereum, ARK and bloxberg mainnets, testnets and devnets, Wolfram introduced to the distributed ledger technology (DLT) space its philosophy of injecting computational intelligence everywhere through Wolfram Blockchain Labs, with the mission of enabling blockchain-based commerce and business model innovation.

Computation & Analysis

Accessing Monarch Biodiversity Data with New Wolfram Language Functions

Earth has experienced five major extinctions since life first appeared almost four billion years ago. The sixth is happening right now; the current extinction rate is between one hundred and one thousand times greater than what it was before 1800.

Despite the alarming extinction rate, it’s easier than ever to document biodiversity with the help of the Wolfram Language. Using the monarch butterfly as an example, I will explore the new biodiversity data access functions in the Wolfram Function Repository and how they can help you join a community of thousands of citizen scientists from iNaturalist in preserving biodiversity.

Current Events & History

Developing a New Data Analysis and Visualization Course: Tackling an Infodemic with Computation

A few months before I accepted a Wolfram Research internship—around March—I was very fearful, and so was the majority of the world. We knew very little about the novel coronavirus, and the data was just not robust. In addition to the limited data we had, the scientific process necessarily takes time, so even that was not used to its full extent. In a world where not enough data can quickly become data overload, the question didn’t seem to be finding more data, but rather how can one extract useful and meaningful information from the available data?

A worldwide pandemic is definitely stressful, but a worldwide pandemic without accessible and computable information is much more so. Using Wolfram technologies in coordination with several internal teams, I created a Wolfram U course called COVID-19 Data Analysis and Visualization to try and cut through the informational fog and find some clarity. I saw this course as one that gives power to everyone to be able to look at data and gain insight. After all, data is knowledge, and knowledge is power.