The March of Innovation Continues
Just a few weeks ago it was 1/3 of a century since Mathematica 1.0 was released. Today I’m excited to announce the latest results of our long-running R&D pipeline: Version 13 of Wolfram Language and Mathematica. (Yes, the 1, 3 theme—complete with the fact that it’s the 13th of the month today—is amusing, if coincidental.)
It’s 207 days—or a little over 6 months—since we released Version 12.3. And I’m pleased to say that in that short time an impressive amount of R&D has come to fruition: not only a total of 117 completely new functions, but also many hundreds of updated and upgraded functions, several thousand bug fixes and small enhancements, and a host of new ideas to make the system ever easier and smoother to use.
Every day, every week, every month for the past third of a century we’ve been pushing hard to add more to the vast integrated framework that is Mathematica and the Wolfram Language. And now we can see the results of all those individual ideas and projects and pieces of work: a steady drumbeat of innovation sustained now over the course of more than a third of a century:
Look What We Made in Five Months!
It’s hard to believe we’ve been doing this for 35 years, building a taller and taller tower of ideas and technology that allow us to reach ever further. In earlier times we used to release the results of efforts only every few years. But in recent times we’ve started doing incremental (“.1”) releases that deliver our latest R&D achievements—both fully fleshed out, and partly as “coming attractions”—much more frequently.
We released Version 12.2 on December 16, 2020. And today, just five months later, we’re releasing Version 12.3. There are some breakthroughs and major new directions in 12.3. But much of what’s in 12.3 is just about making Wolfram Language and Mathematica better, smoother and more convenient to use. Things are faster. More “But what about ___?” cases are handled. Big frameworks are more completely filled out. And there are lots of new conveniences.
There are also the first pieces of what will become large-scale structures in the future. Early functions—already highly useful in their own right—that will in future releases be pieces of major systemwide frameworks.
Wolfram Application Server is a new platform developed by Wolfram Research enabling customers to deploy Wolfram Language–powered APIs and webpages into a scalable, highly available enterprise cluster.
Wolfram Application Server lets you:manage data exchange in your deployments with a robust external services framework. create applications using the Wolfram Natural Language Understanding (NLU) System, the key semantic interpretation technology behind Wolfram|Alpha and Wolfram Language. generate content based on time and location, assign custom endpoints and integrate curated content from the Wolfram Knowledgebase.
We have designed Wolfram Application Server for customers who for regulatory, security or business reasons may not wish to deploy onto the Wolfram Cloud but prefer to host their Wolfram Language applications on clusters they control.
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.
Our annual Wolfram Technology Conference took place October 6–9, and along with it the 10th annual Wolfram Innovator Award Ceremony. This year, Stephen Wolfram recognized 13 outstanding individuals from around the globe for their significant work using the Wolfram Language across fields and disciplines.