August 2, 2019 — Bob Sandheinrich, Development Manager, Document & Media Systems
Every summer, I play in a recreational Ultimate Frisbee league—just “Ultimate” to those who play. It’s a fun, relaxed, coed league where I tend to win more friends than games.
The league is organized by volunteers, and one year, my friend and teammate Nate was volunteered to coordinate it. A couple weeks before the start of the season, Nate came to me with some desperation in his voice over making the teams. The league allows each player to request to play with up to eight other players—disparagingly referred to as their “baggage.” And Nate discovered that with over 100 players in a league, each one requesting a different combination of teammates, creating teams that would please everyone seemed to become more complicated by the minute.
Luckily for him, the Wolfram Language has a suite of graph and network tools for things like social media. I recognized that this seemingly overwhelming problem was actually a fairly simple graph problem. I asked Nate for the data, spent an evening working in a notebook and sent him the teams that night.
July 2, 2019 — Jon McLoone, Director, Technical Communication & Strategy
This week, I won some money applying a mathematical strategy to a completely unpredictable gambling game. But before I explain how, I need to give some background on last-mover advantage.
Some time ago, I briefly considered doing some analysis of the dice game Yahtzee. But I was put off by the discovery that several papers (including this one) had already enumerated the entire game state graph to create a strategy for maximizing the expected value of the score (which is 254.59).
However, maximizing the expected value of the score only solves the solo Yahtzee game. In a competitive game, and in many other games, we are not actually trying to maximize our score—we are trying to win, and these are not always the same thing.
March 14, 2019 — Shenghui Yang, Developer, Wolfram|Alpha Localization Systems
I approached my friend Frederick Wu and suggested that we should make a physical Wolfram Spikey Coin (not to be confused with a Wolfram Blockchain Token!) for the celebration of the 30th anniversary of Mathematica. Frederick is a long-term Mathematica user and coin collector, and together, we challenged ourselves to design our own commemorative coin for such a special event.
The iconic Spikey is a life-long companion of Mathematica, coined (no pun intended) in 1988 with the release of Version 1. Now, we’ve reached a time in which Wolfram technologies and different 3D printing processes happily marry together to make this project possible!
February 26, 2019 — Christopher Carlson, Senior User Interface Developer, User Interfaces
Every year at the Wolfram Technology Conference, attendees take part in the One-Liner Competition, a contest to see who can do the most astounding things with 128 characters of Wolfram Language code. Wolfram employees are not allowed to compete out of fairness to our conference visitors, but nevertheless every year I get submissions and requests to submit from my colleagues that I have to reject. To provide an outlet for their eagerness to show how cool the software is that they develop, this year we organized the first internal One-Liner Competition.
We awarded first-, second- and third-place prizes as well as six honorable mentions and one dishonorable mention. And the winners are…
February 14, 2019 — Toni Schindler, Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content
Imagine you could import any website to obtain meaningful data for further processing, like creating a diagram, highlighting places on a map or integrating with other data sources. What if you could query data on the web knowing only one simple query language? That’s the vision of the semantic web. The semantic web is based on standards like the Resource Description Framework (RDF) and SPARQL (a query language for RDF). The upcoming release of Version 12 of the Wolfram Language introduces experimental support for interacting with the semantic web: you will be able to Import and Export a variety of RDF data formats as well as query remote SPARQL endpoints and in-memory data using either a query string or a symbolic representation of SPARQL.
January 24, 2019 — Jacob Wells, Technical Specialist, European Sales
Do you select a bottle of wine based more on how fancy the sleeve is than its price point? If so, then you’re like me, and you may be looking to minimize the risk of wishful guesses. This article may provide a little rational weight to your purchasing decisions.
Due to my research using the Wolfram Language, I can now mention the fact that if you are spending less than
January 3, 2019 — Wolfram Blog Team
Mark Greenberg is a retired educator and contributor to the Tech-Based Teaching blog, which explores the intersections between computational thinking, edtech and learning. He recounts his experience adapting old game code using the Wolfram Language and deployment through the Wolfram Cloud.
Chicken Scratch is an academic trivia game that I originally coded about 20 years ago. At the time I was the Academic Decathlon coach of a large urban high school, and I needed a fun way for my students to remember thousands of factoids for the Academic Decathlon competitions. The game turned out to be beneficial to our team, and so popular that other teams asked to buy it from us. I refreshed the questions each year and continued holding Chicken Scratch tournaments at the next two schools I worked in.
November 13, 2018 — Jesika Brooks, Blog Editor - EduTech, Public Relations
This post was initially published on Tech-Based Teaching, a blog about computational thinking, educational technology and the spaces in between. Rather than prioritizing a single discipline, Tech-Based Teaching aims to show how edtech can cultivate learning for all students. Past posts have explored the value of writing in math class, the whys and hows of distant reading and the role of tech in libraries.
It’s November, also known as National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). This annual celebration of all things writerly is the perfect excuse for would-be authors to sit down and start writing. For educators and librarians, NaNoWriMo is a great time to weave creative writing into curricula, be it through short fiction activities, campus groups or library meet-ups.
During NaNoWriMo, authors are typically categorized into two distinct types: pantsers, who “write by the seat of their pants,” and plotters, who are meticulous in their planning. While plotters are likely writing from preplanned outlines, pantsers may need some inspiration.
That’s where Wolfram|Alpha comes in handy.
In past blog posts, we’ve talked about the Wolfram Language’s built-in, high-level functionality for 3D printing. Today we’re excited to share an example of how some more general functionality in the language is being used to push the boundaries of this technology. Specifically, we’ll look at how computation enables 3D printing of very intricate sugar structures, which can be used to artificially create physiological channel networks like blood vessels.