November 1, 2018 — Jesse Friedman, Software Engineer, Engine Connectivity Engineering
For the third year in a row, the annual Wolfram Technology Conference played host to a new kind of esport—the Livecoding Championship. Expert programmers competed to solve challenges with the Wolfram Language, with the goal of winning the championship tournament belt and exclusive bragging rights.
This year I had the honor of composing the competition questions, in addition to serving as live commentator alongside trusty co-commentator (and Wolfram’s lead communications strategist) Swede White. You can view the entire recorded livestream of the event here—popcorn not included.
October 25, 2018 — Christopher Carlson, Senior User Interface Developer, User Interfaces
Images and machine learning were the dominant themes of submissions to the One-Liner Competition held at this year’s Wolfram Technology Conference. The competition challenges attendees to show us the most astounding things they can accomplish with 128 or fewer characters—less than one tweet—of Wolfram Language code. And astound us they did. Read on to see how.
September 18, 2018 — Devendra Kapadia, Kernel Developer, Algorithms R&D
Today I am proud to announce a free interactive course, Introduction to Calculus, hosted on Wolfram’s learning hub, Wolfram U! The course is designed to give a comprehensive introduction to fundamental concepts in calculus such as limits, derivatives and integrals. It includes 38 video lessons along with interactive notebooks that offer examples in the Wolfram Cloud—all for free. This is the second of Wolfram U’s fully interactive free online courses, powered by our cloud and notebook technology.
This introduction to the profound ideas that underlie calculus will help students and learners of all ages anywhere in the world to master the subject. While the course requires no prior knowledge of the Wolfram Language, the concepts illustrated by the language are geared toward easy reader comprehension due to its human-readable nature. Studying calculus through this course is a good way for high-school students to prepare for AP Calculus AB.
September 17, 2018 — Noriko Yasui, Senior Developer, Data and Semantics Engineering
Wolfram|Alpha senior developer Noriko Yasui explains the basic features of the Japanese version of Wolfram|Alpha. This version was released in June 2018, and its mathematics domain has been completely localized into Japanese. Yasui shows how Japanese students, teachers and professionals can ask mathematical questions and obtain the results in their native language. In addition to these basic features, she introduces a unique feature of Japanese Wolfram|Alpha: curriculum-based Japanese high-school math examples. Japanese high-school students can see how Wolfram|Alpha answers typical questions they see in their math textbooks or college entrance exams.
June 21, 2018 — Stephen Wolfram
Technology for the Long Term
On June 23 we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the launch of Mathematica. Most software from 30 years ago is now long gone. But not Mathematica. In fact, it feels in many ways like even after 30 years, we’re really just getting started. Our mission has always been a big one: to make the world as computable as possible, and to add a layer of computational intelligence to everything.
Our first big application area was math (hence the name “Mathematica”). And we’ve kept pushing the frontiers of what’s possible with math. But over the past 30 years, we’ve been able to build on the framework that we defined in Mathematica 1.0 to create the whole edifice of computational capabilities that we now call the Wolfram Language—and that corresponds to Mathematica as it is today.
From when I first began to design Mathematica, my goal was to create a system that would stand the test of time, and would provide the foundation to fill out my vision for the future of computation. It’s exciting to see how well it’s all worked out. My original core concepts of language design continue to infuse everything we do. And over the years we’ve been able to just keep building and building on what’s already there, to create a taller and taller tower of carefully integrated capabilities.
It’s fun today to launch Mathematica 1.0 on an old computer, and compare it with today:
Today, we are excited to announce the official launch of the Wolfram Neural Net Repository! A huge amount of work has gone into training or converting around 70 neural net models that now live in the repository, and can be accessed programmatically in the Wolfram Language via NetModel:
net = NetModel["ResNet-101 Trained on ImageNet Competition Data"]
Neural nets have generated a lot of interest recently, and rightly so: they form the basis for state-of-the-art solutions to a dizzying array of problems, from speech recognition to machine translation, from autonomous driving to playing Go. Fortunately, the Wolfram Language now has a state-of-the-art neural net framework (and a growing tutorial collection). This has made possible a whole new set of Wolfram Language functions, such as FindTextualAnswer, ImageIdentify, ImageRestyle and FacialFeatures. And deep learning will no doubt play an important role in our continuing mission to make human knowledge computable.
April 19, 2018 — Joanna Crown, Strategic Projects, Strategic Initiatives
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” — Benjamin Franklin
I can count on one hand the best presentations I have ever experienced, the most recent being my university dynamics lecturer bringing out his electric guitar at the end of term to demonstrate sound waves; a pharmaceutical CEO giving an impassioned after-dinner oration about how his love of music influenced his business decisions; and last but not least, my award-winning attempt at explaining quantum entanglement using a marble run and a cardboard box (I won a bottle of wine).
It’s perhaps equally easy to recall all the worst presentations I’ve experienced as well—for example, too many PowerPoint presentations crammed full of more bullet points than a shooting target; infinitesimally small text that only Superman’s telescopic vision could handle; presenters intent on slowly reading every word that they’ve squeezed onto a screen and thoroughly missing the point of a presentation: that of succinctly communicating interesting ideas to an audience.
April 17, 2018 — Cat Frazier, Wolfram Blog Project Manager, Document & Media Systems
Introducing the Ultimate Technical Presentation Environment with Live Interactivity
We are delighted to announce that Wolfram’s latest comprehensive notebook technology extension is here. Released with Version 11.3 of Wolfram desktop products, Wolfram Presenter Tools is the world’s first fully computational presentation environment, seamlessly extending the notebook workflow for easy creation and delivery of dynamic presentations and slide shows, automatically scaled to fit any screen size. Our unique presentation features include rapid stylesheet updating and automatic slide breaking based on cell style.
Explore the contents of this article with a free Wolfram SystemModeler trial. We are excited to announce the latest installment in the Wolfram SystemModeler series, Version 5.1, where our primary focus has been on pushing the scope of use for models of systems beyond the initial stages of development.
Since 2012, SystemModeler has been used in a wide variety of fields with an even larger number of goals—such as optimizing the fuel consumption of a car, finding the optimal dosage of a drug for liver disease and maximizing the lifetime of a battery system. The Version 5.1 update expands SystemModeler beyond its previous usage horizons to include a whole host of options, such as:
- Exporting models in a form that includes a full simulation engine, which makes them usable in a wide variety of tools
- Providing the right interface for your models so that they are easy for others to explore and analyze
- Sharing models with millions of users with the simulation core now included in the Wolfram Language
March 8, 2018 — Stephen Wolfram
The Release Pipeline
Last September we released Version 11.2 of the Wolfram Language and Mathematica—with all sorts of new functionality, including 100+ completely new functions. Version 11.2 was a big release. But today we’ve got a still bigger release: Version 11.3 that, among other things, includes nearly 120 completely new functions.
This June 23rd it’ll be 30 years since we released Version 1.0, and I’m very proud of the fact that we’ve now been able to maintain an accelerating rate of innovation and development for no less than three decades. Critical to this, of course, has been the fact that we use the Wolfram Language to develop the Wolfram Language—and indeed most of the things that we can now add in Version 11.3 are only possible because we’re making use of the huge stack of technology that we’ve been systematically building for more than 30 years.
We’ve always got a large pipeline of R&D underway, and our strategy for .1 versions is to use them to release everything that’s ready at a particular moment in time. Sometimes what’s in a .1 version may not completely fill out a new area, and some of the functions may be tagged as “experimental”. But our goal with .1 versions is to be able to deliver the latest fruits of our R&D efforts on as timely a basis as possible. Integer (.0) versions aim to be more systematic, and to provide full coverage of new areas, rounding out what has been delivered incrementally in .1 versions.
In addition to all the new functionality in 11.3, there’s a new element to our process. Starting a couple of months ago, we began livestreaming internal design review meetings that I held as we brought Version 11.3 to completion. So for those interested in “how the sausage is made”, there are now almost 122 hours of recorded meetings, from which you can find out exactly how some of the things you can now see released in Version 11.3 were originally invented. And in this post, I’m going to be linking to specific recorded livestreams relevant to features I’m discussing.
OK, so what’s new in Version 11.3? Well, a lot of things. And, by the way, Version 11.3 is available today on both desktop (Mac, Windows, Linux) and the Wolfram Cloud. (And yes, it takes extremely nontrivial software engineering, management and quality assurance to achieve simultaneous releases of this kind.)