Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Mathematica 7

A very important person (VIP) has kindly allowed me to check the newly released Mathematica 7. See
It is a very impressive program (buy!). Happily enough, the notebooks from older versions of Mathematica seem to work. The new system offers you to upgrade certain obsolete commands in your old notebooks automatically but the new dialect is unlikely to affect simple enough "classical" mathematics, anyway.

To see some of the abilities of the new Mathematica, see
  • Search the previous web e.g. for surface and browse for a while
Reference.Wolfram.COM (standard help pages)
Screencasts (short educational videos, try this 2-minute one)
The Learning Center (screencasts, seminars, tutorials)
MathWorld (a Wikipedia-like math encyclopedia with lots of technical references and many Mathematica notebooks)
From the last website I mentioned, let me recommend you e.g. this article about image processing - a new set of capabilities besides built-in parallel computing, geodesy & GIS, and other new things:

HTML version, screencast version
You may actually import images and treat them as general mathematical expressions or variables, compute polynomials out of your monkey photographs :-), put them into matrices, divide them into blocks of pixels, recalculate the RGB data of each pixel according to your own programs, and do many impressive types of image processing.

Truth to be told, I had to convert my images to BMP to be able to simply drag them to the Mathematica windows. But it was worth the hassle. (Update: the importing has been fixed after a very helpful, hard-working employee of Wolfram Research told me how to change a default directory so that the value doesn't contain "š" from "Luboš". Now, I can import JPG both locally and from the web easily.) The following screenshot (click to zoom in) shows a Nobel prize winner, including a spousal unit, partitioned into some matrices (besides some gamma matrix and quasinormal windows):

If you have any doubts that my copy of the program can evaluate the rest, here is the Dynkin diagram of David Gross's 10 x 10 matrix. Be sure he's neither simple nor compact as a group but he can remove a sword from your throat if you happen to eat it.

But it is still Mathematica, with its amazing abilities to formally and numerically manipulate with expressions, functions, matrices, factorize, simplify, integrate, differentiate, solve equations, draw functions etc. If your living standards are above the average of your country and you are into maths, you should seriously buy your own copy unless you have another access to it!

You may also search for Mathematica on this blog. You will find articles about Mathematica 6 (just 18 months ago), STRINGVACUA, LHC olympics, Wolfram Publicon, spheres turned inside out, and many other things. Yes, I could now verify that Larry Summers' triple integral is 128/45 Pi = 0.905415, close to his estimate 1.

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