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Wolfram|Alpha Engine Hits Version 9

Wolfram Research has released the Mathematica 9 computation application platform with more than 400 new capabilities with a focus on usability and automation. The automation and data science focused technology integrates computation into complete workflows and has been made famous by the Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine.

Wolfram's highlight is of course the Wolfram Predictive Interface. This collection of intelligence works as a combined software suite to "intelligently suggest" what to try next based on sophisticated heuristics and data from millions of Wolfram|Alpha queries.

"Even before 9, Mathematica was the broadest, deepest computation system in the world. [But} as scope increases, so do usability challenges," says Conrad Wolfram, director of strategic development. "Our new Predictive Interface really helps. Getting Mathematica to think ahead means not only newcomers but all Mathematica users can access its power far more effectively."

Wolfram himself talks of the need to "democratize computation" as his team works to optimize what's possible in each field of data science. Analysis and visualization of statistical data and social networks (e.g. Facebook, Twitter) is fully integrated with existing capabilities such as instant interactivity, computable documents, and symbolic computation.

"With Mathematica 9, we're adding to an already rich computational environment and continuing to integrate new areas with Mathematica's unique hybrid symbolic-numeric computation engine," says Roger Germundsson, director of research and development.

In all, Mathematica 9 adds or improves 57 application areas including the new Wolfram Predictive Interface, which now sports improved navigation and discovery of Mathematica's functionality. This is part of Wolfram's Compute-as-You-Think initiative.

There is also a new graph and network analysis offering, including built-in links for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. Major new data science, probability, and statistics Functionality is also included — such as survival and reliability analysis, Markov chains, queuing theory, time series, and stochastic differential equations. The R language is now fully integrated into Mathematica workflow for data and code exchange — and 3D volumetric image processing and out-of-core technology that scales up performance to very large 2D and 3D images and video.

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