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Newly Released Mathematica 5.1 Delivers Unmatched Performance for Handling Data

Published November 17, 2004

November 17, 2004–Wolfram Research announces Mathematica 5.1, the data functions release–the latest version of the world-renowned science and technology software system Mathematica.

Building on Mathematica 5.0’s dramatic speed, scope, and scalability improvements, Version 5.1 adds a host of new capabilities, especially for working with large-scale, diverse types of data.

“We’ve introduced innovative algorithms to deliver unmatched performance for all steps in the data handling process–importing, analyzing, manipulating, or plotting,” says Tom Wickham-Jones, Director of Kernel Technology. “And when we say data, we encompass textual and network as well as numerical data.”

Complementing these new capabilities are enhancements to Mathematica‘s unique automatic algorithm selection–the inherent intelligence that automatically applies the best algorithm to each task. Mathematica 5.1 adds more algorithms and better intelligence in a number of key areas.

“When you use a function in Mathematica, you’re telling it what you want it to do, not how to do it,” says Conrad Wolfram, Director of Strategic Development. “Each function name represents a task rather than a simple algorithm–leaving users to concentrate on specifying the right task while Mathematica focuses on applying the best algorithms. In many areas Version 5.1 will now outperform manual selection of algorithms by the most advanced practitioners both in performance and consistency of the results.”

There are more than 50 new functions, toolkits, and performance improvements in Mathematica 5.1. Highlights include:

  • Industrial-strength string manipulation
  • Built-in universal database connectivity
  • Highly optimized binary data I/O
  • Additional import-export formats, including XLS and AVI
  • Integrated web services support
  • 2D and 3D automated network visualization
  • High-performance array visualization
  • Numerical linear algebra performance enhancements
  • Fully integrated piecewise functions
  • Integration over implicitly defined regions
  • Event handling in numerical differential equations
  • New algorithms for symbolic differential equations
  • Cluster analysis capabilities added
  • Interactive exploration tool for differential equations
  • MathematicaMark benchmarking tool
  • GUIKit interface and application builder–now built in
  • and many more innovations

“Our release numbering tends to be rather understated,” says Wolfram. “There are many development years of new technology in Version 5.1–even though it’s just a 0.1 release.”

More information is available.