Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Archive

Web’s Largest Knowledge App Site Gets Major Makeover

Published March 8, 2011

Nearly 7,000 Interactive Apps Authored by Researchers, Teachers, Students, and Industry Professionals Now More Accessible with Instant In-Browser Interactivity

Wolfram Research today announced a major makeover of the Wolfram Demonstrations Project, the site created less than four years ago as a new paradigm for exploring ideas by empowering readers to manipulate content and generate results live. Grown to attract 400,000 visitors each month, users can access nearly 7,000 knowledge apps across science, mathematics, engineering, technology, business, art, finance, social sciences, and many more areas through the site. New features now enable users to interact with the dynamic content directly within their web browser for more immediate discovery and experience of topics spanning nearly every imaginable area of technical endeavor.

“The Demonstrations Project has proved so successful because users drive their own discovery and computation of live content… and that’s lots of content, because it’s content that’s easy to create,” said Conrad Wolfram, Director of Strategic Development at Wolfram Research. “Smoothing out the user experience—including live interactions directly in your browser—has been a key aim of the new site… and one that makes exploring Demonstrations a more natural, a more everyday activity.”

“I create interactive models to illustrate my hurricane insurance research to legislators and other public policymakers,” said Seth J. Chandler, Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center. “Their interactivity makes it easy to change assumptions, rerun the model, and evaluate results. It’s a whole new way for me to engage my audience.”

Demonstrations are a real game changer for the college classroom,” said Bruce Torrence, Professor of Mathematics and Chair of the Department of Mathematics at Randolph-Macon College. “The interactive interface with sliders and buttons lets students adjust parameters, see how things change, and gives them the satisfaction of knowing they really understand the concepts. It’s almost like a telescope into a world you couldn’t see otherwise.”

The Wolfram Demonstrations Project is fueled by the user community of Wolfram’s core software, Mathematica—whether those users are professors, engineers, doctors, teachers, students, bankers, or artists. Authors value the platform’s ease of sharing ideas in a format that makes them accessible to broad audiences far exceeding the reach of specialist forums and associations.

“If a picture’s worth a thousand words, a knowledge app is worth a thousand pictures: interacting with ideas steps up the bandwidth of understanding that much,” said Conrad Wolfram. “The Wolfram Demonstrations Project is a first example of this new form of publishing. Watch this space for more deployments of this new technology with a variety of content providers.”

The new interactive features can be accessed by anyone via the free Wolfram player provided. Knowledge apps created with the latest Mathematica 8 natively support the new plugin-enabled interactive format, and those created with previous versions can be easily converted using Mathematica 8.

Experience interactive knowledge at demonstrations.wolfram.com, or watch this brief video.