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Title: Mathematica  
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Subject: Conflict of interest/Noticeboard/Archive 34, List of programming languages by type, SageMath, Comparison of numerical analysis software, Stephen Wolfram
Collection: 1988 Software, Astronomical Databases, Computer Algebra System Software for Linux, Computer Algebra System Software for Os X, Computer Algebra System Software for Windows, Computer Algebra Systems, Cross-Platform Software, Data Analysis Software, Earth Sciences Graphics Software, Econometrics Software, Formula Editors, Interactive Geometry Software, Mathematical Optimization Software, Mathematical Software, Numerical Analysis Software for Linux, Numerical Analysis Software for Os X, Numerical Analysis Software for Windows, Numerical Software, Physics Software, Pi-Related Software, Plotting Software, Proprietary Commercial Software for Linux, Proprietary Cross-Platform Software, Regression and Curve Fitting Software, Science Software, Simulation Programming Languages, Software That Uses Qt, Statistical Programming Languages, Statistical Software, Theorem Proving Software Systems, Time Series Software, Wolfram Research
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Mathematica 8.0.0 GNU/Linux frontend
Developer(s) Wolfram Research
Initial release June 23, 1988 (1988-06-23)[1]
Stable release 10.0.1 (September 17, 2014 (2014-09-17))
Preview release Non
Written in Wolfram Language,[2] C/C++, Java and Mathematica[3]
Platform Cross-platform (list)
Available in English, Chinese and Japanese.
Type Computer algebra, numerical computations, Information visualization, statistics, user interface creation
License Proprietary
Website //

Mathematica is a computational software program used in many scientific, engineering, mathematical and computing fields, based on symbolic mathematics. It was conceived by Stephen Wolfram and is developed by Wolfram Research of Champaign, Illinois.[4][5] The Wolfram Language is the programming language used in Mathematica.[6]


  • Features 1
  • Interface 2
  • High-performance computing 3
  • Deployment 4
  • Connections with other applications 5
  • Computable data 6
  • Design 7
  • Related products 8
  • Licensing and platform availability 9
  • Version history 10
  • Criticism 11
  • See also 12
  • References 13
  • External links 14


Dini's surface plotted with adjustable parameters

Features of Mathematica include:[7]


Mathematica is split into two parts, the kernel and the front end. The kernel interprets expressions (Mathematica code) and returns result expressions.

The front end, designed by Theodore Gray, provides a GUI, which allows the creation and editing of Notebook documents containing program code with prettyprinting, formatted text together with results including typeset mathematics, graphics, GUI components, tables, and sounds. All contents and formatting can be generated algorithmically or interactively edited. Most standard word processing capabilities are supported. It includes a spell-checker but does not spell check automatically as you type.

Documents can be structured using a hierarchy of cells, which allow for outlining and sectioning of a document and support automatic numbering index creation. Documents can be presented in a slideshow environment for presentations. Notebooks and their contents are represented as Mathematica expressions that can be created, modified or analysed by Mathematica programs. This allows conversion to other formats such as TeX or XML.

The front end includes development tools such as a debugger, input completion and automatic syntax coloring.

Among the alternative front ends is the Wolfram Workbench, an Eclipse based IDE, introduced in 2006. It provides project-based code development tools for Mathematica, including revision management, debugging, profiling, and testing.[12] The Mathematica Kernel also includes a command line front end.[13] Other interfaces include JMath,[14] based on GNU readline and MASH[15] which runs self-contained Mathematica programs (with arguments) from the UNIX command line.

High-performance computing

In recent years, the capabilities for high-performance computing have been extended with the introduction of packed arrays (version 4, 1999)[16] and sparse matrices (version 5, 2003),[17] and by adopting the GNU Multi-Precision Library to evaluate high-precision arithmetic.

Version 5.2 (2005) added automatic multi-threading when computations are performed on multi-core computers.[18] This release included CPU specific optimized libraries. In addition Mathematica is supported by third party specialist acceleration hardware such as ClearSpeed.[19]

In 2002, gridMathematica was introduced to allow user level parallel programming on heterogeneous clusters and multiprocessor systems [20] and in 2008 parallel computing technology was included in all Mathematica licenses including support for grid technology such as Windows HPC Server 2008, Microsoft Compute Cluster Server and Sun Grid.

Support for CUDA and OpenCL GPU hardware was added in 2010. Also, since version 8 it can generate C code, which is automatically compiled by a system C compiler, such as the Intel C++ Compiler or Visual Studio 2010.


There are several ways to deploy applications written in Mathematica:

  • Mathematica Player Pro is a runtime version of Mathematica that will run any Mathematica application but does not allow editing or creation of the code.[21]
  • A free-of-charge version, Wolfram CDF Player, is provided for running Mathematica programs that have been saved in the Computable Document Format (CDF).[22] It can also view standard Mathematica files, but not run them. It includes plugins for common web browsers on Windows and Macintosh.
  • webMathematica allows a web browser to act as a front end to a remote Mathematica server. It is designed to allow a user written application to be remotely accessed via a browser on any platform. It may not be used to give full access to Mathematica.
  • Mathematica code can be converted to C code or to an automatically generated DLL.
  • Mathematica code can be run on a Wolfram cloud service as a web-app or as an API

Connections with other applications

Communication with other applications occurs through a protocol called MathLink. It allows communication between the Mathematica kernel and front-end, and also provides a general interface between the kernel and other applications. Wolfram Research freely distributes a developer kit for linking applications written in the C programming language to the Mathematica kernel through MathLink.[23] Using J/Link.,[24] a Java program can ask Mathematica to perform computations; likewise, a Mathematica program can load Java classes, manipulate Java objects and perform method calls. Similar functionality is achieved with .NET /Link,[25] but with .NET programs instead of Java programs. Other languages that connect to Mathematica include Haskell,[26] AppleScript,[27] Racket,[28] Visual Basic,[29] Python[30][31] and Clojure.[32]

Links are available to many specialized mathematical software packages including

  • Official website
  • Mathematica Documentation Center
  • Levels Of A Mathematica Expression by Enrique Zeleny, Wolfram Demonstrations Project
  • A little bit of Mathematica history documenting the growth of code base and number of functions over time

External links

  1. ^ Wolfram, Stephen (23 Jun 2008), Mathematica Turns 20 Today, Wolfram, retrieved 16 May 2012 
  2. ^ Celebrating Mathematica’s First Quarter Century
  3. ^ The Software Engineering of Mathematica—Wolfram Mathematica 9 Documentation. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  4. ^ Stephen Wolfram: Simple Solutions; The iconoclastic physicist's Mathematica software nails complex puzzles, BusinessWeek, October 3, 2005.
  5. ^ Wolfram Research Contact Info
  6. ^ Slate's article Stephen Wolfram's New Programming Language: He Can Make The World Computable, March 6, 2014. Retrieved on 2014-05-14.
  7. ^ Mathematica documentation
  8. ^ Review: Mathematica 7. Technical computing powerhouse gets more oomph Macworld, Jan 2009
  9. ^ Mathematica 6 Labs Review Cadalyst Feb 1, 2008
  10. ^ The Free-Form Linguistics Revolution in Mathematica
  11. ^ Free-Form Linguistic Input: New in Mathematica 8
  12. ^ MacWorld review of Wolfram Workbench
  13. ^ Using a Text-Based Interface documentation at
  14. ^ JMath website
  15. ^ MASH website
  16. ^ Math software packs new power; new programs automate such tedious processes as solving nonlinear differential equations and converting units by Agnes Shanley, Chemical Engineering, March 1, 2002.
  17. ^ Mathematica 5.1: additional features make software well-suited for operations research professionals by ManMohan S. Sodhi, OR/MS Today, December 1, 2004.
  18. ^ The 21st annual Editors' Choice Awards, Macworld, February 1, 2006.
  19. ^ ClearSpeed Advance(TM) Accelerator Boards Certified by Wolfram Research; Math Coprocessors Enable Mathematica Users to Quadruple Performance.
  20. ^ gridMathematica offers parallel computing solution by Dennis Sellers, MacWorld, November 20, 2002.
  21. ^ Mathematica Player Pro - new Application Delivery System for Mathematica
  22. ^ Computable Document Format for Interactive Content
  23. ^ a b New Mathematica: faster, leaner, linkable and QuickTime-compatible: MathLink kit allows ties to other apps. (Wolfram Research Inc. ships Mathematica 2.1, new QuickTime-compatible version of Mathematica software) by Daniel Todd, MacWeek, June 15, 1992.
  24. ^ Mathematica 4.2 by Charles Seiter, Macworld, November 1, 2002.
  25. ^ .NET/Link: .NET/Link is a toolkit that integrates Mathematica and the Microsoft .NET Framework.
  26. ^ Haskell packages
  27. ^ Unisoftware plus
  28. ^ MrMathematica website
  29. ^ Mathematica for ActivX
  30. ^ Pythonika MathLink module for Python
  31. ^ PYML (Python Mathematica interface)
  32. ^ "Clojuratica - Home". Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  33. ^ CalcLink Lauschke Consulting
  34. ^ Mathematica Link for Excel
  35. ^ MATLink
  36. ^ Mathematica Toolbox for Matlab
  37. ^ Mathsource item #618 for calling MATLAB from Mathematica Roger Germundsson from Wolfram Research
  38. ^ RLink Mathematica Documentation
  39. ^ Calling Sage from Mathematica
  40. ^ A Mathematica notebook to call Sage from Mathematica.
  41. ^ Manuel Kauers and Viktor Levandovskyy of the Johannes Kepler University in Austria
  42. ^ * Interface Links Origin And Mathematica Software Electronic Design
  43. ^ Mathematica 5.1 Available , Database Journal, Jan 3, 2005.
  44. ^ Mathematical Web Services: W3C Note 1 August 2003
  45. ^ Introduction to Web Services, Mathematica Web Services Tutorial
  46. ^ HadoopLink GitHub Project
  47. ^ Mathematica Link to Labview BetterView Consulting
  48. ^ DDFLink Lauschke Consulting
  49. ^ GITM SourceForge. Note that the GITM project currently (as of 2014-08-03) has no downloadable artefacts and appears to be inactive so GPIB support for Mathematica may not actually exist.
  50. ^ BTopTools A commercial interface to USB devices
  51. ^ Interfacing Hardware with Mathematica
  52. ^ "Scientific and Technical Data", Mathematic Guide, Wolfram Research, retrieved 16 May 2012 
  53. ^ "Wolfram Language & System Documentation Center – Some Notes on Internal Implementation".  
  54. ^ "Wolfram Products & Services".  
  55. ^ Applications"Mathematica"All .  
  56. ^ "What is Wolfram|Alpha?".  
  57. ^ "Wolfram Knowledgebase™".  
  58. ^ "Wolfram Finance Platform™".  
  59. ^ ™2"Workbench"Wolfram.  
  60. ^ "Wolfram Programming Cloud™".  
  61. ^ "Wolfram Cloud™".  
  62. ^ "Wolfram for Education".  
  63. ^ "Wolfram Data Framework™ (WDF)".  
  64. ^ "Wolfram Discovery Platform™".  
  65. ^ "Wolfram Data Science Platform™".  
  66. ^ Wolfram Mathematica License Agreement
  67. ^ Raspberry Pi Includes Mathematica for Free The Verge
  68. ^ Supported platforms list
  69. ^ Mathematica 6 Platform Availability
  70. ^ Math, the universe, and Stephen: the author of Mathematica created a whirlwind of scientific controversy this year when, after more than 10 years of research, he published his treatise on the ability of simple structures to create unpredictable complex patterns. (2002 Scientist Of The Year).(Stephen Wolfram) by Tim Studt, R&D, November 1 , 2002.
  71. ^ A Top Scientist's Latest: Math Software by Andrew Pollack, The New York Times, June 24, 1988.
  72. ^ Wolfram, Stephen (6 Oct 2011), STEVE JOBS: A FEW MEMORIES, Wolfram Alpha, retrieved 16 May 2012 
  73. ^ Quick Revision History of Mathematica
  74. ^ Mathematica: The Scrapbook, Wolfram, retrieved 16 May 2012 
  75. ^ Mathematica Journal, Volume 9, Issue 1
  76. ^ Supercomputer Pictures Solve the Once Insoluble, John Markoff, October 30, 1988.
  77. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Nasser M. Abbasi. "A little bit of Mathematica history". 
  78. ^ Mathematica 1.2 adds new graphics options: upgrade also promises concurrent operations by Elinor Craig, MacWeek, July 25, 1989.
  79. ^ Mathematica + 283 functions = Mathematica 2.0 by Raines Cohen, MacWeek, January 15, 1991.
  80. ^ New version of Mathematica, Mechanical Engineering, June 1, 1993.
  81. ^ "Wolfram News Archive". Retrieved 2013-08-16. 
  82. ^ Mathematica 4.0 by Charles Seiters, Macworld, October 1, 1999.
  83. ^ Mathematica 5.0 Adds Up: Exactly 15 years after Mathematica's initial release, Wolfram Research has released Mathematica , PC Magazine, September 3, 2003.
  84. ^ Mathematica 5.1's Web Services Add Up; Mathematica 5.1 delivers improvements over Version 5.0 that are vastly out of proportion for a .1 upgrade. by Peter Coffee, eWeek, December 6, 2004.
  85. ^ Mathematica hits 64-bit, MacWorld UK, July 13, 2005.
  86. ^ Today, Mathematica is reinvented - Blog by Stephen Wolfram
  87. ^ Mathematica 6: Felix Grant finds that version 6 of Wolfram Research's symbolic mathematical software really does live up to its expectations. Scientific Computing, 2007.
  88. ^ Mathematica 7.0 Released Today! - Blog by Stephen Wolfram
  89. ^
  90. ^


See also

As with any software, Mathematica may contain bugs, which could result in incorrect computations. [89] A bug concerning determinant operation reported to Wolfram Research Inc. on October 7, 2013 was thought to still be present in release 10.0.1, although the relevant complaints dealt, in fact, with new bugs. [90]


  • Mathematica 1.0 (June 23, 1988)[74][75][76][77]
  • Mathematica 1.1 (October 31, 1988)
  • Mathematica 1.2 (August 1, 1989)[78][77]
  • Mathematica 2.0 (January 15, 1991)[79][77]
  • Mathematica 2.1 (June 15, 1992)[77][23]
  • Mathematica 2.2 (June 1, 1993)[77][80]
  • Mathematica 3.0 (September 3, 1996)[81]
  • Mathematica 4.0 (May 19, 1999)[77][82]
  • Mathematica 4.1 (November 2, 2000)[77]
  • Mathematica 4.2 (November 1, 2002)[77]
  • Mathematica 5.0 (June 12, 2003)[77][83]
  • Mathematica 5.1 (October 25, 2004)[77][84]
  • Mathematica 5.2 (June 20, 2005)[77][85]
  • Mathematica 6.0 (May 1, 2007)[86][87]
  • Mathematica 7.0 (November 18, 2008)[88]
  • Mathematica 8.0 (November 15, 2010)
  • Mathematica 8.0.1 (March 7, 2011)
  • Mathematica 8.0.4 (October 24, 2011)
  • Mathematica 9.0 (November 28, 2012)
  • Mathematica 9.0.1 (January 30, 2013)
  • Mathematica 10.0 (July 9, 2014)
  • Mathematica 10.0.1 (September 17, 2014)

Wolfram Research has released the following versions of Mathematica:[73]

Mathematica built on the ideas in Cole and Wolfram's earlier Symbolic Manipulation Program (SMP).[70][71] The name of the program “Mathematica” was suggested to Stephen Wolfram by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs although Stephen Wolfram had thought about it earlier and rejected it.[72]

Version history

Mathematica 10 is supported on various versions of Microsoft Windows (Vista, 7 and 8), Apple's OS X, Linux, Raspbian and as an online service.[67] All platforms are supported with 64-bit implementations. [68] Mathematica prior to version 10 for OS X required Java SE 6 which is a deprecated component of Mavericks. Earlier versions of Mathematica up to 6.0.3 supported other operating systems, including Solaris, AIX, Convex, HP-UX, IRIX, MS-DOS, NeXTSTEP, OS/2, Ultrix and Windows Me.[69]

Mathematica is proprietary software licensed at a range of prices for commercial, educational, and other uses.[66]

Licensing and platform availability

  • webMathematica – call Mathematica through a web server
  • gridMathematica – run Mathematica across a parallel grid
  • Mathematica add-ons[55] – computational solutions and tools
  • Mobile apps – mobile Wolfram|Alpha and other computational applications
  • Wolfram|Alpha[56] – a computational knowledge engine or answer engine
  • Wolfram Knowledgebase[57] – a repository of computable knowledge with both data and methods to compute results, used by Wolfram|Alpha, represented using Wolfram Data Framework (WDF)
  • Wolfram SystemModeler – a platform for engineering and life science modeling and simulation based on the Modelica language
  • Wolfram Finance Platform[58] – real-time data, computations, reporting, and algorithmic trading for financial applications
  • Wolfram Workbench[59] – an IDE built on Eclipse for development of Mathematica and other technologies from Wolfram Research
  • Wolfram Programming Cloud[60] – create and deploy Wolfram Language applications in the cloud
  • Wolfram Cloud[61] – the infrastructure for Mathematica Online, Wolfram Programming Cloud, Wolfram Discovery Platform, and Wolfram Data Science Platform
  • Wolfram Programming Lab[62] – for the education of programming
  • Wolfram Data Framework (WDF)[63] – provides a standardized representation and semantic framework for real-world constructs and data
  • Computable Document Format (CDF) – a document format for dynamically generated interactive content
  • Wolfram Discovery Platform (under development)[64] – research & development workflows using the Wolfram Language and the Computable Document Format (CDF)
  • Wolfram Data Science Platform (under development)[65] – science data analysis and visualization using the Wolfram Language and the Wolfram Data Framework (WDF)

Products from Wolfram Research associated with Mathematica include the following:[54]

Related products

Wolfram Research provides documents[53] listing the algorithms used to implement the functions in Mathematica.


Mathematica includes collections of curated data provided for use in computations. Mathematica is also integrated with Wolfram Alpha, an online service which provides additional data, some of which is kept updated in real time. Some of the data sets include astronomical, chemical, geopolitical, language, biomedical and weather data, in addition to mathematical data (such as knots and polyhedra).[52]

A stream plot of live weather data

Computable data

Mathematica can capture real-time data via a link to LabVIEW,[47] from financial data feeds[48] and directly from hardware devices via GPIB (IEEE 488),[49] USB[50] and serial interfaces.[51] It automatically detects and reads from HID devices.

Communication with SQL databases is achieved through built-in support for JDBC.[43] Mathematica can also install web services from a WSDL description.[44][45] It can access HDFS data via Hadoop.[46]

. MathML Mathematical equations can be exchanged with other computational or typesetting software via [42].Origin, and Wolfram SystemModeler [41],SINGULAR [40][39],Sage [38],R [37][36][35],MATLAB [34],Microsoft Excel [33]

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