MATHEMATICA

Mathematica DemoVersion 6 of Mathematica just came out. This is a serious program for mathematicians, engineers and students. It first came out in 1988, and it keeps getting better every time. The idea behind it is to give the user the kind of tools it would otherwise take a programmer to develop.

The new version offers what Mathematica calls “instant interactivity.” It takes mathematical models, simulations and computations and makes them interactive, so you can change the criteria and see the results within a few seconds. This is nice and handy for manipulating supply-and-demand curves and other equations in chemistry, physics and the social sciences.

You can browse over a thousand examples of equations and changes, including constructing ever more complex labyrinths, at demonstrations.wolfram.com. The list price for Mathematica 6 is $2,500 at Wolfram.com, but a classroom version is available to teachers and professors for $265 at AcademicSuperstore.com. If you know a teacher, note that there is no limit on the number of classroom versions they can order.

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