The annual Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system-wide software renewals for mathematical software contracts: Wolfram Research – Mathematica-8 and Maplesoft – Maple-15 were completed in the fall semester. During this year’s negotiations, Mark Thomas, software contract specialist, leveraged MnSCU dollars to provide five cost-free licenses of Mathematica-8 for high schools.
Any Minnesota public high school may now request a license for Mathematica and Wolfram Research will provide five cost-free licenses per school, for the duration of the 2011-2012 academic year. Similar arrangements were made last year with Maplesoft and more than sixty Minnesota high schools took advantage of that offer, which is still in effect.
Both of these mathematical software initiatives are supported by members of the Minnesota Learning Commons and a link to the Mathematica-8 offer is posted on the MnLC website.
Mathematica-8 — Wolfram Mathematica is quite literally, rocket science; it introduces freeform linguistic input, a new way to compute, where users may simply enter plain English and get results, with no syntax required. Wolfram Research pioneered the use of curated data and makes available hundreds gigabytes of load-on-demand data for computations in fields such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy, geography, linguistics, and finance. The use of free-form linguistic input and curated data are most easily experienced online at Wolfram Alpha.
Wolfram Demonstrations — The Wolfram Demonstrations website hosts more than 7500 computational learning objects. These interactive demonstrations are new served-up in the Computable Document Format, CDF. These “demonstrations” bring computation to life as users interact with computational
concepts from science, technology, mathematics, art, finance, and a remarkable range of other