## Review: Mathematica in Action

[ Editor's note: If you're a Mathematica user you may appreciate a review I just published at my Playing With Mathematica blog. ]

"Stan Wagon and I have exchanged a number of emails about Mathematica. A few messages into the dialogue I realized that I needed to review his latest book: Mathematica® in Action: Problem Solving Through Visualization and Computation. Before I even immersed myself in the book I knew I would like it because I enjoy Stan's playful relationship with Mathematica and I enjoy receiving the simple and elegant little programs that Stan would send me."

## Mathematica 8 Home Edition for $239 in June 2011

If you're in the U.S. and you've been thinking of getting Mathematica 8 Home Edition (and you're not a student or otherwise eligible for a discount), you can save nearly 20% in June if you buy Mathematica from Wolfram Research via Amazon.com.

See here for more information.

## First ever contest at Playing With Mathematica

If you have nothing more interesting to do on this fine American holiday weekend than write Mathematica code then head over to my Mathematica blog for a fun challenge. You could win 20 American dollars (via Paypal to those outside of the US.

## Playing with Mathematica is live

This morning I launched a new site, Playing with Mathematica. For those of you who, like me, are new to Mathematica I believe you will enjoy the site. (I'm not calling it a blog because my intent is to produce in depth how-to notebooks and essays on topics related to exploring math with Mathematica. I'm not expecting it to have the tone of a blog.)

Wild About Math! will continue to live on although by the end of next month I'll stop doing the weekly Wild About Math bloggers! series and I'll go back to the sporadic postings I've been doing for some time.

I invite you to come check out the new site and, if it catches your fancy, subscribe in a reader or via email.

## Seeking help with Mathematica

I'm about to start a blog about programming with Mathematica as a way for kids (and adults) to get engaged with Math. I'm pretty new to Mathematica and I find myself getting stuck with some of the basics (which will make the new blog all the more valuable.)

If you have experience with Mathematica and can help me with writing some simple animations I would be incredibly grateful and, of course, I will acknowledge you in the blog and (if you like) I'll link to your site.

In the new blog I'll be writing how-to articles where I dissect some simple Mathematica code and show readers how to do neat explorations.

If you're willing to help me with my learning curve please contact me at

## Pythagorean triangles on a circle

If you've not yet discovered the Wolfram Demonstrations Project site you're in for a great treat. The site has tons of interactive Math applications that you can run with the free Mathematica Player. In other words, you don't need to own Mathematica to run the demonstration apps.

I find many of the apps to be very interesting. One I particularly like is "Enumerating Pythagorean Triangles." It shows a nice relationship between Phythagorean Triples (positive integers a, b, c such that a^2 + b^2 = c^2) and the unit circle.

## History and trajectory of Mathematica

Today's Wolfram Alpha Blog is the first in a series of videos and transcripts from Stephen Wolfram's keynote address at the International Mathematica User Conference 2009. From the Wolfram Blog entry:

Future Mathematica features, new directions for Wolfram|Alpha, and how the two Wolfram technologies will be integrated were highlights of Stephen Wolfram’s keynote address at the International Mathematica User Conference 2009.

This first video gives a quick history of Mathematica from its roots going back to 1981. I'm looking forward to hints about future features.

Disclosure: Wolfram Research gave me a review copy of Mathematica.