Mathematica 7 Released--Major New Version Integrates Over 500 New Functions, 12 New Application Areas
Record Rate of R&D: Major New Technology Released Just 18 Months after Reinvented Mathematica 6
November 18, 2008--Wolfram Research today announced Mathematica
7, a major release that accelerates the drive to integrate and
automate functionality as core Mathematica capabilities, adding
image processing, parallel high-performance computing (HPC), new
on-demand curated data, and other recently developed computational
innovations--in total over 500 new functions and 12 application areas.
"Mathematica 7 is a remarkable achievement--coming so quickly
after Mathematica 6, and successfully integrating so many new
areas," said Stephen Wolfram, President and CEO of Wolfram Research.
"Throughout the history of Mathematica, we've followed the
principle of deep integration--of building everything into the core
system, and carefully designing it to fit together. With every version
of Mathematica, we're seeing more and more payoff from this
approach. It seems as if deep integration is letting our R&D teams use
Mathematica to achieve an almost exponential development trajectory
for the product."
"Mathematica 7 drives functionality integration. Whether it's
parallel computing, image analysis, or visual solving, the principle
is the same: include it in the core product and add automation both
for performance and productivity," said Roger Germundsson, Director of
Research and Development at Wolfram Research.
Image processing is one key integrated addition. Industrial-strength,
high-performance functions for image composition, transformation,
enhancement, and segmentation combine with the existing Mathematica
infrastructure of high-level language, automated interface
construction, interactive notebook documents, and computational power
to create a uniquely versatile image processing solution.
"The image processing environment of Mathematica 7 has been
designed from the ground up to become the system of choice for imaging
research and applications in science, engineering, medicine, and
education," stated Peter Overmann, Director of Software Technology at
"This is only the start of our image processing initiative. Allied
to Mathematica's other functionality, it's already very
powerful," continued Overmann. "We have a modern foundation, and we
will continue to build on it."
Built-in parallel computing is another key new area of integration
in Mathematica 7 (and a first across technical computing). For
the first time, every copy of Mathematica (as well as
the Mathematica Player Pro 7 deployment platform) now comes
standard with the technology to parallelize computations over multiple
cores or over networks of Mathematica deployed across a
grid. Every copy of Mathematica 7 comes with four computation
processes included. More processes as well as network capabilities can
be added easily.
Parallel computing is an important next step in increasing technical
computing performance because all computers are becoming multicore.
"Mathematica's single-core performance is already top class,"
said Tom Wickham-Jones, Wolfram's Director of Kernel Technology.
"Seamlessly parallelizing computations--as enabled
by Mathematica 7--steps up performance with little user
"Quad-core computers are now commonplace, and we wanted everyone to
have immediate access to their power," added Conrad Wolfram, Director
of Strategic and International Development. "No separate installation,
no wondering whether that Mathematica license is
parallel-enabled. It's there every time."
Mathematica's parallel computation is typically accessed in two
easy ways--automatically by certain built-in functions and by users
applying the Parallelize
superfunction to their own code or computations. Mathematica
automatically distributes the tasks over the available processes,
optimizing for the installed hardware.
Integrating parallel technology has a number of key advantages over
making it an add-on. In particular, it enables software developers to
rely on their clients using parallel-enabled Mathematica
or Player Pro.
"Parallel computing used to be for experts only," said
Wickham-Jones. "With Mathematica 7 we've made it
mainstream--integrating and automating parallel computations has only
been possible because of Mathematica's unique symbolic
"We're the first in our industry to integrate parallel computing into
our standard product--now every Mathematica 7 is an HPC
environment," continued Conrad Wolfram.
Computable data sources, introduced in Mathematica 6, are
unique and popular innovations because of the ease with which data can
be utilized in Mathematica. Mathematica 7 builds on this
with major additions including the complete human genome, weather,
astronomical, GIS, and geodesy data. Example uses include finding,
analyzing, and visualizing gene sequences--making use
of Mathematica's powerful string capabilities (including new
string alignment functionality), pattern matching, and
statistics. Similarly, both real-time and historical weather data from
16,000 weather stations is included in Mathematica 7, giving
everyone from climatologists to economists curated information to use
in their analyses or applications.
"The response to our computational data initiative has been
tremendous, including feedback from specialists in each field," added
Conrad Wolfram. "It's not that the data hasn't been 'out there', but
not as a single or consistent source, nor in any way that's
immediately usable for calculation."
Other areas of innovation in Mathematica 7 include:
"As well as adding important new technologies, Mathematica 7 demonstrates our achievement of attaining the highest rate of R&D
in the industry," said Germundsson. "We are seeing accelerating returns from using the very same integrated Mathematica in the
development of new features, even when they push into brand-new areas. Adopting Mathematica today really means an increasing technological
advantage now and into the future."
- Charting and information visualization
- Vector field visualization
- Comprehensive spline support including NURBS
- Industrial-strength Boolean computation
- Statistical model analysis
- Integrated geodesy and GIS data
- Many symbolic computation breakthroughs, including discrete calculus, sequence recognition and transcendental roots
"If you want accelerating R&D like we have, adopt Mathematica for your development," said Conrad Wolfram. "Mathematica
has been the key to accelerating Mathematica's R&D."
Mathematica 7 is available for Windows 2000/XP/Vista, Mac OS X, Linux x86, Solaris UltraSPARC/x86, and compatible systems. More
product details are available on the Mathematica website.