A New Kind of Science Explorer Software Now Available
September 16, 2002--Since its release in May 2002, Stephen Wolfram's A
New Kind of Science has become a major bestseller and one of the most
talked-about science books in decades. Over the past four months,
scientists and many others around the world have been intently studying
Wolfram's discoveries and discussing their potential implications across
science and technology.
Based on the same programs that Stephen Wolfram used to create the
striking graphics in his book, A New Kind of Science Explorer
(NKS Explorer) software is a versatile and intuitive tool that will allow
everyone to further experience the remarkable world of computational phenomena that
Wolfram describes in the book.
"There are going to be a lot of discoveries made with NKS
tremendous range of people," predicts Wolfram. "I am very pleased at how
easy it will now be for all sorts of people to share the excitement I've
had in exploring the computational world."
NKS Explorer supports over 450 different types of experiments, each
with an essentially infinite number of variations. After choosing specific
input for an experiment, the user simply presses a button to run it. The
results are presented in the same kind of powerful diagrammatic graphics
used in Wolfram's book.
Keyed to the text of A New Kind of Science, NKS Explorer
will allow a wide
range of individuals to gain a deeper understanding of the content and
implications of Wolfram's science. Ideal both for personal study and in
the classroom, the product should see extensive use among professional
researchers, students, and general enthusiasts. Its interface is simple
enough that it could be used even by elementary school students.
In addition to their scientific and educational value, the graphics from
NKS Explorer serve as dramatic raw material for the visual arts.
NKS Explorer provides an easy mechanism for users to exchange their
and discoveries--and Wolfram Research plans to sponsor a large website
devoted to these.
NKS Explorer not only is based on new science but also showcases
Wolfram Research's latest innovative software technology. Powered by an embedded
Mathematica engine, it makes essential use of document-centered
interfaces and symbolic programming--two major elements of Mathematica
technology. (An additional Mathematica kit
that allows researchers to connect NKS Explorer to a full
Mathematica system will be available soon.)
To present its large amount of content, NKS Explorer is organized
as a structured document. But through Wolfram Research's document-centered
interface technology, this document also immediately serves as an
interface to active computations. These computations then make extensive
use of the unique symbolic programming capabilities of the
language--notably to generate not just arrays or strings but arbitrary
symbolic expressions representing complex diagrammatic graphics.
Andrew de Laix, lead developer for NKS Explorer, observes, "With the
programs from Stephen Wolfram's book in hand, it's incredible how quickly
we managed to build NKS Explorer. It's a terrific example of the
power of Mathematica technology."
A New Kind of Science Explorer is available
from Wolfram Research and its distributors. It is priced at $65 (U.S.) and runs
on Windows computers. (The additional Mathematica kit will
be available direct from Wolfram Research for Windows, Macintosh, Linux,
systems.) A special bundle consisting of the book A New Kind of
together with NKS Explorer will be available from selected retailers.
More information is available.