Preceptor and Digital Media Specialist, Harvard University
Mathematica is vital to Oliver Knill’s teaching and research. In teaching, it produces professional graphics for handouts, facilitates visualizations and animations, and serves as a platform for innovative student projects. It’s also essential for vetting assignments and examples, enabling a quick search for appropriate problems for both homework and exams. Knill has employed it to design 3D printable objects, generate high-resolution animations and illustrate musical concepts like Markov chain–generated music.
In his research, Knill’s primary laboratory is Mathematica. Currently, he is delving deeper into discrete geometry, probability, spectral theory and linear algebra. He is thrilled about uncovering previously undiscovered relationships and enhancing proofs with code. This allows any curious individual to explore the underlying structure. Mathematica code is close to natural language, acting as a runnable pseudocode. While examples can elucidate a theorem, providing code that showcases it using random structures is not only thrilling but also validates the result’s efficacy.