MATHEMATICS, SIMULATION AND MODELLING
25 November 2008
Wolfram Research has released Mathematica 7, which improves functionality by adding image processing, parallel HPC, new on-demand curated data, and more than 500 new functions in 12 application areas.
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.
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 parallelise 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 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, optimising 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.
Computable data sources, introduced in Mathematica 6, are popular innovations because of the ease with which data can be utilised 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, analysing, and visualising 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.