Mathematica 8 is released.
- Announcement from Stephen Wolfram: http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2010/11/mathematica-8/.
- New features: http://www.wolfram.com/mathematica/new-in-8/
- Impressive free form english input feature. http://blog.wolfram.com/2010/11/15/the-free-form-linguistics-revolution-in-mathematica/comment-page-1/
I got Mathematica 7 this month, as a gift from Wolfram Research. (before they released 8) (Thanks Wolfram) I haven't actively been coding Mathematica since about 2000. In the coming months, i'll update my tens of Mathematica packages on my site to Mathematica 7.
Mathematica started in 1988 as a so-called computer algebra system. Namely, it lets you do things like solve equations, factor polynomials, do integration, derivative, etc. But, due to Stephen's design, it is also a full featured general programing language, much based on lisp. (he probably would not admit it) But since about late 1990s, Mathematica is more marketed as a technical computing platfrom — a system for doing any technical computation. The reason is simple: because as a math system, the market is very limited, but as a system for any technical computation, it widens its potential audience by some 10 fold or 100. Since mid 2000s, it became increasingly more broad. Although i haven't actively been coding Mathematica, but some quick look at Mathematica 7, it is really fantastic. Dynamic visualization, data center of all technical info, and this year Wolfram Alpha.
Here's things i've done with Mathematica, all or almost all graphics in the following projects are generated by Mathematica version 3 (~1998) or 4 (~2002):