Higher Values in Higher Education

Wolfram Mathematica at Western Illinois University

Mathematica is the world's most powerful global computing environment. Ideal for use in engineering, mathematics, finance, physics, chemistry, biology, and a wide range of other fields, it makes possible a new level of automation in algorithmic computation, interactive manipulation, and dynamic presentation--as well as a whole new way of interacting with the world of data. View the Wolfram demonstrations page for an idea of what Mathematica can be used to create.

Mathematica was purchased jointly by WIU's Colleges of Arts and Sciences and Business and Technology, and is currently installed on all of the Windows machines in the uTech Computer Labs and Computer Resource Centers. Students and employees can additionally download and install Mathematica on both their personally-owned and University-computers.


Installing Mathematica

Student Instructions
  1. Visit https://user.wolfram.com/portal/login.html and create an account to register with Wolfram. You must use your @WIU.edu email address when registering.
  2. After registering above, request a key on the Wolfram web site to install the program on a personally owned computer .
Faculty/Staff Instructions
  • Installers are available at the Wolfram web site if you wish to install the program on your personally owned computer . Access this installer here (you must log in with your WIU ECom username/password in order to access the link.
  • If you wish to install the program on a University-owned computer :
    • Windows Instructions for Faculty/Staff
      1. To install on your Windows computer, copy the following string: \\ad.wiu.edu\wiu\Public\Install\Mathematica\MathematicaInstall.cmd
      2. Click the START button
      3. Click RUN
      4. Paste: \\ad.wiu.edu\wiu\Public\Install\Mathematica\MathematicaInstall.cmd
      5. Click OK
      6. Note: If this is the first install on the machine, this installation must be run twice: the first time installs the software, the second time copies the license file (containing the appropriate license server name) into the appropriate directory. Simply repeat steps 1-5 one additional time. If the latest version of Mathematica is already installed, then running this installation script simply sets the license server to be 'licensemanager.wiu.edu'
    • Mac Instructions for Faculty/Staff
      1. To install on your Mac computer, copy the following string: smb://macinstall.wiu.edu/wiu/
      2. Open up Finder
      3. Click Go in the menu
      4. Click Connect to Server
      5. Paste the copied string. You will then need to open the following folders: Staff, Install, Mac, Mathematica11.
      6. Double click on the file Mathematica_11.0.0_OSX.dmg
      7. Click OK
      8. Enter ECom username and password
      9. When prompted to enter a license key, select Other Ways to Activate > Network License Server. Enter licensemanager.wiu.edu and click OK.

Mathematica Tutorials

  • Hands-on Start to Mathematica (videos)
    Follow along in Mathematica as you watch this multi-part screencast that teaches you the basics—how to create your first notebook, calculations, visualizations, interactive examples, and more.
  • Hands-on Start to Wolfram Mathematica and Programming with the Wolfram Language (book)
    Learn Mathematica at your own pace from authors with 50+ years of combined Mathematica experience—with hands-on examples, end-of-chapter exercises, and authors' tips that introduce you to the breadth of Mathematica with a focus on ease of use.
  • Mathematica & Wolfram Language Fast Introduction for Math Students (online book)
    Use this tutorial to learn about solving math problems in the Wolfram Language—from basic arithmetic to integral calculus and beyond.
  • What's New in Mathematica 11
    Provides a list of new functionality in Mathematica 11, and links to documentation and examples for these new features—including 3D printing, audio processing, machine learning and neural networks, and text and language processing.
  • How To Topics
    Access step-by-step instructions ranging from how to create animations to basic syntax information.
  • Mathematica Resources
    Browse Wolfram's large collection of learning materials and support resources.

ListServs

There are two listservs for Mathematica users at WIU


Teaching with Mathematica

Mathematica offers an interactive classroom experience that helps students explore and grasp concepts, plus gives faculty the tools they need to easily create supporting course materials, assignments, and presentations.

Resources for educators
  • Mathematica for Teaching and Education—Free video course
    Learn how to make your classroom dynamic with interactive models, explore computation and visualization capabilities in Mathematica that make it useful for teaching practically any subject at any level, and get best-practice suggestions for course integration.
  • How To Create a Lecture Slideshow—Video tutorial
    Learn how to create a slideshow for class that shows a mixture of graphics, calculations, and nicely formatted text, with live calculations or animations.
  • Wolfram Demonstrations Project
    Download pre-built, open-code examples from a daily-growing collection of interactive visualizations, spanning a remarkable range of topics.
  • Wolfram Training Education Courses
    Access on-demand and live courses on Mathematica, SystemModeler, and other Wolfram technologies.
What WIU faculty have created neat Mathematica examples?

Some prolific Mathematica users on campus include Professor Rabchuk and Professor Polley, whose work is linked below.


Research with Mathematica

Rather than requiring different toolkits for different jobs, Mathematica integrates the world's largest collection of algorithms, high-performance computing capabilities, and a powerful visualization engine in one coherent system, making it ideal for academic research in just about any discipline.

Resources for researchers
  • Mathematica for University Research—Free video course
    Explore Mathematica's high-level and multi-paradigm programming language, support for parallel computing and GPU architectures, built-in functionality for specialized application areas, and multiple publishing and deployment options for sharing your work.
  • Wolfram Language Training Courses—Free video courses
    Explore what's possible with the Wolfram Language, including programming fundamentals and concepts, built-in functions, symbolic expressions, and tips for better, faster coding.
  • Utilizing HPC and Grid Computing—Free video course
    Learn how to create programs that take advantage of multicore machines or available clusters.
  • Field-Specific Applications
    Learn what areas of Mathematica are useful for specific fields.