Wolfram Aims to Advance Programming Education

Jan 20, 2016, 13:53 ET from Wolfram Research

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., Jan. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Wolfram Research has announced a new product for anyone to learn programming and computational thinking: Wolfram Programming Lab. Available as a standalone software or accessible in the browser, the Wolfram Programming Lab provides people with no experience an avenue to begin coding.

As recently reported  by the New York Times, putting Wolfram's 25+ years of research and development in the cloud is a concerted effort to democratize the tools for programming education. When you code in the Wolfram Programming Lab, you are not only using the Wolfram Language, you're also learning Mathematica: the software used for technical courses at 90% of universities in the United States.

"Programming doesn't have to be scary or hard. Anyone can write programs that immediately connect to the real world and do really interesting things," said Rob Morris, Product Manager for Wolfram Programming Lab. "Wolfram Programming Lab is tailored specifically to teach students coding principles and develop computational thinking skills in a fun, engaging environment."

Most "introductory" programming languages that students are exposed to are entertaining novelties, but too simplistic to create meaningful programs. Wolfram Programming Lab, however, teaches the Wolfram Language, relying on intriguing, well-crafted content modules to engage students.With Wolfram Programming Lab, kids will be dealing with powerful functions at the same level of regular Mathematica users or software developers.

"The Wolfram Programming Language is unique but contains some ubiquitous coding conventions; making the skills learned applicable to other coding languages. My students were engaged with the language, their personal devices, and each other," said Jeremiah Attebury, Technology Integrator at the Sheridan County School District in Illinois. "With typical coding languages you must supply all the building blocks. If you want a picture to display you must have that picture stored somewhere so it can be retrieved and displayed. With the Wolfram Language you can rely on the computational database to supply those building blocks. That is substantial and easily the most important feature!"

To learn more, visit the Wolfram Programming Lab website and check out Stephen Wolfram's announcement blog post.


SOURCE Wolfram Research