Wolfram Technology Conference Day 3: Live Coding Championship Winner, Jeopardy!® in the Wolfram Language, and the One-Liner Competition

It’s day three of the Wolfram Technology Conference, and we’ve already seen a vast array of innovative and stunning uses of Wolfram technology from image processing for detecting ocular degeneration to new food and nutrition data in Wolfram|Alpha. Our speakers and attendees are truly outstanding individuals working on the cutting edge of technological advancement. We were also excited to host our Wolfram Live Coding Championship!

Wolfram Live Coding Championship 2017

The 2017 Wolfram Live Coding Championship. What a belt!

Last night, we hosted our Live Coding Championship led by Stephen Wolfram. For the contest, Stephen gave challenges to the participants, and they were then tasked with finding a solution to the problem using an elegant piece of Wolfram Language code. This year’s prize was definitely fit for a champion!

Stephen Wolfram awards Live Coding Champion Jon McLoone his prize.

Approximately 20 participants took part in the contest and responded to challenges ranging from finding digit sequences in Pi to string manipulation to finding the earliest 2016 sunrise in Champaign, IL.

The event was streamed on live from Wolfram Research and Stephen Wolfram’s Twitch channels, and you can watch the video-on-demand here. It’s definitely worth checking out!

You can also find past broadcasts on Stephen’s Twitch channel highlighting new functions in Wolfram Language 11.2, examining nuclear blasts in North Korea, and real-time history of science research on D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson, among other topics.

Food Data in Wolfram|Alpha and Computational Public Relations

It was certainly a full day, and there is much to talk about. I gave a talk on computational public relations that highlighted a few ServiceConnect[] features available in the Wolfram Language that make working with Twitter and Reddit APIs quite easy. Coming from a non-technical background, I find them much less cumbersome to use than calling from languages like Python or R. Taking what I learned a few summers ago at the Wolfram Summer School, I was also able to use some code to simulate information diffusion in a small world network. (Thanks to Charlie Brummitt for sharing his knowledge in graphs and networks to create the below animation.)

Simulating information diffusion in a small world network.

Participants had a few questions about the APIs available through Wolfram Language. Full documentation can be found here, and you can also check out how Wolfram consultant Bernat Espigulé-Pons used Runkeeper data to model and visualize (quite stunningly) a full year of his movements using some external service functions found in the Wolfram Language.

Visualizing a year of Runkeeper data.

Andrew Steinacher, developer in Wolfram|Alpha scientific content, gave his third talk in as many years on food and nutrition data in Wolfram|Alpha. The Wolfram Language now has nearly 150,000 searchable (and computable) foods. New computable features include PLU codes, used by grocery stores worldwide, and acidity levels, full nutritional information, ingredients, and substitutions, along with barcode recognition for better alignment with international foods.

Visualizing ingredient substitution in the Wolfram Language.

Future goals for food data in the Wolfram Language include better food and nutrition coverage for the rest of the world, specifically Asia; adding more packaged foods and more available data, such as storage temperatures, packaging dimensions, and materials; aligning ingredient entities to chemical entities; new FDA nutrition labels with support for multiple sizes/styles; and computational recipes, including food quantities and nutrition, actions, equipment, and substitutions. One can easily imagine how these tools will certainly innovate the food production and food service industries.

Building an Interactive Game Modeled on Jeopardy!®

This morning, Robert Nachbar, project director with Wolfram Solutions, demonstrated an interactive game of Jeopardy!® built in the Wolfram Language that he modestly said took him about a weekend to build.

Robert Nachbar demonstrating a game of Jeopardy!® built in the Wolfram Language.

It was indeed impressive, and attendees were excited about its application in eduction. Using built-in Wolfram Language functions like Dynamic[] and interactive buttons, Robert, or Bob as we fondly call him, showed how an API call can be used to create a game of Jeopardy!® with existing clues or how a custom game can be built. To demonstrate the latter, he used clues and questions specific to Wolfram Language. We had only a few minutes of play toward the end of the presentation, but it was clear participants could have spent all morning competing.

Wolfram One-Liner Competition

Excitingly, we will be announcing the winners of our One-Liner Competition tomorrow morning! Disclaimer: I’m a judge, and I’m very much looking forward to some awesome submissions showcasing what can be done in 128 characters or less of Wolfram Language code. Check out some of last year’s submissions here, and below is last year’s One-Liner winning submission, a solitaire game of pong in a very short amount of code.

Philip Maymin’s 2016 winning entry.

Wolfram Technology Innovator Awards

Each year, Stephen Wolfram honors individuals who use Wolfram technologies for their work, projects, or professional endeavors in cutting edge ways. We’re looking forward to the announcement of the winners this evening at the keynote dinner. You can check out past winners here to get an idea of the high degree of quality and innovation our nominees and winners strive for.

Be sure to check back here tomorrow for an announcement of this year’s Innovator Award and One-Liner winners! You can also follow us on Twitter @Wolfram and @Wolfram Events for more updates.