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Hi, my name is Cliff Hastings and welcome to this presentation of an overview of Mathematica Online. Today we are going to discuss how Mathematica Online brings the world’s ultimate computation system to the Cloud, allowing the power of Mathematica’s interactive notebooks to work directly in your web browser. This means that you can use Mathematica from any computer with Internet access without needing to install anything. We will start with a brief comparison between Mathematica on the desktop and Mathematica Online to help you get a handle on features and benefits that are unique to each addition. Then we’ll take a look at how you can share Mathematica Online documents with others, including people who do not have their own Mathematica Online subscriptions. This makes it very convenient and easy to publish a document for a group of colleagues, students, or collaborators. We’ll take a look at how Mathematica on the desktop can utilize the Cloud and discuss some of the benefits to having both Mathematica desktop and Mathematica Online licenses at your disposal. We’ll also look at using Mathematica Online with mobile devices, like iPads. Finally, we’ll discuss licensing options for getting Mathematica Online access either for yourself or your organization. Let’s begin with a short comparison of Mathematica on the desktop and Mathematica Online. In terms of functionality, most of it is identical between the two editions. So you’ll see things like freeform input in the suggestions bar in both. Even things like creating interactive models with “Manipulate” work in Mathematica Online. Now there are a few differences— Mathematica on the desktop has a slightly richer user experience thanks to extra palettes, more typesetting options and local computations. As an example of the latter, this means that “Manipulate” models can be more responsive when run locally if the control is something like a slider bar. Now Mathematica Online however is a little more flexible than Mathematica on the desktop because you can use Mathematica Online anywhere you have a device with an Internet connection. This means if you’re away from your normal computer, like at a conference or a friend’s house or a library, you can still log in to your Mathematica Online account and get your work done without needing to install or configure anything. And since Mathematica Online is built using the Cloud, it can also do some things that Mathematica desktop cannot do, like imbedding Youtube videos into notebooks. There’s also a mobile app that can be used if you subscribe to a Wolfram Cloud product like Mathematica Online, which makes the experience of using Mathematica from a mobile device even better than using a standard mobile web browser. It should be noted though that most people use both Mathematica on the desktop and Mathematica Online and we’ll talk about those values to using both later on in the presentation. But first let’s take a look at Mathematica Online’s workflow. We’ll begin by opening up a web browser, navigating to Mathematica Online login screen and entering our account information. When you first launch Mathematica Online, you should see the welcome screen. From here, you can create a new notebook, access resources for getting started and browse the files stored in your Wolfram Cloud account by using the file browser. If you have a Mathematica Online account, you’ll get a certain amount of Cloud storage where you can store your notebooks and related files and you can also purchase additional storage if needed. Let’s go ahead and create a new notebook by clicking “create new document” and selecting “notebook” from the drop down menu. A new tab opens with our blank notebook document. Now before we go on, I am going to collapse the sidebar just to give us a little more space to work with. If you have experience with Mathematica then parts of this blank notebook document will look familiar to you. You’ll see a plus sign with a horizontal bar, which is where we can enter input. There are also some menu items in the top of the document— a file menu with operations for duplicating and downloading files, as well as a link to open the current file in Mathematica on the desktop; there’s a format menu, which allows us to change things like cell styles, fonts, colors, and sizes; an insert menu, which is useful for pasting in special characters like mathematical symbols and operators; and a share menu, which we will discuss in more details later on. Now like Mathematica on the desktop, the horizontal bar means that we are ready to create a new cell and the plus sign is the cell insertion assistant. We can click on it by bringing up a menu that allows us to choose the type of input we want. For example, if I choose “other style of text” and then select “title” from the dropdown menu, I can add some text like, “An Overview of Mathematica Online” to start adding content to my document. As in Mathematica on the desktop, I can use my mouse to click above or below existing cells to get the cursor ready for a new input or I can navigate through and between the cells by using the arrows keys on the keyboard. Now that I have the cursor at the bottom of my notebook, I’m going to click the cell insertion assistant again and this time I’ll choose “freeform input.” Now this creates a cell with an orange equal sign icon, which means I can now issue a command by typing in plain English. I’ll go ahead and type “plot sin x.” When finished, I press the “shift” and “enter” keys on my keyboard, which tells Mathematica Online to evaluate my input and return the result, which it did so immediately. What happens in the background is Mathematica Online says, “OK, you asked me to plot sin x, so here is a plot of the sin of x” for us. And then it makes some decisions in terms of selecting the domain that the function is plotted over. Freeform input means that anyone can start using Mathematica Online immediately without knowing anything about the underlying Wolfram language that powers Mathematica and other Wolfram products. Freeform input can also be used to look up information. So let’s do something trivial like we’ll find the number of turkeys in Turkey. And that will return a result for us. So Mathematica Online can distinguish between the animal “turkey” and the country “Turkey” and use that information to look up the relevant data and then return the answer to the question. So let’s go ahead and use the Wolfram language directly. And that is the first option when you click the cell insertion assistant. And it is also the default type of input when you start typing to create a brand new cell. As I start typing a Wolfram Language command—let’s go ahead and type “P L O”— you’ll see a pop-up window appears to offer me possible command names. Once I select one, I can press the double chevron icon to see templates of the different ways that command can be used. In this case, I’ll select the first template for the Plot command. And then I’ll type in the rest of the necessary information. Let’s plot the sin of x where x goes from zero to ten. You can use the tab key to jump to the next placeholder just like you can in Mathematica on the desktop. Interactivity is supported in Mathematica Online. So I can make a 3D plot. I’ll use freeform input to ask for a plot of sin(x) times cos(y) and once I get that result I can go ahead and click and then drag that plot to rotate it, again just like you would in Mathematica on the desktop. I can also use the “Manipulate” command to create an interactive model. So let’s manipulate the plot of sin(x) plus the sin(f * x), we’ll say “x” goes from zero to 4pi and then “f” we’ll take that from one to five. Once that’s finished I can move that slider bar so we can examine what happens to this plot when “f” takes on different values. And if I add in a different type of parameter, like adding an option for “plot style” “arrow color”, and I can make the arrow using the hyphen and greater than symbol, and then I’m going to tell “Manipulate” that the color should start with the actual color red. I get a different type of control now in this case, which is a color selector, so I can change the appearance of the plot. Now, just like in Mathematica on the desktop, the notebook structure can be organized by moving cells around through cutting or copying and pasting. And the cell contents can be hidden or displayed by double clicking the appropriate cell brackets. So if I want to show my results but not the actual code I can hide it, like for this last “Manipulate” example I just created. I’m going to create a new cell. Let’s use freeform input again and we’ll integrate one over the quantity of (1 – x^3). Now when I do that, I get a result that has some degree of type setting displayed. I can even select the output cell bracket, click on the little gear icon, and choose “convert to traditional form” to see a result that is more like the mathematics we might see in a textbook. So now that we’ve built up the document, let’s give it a name. The document itself has already been saved to my Wolfram Cloud account— so that happens automatically and in the background so it’s not something I have to actively think about. But, I can give my document a name by clicking on the “Unnamed” at the top of the screen, we’ll type in a name—let’s call it “My First Notebook”— and then we click the checkmark when we’re finished. And I can find this file by opening the sidebar, clicking “Home” and then seeing the list of files I currently have stored in my Cloud account. With Mathematica on the desktop, when you want to share a file with someone you might send it to them via email and then they can open it up in Mathematica or the free CDF player viewing software that can be downloaded from our website. But, Mathematica Online makes it a much easier process to share your documents with someone. At the top of the notebook, you’ll see that “Share menu” item. When I click on this, it brings up a menu that lists several ways that notebooks can be shared, including as a private document or a public webpage. If I share my notebook as a private document then I can choose who will be able to access this document. When I select “private document”, a popup window appears and a message lets us know that this is a private file that can be accessed only by me and my collaborators and viewers. Now a collaborator is someone who can view and edit the file and in order to be a collaborator that person needs to have access to Mathematica Online, through either their own subscription or a subscription at their organization. But a viewer is someone who can view and interact with the file but they cannot make any changes. A viewer does not need to have a full Mathematica Online subscription, although they do need to create a free account in order to be able to view the files that have been shared with them. Adding a collaborator or viewer is a very simple process— I just select the appropriate option and enter their email address. For example, if I wanted to share this notebook with multiple collaborators, I can enter a list of email addresses here separated by commas. When you add collaborators to a file, the collaborators get an email to let them know that they now have access to your file and you can also include a personal message in that email notification if you wish. Adding viewers is a similar process. Now you can add as many collaborators as you would like, although, as mentioned, they will need to have their own Mathematica Online subscriptions. You can also add multiple viewers, up to the limits provided by your account and if you need additional viewers you can upgrade your account to increase those limits. One great benefit of sharing Mathematica Online content with viewers and collaborators is that since Mathematica Online only requires a web browser you can view those shared documents from mobile devices, like iPads. I can open a file in my Cloud account and from there I can interact with it through the touch interface on the device. I can evaluate cells, add or delete cells, and interact with content like “Manipulate” models. And I strongly suggest getting the Wolfram Cloud App, which provides an even better experience for using Mathematica Online and other Cloud products from a mobile device. So we’ve seen some of the basics of how to use Mathematica Online and how to share files but what if you have existing notebooks from your desktop license of Mathematica stored on your desktop that you don’t want to have to recreate from scratch in Mathematica Online? There are a couple of different ways to move your files from your hard disk to the Cloud. In the sidebar of Mathematica Online, there is an “upload file” icon and you can use that to open a dialogue that allows you to select files to upload to your Cloud account. So that’s one way to get your files into the Cloud. I’m going to upload this file from my desktop, called “Example Notebook”, and now I can open it by selecting it from the file browser in the sidebar. Another way is from Mathematica on the desktop if you have Mathematica 10 or a later version. So if I switch over to Mathematica on the desktop, I can go to the file menu and choose “save to Wolfram Cloud.” This opens a window that lets you save the file or create a new folder in which to save the file. This is another very convenient way to move your files to the Cloud. There are some other features that help you move between platforms as well. For example, if I go back to Mathematica Online and open the file I just uploaded, I can click this icon at the top with the arrow pointing to the computer display. By doing so, the file is downloaded from the Cloud to my local hard disk and then I am prompted to open it up in my desktop instance of Mathematica. If I do that, you can see I have a copy running on my desktop instance of Mathematica and it has all the interactivity and features that the desktop frontend provides. So it’s pretty easy to go back and forth, to upload files in your Cloud account and to download them to your local machine. As noted earlier, most people use both Mathematica on the desktop and Mathematica Online, so let’s talk about some of those reasons why. Well the convenience of saving your files to the Cloud and having them accessible and backed up from anywhere is really useful. I don’t know how many times I’ve wanted to show someone something that I’ve done in Mathematica but I wasn’t at a machine that had it installed and installing or waiting for it to install just wasn’t an option. Mathematica Online completely eliminates that problem. Similarly, being able to share files online by clicking a few buttons makes it easier than ever before to collaborate with others on projects and to make your work accessible to colleagues or students. This is especially true with mobile devices, with Mathematica Online providing an easy way for you to be able to view Mathematica-based content from devices, like tablets and phones, which, of course, is incredibly useful. But using Mathematica on the desktop still has a lot of value like being able to take advantage of your local machine for parallel computing and using all the niceties of the frontend interface that the desktop interface can provide. For example, when I use “Manipulate” objects in Mathematica on the desktop they are instantly responsive since all of the computation is being done on my local machine— there’s no lag between adjustment of the control and the resulting effect on, say, a plot. Mathematica on the desktop also has additional menus and options, like 2 dimensional typesetting for input and the point and click pallets. And of course, with Mathematica on your desktop, you are not required to be connected to the Internet like you are with Mathematica Online, unless you are using Internet-specific features like free form input. So personally I’ve been developing a workflow where I do a lot of my work in Mathematica on the desktop and then I save and share files through Mathematica Online. And when I’m in a situation where I need Mathematica but I’m away from my machine, I can simply log in to my account and continue my work or share files with my coworkers so that they can access them from their mobile devices as well. Now when using both desktop and online it’s good to understand that Mathematica on the desktop gets updated before Mathematica Online since the latter also needs some extra Cloud-specific testing to be done before a new version’s approved. We want to ensure the most stable version of Mathematica for production level users so this means that Mathematica Online may not receive a version upgrade quite as quickly as Mathematica on the desktop but we are dedicated to maintaining a short gap between the two current versions of both editions, which helps make the user experience as close as possible to each other. Now if you’d like to get Mathematica Online, there are a couple of options available. There are individual Mathematica Online subscriptions available for purchase on our website. So if you are a current home edition user, or you’re interested in getting a home edition license, you would get both the desktop and Mathematica Online. If you already have a student or professional desktop license of Mathematica and you want Mathematica Online, your least expensive route is to add what’s called “Premiere Service Plus” to your license. This’ll provide you a free home-use license of Mathematica on the desktop as well as a free subscription to Mathematica Online plus all of the other benefits of service, like free upgrades, technical support, etc., while you have that service option. If you are brand new to Wolfram and want to use both Mathematica on the desktop and Mathematica Online then you’ll want to get a desktop license with that Premiere Service Plus from the start. And of course, if your organization already has a site license for Mathematica and wants to add Mathematica Online there are easy options for doing that as well, including the option of running Mathematica Online on your own private cloud at an organization, university, company, etc. Ok well, that covers everything for this overview of Mathematica Online. Hopefully it’s given you a sense of its capabilities and how its integration with the desktop version of Mathematica can make your workflow even more convenient. If you are interested in using Mathematica Online and want to get some pricing information specific to your organization, feel free to send me an email at [email protected] with your organization’s name and location and your Wolfram license number, if you currently have one, and I’ll be happy to get you in touch with the right person to discuss those options. Thanks again for attending.

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 37 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 19
Posted by: wolfram on May 15, 2015


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