Wolfram wants to make it easier for would-be programmers everywhere to start learning how to code, and it's announced a new partnership today that'll have every Raspberry Pi include at no extra cost a copy of Mathematica and an early version of Wolfram Language, its easy to use computing language. Though Mathematica can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars depending on its license, Wolfram says that everything the program's notebook interface is currently capable of will be included on the $25 Raspberry Pi.
Wolfram sees kids using Raspberry Pi and Mathematica to learn coding
Wolfram has big hopes for the partnership. Its founder, Stephen Wolfram, notes that the last time Mathematica was bundled with a computer was in 1988 with Steve Jobs' NeXT, and that those computers ended up in the hands of CERN physicists who ended up inventing the web. On the Raspberry Pi, use of both Mathematica and the Wolfram Language will be free for individuals, but commercial and other users will have to pay for a license.
With Raspberry Pi already serving as an inexpensive computer to start programming on, Wolfram's bundle sounds like the perfect fit. "The Wolfram Language is a wonderful first language to learn (and we've done some very successful experiments on this)," Wolfram wrote last week when he originally announced the new language. The language is meant to be an easy way to accomplish regularly complicated tasks — like understanding natural language input — and it includes all the power of Wolfram Alpha built in to make it all work.
"It's tremendously satisfying."
"It’s tremendously satisfying—and educational," Wolfram writes. "Writing a tiny program, perhaps not even a line long, and already having something really interesting happen"
Anyone who already owns a Raspberry Pi will be able to download the software beginning today, and future models of the Raspberry Pi will ship with it already onboard. But while this may be a way to help people start coding new, complex tools, Wolfram says that the partnership is also meant as a preview of its technology — Mathematica may be 25 years old, but the Wolfram language is still under construction. This is only the first pilot for Wolfram Language too, and while the Raspberry Pi certainly won't be the fastest computer it can run on, Wolfram says it'll be just fine for getting started.