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February 19, 2008

The O'Reilly School of Technology and Wolfram Research Announce Special Licensing Agreement: OST to Develop a New, Web 2.0 Offering of Mathematica

The O'Reilly School of Technology (OST) has announced an agreement with Wolfram Research to create a Web 2.0 version of Mathematica. Long recognized as the world's most powerful mathematical software system, Mathematica was originally conceived of by Stephen Wolfram two decades ago. Since then program has steadily grown in breadth and depth to become an unparalleled platform for all forms of computing. Given the power of Mathematica as tool for visualizing and understanding mathematics, the pairing of Mathematica with OST's innovative online teaching model was seen as a logical, strategic development to all parties involved.

Called "Hilbert" after the influential German mathematician, David Hilbert, the newly licensed software will be browser accessible and, utilizing AJAX technologies, will emulate the desktop version of the software with remarkable fidelity. "The magic of AJAX will allow OST to combine or 'mash-up' Mathematica with other web-based technologies to deliver and support high quality science and mathematics courses online such as the Calculus&Mathematica courses currently taught through NetMath at the University of Illinois and other universities," explains Scott Gray, Director of the O'Reilly School of Technology. According to Gray, development of the "Hilbert" is currently underway and courses will be available to students in the latter half of 2008.

"We're pleased to be able to support O'Reilly in this innovative endeavor. We're enthusiastic about O'Reilly's plans for this new educational paradigm," said Stephen Wolfram, CEO and Founder of Wolfram Research.

"Mathematica has always been a great tool for learning mathematics," noted Tim O'Reilly. "Combining the new interactive capabilities of Mathematica 6.0 with Ajax technologies will make the learning experience even more powerful. We're delighted to play a part in bringing this opportunity to students."

The O'Reilly School of Technology bases its courses on the premise that for people to learn any skill they must immerse themselves in the skill and practice. The school employs an online learning technique called "useractive learning" in which the student or "user" is actively engaged in building and creating projects while the instructional material is presented. There are no presentation-heavy videos and simulations to sit through. Instead, the courses feature tutorial-style content and Learning Sandboxes(r) that contain easy-to-use, real, open programming environments in which the students try examples and work on projects.

Students at the O'Reilly School of Technology can earn a Certificate for Professional Development from the University of Illinois Office of Continuing Education upon completion of a selected series of courses. Certificates are currently offered in Client-Side Web Programming, Linux/Unix System Administration, Web Programming, Open Source Programming, and .NET Programming.

Additional Resources:
Click here for an interview with Scott Gray, the director of the O'Reilly School of Technology. Scott tells us how the pairing of Mathematica and OST came about and what this new development means for OST students.

For more information about the O'Reilly School of Technology, including a current list of certificate and courses, see: http://www.oreillyschool.com

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

About Wolfram Research
Wolfram Research is the world's leading developer of computational software for science and technology, offering organization-wide computing solutions. Led by Mathematica, its flagship product, the company's software is relied on today by several million enthusiastic users around the world and has been the recipient of many industry awards. Wolfram Research was founded in 1987 by Stephen Wolfram, who continues to lead the company today. The company is headquartered in the United States, with offices in Europe and Japan. Go to http://www.wolfram.com for more information about Wolfram Research and its products.

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