Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

February 23, 2016

From: Reddit AMA

What is the one thing any student must try in college?

Hmmmm… I myself was only in college for about a year (in Oxford, long long ago) … and I spent most of my time in an underground computer room where I had access to the ARPANET, doing physics research. So I don’t have much to say from personal experience.

In today’s world, the obvious point is to learn about things that will be important in the future. One trend I’ve noticed is that eventually there’s a field called “computational X” for all X (X = agriculture, archaeology, … , zoology) … which is a way of saying that computation and computational thinking are going to be important in pretty much anything people want to do. So it’s a really good idea to get familiar with that … and, needless to say, I’ve spent years building tools to make that easy for people. The most recent development is Wolfram Programming Lab, which you can use on the web at

I myself have always found it useful to learn as much as possible about as many things as possible … and college at least should be a good place to do that. Even if you’re a techie, don’t forget the humanities. Long after the latest fad in software development, or the latest JavaScript framework, is long forgotten, people will still be reading Plato, and learning useful things from doing so….

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