Math Software houses who Tweet

June 15th, 2009 | Categories: math software, The internet | Tags:

When I first came across Twitter, the micro-blogging site that allows people to follow your interests (and your life if you like) by answering the question ‘What are you doing?” I thought it was completely and utterly pointless.  Most of my friends agreed.

I move in very geeky circles though and while at BarCamp Sheffield last year, someone convinced me to sign up and give it a try.  To start with, all it did was confirm my initial suspicions – it seemed to be pointless.  I knew when my geek friends were in the office, I knew what they were having for lunch, when they were having problems with Java and when they were being bit on the toe by their pet ferrets, Ruby and Perl.  Pointless and yet strangely compelling.

In a week I was hooked.

Since then, not only have I found it to be compelling but I have also found it to be immensely useful.  Just last week, for example, I was stranded in Manchester and needed a cheap hotel room.  Although my phone has Internet, it’s very slow, so I didn’t want to have to spend ages googling for the best deal so I tweeted to my small band of followers that I was stuck and I needed help.  They came through for me with first class form and I was soon in a nice, comfortable room that included breakfast for under 50 quid.

I have used it to help solve technical problems, arrange impromptu gatherings, follow the world’s reactions to Wolfram Alpha’s launch in real time,get more readers for this blog, get advice on learning German and, of course, to tell the world what I am having for lunch.

Some people find it significantly more useful though – Dell used it to boost sales of their computers by $3million apparently!

More recently, I have noticed that the makers of various mathematical software packages have started getting in on the tweeting act and the results can be interesting.  Following the tweets of organisations such as Mathworks and OriginLab can be a great way to keep abreast of blog posts, interesting technical tidbits and new releases among other things.  Some of the better Twitter feeds (Labview’s for example) encourage a public two-way dialog between the application vendor and its users – a trend that I hope will continue.

Here are a few I have found so far, some better than others.

  • labview – An official feed from National Instruments
  • Maplesoft – The official feed of the makers of maple
  • MATLAB_Webinars – Seems to be an ‘official’ Mathworks feed.
  • matlabDoug – The feed of Mathwork’s employee, Doug Hull.
  • OriginLab – Official feed from OriginLabs – The makers of plotting software, Origin.  Feed only just started.
  • sagemath – Not sure if this is official.  Could do with being updated more often.
  • Wolfram_Alpha – Official feed of Wolfram Alpha.  Includes lots of interesting Wolfram Alpha inputs.

Let me know if you find any more and I’ll add them to the list.

  1. June 15th, 2009 at 21:04
    Reply | Quote | #1

    Within a day of upgrading our licenses for Maple 13, I was notified that @Maplesoft was now following me on twitter.

    I think you’re already following me, but anyone else interested in following the short ramblings of a Math prof and a bioinformatics enthusiast can find me @splineguy

  2. Mike Croucher
    June 16th, 2009 at 09:30
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Thanks Scott, @Maplesoft has now been added to the list.

    Yep I’m following you (@MikeCr).