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Finding the spookiest day of the century

Posted 1 year ago
13 Replies
54 Total Likes

13 Replies

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Hey thanks everyone for reading!

Leave a comment if you've taught a child any Wolfram. I'd love to hear about your experience.

How old was your child when you started? What was your approach? Did you go through the Elementary Intro book or follow your own path? Has your child continued learning? How have you noticed it affect your child's development/education?

What a nice idea and nice way to spend time with your kids! I got hooked. Here is a bit different approach to get more dates to get spooked :-)

I heard quite a few stories when people woke up in the middle of the night from a nightmare just to see how the "huge full moon" was staring at them through the window and get a bit more spooked :-) Or how "enormous that full moon was above horizon". Interestingly enough in many cases the day before or the day after the instant called "full moon" will give people same visual and emotional impressions, because the moon size is almost identical visually. See the 3 images below for the days before, during and after full moon.

So the idea is that people are not usually impressed by a calendar date but by the full moon size and sight. So I thought I will find al those FRI 13th days that land not only the day of fool moon, but also the day before or after. Beware these things depend on TimeZone -- that you might want to set like DateObject[{year, 10, 13}, TimeZone -> -8] for example. Wolfram Language often picks up your TimeZone automatically. So different people data might be a bit different.

@David, what made you to choose Wolfram Language for this type of explorations, and also especially for your child education?

@David That is very inspiring. I have a son in the same age of your daughter and I have been slowly showing him some tricks to do with WL and W|A. Does your daughter fully understand that code? cause I am going much slower with my son and I am not sure if he can handle it if I go faster. Thank you for sharing this.

Ahmed, not to overly tout our new products, but you might be interested in picking up a copy of our new book, Hands-on Start to Wolfram Alpha Notebook Edition. It's targeted to bring people in from Wolfram Alpha into programming with a lot more natural language from Wolfram Alpha thrown in.

I love this. When editing Hands-On Start 3 with my seven year old, we tested the graphics chapter. Kids love playing with images on their iPad apps. Of course, it's a bit easier to do so with phone and tablet filters and other graphics APIs, but it was a nice way to show her what I do, and to show her that behind all of these apps is a mouthful of programming.

Of course with the WL, it's a whole lot less programming.

I've wanted to take her through EIWL, but maybe I'll wait till she's 8 too.

Frankly, I have trouble applying Table, so I applaud your efforts!

@David Ameneyro if you keep notes on your adventures through EIWL with your daughter, I'd love to work with you on a book project.

Posted 1 year ago

Nice! As a child I was injured on a Friday the 13th in October and was amused that it happened on such an unlucky day. Now I know it was also a full moon!

Oh no! Some one should have warned you to watch out on such an unlucky day!


Love the enhancements! Especially the TimeLinePlot with labels, I will have to show that to my daughter. It looks like Parallelize cuts the computation time by ~75%, gotta remember to use that in the future too.

Lots of reasons for using Wolfram with my child, especially for this type of exploration. The first is that I have fun with this and it's important to connect with your kid through hobbies (same reason I teach my kid skiing).

But beyond that, Wolfram is incredibly accessible. The functions are very human-readable, even for a kid (MoonPhase[] gives you the phase of the moon!). The built in knowledge makes it easy to focus on the fun part of the exploration rather than data collection/cleaning/loading.

At a higher level the Wolfram Programming Lab is an easy and powerful coding environment. The EIWL course is perfect for self-directed learning, having a video, scratchpad, questions/coding, documentation and lesson text all in one browser window. I can tell my kid to get started on her lesson for the day and she's actually learning within a few clicks.


She does not fully understand that code. I told her what it does and went a little more into depth on MoonPhase[] (because I think it's so cool!), but as far as reading the code, she understood using Table[] on the friday13thfullmoon[] function.

Definitely keep going slow, it helps in my opinion. We started EIWL in June of this year and are only just now in the chapter that introduces Manipulate[]. That includes doing it once or twice a week, with frequent multi-week breaks. On days we do lessons she will re-watch the video for the chapter, and then do 1-4 problems for that chapter, usually with heavy assistance with me (especially for formatting like reminders to place a comma or close a bracket).

Thanks David, this clears things up. Thank you again for sharing your experience. Looking forward for more from you in the future.


Yes Graphics and Colors are where kids get interested, much more than the math-y stuff! I think it's great to show some of the code behind an app.

I'm looking forward to getting to the EIWL chapter on using CloudDeploy[] since we'll be able to start making apps that she can use outside of the programming lab environment and maybe share with her friends

And I'd love to help with a book, I'll start keeping better notes!

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