Use Wolfram’s Mathematica To Analyze Your Email

    April 5, 2012

Mathematica from Wolfram is a pretty remarkable piece of software. Designed to be a multi-purpose computational tool, it allows users to develop and analyze an almost limitless variety of workflows. It also allows users to plot and analyze all kinds of data quickly and easily.

Now, thanks to some recent updates, it looks like users can use Mathematica for a little self-awareness, too. Thanks to newly released automated analysis capabilities, the software now lets users plot certain daily activities, like email use. Stephen Wolfram himself first demonstrated this in a blog post earlier in the week. Analyzing his patterns of sending email allowed Wolfram to see some of the patterns in his personal life:

Mathematica Email Plot

In another post on the Wolfram Blog, lead Wolfram Alpha developer Paul-Jean Letourneau posts instructions on how to duplicate the kind of analysis Wolfram performed with Mathematica. The software also allows users to plot several kinds of data. While the first graph represents outgoing emails, it’s also possible to plot incoming emails in the same way. Moreover, it allows you to compare multiple data points. For example, Letourneau plotted his incoming and outgoing email together by time:

Mathematica Email Plot

In addition to the example graphs, Letourneau posts the code users need to perform the same kinds of tasks in Mathematica. In addition to email, Mathematica can plot a wide array of data sets, including keystrokes, hours spent on the phone, and much more.

The potential applications for this sort of data analysis are many. In addition to the interesting personal uses, it could also allow businesses to track a wide variety of metrics related to productivity and