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O'Reilly taking Mathematica online

Through a licensing agreement, the O'Reilly School of Technology will create a Web-based version of the mathematics software called Hilbert for online education.

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Mathematica lets users perform a wide variety of mathematical calculations and visualize results. Wolfram Research

Mathematica, Wolfram Research's sophisticated software for complicated mathematical calculations and visualization, is going online.

The O'Reilly School of Technology announced Wednesday a licensing deal with Wolfram that will let it create an online version of Mathematica called Hilbert that "will emulate the desktop version of the software with remarkable fidelity."

The software will be available to students in the second half of the year, O'Reilly said. Hilbert will be available through the O'Reilly School of Technology, an online education division of publisher O'Reilly Media.

Going one step further in fulfilling some of the potential of online software, Hilbert will also enable users to create "mashups" that combine the Mathematica abilities with other online work through courses including NetMath at the University of Illinois, said Scott Gray, director of the O'Reilly School of Technology, in a statement.

(Hilbert is named after the German mathematician David Hilbert. Alas, O'Reilly made no mention of an online Mathematica environment being called Hilbert space.)

O'Reilly said it will put an online interface onto Mathematica using Ajax software, a leading example of "rich Internet application" technology that's increasingly popular for building more polished, elaborate, and interactive Web pages.