Teenage software developers join world’s best at global conference

SOULVER: The calculator that lets you see where you’ve been.

Two Sydney teenagers, who invented a computer-based calculator with word processing capabilities, have taken their product to a global conference of Apple computer developers in the US.

The pair won two of 20 Australian scholarships to attend the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco last month.

WWDC is a prestigious event addressed by Apple guru (and co-creator) Steve Job, and is the place where new generation Apple Mac technologies are revealed to the world.

Zac Cohan and Nik Youdale were 16 when they created Soulver after asking themselves why students still use a calculator, pen and paper to do maths, yet powerful, mathematics-driven computers to write English assignments.

The answer, they discovered, was that almost all computer-based calculators mimic physical calculators and do nothing to improve on its inherent faults – a tiny screen, a tiny brain and no way to keep track of your calculations.

The two self-taught programmers created a computer program that blended the power of a scientific calculator with the flexibility of a word processor. In its current version Soulver uses the same language Apple Computer uses to create its iLife application suite (iPhotos, iMovies, iTunes etc).

Now both 18 and at university, Nik and Zac sell Soulver to customers from across the globe through their Internet business, World of Worlds.

Soulver was rapturously received at an annual conference of maths teachers, is used by school children and university students and has been picked up by parents of children needing assistive technologies – devices that allow people with disabilities to go more easily about their daily lives.

SOULVER: When word processor meets calculator

  • Soulver takes the core values of a physical calculator and adds word processing features such as the ability to customize font and color, text alignment and rulers, find and replace text and opening and saving documents.
  • Like a spreadsheet, Soulver can use answers from previous lines in future lines and as the value of past lines change, future lines automatically update.
  • Answers can be converted from decimal into root, fraction, degree, hex and binary as you type.
  • Soulver uses a powerful engine called BC, a core UNIX technology built into the heart of the Mac operating system, OS X.
  • Soulver embodies all the standard functions of a scientific calculator.
  • Soulver can define an unlimited amount of constants (numbers used repeatedly) and comes with some default constants such as the speed of light: c (299792458) and acceleration due to gravity on earth: g (9.80665).
  • Soulver is built using the same language that Apple Computer uses to create its iLife application suite (iPhoto, iMovies, iTunes etc) and Mac OS X.
  • Soulver is a universal binary and runs on both a PowerPC or Intel Mac.

For more information, visit worldofworlds.net