Mathematica is a technical computing environment and programming language with strong symbolic and numerical abilities.

Single Core Interactive Usage

After connecting to Bessemer (see Establishing a SSH connection), start an interactive session with srun --pty bash -i.

Mathematica can be loaded with

module load MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary

Mathematica can then be started with the mathematica command


Multicore Interactive Usage

Mathematica has extensive parallel functionality. To use it, you should request a parallel interactive session. For example, to request 2 cores

srun -c="2" --pty bash -i

Load and launch Mathematica

module load MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary

In Mathematica, time how long it takes to calculate the first 20 million primes on 1 CPU core

AbsoluteTiming[primelist = Table[Prime[k], {k, 1, 20000000}];]

Now, let’s launch 2 ParallelKernels and redo the calculation in parallel

AbsoluteTiming[primelist =
ParallelTable[Prime[k], {k, 1, 20000000},
Method -> "CoarsestGrained"];]

This illustrates a couple of points:-

  • You should always request the same number of kernels as you requested in your srun -c="2" --pty bash -i command (in this case, 2).

  • N kernels doesn’t always translate to N times faster.

Batch Submission

Unfortunately, it is not possible to run Mathematica notebook .nb files directly in batch. Instead, you need to create a simple text file that contains all of the Mathematica commands you want to execute. Typically, such files are given the extension .m. Let’s run the following simple Mathematica script as a batch job.

(*Find out what version of Mathematica this machine is running*)
Print["Mathematica version is " <> $Version]

(*Find out the name of the machine we are running on*)
Print["The machine name is " <> $MachineName]

(*Do a calculation*)
Print["The result of the integral is "]
Print [ Integrate[Sin[x]^2, x]]

Copy and paste the above into a text file called very_simple_mathematica.m

An example batch submission script for this file is

# Request 4 gigabytes of real memory
#SBATCH --mem=4000
#SBATCH --mail-type=ALL
module load MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary

math -script very_simple_mathematica.m

Copy and paste the above into a file called and submit with


Once the job has successfully completed, the output will be in a file named like slurm-1503687.out. The number at the end refers to the job-ID given to this job by the system and will be different for you. The contents of this file is

more slurm-1503687.out

Mathematica version is 12.0.0 for Linux x86 (64-bit) (April 7, 2019)
The machine name is bessemer-node017
The result of the integral is
x/2 - Sin[2*x]/4

Installation notes

These are primarily for administrators of the system. Download the Mathematica package,, from Wolfram.

For Version 12.0.0

mkdir -p /usr/local/packages/live/noeb/MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary
chmod +x ./

The installer is interactive. Here’s the session output

                                                                                     Wolfram Mathematica 12 Installer

Copyright (c) 1988-2019 Wolfram Research, Inc. All rights reserved.

WARNING: Wolfram Mathematica is protected by copyright law and international treaties. Unauthorized reproduction or distribution may result in severe civil and criminal penalties and will be
prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under law.

Enter the installation directory, or press ENTER to select /usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/12.0.0:
> /usr/local/packages/live/noeb/MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary

Now installing...

Installation complete.

Remove the playerpass file

rm /usr/local/packages/live/noeb/MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary/Configuration/Licensing/playerpass

Install the University network license mathpass file at /usr/local/packages/live/noeb/MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary/Configuration/Licensing. Mathpass contains the following


The module file is /usr/local/modulefiles/live/noeb/MATHEMATICA/12.0.0/binary.