theodp writes: Stephen Wolfram received a PhD in particle physics at age 20 (his thesis committee included Richard Feynman). So it's probably not too surprising that Wolfram's new book, An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language (free on the web), aspires to teach those new to programming how to do much more than just move Minecraft and Star Wars characters around. "The goal of the book," explains Wolfram in a blog post, "is to take people from zero to the point where they know enough about the Wolfram Language that they can routinely use it to create programs for things they want to do. And when I say 'zero', I really mean 'zero'. This is a book for everyone. It doesn't assume any knowledge of programming, or math (beyond basic arithmetic), or anything else. It just starts from scratch and explains things. I've tried to make it appropriate for both adults and kids. I think it'll work for typical kids aged about 12 and up."