Stephen Wolfram Born: 29Aug1959 Birthplace: London, England
Gender: Male Race or Ethnicity: White Sexual orientation: Straight Occupation: Mathematician, Computer Programmer Nationality: United States Executive summary: Creator of Mathematica As a boy, Stephen Wolfram was called a young Einstein. At 13, he earned a scholarship to Eton College. At 14, he wrote his first book on particle physics. At 17, the scientific journal Nuclear Physics published a paper he'd written. At 18, he wrote a widelyacclaimed paper on heavy quark production. At 20, he received his PhD in theoretical physics.
In his teens, Wolfram became obsessed with cellular automata  structures governed by simple rules that can result in complex behavior. The study of cellular automata was pioneered in the 1950s by mathematicians like John Conway, whose twodimensional Game of Life is the bestknown illustration of the concept. Wolfram saw the potential for more: he thought Lifelike cellular automata could be adapted to explain complex behavior in the physical world.
Only 21 years old, Wolfram was already on the faculty at Caltech, cranking out a series of papers and singlehandedly reviving interest in cellular automata. Then someone reminded him that the small print in his Caltech contract specified that the school basically owned his work. Not surprisingly, he promptly left Caltech for Princeton.
At Princeton and then the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign, Wolfram was given carte blanche, but he moved the project toward more simplicity  onedimensional lines, instead of twoor threedimensional blocks. To advance his project, Wolfram needed software that could juggle highlevel algebra, advanced formulas, and graphics, so he began work on a software application called Mathematica. Released in 1988, it quickly became one of the most popular pieces of scientific software ever, and made Wolfram a millionaire.
Now he runs his Wolfram Research by day, and delves reclusively into cellular automata into the night. His magnum opus on the subject, A New Kind of Science (2002), announced a scientific revolution based in cellular automata which has yet to materialize. In 2009 his company launched Wolfram Alpha, a computational knowledge engine. Father: Hugo Wolfram (novelist, Into a Neutral Country) Mother: Sybil Wolfram (Oxford professor of philosophy, d.) Brother: Conrad Wolfram (younger) Wife: (mathematician, three children)
High School: Eton College University: Oxford University University: PhD Theoretical Physics, Caltech (1979) Professor: Caltech (197882) Professor: University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign (198688)
Wolfram Research CEO (1988)
Bell Laboratories consultant
Los Alamos National Laboratory consultant
Thinking Machines consultant
Institute for Advanced Study 198286 MacArthur Fellowship 1981 Jewish Ancestry Paternal
Official Website: http://www.stephenwolfram.com/
Author of books:
Cellular Automata and Complexity: Collected Papers
Mathematica: The Student Book
Mathematica Reference Guide
The Mathematica Book
New Kind of Science
Requires Flash 7+ and Javascript.
Do you know something we don't?
Submit a correction or make a comment about this profile
Copyright ©2019 Soylent Communications
