Stephen Wolfram

Stephen Wolfram (born 29 August 1959) is a British-born American computer scientist [7] , physicist, and executives. He is Berninahaus for his work in computer science ,mathematics , and in theoretical physics . [8] [9] He is the author of the book A New Kind of Science . [2] In 2012 he was named an inaugural Fellow of the American Mathematical Society . [10]

If a executives, he is the founder and CEO of the software company Wolfram Research where he worked as chief designer of Mathematica and the Wolfram Alpha answer engine . His recent work has leg on knowledge-based programming , Expansion and refining the programming language of Mathematica JSON what is now called the Tungsten Language . His book An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language Appeared in 2015 and Idea Makers Appeared in 2016.

Early life

Stephen Wolfram was born in London in 1959 to Hugo and Sybil Wolfram.

Hugo Wolfram

Stephen’s Father, Hugo Wolfram (1925-2015), a textile manufacturer born in Bochum , Germany, served as managing director of the Lurex Company, makers of the fabric Lurex and was the author of three novels. [11] [12] [13] [14] He emigrated to England in 1933. [15] When World War II broke out, young Hugo left school at 15 and subsequently found it hard to get a job have since been regarded as an ” Nothing alien .” As an adult, he took correspondence courses in philosophy and psychology. [11]

Sybil Wolfram

Stephen’s mother, Sybil Wolfram (1931-1993; born Sybille Misch) was a Fellow and Tutor in philosophy at Lady Margaret Hall at University of Oxford from 1964 to 1993. She published two books, Philosophical Logic: An Introduction (1989) [16] and in-laws and Outlaws: Kinship and Marriage in England (1987). [17] [18] She was the translator of Claude Lévi-Strauss ‘s La pensée sauvage ( The Savage Mind ), but later disavowed the translation. [19] [20] She was the daughter of criminologist and psychoanalyst Kate Friedlander (1902-1949), an expert on the subject of juvenile delinquency, [21] and the physician Walter Misch (1889-1943) who, together, wrote the vegetative Genese of neurotischen Fear und ihre medikamentöse Beseitigung . [22] After the Reichstag fire in 1933, she emigrated from Berlin, Germany to England with re parents and Jewish psychoanalyst, Paula Heimann (1899-1982). [23] [24] [25]


Stephen is married to a mathematician and they ‘port four children. [26]

Education and early career

As a young child, Wolfram initially struggled in school and had difficulties learning arithmetic. [27] At the age of 12, he wrote a dictionary on physics. [28] At 13 or 14, he had written three books on particle physics. [29] [30] [31] Way Down ulcers not published.

Particle physics

Wolfram was a wunderkind . At age 15, he Began research in toegepast quantum field theory and particle physics and published scientific papers. Topics included matter creation and annihilation , the fundamentele Interactions , elementary particles and hun currents, hadronic and leptonic physics, and the Parton model , published in professional peer-reviewed scientific journals waaronder Nuclear Physics B , Australian Journal of Physics , Nuovo Cimento , and Physical review D . [32] Working independently, Wolfram published a widely Cited paper on heavy quark production at age 18 [4] and nine other papers, [18] and continued research and to publish on particle physics into his early twenties. Wolfram’s work with Geoffrey C. Fox on the theory of the strong interaction is still-used in experimental particle physics. [33]

He was educated at Eton College , but left prematurely in 1976. [34] He entered St. John’s College, Oxford at age 17 but found lectures “awful”, [18] and left in 1978 [35] without graduating [36] [37] to attend the California Institute of Technology , de volgende year, where he RECEIVED a PhD [ 38] in particle physics on November 19, 1979 at age 20. [39] Wolfram’s thesis committee was Composed of Richard Feynman , Peter Goldreich , Frank J. Sciulli and Steven Frautschi , and chaired by Richard D. Field. [39] [40]

A 1981 letter from Feynman to Gerald Freund giving Recruiters reference for Wolfram for the MacArthur grant Appears in Feynman’s collective letters, Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the beaten track . Following his PhD, Wolfram joined the faculty at Caltech and became the youngest recipient [41] of the MacArthur Fellowships in 1981, at age 21. [36]

Later career

Complex systems and cellular automata

In 1983, Wolfram left for the School of Natural Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he conducted research JSON cellular automata , [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] Mainly with computer simulations. He produktie a series of papers systematically investigating the class of elementary cellular automata , conceiving the Wolfram code , a naming system for one-dimensional cellular automata, and a classification scheme for the complexity hun behavior. [47] He conjectured dat the Rule 110 cellular automaton Might Be Turing complete .

A 1985 letter from Feynman to Wolfram framing Appears in Feynman’s letters. In it, in response to Wolfram writing to im dat he was thinking about customizing somekind or institutes where he Might study complex systems, Feynman tells Wolfram, “You do not understand ordinary people,” and advises him “find a way to do your research with as little contact with non-technical people as skies. ” [48]

In the mid-1980s, Wolfram worked on simulations of physical processes (such as turbulent fluid flow ) with cellular automata on the Connection Machine alongside Richard Feynman [49] and helped initiate the field of complex systems , founding the first institutes devoted to this subject , The Center for Complex Systems Research (CCSR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign [50] and the journal Complex Systems in 1987. [50]

Symbolic Manipulation Program

Main article: Symbolic Manipulation Program

Wolfram led the development of the computer algebra system SMP ( Symbolic Manipulation Program ) in the Caltech physics department prolongation 1979-1981. A dispute with the administration over the intellectual property rights Regarding SMP patents, copyright, and faculty Involvement in commercial ventures-Eventually caused im to Resign from Caltech. [51] SMP was developed working environment and for customer Commercially by Inference Corp. or Los Angeles prolongation 1983-1988.


Main article: Mathematica

In 1986 Wolfram left the Institute for Advanced Study for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he founded hun Center for Complex Systems Research and started to dévelop the computer algebra system Mathematica, welke was first released in 1988, als have left academia. In 1987 he founded a company called Wolfram Research welke Continues to developement and market the program. [4]

Near the end of Sybil Wolfram’s life, as part of research for re In-laws and Outlaws , she-used re sun’s program Mathematica to analyseren re data. [23]

Wolfram’s Younger Brother, Conrad Wolfram , Serves as CEO of Wolfram Research Europe, Ltd. [52] [53]

A New Kind of Science

Main article: A New Kind of Science

From 1992 to 2002 he worked on his controversial book A New Kind of Science , [4] [54] welke presents an empirical study of very simple computational systems. Additionally, it argues dat for fundamentele reasons prosthesis types or systems, Rather dan traditional mathematics, are needed to model and under state complexity in nature. Wolfram’s conclusion is dat de universe is digital, ITT nature, and runs on fundamentele laws welke kan be DESCRIBED as simple programs. He predicts dat a realization of this binnen the scientific communities will harbor a major and revolutionary influence on physics, chemistry and biology and the Majority of the scientific areas in general, welke is the reason for the book’s title.

Since the release of the book in 2002, Wolfram has split his time tussen ontwikkelingslanden Mathematica and encouraging people to get involved with the subject matter of A New Kind of Science by giving Recruiters talks, holding conferences and starting a summer school devoted to the topic. [55]

Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine

Main article: Wolfram Alpha

In March 2009, Wolfram announced Wolfram | Alpha, an answer engine . Wolfram | Alpha later launched in May 2009, [56] and a paid-for version with additional features launched on February 2012. [57] The engine is based on natural language processing and a large library of algorithms, and answers queries using the approach DESCRIBED in A New Kind of Science . The application programming interface Allows other applications to extendwatchlist en verbeteren Alpha. [58] Wolfram convinced dat as Wolfram Alpha comes JSON common use, “It will raise the level of scientific things therein the average person kan do.” [59]

Wolfram | Alpha is one of the answer engines behind Microsoft ‘s Bing [60] [61] and Apple’s Siri answered factual questions. [62]

Wolfram Language

Main article: Tungsten Language

In June 2014, Wolfram officially announced the Tungsten Language as a new general multi-paradigm programming language. [63] The documentation for the language was pre-released in October 2013 to coincide with the bundling of Mathematica and the Wolfram Language on everytime Raspberry Pi computer. While the Tungsten Language has existed for over 25 years as the primary programming language-used in Mathematica , it was not officially named Until 2014. [64] Wolfram’s sun, Christopher Wolfram, Appeared on the program or SXSW giving Recruiters a live coding demonstration using Wolfram Language [65] and has Blogged about Wolfram Language for Wolfram Research. [66]

On 8 December 2015 Wolfram published the book ” An Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language ” to introductory people with no knowledge of programming to the Wolfram Language and the child or computational thinking it Allows. [67]

Both Stephen Wolfram and Christopher Wolfram were involved in helping in create the alien language for the film Arrival , for welke ze-used the Wolfram Language . [68] [69] [70]

Personal analytics

The significance data has on the products Stephen creates transfers into his own life. He has an uitgebreide log or personal analytics, zoals emails RECEIVED and cents, key strokes made, meetings and events attended, phone calls, even physical movement dating back to the 1980s. He has stated “[personal analytics] kan give us a whole new dimension to our lives are experiencing.” [71]


Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas or Some Notable People (2016) [72]

Elementary Introduction to the Wolfram Language (2015) [73]

A New Kind of Science (2002)

The Mathematica Book (multiple editions)

Cellular Automata and Complexity: Collected Papers (1994)

Theory and Applications of Cellular Automata (1986)


  1. Jump up^ Wolfram, S. (2013). “Computer algebra”. Proceedings of the 38th International Symposium on International Symposium on symbolic and algebraic computation – Issac ’13 . p. 7. doi : 10.1145 / 2465506.2465930. ISBN  9781450320597 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b Stephen Wolfram’s publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database, a service provided by Elsevier. (subscription required)
  3. Jump up^ My Life in Technology As Told at the Computer History Museum
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Giles, J. (2002). “Stephen Wolfram: What child of science is this?”. Nature . 417 (6886): 216-218. Bibkey : 2002Natur.417..216G . doi : 10.1038 / 417216a . PMID  12015565 .
  5. Jump up^ Wolfram, S. (2013). “Remembering Richard Crandall (1947–2012)”. ACM Communications in Computer Algebra . 47 : 14. doi : 10.1145 / 2503697.2503700 .
  6. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram, A New Kind of Science , p. xiv.
  7. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram nationality on
  8. Jump up^ “Stephen Wolfram” . Wolfram Alpha . Retrieved 15 May 2012 .
  9. Jump up^ “Stephen Wolfram:” I am an information pack rat ‘ ‘ . New Scientist . Retrieved 19 April 2014 .
  10. Jump up^ List of Fellows of the American Mathematical Society, retrieved 1 September 2013.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b Count a good yarn with Jenny Lunnon , Oxford Times, Thursday 21 September 2006.
  12. Jump up^ Physicist Awarded ‘GENIUS’ PRIZE FINDS REALITY IN INVISIBLE WORLD, at GLADWIN HILL, Special to the New York Times Published: May 24, 1981
  13. Jump up^ Howard Gottlieb Archival Research Center: Wolfram, Hugo (1925-): “The Hugo Wolfram collection consists of Manuscripts at Wolfram for novels, short stories, and essays.”
  14. Jump up^ Kirkus review of Into a Neutral Country , 1969
  15. Jump up^ Hugo Wolfram. 1925-, Jüdische Schriftstellerinnen und Schriftsteller in Westphalia.
  16. Jump up^ Philosophical Logic: An Introduction to Sybil Wolfram, 2014 [1989].
  17. Jump up^ In-laws and Outlaws: Kinship and Marriage in England at Sybil Wolfram, 1987.
  18. ^ Jump up to:a b c Levy, Steven. “The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything …”(10:06). Wired . Retrieved 2015-03-03 .
  19. Jump up^ Letter to the Editor,American Anthropologist, February, 1967.
  20. Jump up^ Times Literary Supplement, October 29, 2008. “The Century of Claude Lévi-Strauss: How the great anthropologist, now approaching his 100th birthday, has earned a place in the prestigious Pleiade library”, by Patrick Wilcken.
  21. Jump up^ The Psycho-Analytical Approach to Juvenile Criminaliteit: Theory, Case Studies, Treatment with Kate Friedlander, 1998 [1947].
  22. Jump up^ Kate Friedländer nee Frankl (1902-1949), Psychoanalytikerinnen. Biografisches Lexikon. Trans .: “The vegetative genesis of neurotic anxiety and drug elimination”
  23. ^ Jump up to:a b Smith, ME. (1993). Obituary. Anthropology Today, 9 (6), 22-22. Retrieved from
  24. Jump up^ Friedlander, KATE in Jewish Virtual Library.
  25. Jump up^ Kate Friedländer nee Frankl (1902-1949), Psychoanalytikerinnen. Biografisches Lexikon.
  26. Jump up^ “Stephen Wolfram” . Sunday Profile . 2009-05-31. Australian Broadcasting Corporation .
  27. Jump up^ Physicist Awarded ‘GENIUS’ PRIZE FINDS REALITY IN INVISIBLE WORLD, at GLADWIN HILL, Special to the New York Times Published: May 24, 1981: “When I first went to school, they ‘thought I was behind,he says,because I did not because to read the silly books they ‘watch us. And I never was loveable to do arithmetic.It was als have got JSON hogere mathematics, zoals calculus, he says, dat have voortvloeien there was an invisible world that have wanted to explore. “
  28. Jump up^ S. Wolfram (1972). Concise Directory of Physics (PDF) .
  29. Jump up^ S. Wolfram (1973). The Physics of Subatomaire Particles (PDF) .
  30. Jump up^ S. Wolfram (1974). Introduction to the Weak Interaction (PDF) . 1 .
  31. Jump up^ S. Wolfram (1974). Introduction to the Weak Interaction (PDF) . 2 .
  32. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram: Articles on Particle Physics
  33. Jump up^ Fox, G .; Wolfram, S. (1978). “Observables for the Analysis of Event Shapes e ^ {+} e ^ {-} Annihilation and Other Processes”. Physical Review Letters . 41 (23): 1581. Bibkey : 1978PhRvL..41.1581F . doi : 10.1103 / PhysRevLett.41.1581 .
  34. Jump up^ A Speech for (High School) Graduatesfrom Stephen Wolfram a COMMENCEMENT speech for Stanford Online High School,, June 9, 2014: “You know, if it happens, I myself never officially graduated from high school, and this is actually the first high school graduation I’ve ever leg to. “
  35. Jump up^ Complexity: A Guided Tour by Melanie Mitchell 2009, p. 151: “In the early 1980s, Stephen Wolfram, a physicist working at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, became fascinated by cellular automata and the patterns they ‘do. Tungsten is one of Those legendary child prodigies people like to tell stories about. Born in London in 1959, Wolfram published his first physics paper at 15. Two years later, in the summer after his first year at Oxford. . . Wolfram wrote a paper in the field of “quantum chromodynamics” that attracted the attention of Nobel Prize winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, who Invited Wolfram to join his group at Caltech … “
  36. ^ Jump up to:a b Arndt, Michael (17 May 2002). “Stephen Wolfram’s Simple Science” . Business Week . Retrieved 20 August 2015 .
  37. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram: “The textbook has never interested me”: The British child genius who abandoned physics to devote himself to coding and the cosmos, with Zoe Corbyn, The Guardian, Saturday 28 June 2014: “He entered Oxford University at 17 without a-levels and left around a year later without graduating. He was bored and he had leg Invited to cross the pound at the prestigious California Institute of Technology (Caltech) to do a PhD. “I had written a bunch of papers and so was pretty well Berninahaus at dat time, “” …
  38. Jump up^ Stephen Wolframat theMathematics Genealogy Project
  39. ^ Jump up to:a b Wolfram, Stephen (1980). Some Topics in Theoretical High Energy Physics (PhD thesis). California Institute of Technology.
  40. Jump up^ Application
  41. Jump up^ “About Stephen Wolfram” . . Retrieved 2015-10-13 .
  42. Jump up^ Wolfram, S. (1984). “Computation theory of cellular automata”. Communications in Mathematical Physics . 96 : 15-57. Bibkey :1984CMaPh..96 … 15W . doi : 10.1007 / BF01217347 .
  43. Jump up^ Martin, R .; Odlyzko, AM; Wolfram, S. (1984). “Algebraic properties of cellular automata”. Communications in Mathematical Physics . 93 (2): 219. Bibkey : 1984CMaPh..93..219M . doi : 10.1007 / BF01223745 .
  44. Jump up^ Wolfram, S. (1986). “Cellular automaton fluids 1: Basic theory”. Journal of Statistical Physics . 45 (3-4): 471-526. Bibkey : 1986JSP …. 45..471W . doi : 10.1007 / BF01021083 .
  45. Jump up^ Wolfram, S. (1984). “Cellular automata as models or complexity.” Nature . 311 (5985): 419-424. Bibkey : 1984Natur.311..419W . doi : 10.1038 / 311419a0 .
  46. Jump up^ Wolfram, S. (1983). “Statistical mechanics of cellular automata”. Reviews of Modern Physics . 55 (3): 601. Bibkey : 1983RvMP … 55..601W . doi :10.1103 / RevModPhys.55.601 .
  47. Jump up^ Regis, Ed (1987). Who Got Einstein’s Office: Eccentricity and Genius at the Institute for Advanced Study , Addison-Wesley, Reading. ISBN 0201120658
  48. Jump up^ Perfectly Reasonable Deviations from the beaten track to Richard Feynman, 2006, p. 330.
  49. Jump up^ W. Daniel Hillis (February 1989). “Richard Feynman and The Connection Machine” . Physics Today . Retrieved 3 November 2006 .
  50. ^ Jump up to:a b “The Man Who Cracked The Code to Everything” . Wired . Retrieved 7 April 2012 .
  51. Jump up^ Kolata, G. (1983). “Caltech Torn by disputes over Software”. Science . 220 (4600): 932-934. Bibkey : 1983Sci … 220..932K . doi : 10.1126 / science.220.4600.932 . PMID  17816011 .
  52. Jump up^ Bio,
  53. Jump up^ “Stephen Wolfram” . . Retrieved 11 May 2009 .
  54. Jump up^ ISBN 1579550088
  55. Jump up^ TED (2010):Stephen Wolfram, scientist, inventor. Online(Accessed 19 January 2010).
  56. Jump up^ Wolfram, Stephen (5 March 2009). “Wolfram | Alpha is Coming!” . Wolfram blog . Retrieved 9 March 2009 .
  57. Jump up^ “Announcing Wolfram | Alpha Pro” . Wolfram | Alpha blog . Retrieved 7 April 2012 .
  58. Jump up^ Johnson, Bobbie (9 March 2009). “British search engine ‘Could rival Google ‘ ‘ . The Guardian . Retrieved 9 March 2009 .
  59. Jump up^ Wolfram | Alpha: Searching for TruthinRudy Rucker, H + Magazine, April 6, 2009.
  60. Jump up^ “Answering your questions with Bing and Wolfram Alpha” . “Microsoft’s Bing blog” . Retrieved 7 April 2012 .
  61. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram Talks Bing Partnership, Software Strategy, and the Future of Knowledge Computingat Gregory T. Huang, Xconomy, January 5th, 2010.
  62. Jump up^ “iPhone features” . Apple . Retrieved 7 April 2012 .
  63. Jump up^ Wolfram Language reference page Retrieved on 14 May 2014.
  64. Jump up^ Slate’s article Stephen Wolfram’s New Programming Language: He Can Make The World Computable, 6 March 2014. Retrieved on 14 May 2014.
  65. Jump up^ What Tech Makes Possible in EDU Research, SXSW Panelpicker.
  66. Jump up^ New in the Wolfram Language: Cryptography, May 15, 2015 at Christopher Wolfram, Connectivity Group
  67. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram – I Wrote a Book – To Teach the Tungsten Language
  68. Jump up^ How Arrival Designers crafted a Mesmerizing Language, Margaret Rhodes, Wired, November 16, 2016.
  69. Jump up^ “Dissecting the alien language in Arrival ‘ ‘ . Engadget . Retrieved 2016-11-16 .
  70. Jump up^ “Quick, How Might the Alien Spacecraft Work? -Stephen Wolfram” . . Retrieved 2016-11-16 .
  71. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram. “The Personal Analytics of My Life” . Wired . Retrieved Oct 18, 2016 .
  72. Jump up^ “Idea Creators tackles scientific thinkers’ big ideas and personal lives / Human Side of Science emphasized in new bookby Tom Siegfried,Science News, August 13, 2016.
  73. Jump up^ Stephen Wolfram Aims to Democratize His SoftwareSteve Lohr,The New York Times, December 14, 2015.