From our origins in mathematical and technical computing, Wolfram technologies have gradually emerged as a major force in many other areas of computing. Passionate individuals and organizations have played a major role in helping advance the usage of our technologies. We recognize these deserving recipients with the Wolfram Innovator Award, which is awarded at the Wolfram Technology Conferences around the world.
Physicist Frank Brand teaches courses in business mathematics, statistics, econometrics, and optimization using Mathematica. He has used Mathematica for many years, starting with his PhD thesis, “Optimization of Complex Optical Systems with Evolution Strategies.” Frank’s achievements using Mathematica in his research include the automatic construction of quality functions related to optimization problems. He also used Wolfram technology to write books—very recently he published a book on the analysis of complex systems, based on applications of graph theory.
Stefan Braun is recognized for using Mathematica in industrial applications. He has used Mathematica and the SmartCAEFab in more that 150+ industrial projects in different application areas. SmartCAE’s software solutions allow practical users to simulate complex applications problems, with a lot of parameters, without being a simulation or Mathematica expert.
Sam Daniel has been using Mathematica since 1988—the year Mathematica 1.0 was launched—to complete a range of innovative projects from patented work on fingerprint identification algorithms for Motorola to spearheading signal processing projects for Raytheon Missile Systems. His mastery of Mathematica has enabled him to document his work and share those results with others, bringing invaluable insights to areas from adaptive antenna simulation to radar ground clutter characterization. Sam’s continued work with Mathematica will include creating elaborate Enterprise CDFs from Wolfram SystemModeler for possible automatic extraction of parameters and control placement.
In his role as President of Business Laboratory, LLC, George Danner uses Mathematica to solve complex problems for mid-size and large businesses and government organizations. Following the flu outbreaks that took health agencies by surprise in 2008, Danner simulated a hypothetical outbreak in Alabama. As a result, state and federal health officials were able to role-play a series of outbreaks and identify barriers to outbreak response. Other accomplishments include assisting an energy company with over 1,100 natural gas wells in identifying an optimal drilling sequence and helping a large national retailer double its number of stores by using simulated shopper agents to determine optimal locations.
Brian Frezza, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Emerald Therapeutics, has integrated Mathematica at many organizational levels within the company—from using it as a standard documentation tool for the Emerald Therapeutics computer platform to controlling laboratory robots. Although the business is small, Mathematica has been broadly integrated in a manner rarely seen, even by Mathematica’s power users. Emerald’s small team has used Mathematica to conduct more than half a million biotech experiments.
Grigory Fridman is Head of the Department of Economical Cybernetics and Mathematical Methods for Economics at Saint Petersburg State University of Economics in Saint Petersburg, Russia. With his help StPSUE became the first university in Russia to offer access to Mathematica to all faculty and students.
As Director of the Center for Complex Adaptive Agent Systems Simulation at Argonne National Lab, Charles Macal uses Mathematica to develop models for studying behavioral factors that contribute to the spread of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and to study how human reactions to political and military action can be quantified and used to simulate when and if conflicts will arise. Macal has been asked to work with the Federal Highway Administration on an innovative new project to develop models for understanding driver behavior for route planning and improving vehicular safety.
Rolf Mertig is a physicist working in different fields as a software consultant. His specialties include efficient webMathematica programming and programmatic CDF generation. Through his own consulting company, GluonVision GmbH based in Berlin, Germany, he works with companies and universities in order for them to get the most out of Mathematica, webMathematica, and CDF.
As a developer of Mathematica’s Geodesy package, Thomas Meyer has pioneered the use of Mathematica in geodesy and geographic information systems (GIS) throughout his career at the University of Connecticut. Meyer has published eight papers in two years in which Mathematica was used to conduct research. One paper, “The Direct and Indirect Problem for Loxodromes,” provides the mathematics of how to write an autopilot using a GPS to lay out the course, correctly using modern geodetic reference ellipsoids. Meyer also uses Mathematica in teaching a range of courses from geomatics and GNSS surveying to spatial statistics and programming.
A professor in biomedical image analysis, Bart ter Haar Romeny uses Mathematica to design brain-inspired image analysis methods for computer-aided diagnosis. He is an enthusiastic teacher, and introduced Mathematica as a design tool in the curriculum for all students of his department and in most projects in his group. He advocates that Mathematica is ideal for designing innovative algorithms and for “playing with the math.” His PhD students van Almsick, Duits, Franken, (now Professor) Florack, Janssen, and Bekkers substantially contributed to the Mathematica packages on brain-inspired computing. He cochaired with Markus van Almsick the International Mathematica Symposium 2008 in Maastricht and teaches a popular national course on biologically inspired computing (book written in Mathematica), which was thrice awarded the BME Teaching Award.
As a mathematics professor at the University of Iowa, Keith Stroyan was an early adopter of Mathematica in calculus courses, reaching around 6,000 students and 100 teaching assistants in 24 years. In 2005, he was awarded Teacher of the Year by the Mathematical Association of America based on his work developing Mathematica course materials. Stroyan also conducted an early study showing that students who used Mathematica in calculus courses performed better in subsequent courses, even in traditional courses without much technology. In addition to these achievements, Stroyan developed one of the first custom kernel Mathematica programs, Calculus Wiz, and published the first CDF in a scientific journal. His work on iMultiCalc 2013 CDF edition continues to push the boundaries in delivering textbook content.
Thomas Weber is recognized as an expert on quantitative methods in finance and risk. Being a heavy user of Mathematica since Version 1.2, Thomas utilizes this powerful tool for his consultancy for big banks, energy suppliers, and other institutions. Over these many years he has extended Mathematica as needed. For example, he developed a database link long before the Data Access Kit was available. He also integrated different pricing libraries into Mathematica, which allow kinds of risk analysis that go way beyond what is normally possible within financial institutions.
Jacqueline Zizi is a passionate and family-centered individual (mother of six and grandmother of 14) who loves mathematics and computation. She has been using Mathematica as a programming language for education and teaching as well as providing her Wolfram Training instructor services all around France. Furthermore, she wrote a simulation tool for high-risk boat navigation (CGA, Alstom Group), a tour in a protein associating music and zooming for IHES, and a conjecture about Grothendieck invariants solved in the special case of graph theory for Professor O. Mathieu in abstract mathematics. Twenty years ago Jacqueline wrote a trilogy of books in French about general considerations in programming and mathematics for education purposes. After the national curriculum was changed, leading to “Polytechnique” and “Grandes Écoles,” she published a book following such a curriculum which, although old, is still for sale.