From our origins in mathematical and technical computing, Wolfram technologies have 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.
The team at ValueScape Analytics uses the Wolfram Language and Wolfram technologies to build the cloud-based computational back end for their platform. ValueScape is an innovative data science company providing real estate analytics solutions through Valuation Navigator, an iOS application for appraisers and lending institutions. The company leverages the Wolfram Language running in the cloud to provide statistical analysis, visualization, density plots, and geographic data integration.
Dr. Philip Z. Maymin recently joined Vantage Sports as their Chief Analytics Officer, in which role he helps oversee and create machine learning algorithms, novel visualizations, live interactive tools, backtests, and other robust automated insights from the Vantage dataset. He developed the automated general manager, a suite of CDFs that includes draft projections, trade evaluations, and free agent rankings. It allows users to backtest a systematic strategy and compare it with a team’s actual performance using Mathematica’s machine learning algorithms and performance data. Maymin’s next project is to launch the Analytics Institute of the University of Bridgeport School of Business, with the Wolfram Language as the program’s cornerstone.
Grant Bunker first used Mathematica at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1988 as a beta tester. Since then, he has given numerous talks on Mathematica, encouraging a variety of academic organizations to adopt it in education. Also a longtime commercial user, Bunker founded Quercus X-ray Technologies, LLC, maker of X-ray filtering devices produced with core algorithms developed in the Wolfram Language. Bunker has plans to adopt Mathematica Online for the approximately 3,000 iPads issued to students at IIT—one of the largest campus-coordinated curriculum efforts involving tablets to date in the US.
Dr. Luci Ellis is Head of the Financial Stability Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia, where she led a team of IT developers to create a new internal graphing development process, GraphIT, which creates Mathematica chart objects using .NET. Dr. Ellis has held various positions in economic analysis research and worked on the global macroeconomics team of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. She has written on a range of economic and financial topics, including exchange rates, housing prices, mortgage finance, and factor income shares, and she co-moderates the Mathematica Stack Exchange site under the pseudonym Verbeia. Dr. Ellis continues to advocate for employee adoption of Mathematica and the publishing of CDF-deployed charts while minimizing the Reserve Bank of Australia’s dependency on Excel. Dr. Ellis financed her attendance at the conference herself.
George (Dave) Lawrence first used Mathematica in his work with the gamma ray observatory at Hughes Aircraft and today uses it as a basis for the computational integration of biomedical workflows at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Although he starting using Mathematica for his own population modeling, Lawrence has since helped five hundred medical researchers adopt the Wolfram Language for data analytics. In addition, his ARSTools (Animal Resource System Tools) package linked diverse lab datasets and democratized data for all researchers. After his data analytics system was shown to improve the efficiency of planning new clinical trials by 50%, three other primate research centers began using Wolfram Language applications and EnterpriseCDF technology.
Joseph Hirl started using Mathematica at Enron in the late 1990s. (His group had originally purchased Maple, but broke it within a week.) After making the switch to Wolfram technologies, Hirl developed a commercial tool that analyzes and visualizes energy data for organizations’ buildings. Using “smart meter” data as input—and through extensive processing, pattern recognition, and image visualization—Hirl and his team are able to provide insights related to a building and its behavior under a wide range of conditions. Using EnterpriseCDF as a reporting tool, he demonstrates existing energy inefficiencies and recommends opportunities for improvement through CDF-powered tables, charts, and MRI-like visualizations.
Kale Wallace first started using Mathematica in university courses and has since used it in his work at Southwestern Energy and Samson Energy for data handling and image processing. At Southwestern Energy, Wallace built a well productivity prediction model analyzing millions of lines of data and using machine learning to predict well performance based on drilling and completion parameters. He has also created field-development visualizations showing wells brought online and their corresponding production and cashflow. His replication of the ARIES economics engine in Mathematica allowed probabilistic (Monte Carlo) economics methods, full-field development scenarios, break-even calculations, and go-forward recommendations to be evaluated much more quickly than could be done in ARIES.
Mark Adler is best known for his work in the field of data compression as the author of the Adler-32 checksum function, and as co-author of the zlib compression library and gzip. He was also the Spirit Cruise Mission Manager for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission and is an instrument-rated private pilot, a certified scuba diver, and an amateur theater actor. Mark has used Mathematica for decades, including during his work on the Mars Exploration Mission. Using NDSolve and numeric integers, the team simulated entry through a variety of changing conditions to mitigate risk and more accurately predict a successful landing.
Paul Abbott has used Mathematica extensively for research in wavelets and few-body atomic physics and to explore problems in computational and mathematical physics. He received a computational science award for his course in computational physics and has lectured on Mathematica in the United States, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and India, and at several Australian universities. Abbott worked for Wolfram Research from 1989 to 1991, has served as a contributing editor of The Mathematica Journal since 1990, and has worked as a consultant to Wolfram Research since 1997.
Dr. Carvallo’s long-term vision for using Wolfram technologies to innovate education and research in Ecuador has introduced academic services and professional research previously unknown or underused in Ecuador, including high-speed internet access, research repositories, Eduroam, Telemedicine, and high-performance computing services. Under his leadership at CEDIA (National Research and Education Network of Ecuador), Dr. Carvallo leverages Wolfram technologies to develop, document, and systematize education and research efforts and resources in Ecuador. He is devoted to creating the next generation of scientific, educational, and research talent needed to support a knowledge-driven economy within the country.
André Koppel has worked in the field of measurement systems for over thirty years, developing robust software for intensive use in a wide variety of fields. His most recent project is the development of a modular software system for insolvency management, called INVEP, which uses the Wolfram Language to power its analytical engine. INVEP is capable of processing and analyzing accounts with more than 100,000 entries within seconds. He also teaches a course in insolvency analysis, using Wolfram Mathematica, at the University of Applied Sciences Schmalkalden.
MathConsult GmbH and uni software plus GmbH share this award for their work in the development and continued success of the UnRisk family of products, built on the Wolfram Language and used in the finance industry for financial derivatives and risk analytics. The two companies are closely linked, working together on numerous other industrial mathematics consultancy projects, and are based at the Johannes Kepler University Linz. They have been long-term advocates of Wolfram technologies, a byproduct of the strong sales and marketing partnership uni software plus has had with Wolfram for over two decades. Michael Aichinger, Stefan Janecek, and Sascha Kratky were present to accept the award on behalf of both companies, but special mention must go to Michael Schwaiger, Andreas Binder, and Herbert Exner, who were unable to collect the award in person.