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.
Professor, Institute for Pure and Applied Mathematics Areas: Complex Systems, Education, Mathematical Biology, Physics
Marco Thiel is a professor at the University of Aberdeen who uses Wolfram technologies in various domains, including education and research. A true evangelist, he has introduced hundreds of students and industry professionals alike to the Wolfram Language, and is an active user on Wolfram Community. For the last two years, Dr. Thiel has been using the Wolfram Language to develop algorithms and analyze sensor data of subjects in clinical dementia trials. The analysis is performed on large datasets through the external devices of subjects, and predictive tools, which determine changes in brain connectivity as dementia develops, are created. In his classes, Dr. Thiel utilizes CDF documents to create interactive lecture notes for his students. Using real-world data, students are able to connect topics they learn in other courses through simulations done in real time, instilling computational thinking into students long after they finish the course.
Dr. Chung is a professor at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, and has created an extensive symbolic computing package for versatile manipulation of mathematical expressions using the Wolfram Language. His package includes over 800 functions ranging from basic algebra to functional analysis. The package also contains its own interpreter language, complete online documentation and two palettes for increased ease of execution. Additionally, Dr. Chung maintains the South Korean Mathematica Users group, and is a highly active member of the international community using Wolfram technologies.
Peter Nilsson is an English teacher and the Director of Research at Deerfield Academy. Earlier this year, he led the development of an introductory course in digital humanities using the Wolfram Language. Designed for students with minimal coding experience, the course focused on four different projects blending students’ previous knowledge from English courses with basic computational concepts—allowing them to dive deeper into and perform textual analysis on famous novels as well as their own writing.
For the last six years, the VCAA has conducted a trial aligning the use of computers in curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. This trial involved a number of schools and several hundred students to develop effective methodologies for combining the use of Wolfram technologies and teaching. The trial was successful, resulting in a widespread acceptance of computer-based examinations with 700,000 Victoria students and teachers now having access to Wolfram’s educational-focused tool suite.
As an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta, Samer Adeeb uses Mathematica in teaching continuum mechanics, solid mechanics and finite element method courses, introducing approximately 250 undergraduate and graduate students to the Wolfram Language each year. In addition to advocating for Mathematica’s use on campus, Adeeb provides a free, online civil engineering text utilizing webMathematica. In the future, he plans to transition his site and course materials to Mathematica Online. He is the author of the book Introduction to Solid Mechanics and Finite Element Analysis Using Mathematica, published in 2011.
Maik Meusel is the chair of quantitative business administration at the University of Zurich’s Department of Business Administration. He uses Mathematica and the Wolfram Language to improve the online assessment process. While most assessments use standard multiple-choice questions, Meusel creates dynamic, more sophisticated and individualized questions that allow educators to more accurately assess a student’s mastery of learning objectives. In June 2016, he presented on the topic “Solving Real-World Business Problems in the Classroom” at the Wolfram European Technology Tour.
Ruth Dover is a math instructor at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora, Illinois. As an early adopter of Mathematica, in 1991 she oversaw its installation on IMSA computer lab machines for use with calculus courses for precollege students. Dover was a primary courseware contributor for the Mathematica Teacher’s Edition, shaping how instructors used it to teach math courses. Dover has taught thousands of students how to use Mathematica and the Wolfram Language over the course of her career. She is the author of two Wolfram Demonstrations and was the 1998 recipient of a Wolfram High School Grant.
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.
Richard Gaylord is one of Mathematica’s earliest users and is a self-described evangelist for the Wolfram Language. He taught computer programming in the Wolfram Language at many universities, companies, government agencies, and scientific conferences for more than 25 years. He has co-authored several texts, including An Introduction to Programming with Mathematica, and three other books on programming computer simulations in a wide variety of fields using the Wolfram Language. Gaylord has made a three-part video explaining the fundamentals of the Wolfram Language.
Yves Papegay integrates new Wolfram technologies into his workflow and has used Wolfram Development Platform (formerly Wolfram Programming Cloud) and Mathematica on Raspberry Pi for his robotics projects. Papegay is also a Wolfram certified instructor and develops industrial Mathematica tools for C code generation in the aerospace and energy industries for companies including Airbus and French energy company, EDF.
Bruce Torrence is the author of numerous Mathematica books and articles including The Student’s Introduction to Mathematica, a popular general reference book for students and educators. In addition to publishing dozens of articles on the use of Mathematica in education and research, Torrence recently completed a five-year editorship at Math Horizons and is a Wolfram Science Summer School alumni.
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 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.
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.
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.
Rubén Berrocal and Marisa Talavera are recognized for revolutionizing the teaching of mathematics and science in Panama by incorporating Wolfram technology into their curriculum. SENACYT adopted the first countrywide provision for the computational software to be installed in all universities, and led plans to install it in high schools. SENACYT has trained professors, researchers, and students in Mathematica across Panama, ensuring that the country will become a bastion of scientific education recognized throughout the world as a supreme destination for intellectual enlightenment.
Dr. Ryohei Miyadera wants his Kwansei Gakuin High School students to love mathematics and encourages them to perform advanced research in non-traditional ways. He teaches his students to use Mathematica to examine and realize their ideas even if they don’t yet know the high-level mathematics at work. Dr. Miyadera thinks Mathematica enables young people to enjoy mathematics because they aren’t focused on the calculation, but instead on the underlying concepts. A recent example of his students’ work in Mathematica made them finalists for the Asia region in the Google Science Fair 2012 competition. Feedback from his students and successes like this support Dr. Miyadera’s approach to teaching.See Ryohei Miyadera's Mathematica Demonstrations »
Fred Szabo is recognized for his contributions in education. Using the phrase “A New Kind of Learning” in his presentations to demonstrate Mathematica’s usefulness throughout an educational curriculum, Fred has showcased Mathematica in broad discussion about the greater use of technology in Canadian schools and universities, citing his own mathematics courses where close to 90% of the students find Mathematica engaging and fun to use. Fred was among the first to embrace online courses, and began a plan for a series of videos to teach students in less technical areas how to use Mathematica. A recipient of numerous teaching awards, including the President’s Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Fred’s goal is to significantly contribute to global education, especially to making the instruction of mathematics more available in Latin America.
Eric Schulz, a mathematics instructor at Walla Walla Community College who created Mathematica’s Classroom Assistant palette, joined authors William Briggs, Lyle Cochran, and Bernard Gillett to write Calculus, an ebook published by Pearson Education in 2010. The textbook combines narrative material, examples, and exercises together with 650 interactive figures in an engaging and rigorous presentation. Using the free Wolfram CDF Player, students can immediately navigate through sections and explore the ebook’s interactive figures and intuitive text, which combine to bring hard-to-convey concepts to life.Hear Eric Schulz talk about developing interactive textbooks with CDF » Interact with Calculus »