Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

Wolfram Innovator Award

Wolfram technologies have long been a major force in many areas of industry and research. Leaders in many top organizations and institutions have played a major role in using computational intelligence and pushing the boundaries of how the Wolfram technology stack is leveraged for innovation across fields and disciplines.

We recognize these deserving recipients with the Wolfram Innovator Award, which is awarded at the Wolfram Technology Conferences around the world.


The Geva Research Group, Compute-to-Learn Project

University of Michigan Ann Arbor, accepted by Ellen Mulvihill

Areas: Chemistry, Computational Thinking, Computer-Aided Education, Courseware Development, Education

The Compute-to-Learn project provides students with the opportunity to engage in creative forms of active learning. Compute-to-Learn activities stem from evidence-based, student-centered learning approaches, such as emphasis on real-world applications to promote students’ integration of new ideas, as well as authentic, collaborative environments that apprentice students as members of a scientific discipline (via practices such as explanatory writing and peer review). Students participate in tutorials and training related to Mathematica; research and propose an original Demonstration idea; workshop the idea during design and production stages; and, finally, submit the final product to external review prior to publication and dissemination on the Wolfram Demonstrations Project website. The Compute-to-Learn pedagogy is implemented within a peer-led honors studio environment. It has been offered in the University of Michigan chemistry department since 2015.


Dr. Girish Arabale

Founding Director, Scigram Technologies Foundation

Areas: Computational Thinking, Education, Software Development

Dr. Arabale is the founding director of Scigram Technologies Foundation, a not-for-profit education organization seeking to introduce a tinkering culture into the schools to foster creativity, excitement and innovation in science learning. At Scigram, Dr. Arabale teaches underprivileged children how to program using the Raspberry Pi. He also frequently speaks to children at the K–12 level to teach coding techniques using the Wolfram Language. Currently, Dr. Arabale is developing a computational learning platform and is working on a project known as “Computable City” that aims to make every aspect of the city’s ecosystem computable.


Bruno Buchberger

Professor Emeritus, Johannes Kepler University Linz

Areas: Education, Mathematics, Mathematics Courseware Design, Software Development

Bruno Buchburger is a professor of computer mathematics at Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. He is internationally known for his algorithmic theory of Gröbner bases. In recent years, Buchberger established the automated reasoning system Theorema and implemented it with his coworkers and students within Mathematica. Buchberger also contributed to the development of symbolic computation and computer algebra by founding and building up the Journal of Symbolic Computation, the Research Institute for Symbolic Computation (RISC), the Softwarepark Hagenberg and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria.


Bill Gosper

Mathematician and Programmer

Areas: Computer Science, Education, Software Development

Bill Gosper was part of the group at MIT that produced HAKMEM, also known as AI Memo 239, a large collection of computer and mathematical hacks, some of which are now quite famous. Stephen Wolfram refers to Bill as “Ramanujan-like” for his prolific production of mathematical results. Bill has invented several algorithms for symbolic computation, including ones for symbolic summation and continued fractions. In more recent times, Bill has been working with the next generation of amazingly bright students, producing remarkable and very surprising research results.


Jang-Hoon Lee

Professor of Mathematics, Paju Girls' High School

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Computational Thinking, Education, Mathematics

Jang-Hoon Lee is a professor of mathematics at Paju Girls’ High School and the most famous Mathematica user in South Korea. He has introduced Wolfram’s software to millions of users and extensively incorporated it to his teaching. This includes developing an online Mathematica textbook for his students, called Mathematica LAB. He also opened the Mathought.com website and creates math content using Mathematica for Naver.com, where he has 20 thousand subscribers and 6.5 million cumulative views. Due to this and other initiatives, he has won the Korea Mathematics Education Award from the Ministry of Education of South Korea and the Science Teacher of the Year Award from the Ministry of Science and Technology Information and Communication of South Korea.


Fernando Sandoya

Principal Professor, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral

Areas: Business Analysis, Data Science, Education, Machine Learning, Software Development

Fernando Sandoya currently teaches at the post-graduate level and oversees research and development of new products in context of consulting business. Among his notable projects are the development and implementation of an intelligent assistant for optimal sequencing of production in the largest food manufacturer in Ecuador (PRONACA); the development and implementation of a system for optimization of the reverse logistics of used tires across Ecuador (SEGINUS); the development of descriptive and predictive analytical model for land transportation of containers to the Ports of Guayaquil (Spurrier Group); and professional training programs in business intelligence, data science, machine learning and models for Ecuadorian universities. Dr. Sandoya is currently working to develop a machine learning system for Redclic and holds development contracts with an additional dozen companies.


Enrique Vílchez Quesada

Professor, Computer Science School of the National University of Costa Rica

Areas: Courseware Development, Education, Mathematics, Programming

Enrique Vílchez Quesada teaches courses in mathematics, operations research and programming fundamentals. His research is primarily associated with different activities and projects related to the development of computerized educational software and materials. He has served as coordinator of the systems engineering area and deputy director of the Computer Science School of the National University of Costa Rica. Enrique has received several distinctions in Costa Rica for his outstanding performance and professional career in teaching and research. He is an associate member of the Latin American Committee for Educational Mathematics (CLAME) and the author of more than 50 scientific and dissemination articles in the areas of mathematics and educational informatics.


Virginia Tech Math Emporium

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Courseware Development, Education, Mathematics, Software Development

Virginia Tech’s Math Emporium was established over 20 years ago. Over the years, nearly eight thousand students have been served through the Math Emporium each semester, in courses ranging from precalculus to geometry and mathematics of design. Many peer institutions have adopted the emporium model, which uses computer-based resources and emphasizes active learning and retention. Mathematica has served as the foundation for Virginia Tech’s Math Emporium. Quiz questions are created as modules, allowing for thousands of variations for a single “question.” An in-house package has been built and expanded over the years, housing thousands of functions, from formatting to building XML files, for use in the Math Emporium testing system. Additionally, Mathematica has been used to create portions of the Math Emporium’s online textbooks and to conduct assessments for the department of mathematics.

Award accepted by Jessica Schmale, senior mathematics instructor.


James C. Wyant

Professor Emeritus of Optical Sciences and Computer Engineering, University of Arizona

Areas: Biomedical Research, Education, Physics, Software Engineering

James C. Wyant was the founding dean of the College of Optical Sciences. He was also the founder of the WYKO Corporation. His company is known for having manufactured and sold phase-shifting interferometers for testing optics that later were used for measuring the shape of the recording heads used in computer hard-disk drives. At one point, every major manufacturer of hard-disk drives globally purchased WYKO instruments to test the recording heads of their drives. He founded another company in 2002 known as 4D Technology. There, he developed single-shot phase-shifting interferometers that, unlike other interferometers, give accurate results in the presence of vibration and air turbulence, thus making them very useful in manufacturing environments.


Pedro Paulo Balbi de Oliveira

Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie

Areas: Complex Systems, Computer Science, Education, Electrical Engineering, Software Development

Pedro Paulo Balbi de Oliveira is a professor at Brazil’s Mackenzie Presbyterian University who has made extensive use of Mathematica in his research on cellular automata and evolutionary computation. This has led to the continuous development of a cellular automata toolbox, which spun off a cellular multi-agent research system and a package to represent families of cellular automata. As a whole, these efforts have provided the core computational basis for the publication of over 80 research papers and for about 50 postgraduate and undergraduate student degrees.


Guy F. de Téramond Peralta

Universidad de Costa Rica

Areas: Computational Physics, Education, Physics

Guy F. de Téramond Peralta is a theoretical physicist focusing on hadron structure, nuclear forces and group structure of grand unified theories. He uses Mathematica throughout his research, including ongoing contributions to light-front holographic QCD, a novel approach to hadron structure and dynamics. Guy’s work spans several decades and is widely cited in the physics community; he currently serves as a professor of physics at the University of Costa Rica.


Branden Fitelson

Northeastern University

Areas: Computational Humanities, Education, Philosophy, Probability Theory, Software Development

Branden Fitelson is a distinguished professor of philosophy at Northeastern University, where he teaches logic and formal epistemology courses using Mathematica. He developed the PrSAT package (a user-friendly decision procedure for probability calculus), which is used by various researchers and teachers around the world. Branden has used Mathematica for computational research in philosophy since the early 1990s, and he consistently encourages and inspires others to do the same.


Dr. Ambar Jain

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Bhopal

Areas: Education, Mathematics, Mathematics Courseware Design

Ambar Jain is a professor, researcher and developer who uses Mathematica and the Wolfram Language in all spheres of his profession. In 2015, he founded the Center for Research in Advanced Technologies for Education in Science, where he developed Examineer, an assessment engine for educators by educators. Examineer uses the Wolfram Language in the backend for authoring e-learning and assessment content and delivering them in the form of quizzes. He has also co-created a course for physics undergraduates titled Physics through Computational Thinking that uses Mathematica for teaching computational thinking using examples from physics. Many of his students use the Wolfram Cloud for performing physics computations. He is also engaged in several research projects where he uses the Wolfram Language for symbolic calculations, numeric computations and machine learning.


Omar Olmos

Instituto Technologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey

Areas: Computational Physics, Data Science, Education, Machine Learning, Mathematics Courseware Design, Physics

Omar Olmos is north regional director of science and engineering for the Monterrey Institute of Technology, where he uses Mathematica for a range of education and research tasks. In addition to developing interactive examples, tutorials and other student resources, he uses Wolfram Language machine-learning analytics to predict student performance. Omar has also used Mathematica to model electromagnetic waves interacting with nanostructures, performing numeric experimentation to study new nanoscale optical effects.


William J. Turkel

The University of Western Ontario

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Computational Humanities, Education

William J. Turkel is a professor of history at The University of Western Ontario in Canada, whose research and teaching focuses on computational methods, digital humanities and the histories of science, technology and environment. He is a cofounder of the Programming Historian website and the author of Digital Research Methods with Mathematica, now in its second edition. He has been using Mathematica in his research since the mid-1990s and has been teaching courses with the language for eight years.


Mike Weimerskirch

University of Minnesota

Areas: Education, Mathematics, Mathematics Courseware Design, Software Development

Mike Weimerskirch is a mathematics professor who incorporates Mathematica heavily in his education workflow. After using Mathematica in his own graduate-school courses, he began applying it as a professor to help improve his students’ understanding in mathematics courses. As the director of educational innovation for the School of Mathematics at the University of Minnesota, he has helped build the Minnesota Online Learning System (MOLS) for generating and grading homework and quizzes. In addition to providing a better educational interface for faculty and students, the system has improved placement exam outcomes and helped increase the number of students that successfully complete freshman mathematics courses.


Dr. Yehuda Ben-Shimol

Senior Lecturer, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Communications Systems Engineering Department)

Areas: Education, Engineering, System Modeling, Systems Engineering

Yehuda Ben-Shimol has taught courses in graph theory, queueing theory, information theory and more using Wolfram technologies. Using Mathematica and Wolfram SystemModeler, he developed a series of “virtual labs” that allow hands-on exploration of complex engineering models. Through his published work and ongoing community engagement, Ben-Shimol has exposed thousands of students and faculty members to the benefits of using Wolfram technology in coursework and research.


Tom Burghardt

Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry, Mayo Clinic Rochester (Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology)

Areas: Biomedical Research, Education, Machine Learning, Molecular Biology

Tom Burghardt is a researcher at the #1 ranked Mayo Clinic, where he has spent the last three decades studying myosin and muscle tissue. In his 100+ publications, he uses Mathematica extensively for advanced statistics and modeling—tracing all the way back to a 1985 signal processing computation done in SMP, a precursor to Mathematica. Burghardt’s most recent innovation uses feed-forward neural networks developed in the Wolfram neural net framework to help create models for inheritable heart disease using a worldwide database of cardiac muscle proteins. His ultimate goal is to make these models available in the Wolfram Cloud for other researchers to explore and use.


Flip Phillips

Professor of Motion Picture Science, Rochester Institute of Technology

Areas: Computational Humanities, Computational Thinking, Computer Graphics and Visual Arts, Education, Machine Learning

Flip Phillips is a professor, researcher and former Pixar animation scientist who uses Wolfram technology to integrate real-world computation into his psychology and neuroscience curriculum. Through his course, students get unique hands-on experience with computational thinking and machine learning, completing cross-disciplinary projects ranging from predicting voter behavior to identifying fruit from sensor readings. Phillips makes use of Wolfram connected devices for gathering data and frequently publishes his work in the Wolfram Cloud. He has used Mathematica extensively for his research on perception, psychological aesthetics and cortical plasticity. He has also written several packages for extending the Wolfram Language’s rendering capabilities.


Abby Brown

Teacher of Mathematics, Torrey Pines High School (Department of Math)

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Calculus, Computational Thinking, Education, Mathematics Courseware Design

Abby Brown is a teacher at Torrey Pines High School. Over the last decade, she has used Wolfram technologies to develop and publish interactive course materials for high-school and junior-high mathematics. In addition to evangelizing the Wolfram Language to colleagues and students, Abby actively shares her course materials through a variety of websites. She has made numerous contributions to Computational Thinking Initiatives and has started the Computational Thinking Club at her school. Many of Abby’s former students go on to use the Wolfram Language for hackathons and university work.


Bruce Colletti

Operations Researcher, Cox Automotive Inc
Adjunct Professor, Northern Virginia Community College

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Defense Analysis, Education, Industrial Engineering, Mathematics, Operations Research, System Modeling

Dr. Colletti is an operations researcher and former Air Force major who has used Wolfram technologies extensively for research in defense and homeland security analysis. He used Mathematica to finish his dissertation on group theory, as well as for a number of subsequent publications over the following two decades. Consulting for many classified government projects, he utilizes the Wolfram Language and Wolfram SystemModeler to develop large-scale analytic models for personnel, logistics and program evaluation. Dr. Colletti has guided the research of eight master’s and doctoral students at several universities, and he has won awards for his work instructing mathematics courses with the Wolfram Language at Northern Virginia Community College.


Jorge Ramirez

Applied Mathematician, Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Areas: Applied Mathematics, Biology, Calculus, Education, Fluid Dynamics, Mathematics Courseware Design

Dr. Ramirez is a professor dedicated to applying contemporary mathematics to the natural sciences using the Wolfram Language. In addition to using the Wolfram Language daily for simulating natural processes, solving ODEs and PDEs, and performing administrative tasks like class management, he regularly evangelizes it to his students and colleagues. Dr. Ramirez also uses the language to develop interactive lectures, notes and other course materials—most notably for differential calculus lectures with 50+ students. He is currently involved in various research projects using the Wolfram Language to model, analyze and predict processes such as ant pheromone dynamics, nonlinear transport in breaking oceanic waves, runoff distribution in watersheds and glucose levels in diabetics.


Dr. Marco Thiel

Professor, Institute for Complex Systems and Mathematical Biology
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.


Youngjoo Chung

Professor, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Education

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

English Teacher and Director of Research, Innovation and Outreach, Deerfield Academy

Areas: Computational Humanities, Education

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.

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