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.


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.


Mathematical Methods Computer-Based Exam System Team, Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority

Areas: Education

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.


Samer Adeeb

University of Alberta

Areas: Civil Engineering, Education, Environmental Engineering

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

University of Zurich

Areas: Business Administration, Business Analysis, Education

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

Illinois Math & Science Academy

Areas: Calculus, Education, Mathematics

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

Chair, Department of Physics, Illinois Institute of Technology

Areas: Education, Molecular Biology, Physics

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.


Prof. Richard J. Gaylord

University of Illinois

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Authoring in Mathematica, Biology, Computer Science, Computer-Aided Education, Education, Physics

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

French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Computer Science, Education, Mathematics

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

Randolph-Macon College

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Authoring in Mathematica, Computer Graphics and Visual Arts, Computer-Aided Education, Education, Mathematics

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

Saint Petersburg State University of Economics

Areas: Computer Science, Education, Finance, Mathematics, Risk

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.

All Recipients:

By Year:

By Area of Interest:

See More