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.


Bruno Autin

President, Les Trois Platanes

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Computational Physics, Physics, Software Development

Bruno Autin started his professional life in the Laboratoire de Recherches Générales de la Compagnie Française Thomson Houston, where he studied the amplification of acoustic microwaves in cadmium sulfide. He strove to replace classical traveling wave tubes by tiny crystals, the scaling factor being the ratio between sound and light velocities. In 1967, he began working at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), where his research turned quickly towards subnuclear physics with the development of very-high-energy accelerators. Bruno started with the first proton collider, the Intersection Storage Rings (ISR), and became introduced to the design and operation of the magnetic systems of accelerators and colliders. The basic theory had been established by Ernest Courant, but matching the architecture of colliders to particle detectors was largely a process of trial and error depending on numerical computations. Finding this to be unsatisfactory, he started testing symbolic languages. The first achievement was the shape of the CERN antiproton source calculated with Veltman’s Schoonschip. The saga of the antiprotons continued both at CERN and at Fermilab. Then, during a sabbatical year at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, where he worked on the design of the Advanced Synchrotron Light Source, he tested the first release of Mathematica, which was packed with the NeXT computer. Having symbolics, numerics, graphics and the notebook interface convinced him to build two packages: Geometrica for geometry and BeamOptics for the investigation of optical systems adapted to projects such as beam emittance optimization for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), muon colliders, neutrino factories and medical synchrotrons. Now retired from CERN, he follows the progress of particle physics and writes particle accelerator documentation for Wolfram Research.


Dr. Carol Johnstone

Senior Scientist, Particle Accelerator Corporation

Areas: Applied Mathematics, Biomedical Research, Computational Physics, Computer Science, Data Science, Mathematical Biology, Optimization, Physics

Dr. Johnstone is an internationally recognized senior accelerator physicist at Fermilab and Particle Accelerator Corporation. Her work was initially created to solve a simple set of approximate, thin lens optics equations simultaneously with geometric orbit equations. These constraint equations provided physical and field parameters that insured stable machine performance in novel accelerators for high energy physics research, such as the muon collider or Neutrino Factory. Her work evolved into a powerful new methodology for advanced accelerator design and optimization, which has since been applied to innovations in accelerators for radioisotope production, cancer therapy, security and cargo scanning, radiopharmaceuticals and green energy production. Dr. Johnstone’s efforts have resulted in the creation of a now-patented design for a non-scaling fixed-field gradient accelerator. Her work has also helped lead to the now-under-construction National Center for Particle Beam Therapy and Research in Texas, which will be the most advanced cancer therapy center in the US.


Scot Martin

Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Engineering, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Harvard University

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Data Analysis, Data Science, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Physics

Scot Martin is currently a Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Engineering and has previously held positions as an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow in Climate and Global Change at MIT. His research focuses on engineering solutions to the major environmental challenges presently facing the world. Scot’s laboratory works specifically on problems of air and water pollution and their effects on climate change. His current research has a focus on connections among plant emissions of volatile organic compounds, particle-phase secondary organic material and climate. Martin is currently working to complete a book on aerosol science and technology and is developing a HarvardX course on thermodynamics.


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.


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.


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.


Mihai Vidrighin

R&D Lead, PsiQuantum

Areas: Electrical Engineering, Image Processing, Physics, System Modeling

Mihai Vidrighin is a researcher in photonics who has used Mathematica extensively throughout his career. During his PhD thesis, he used Mathematica to run simulations and data analytics involving quantum thermodynamics, and he continues to recommend the system to colleagues. He currently leads a team developing a photonics component for generating single photon pairs with new accuracy and scale. In this project, he has used the Wolfram Language to build an extremely comprehensive model for nonlinear and quantum optics to describe photon-pair generation and quantum optics circuits. Vidrighin has also written several Wolfram Language packages for quantum optics simulation and electron microscope image processing.


Nicholas Mecholsky

Research Scientist, Vitreous State Laboratory
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Catholic University of America

Areas: Authoring and Publishing, Image Processing, Machine Learning, Nuclear Engineering, Optimization, Physics, System Modeling

Nicholas Mecholsky is a research scientist and professor focusing on optimization and physical modeling. In addition to demonstrating high-level math and physics concepts to his students with the Wolfram Language, he has utilized it in research publications on subjects ranging from animal flocks to autonomous cars to thermoelectric transfer. He is currently involved in a joint project with the US Department of Energy and Vitreous State Laboratory using Wolfram Language image processing and machine learning to model, analyze and predict crystallization phenomena in nuclear tank waste. The project has significantly improved the efficiency of vitrification (transformation into glass), helping to make safer nuclear waste storage a reality.


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.


Chris Reed

Aerospace Corporation

Areas: Aerospace, Applied Mathematics, Authoring and Publishing, Physics

Dr. Reed is an applied mathematician at Aerospace Corporation who uses Mathematica to identify and create various aerospace solutions specific to rocket and satellite design and testing. A certified instructor at Aerospace Corp., he has introduced many colleagues to Wolfram technologies through his classes, where it has become a staple for experimentation. Dr. Reed has two approved patents that involve solving nonlinear boundary-value problems and rely on the Wolfram Language’s modeling and visualization capabilities.


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.


Mark Adler

Project Manager, Low Density Supersonic Decelerator Project

Areas: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Physics

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.


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.


John Michopoulos

Naval Research Laboratory

Areas: Control, Control Engineering, Materials Science, Modeling Dynamical Systems with Mathematica, Physics, System Modeling

John Michopoulos uses Mathematica in his professional research with composite materials and has been published in the International Journal for Multiscale Computational Engineering, Composite Structures, and the Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering. He applies the global optimization capabilities of Mathematica to solve inverse problems and better understand the physics of materials and composite material designs.


Rodrigo Murta

St Marche Supermercados

Areas: Data Mining and Analysis, Economics, Finance, Interface Design, Physics, Population Dynamics, Risk, Risk Analysis

Rodrigo Murta is Retail Intelligence Manager for St Marche Supermercados, a high-end supermarket chain, and the first customer to purchase Mathematica Enterprise Edition in Brazil. He uses Mathematica as a hub for all of the company’s data, workflows, computation, and processing, and EnterpriseCDF to construct reports for store managers and company executives. He is currently experimenting with a web-based report interface that provides even greater access to intelligence reports.


Stefan Braun

Managing Director of SmartCAE

Areas: Aerospace, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Control, Data Mining and Analysis, Engineering, Finance, Financial Risk, High-Performance and Parallel Computing, Image Processing, Industrial Engineering, Interface Design, Materials Science, Mathematica Consulting, Mechanical Engineering, Pharmaceutical, Physics, Risk Analysis, Signal Processing, Structural Engineering

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.


Rolf Mertig

GluonVision GmbH

Areas: Actuarial Sciences, Data Mining and Analysis, Mathematica Consulting, Physics

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.


Steve Bush

The Procter & Gamble Company

Areas: Computer Graphics and Visual Arts, Industrial Engineering, Physics

In Steve Bush’s role developing household consumer items at The Procter & Gamble Company, he’s involved in the physics behind products as well as their economic feasibility. His work with Mathematica includes developing sophisticated tools for computer-aided design and optimizing the orifice size needed to maximize jet momentum, as well as setting up an efficient workflow from idea to prototype.

Hear Steve Bush talk about optimizing face gear surfaces »

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