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.

2021

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.

2021

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.

2021

Trevor Bennett

Cofounder, Starfish Space

Areas: Aerospace, Control Engineering, Risk Analysis, Software Development, Systems Engineering

Trevor Bennett is a cofounder at Starfish Space, where he’s giving life to on-orbit services. He earned a PhD from the University of Colorado, where he was a NASA Space Technology Research Fellow and one of Aviation Week’s “20 Twenties.” Prior to Starfish Space, Trevor designed and developed guidance, navigation and control (GNC) software at NASA and more recently Blue Origin. His journey with Mathematica started in 2013 when he was studying charged spacecraft formation flying. Wolfram’s software allowed development and refinement of a new set of orbit element use cases that could aid spacecraft operations. He has broad technical expertise in GNC, with a particular focus on rendezvous, proximity operations and docking (RPOD).

2021

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.

2021

General Vibration Corporation

Areas: Engineering, Internet of Things, Software Development

General Vibration is a corporation that focuses on improving the foundation of haptics. The General Vibration team first developed a novel force feedback joystick, and later focused on synchronized vibration of inexpensive eccentric rotating mass vibration motors, which are commonly found in game controllers as well as mobile phones. Sony Interactive Entertainment licenses the company’s entire haptics (intellectual property) portfolio, which means that their architecture underlies technology like the Sony PS5’s Sony DualSense wireless controller, released in November 2020. General Vibration has been granted more than 20 patents in the US, Asia and Europe, with more pending.

Award accepted by Rob Morris, chief scientist and co-inventor.

2021

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.

2021

Ming Hsu

William Halford Jr. Family Associate Professor, Haas School of Business and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, University of California, Berkeley

Areas: Biomedical Research, Complexity Science, Economic Research and Analysis, Economics, Software Development

Ming Hsu is an economist and neuroscientist who studies how people make decisions, in terms of both the hardware (i.e. the neural systems that make decision making possible) and software (i.e. the computations that these neural systems perform). He has used Mathematica extensively since his doctoral work at Caltech, studying the formation and evolution of prices in experimental double auction markets. Subsequent work focused on developing new computational models of choice behavior in decisions under uncertainty and relating these models to behavioral and neural data. In the future, he hopes to utilize the text-analytic capabilities of Mathematica to broaden the range of cognitive functions captured in current models of decision making.

2021

David J. M. Park Jr.

Developer

Areas: Authoring in Mathematica, Calculus, Software Development

David J. M. Park Jr. develops applications in the Wolfram Language. In the past he worked on technical computer programming and the engineering of cesium beam tubes used in atomic clocks in satellites. He has used Mathematica since Version 2 and developed and sold packages such as Tensorial for tensorial calculus and presentation software for producing custom graphics and presentations for earlier versions of Mathematica. He currently is coauthoring a Grassman calculus application, which is in beta-testing development.

2021

Edmund Robinson

Director of Data Analytics, Afiniti

Areas: Actuarial Sciences, Data Analysis, Data Analytics, Data Science, Industrial Mathematics, Risk Analysis, Risk Management, Software Development

Edmund Robinson is an industrial mathematician and software developer who has made many noteworthy contributions in the fields of fund and risk management as well as reinsurance. His prominent work includes the creation of interactive visualizations to provide breakdowns and comparisons of funds on the fly; generation of highly formatted performance figures with financial measures and statistics; summary infographics and PDF export; and rapid modeling, simulation and analysis of bespoke contract structures with interactive data, model and parameter selection. Edmund has also given talks focusing on workflows that combine third-party geographic information system (GIS) datasets with the contract loss distributions to produce a dynamic tool to estimate and visualize incurred but not reported (IBNR) claims related to a windstorm event and historical analysis of sunny-day flooding occurrences and forecasting with time series analysis.

2021

Leonardo Roncetti

Project Director for Offshore Structures and Maritime Works, TechCon Engineering and Consulting

Areas: Data Analysis, Engineering, Risk Management, Software Development, Structural Engineering

Leonardo Roncetti created data analysis and decision-making process for critical lifting operations of personnel on offshore platforms by crane to increase the safety of this extremely dangerous field. He is also known for creating a methodology that utilizes artificial intelligence to monitor cracks in concrete or steel structures in real time to prevent collapse and study damage over time. This methodology can be used in structures such as dams, bridges, nuclear power plants, buildings, hazardous-content storage tanks and many other large structures. He is an often-sought-after expert regarding structural failures and accidents of many types and has appeared and/or been interviewed about such across many media outlets.

2021

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.

2021

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.

2020

Tomás de Camino-Beck

LEAD University

Areas: 3D Printing, Biomedical Research, Complex Systems, Computer Graphics and Visual Arts, Image and Signal Processing, Internet of Things, Software Development

Tomás de Camino-Beck is a professor, researcher, entrepreneur and music producer who has contributed to the fields of mathematical biology, satellite imaging, cellular automata and epidemiological modeling, among others. He has used Mathematica for teaching a range of mathematical subjects and hands-on maker activities like 3D printing and microcontroller programming, as well as for projects in generative design and music video creation. Most recently, he has helped develop several educational videos and a Wolfram Language–powered website for demonstrating agent-based COVID-19 models in conjunction with the Costa Rican news agency El Financiero.

2020

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.

2020

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.

2020

Greg Hurst

United Therapeutics Corporation

Areas: 3D Printing, Biomedical Research, Computer Science, Materials Science, Software Development

Greg Hurst is a mathematician and software developer who has used Wolfram technology heavily throughout his educational and professional career. He recently used the Wolfram Language to create novel algorithms for designing an artificial human lung that can be 3D printed using biocompatible materials such as collagen. Greg is constantly evangelizing Wolfram technology to his colleagues at United Therapeutics Corporation and elsewhere.

2020

Ariel Sepúlveda

Pronto Analytics Inc.

Areas: Business Analysis, Image Processing, Industrial Engineering, Software Development

Ariel Sepúlveda is the founder and president of Pronto Analytics, an organization dedicated to helping other organizations standardize the generation of analyses and reports for supporting decision-making processes. He is an industrial engineer who has used Wolfram technology throughout his educational and professional career. He has used the Wolfram Language in many fields, including quality control, retail analytics, image processing and manufacturing applications. Ariel’s most recent project is D4CR, a Wolfram Language–powered application that interprets natural language queries to analyze data and generate standardized reports.

2020

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.

2019

Casey B. Mulligan

Professor of Economics, Becker Friedman Institute, University of Chicago

Areas: Computational Humanities, Economic Research and Analysis, Economics, Software Development

Casey Mulligan is a renowned economist who has served as chief economist for the White House Council of Economic Advisors, a visiting professor at several universities and a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. He frequently uses the Wolfram Language in his economic research and has published numerous papers that utilize Mathematica computations and visualizations. Mulligan has additionally developed a Wolfram Language package that provides unique functionality for automated economic reasoning using both quantitative and qualitative assumptions.

2019

Robert Rasmussen and Kirk Reinholtz

Senior Engineers, Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Areas: Aerospace, Control Engineering, High-Performance and Parallel Computing, Probability Theory, Risk Analysis, Software Development, Systems Engineering

Robert Rasmussen and Kirk Reinholtz are systems engineers who have used the Wolfram Language to develop a set of methodologies for building complex control system applications. Their integrated mission operation systems utilize the Wolfram Language to provide live updates to local data stores, keeping information consistent throughout processes. Both have used Mathematica extensively for large probability and engineering computations—including hundred-day distributed computations and the processing of gigabyte-scale datasets. They evangelize Mathematica and the Wolfram Language to others in the aerospace field, encouraging them to use Wolfram Notebooks for exploration and the expression of ideas.

2018

David Creech

Manager of Engineering Analysis and Development, McDermott (formerly CB&I)

Areas: Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Risk Analysis, Software Development, System Modeling

David Creech is the manager of engineering analysis and development at McDermott (formerly CB&I) and a longtime user of the Wolfram Language. In his undergraduate and graduate programs, Creech used the Wolfram Language for mechanical engineering work, including the development of a Wolfram Language package for automating calculations to produce consumer ratings diagrams. At McDermott, he uses Wolfram technology in the development and management of leak detection and repair (LDAR) programs for industrial facilities. In 2012, he started an initiative at McDermott to replace hundreds of FORTRAN and Excel programs with Wolfram Language packages, modernizing their engineering workflow to provide easier access and customization for engineers. Creech’s colleagues are now using the Wolfram Language for their own computations and connecting them to these centralized packages to create more efficient tools for engineering their products.

2015

André Koppel

CEO, André Koppel Software GmbH

Areas: C, Data Analysis, Embedded Systems, Financial Analysis, Insolvency Analysis, Programming, QNX, Software Development, Visualization

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.

2015

UnRisk Development Team

MathConsult GmbH and uni software plus GmbH

Areas: Financial Analysis, Industrial Mathematics, Risk Management, Software Development

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.

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