From our origins in mathematical and technical computing, Wolfram technologies have 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.
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.
Dr. Luci Ellis is Head of the Financial Stability Department at the Reserve Bank of Australia, where she led a team of IT developers to create a new internal graphing development process, GraphIT, which creates Mathematica chart objects using .NET. Dr. Ellis has held various positions in economic analysis research and worked on the global macroeconomics team of the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland. She has written on a range of economic and financial topics, including exchange rates, housing prices, mortgage finance, and factor income shares, and she co-moderates the Mathematica Stack Exchange site under the pseudonym Verbeia. Dr. Ellis continues to advocate for employee adoption of Mathematica and the publishing of CDF-deployed charts while minimizing the Reserve Bank of Australia’s dependency on Excel. Dr. Ellis financed her attendance at the conference herself.
George (Dave) Lawrence first used Mathematica in his work with the gamma ray observatory at Hughes Aircraft and today uses it as a basis for the computational integration of biomedical workflows at the Oregon National Primate Research Center. Although he starting using Mathematica for his own population modeling, Lawrence has since helped five hundred medical researchers adopt the Wolfram Language for data analytics. In addition, his ARSTools (Animal Resource System Tools) package linked diverse lab datasets and democratized data for all researchers. After his data analytics system was shown to improve the efficiency of planning new clinical trials by 50%, three other primate research centers began using Wolfram Language applications and EnterpriseCDF technology.
Joseph Hirl started using Mathematica at Enron in the late 1990s. (His group had originally purchased Maple, but broke it within a week.) After making the switch to Wolfram technologies, Hirl developed a commercial tool that analyzes and visualizes energy data for organizations’ buildings. Using “smart meter” data as input—and through extensive processing, pattern recognition, and image visualization—Hirl and his team are able to provide insights related to a building and its behavior under a wide range of conditions. Using EnterpriseCDF as a reporting tool, he demonstrates existing energy inefficiencies and recommends opportunities for improvement through CDF-powered tables, charts, and MRI-like visualizations.
Kale Wallace first started using Mathematica in university courses and has since used it in his work at Southwestern Energy and Samson Energy for data handling and image processing. At Southwestern Energy, Wallace built a well productivity prediction model analyzing millions of lines of data and using machine learning to predict well performance based on drilling and completion parameters. He has also created field-development visualizations showing wells brought online and their corresponding production and cashflow. His replication of the ARIES economics engine in Mathematica allowed probabilistic (Monte Carlo) economics methods, full-field development scenarios, break-even calculations, and go-forward recommendations to be evaluated much more quickly than could be done in ARIES.
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.
Paul Abbott has used Mathematica extensively for research in wavelets and few-body atomic physics and to explore problems in computational and mathematical physics. He received a computational science award for his course in computational physics and has lectured on Mathematica in the United States, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and India, and at several Australian universities. Abbott worked for Wolfram Research from 1989 to 1991, has served as a contributing editor of The Mathematica Journal since 1990, and has worked as a consultant to Wolfram Research since 1997.
Dr. Carvallo’s long-term vision for using Wolfram technologies to innovate education and research in Ecuador has introduced academic services and professional research previously unknown or underused in Ecuador, including high-speed internet access, research repositories, Eduroam, Telemedicine, and high-performance computing services. Under his leadership at CEDIA (National Research and Education Network of Ecuador), Dr. Carvallo leverages Wolfram technologies to develop, document, and systematize education and research efforts and resources in Ecuador. He is devoted to creating the next generation of scientific, educational, and research talent needed to support a knowledge-driven economy within the country.
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.
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.
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.
János Karsai has been using Mathematica since 1994 in teaching and research. He teaches mathematics and Mathematica-aided modeling to math, pharmacy, biology, and engineering students in Szeged and Berlin, and has given several Mathematica trainings of different levels and topics in Hungary, Czech Republic, Serbia, and Romania. He has supervised several outstanding students in Mathematica-related research. Karsai applies Mathematica experiments in his research; works on modernizing mathematical education, especially in applied sciences; and manages several projects in these fields. He developed a package and wrote a book on impulsive systems with Mathematica in 2002 and has prepared several dynamic teaching materials in Mathematica for his courses. Karsai manages the website www.model.u-szeged.hu.
Mark Kotanchek left Dow Chemical in 2005 to form the startup Evolved Analytics. DataModeler, one of the largest Mathematica applications produced outside of Wolfram Research, handles data modeling via evolutionary programs. It also performs data analysis and makes sophisticated use of both user interface and kernel technology. At the 2014 Wolfram Technology Conference, Kotanchek revealed a GUI for DataModeler that makes it even easier to use Wolfram’s world-class analysis capabilities.
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 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.
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.
Frank Scherbaum, a professor of geophysics at the University of Potsdam, has been using Wolfram technologies since Mathematica 1. He has developed packages for signal processing, seismology, and seismic hazard analysis, which are widely used in research and teaching. His most recent book on probabilistic seismic hazard analysis, developed with the help of his students Nico Kuehn and Annabel Hëndel, covers widely diverse areas such as probability theory, earthquake seismology, strong motion processing, and geotechnical engineering, and has been fully generated with Mathematica and CDF technology. In addition, he uses Mathematica extensively as a hobby musicologist to explore new ways to represent and classify polyphonic vocal music.
At Enova Financial, Chad Slaughter used Mathematica’s deep analysis capabilities to better understand the relationship between performance data and top-level business metrics. This led to the Colossus Project, a completely automated platform that handles Enova’s online loan approval system and can process more than 20,000 loans per hour. Now a consultant, Slaughter is also using Wolfram Development Platform (formerly Wolfram Programming Cloud) to create solutions for Eligo Energy.
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.
Physicist Frank Brand teaches courses in business mathematics, statistics, econometrics, and optimization using Mathematica. He has used Mathematica for many years, starting with his PhD thesis, “Optimization of Complex Optical Systems with Evolution Strategies.” Frank’s achievements using Mathematica in his research include the automatic construction of quality functions related to optimization problems. He also used Wolfram technology to write books—very recently he published a book on the analysis of complex systems, based on applications of graph theory.
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.
Sam Daniel has been using Mathematica since 1988—the year Mathematica 1.0 was launched—to complete a range of innovative projects from patented work on fingerprint identification algorithms for Motorola to spearheading signal processing projects for Raytheon Missile Systems. His mastery of Mathematica has enabled him to document his work and share those results with others, bringing invaluable insights to areas from adaptive antenna simulation to radar ground clutter characterization. Sam’s continued work with Mathematica will include creating elaborate Enterprise CDFs from Wolfram SystemModeler for possible automatic extraction of parameters and control placement.
In his role as President of Business Laboratory, LLC, George Danner uses Mathematica to solve complex problems for mid-size and large businesses and government organizations. Following the flu outbreaks that took health agencies by surprise in 2008, Danner simulated a hypothetical outbreak in Alabama. As a result, state and federal health officials were able to role-play a series of outbreaks and identify barriers to outbreak response. Other accomplishments include assisting an energy company with over 1,100 natural gas wells in identifying an optimal drilling sequence and helping a large national retailer double its number of stores by using simulated shopper agents to determine optimal locations.
Brian Frezza, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Emerald Therapeutics, has integrated Mathematica at many organizational levels within the company—from using it as a standard documentation tool for the Emerald Therapeutics computer platform to controlling laboratory robots. Although the business is small, Mathematica has been broadly integrated in a manner rarely seen, even by Mathematica’s power users. Emerald’s small team has used Mathematica to conduct more than half a million biotech experiments.
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.