Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

The Mathematica Story: A Scrapbook

Three Decades of Contributions to Invention, Discovery and Education

Ewald Werner, Professor, Technische Universität München, Germany

I became aware of Mathematica as early as Version 1.2 (I believe this was in 1988 or 1989) and have been using the software in all versions ever since (currently Version 9). Mathematica has been an indispensable tool for many of my research activities, especially those devoted to theoretical mechanics of materials. This started with investigations of shape instabilities of microstructure constituents, a topic in which I experienced the advanced summation and integration algorithms (even then!) to be useful for deriving results involving elliptic integrals and functions. The research topic with the longest duration (since 1993) centers on wave propagation phenomena in slender bodies resting on or impacting elastic foundations and thermal buckling phenomena of frictionally heated disks. For these topics, the capabilities of Mathematica with respect to Laplace and Fourier transforms allowed me to gain results I believe otherwise I would not have come across. Another highlight of Mathematica‘s capabilities was its use in approximating solutions of a Volterra integral equation encountered in modeling rapidly moving heat sources over a surface.

In all these efforts, the extremely advanced graphical capabilities of Mathematica helped tremendously to visualize many of the results.

To sum up, for almost 25 years now Mathematica has been my most versatile and useful knowledge base. It has been the key ingredient to at least 15 original papers, one thesis, and two textbooks. I am convinced that this will be true also for the next decade!

In closing, I express my sincere thanks to the whole Wolfram Research team and wish all of you many more great ideas to further enhance Mathematica.

Just a dream: what if you implement something like “free speech input”?