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Stephen Wolfram  

Born  Stephen Wolfram 29 August 1959 London, England, UK 
Residence  Concord, MA 
Nationality  British 
Fields  Mathematics^{[1]} Physics Computing Cellular automata 
Institutions  Wolfram Research Sun Microsystems Thinking Machines Corporation^{[2]} University of Oxford California Institute of Technology Institute for Advanced Study University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 
Alma mater  St John's College, Oxford California Institute of Technology 
Thesis  Some Topics in Theoretical HighEnergy Physics (1980) 
Doctoral advisor  Geoffrey C. Fox Hugh David Politzer^{[3]}^{[4]} 
Known for  Mathematica Wolfram Alpha A New Kind of Science^{[5]} 
Influences  Richard Crandall^{[6]} 
Notable awards  MacArthur Fellowship 
Website  
www.stephenwolfram.com twitter.com/stephen_wolfram 
The neutrality of this article is disputed. (January 2014) 
Stephen Wolfram  

Born  Stephen Wolfram 29 August 1959 London, England, UK 
Residence  Concord, MA 
Nationality  British 
Fields  Mathematics^{[1]} Physics Computing Cellular automata 
Institutions  Wolfram Research Sun Microsystems Thinking Machines Corporation^{[2]} University of Oxford California Institute of Technology Institute for Advanced Study University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign 
Alma mater  St John's College, Oxford California Institute of Technology 
Thesis  Some Topics in Theoretical HighEnergy Physics (1980) 
Doctoral advisor  Geoffrey C. Fox Hugh David Politzer^{[3]}^{[4]} 
Known for  Mathematica Wolfram Alpha A New Kind of Science^{[5]} 
Influences  Richard Crandall^{[6]} 
Notable awards  MacArthur Fellowship 
Website  
www.stephenwolfram.com twitter.com/stephen_wolfram 
Stephen Wolfram (born 29 August 1959) is a British scientist,^{[7]} known for his work in theoretical physics, as the chief designer of the Mathematica software application and the Wolfram Alpha answer engine, as well as the CEO of Wolfram Research, and the author of A New Kind of Science.^{[2]}^{[8]}^{[9]}^{[10]}^{[11]}^{[12]}^{[13]}
Wolfram's parents were Jewish refugees who emigrated from Germany to England in the 1930s.^{[5]}^{[14]} Wolfram's father Hugo was a textile manufacturer and novelist (Into a Neutral Country) and his mother Sybil was a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford.^{[15]} He has a younger brother, Conrad Wolfram.^{[16]} Wolfram is married to a mathematician and has four children.^{[17]}
Wolfram was educated at Eton College, but left prematurely in 1976. He entered St John's College, Oxford at age 17 but found lectures "awful",^{[15]} and left in 1978 without graduating.^{[18]} He received a Ph.D.^{[3]} in particle physics from the California Institute of Technology at age 20.^{[4]} Wolfram's thesis committee included Richard Feynman, Peter Goldreich and Steven Frautschi^{[4]} while the thesis research was supervised by Geoffrey C. Fox and Hugh David Politzer.^{[3]}
Following his PhD, Wolfram joined the faculty at Caltech and received one of the first MacArthur Fellowships in 1981, at age 21.^{[18]}
Wolfram presented a talk at the TED conference in 2010,^{[19]}^{[20]}^{[21]} and he was named Speaker of the Event for his 2012 talk at SXSW.^{[22]} In 2012 he became a fellow of the American Mathematical Society.^{[23]}
According to Google Scholar, Stephen Wolfram is cited by over 30,000 publications (up to April 2012)^{[24]} and has an hindex of 58. He has an Erdős number of 2.
At the age of 12, he wrote a dictionary on physics,^{[25]} and soon by ages 13 and 14 he wrote three books on particle physics.^{[26]}^{[27]}^{[28]} They were not published.
By the time he was 15 he began to research in applied quantum field theory and particle physics and publish his first scientific papers. Topics included matter creation and annihilation, the fundamental interactions, elementary particles and their currents, hadronic and leptonic physics, and the parton model, published in professional peerreviewed scientific journals including Nuclear Physics B, Australian Journal of Physics, Nuovo Cimento, and Physical Review D.^{[29]} Working independently, Wolfram published a widely cited paper on heavy quark production at age 18^{[5]} and nine other papers,^{[15]} and continued to research and publish on particle physics into his early twenties. Wolfram's work with Geoffrey C Fox on the theory of the strong interaction is still used today in experimental particle physics.^{[30]}
Wolfram led the development of the computer algebra system SMP (Symbolic Manipulation Program) in the Caltech physics department during 1979–1981. A dispute with the administration over the intellectual property rights regarding SMP—patents, copyright, and faculty involvement in commercial ventures—eventually caused him to resign from Caltech.^{[31]} SMP was further developed and marketed commercially by Inference Corp. of Los Angeles during 1983–1988.
In 1983, Wolfram left for the School of Natural Sciences of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, where he conducted research into cellular automata,^{[32]}^{[33]}^{[34]}^{[35]}^{[36]} mainly with computer simulations. He produced a series of papers systematically investigating the class of elementary cellular automata, conceiving the Wolfram code, a naming system for onedimensional cellular automata, and a classification scheme for the complexity of their behavior. He conjectured that the Rule 110 cellular automaton might be Turing complete. In the middle 1980s Wolfram worked on simulations of physical processes (such as turbulent fluid flow) with cellular automata on the Connection Machine alongside Richard Feynman^{[37]} and helped ignite the field of complex systems founding the first institute devoted to this subject, The Center for Complex Systems Research (CCSR) at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign^{[38]} and the journal Complex Systems in 1987.^{[38]}
In 1986 Wolfram left the Institute for Advanced Study for the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign where he founded their Center for Complex Systems Research and started to develop the computer algebra system Mathematica, which was first released in 1988, when he left academia. In 1987 he cofounded a company called Wolfram Research which continues to develop and market the program.^{[5]}
From 1992 to 2002, he worked on his controversial book A New Kind of Science,^{[5]}^{[39]} which presents an empirical study of very simple computational systems. Additionally, it argues that for fundamental reasons these types of systems, rather than traditional mathematics, are needed to model and understand complexity in nature. Wolfram's conclusion is that the universe is digital in its nature, and runs on fundamental laws which can be described as simple programs. He predicts that a realization of this within the scientific communities will have a major and revolutionary influence on physics, chemistry and biology and the majority of the scientific areas in general, which is the reason for the book's title.
Since the release of the book in 2002, Wolfram has split his time between developing Mathematica and encouraging people to get involved with the subject matter of A New Kind of Science by giving talks, holding conferences, and starting a summer school devoted to the topic.^{[20]}
In March 2009, Wolfram announced WolframAlpha, an answer engine with a new approach to knowledge extraction and an easytouse interface, launched in May 2009^{[40]}^{[41]} and a Pro version launched on February 2012.^{[42]} The engine is based on natural language processing and a large library of algorithms, and answers queries using the approach described in A New Kind of Science. The application programming interface (API) allows other applications to extend and enhance Alpha.^{[43]} WolframAlpha is one of the answer engines behind Microsoft's Bing^{[44]} and Apple's Siri (along with Google and Yelp!) answering factual questions.^{[45]}
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