Stephen Wolfram

Founder & CEO, Wolfram Research

Stephen Wolfram is Special Advisor to the Arch Mission Foundation on how to solve the "hard problems" of encoding and transmitting humanity's knowledge across millennia, civilizations, technologies, and even species. These questions touch on fundamental issues in philosophy, mathematics, information theory, linguistics, computer science, physics and cosmology, and biology.

Stephen Wolfram is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha and the Wolfram Language; the author of A New Kind of Science; and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Over the course of nearly four decades, he has been a pioneer in the development and application of computational thinking—and has been responsible for many discoveries, inventions and innovations in science, technology and business.

Wolfram's early scientific work was mainly in high-energy physics, quantum field theory and cosmology, and included several now-classic results. Having started to use computers in 1973, Wolfram rapidly became a leader in the emerging field of scientific computing, and in 1979 he began the construction of SMP—the first modern computer algebra system—which he released commercially in 1981.

In recognition of his early work in physics and computing, Wolfram became in 1981 the youngest recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Late in 1981 Wolfram then set out on an ambitious new direction in science aimed at understanding the origins of complexity in nature. The papers Wolfram published quickly had a major impact, and laid the groundwork for the emerging field that Wolfram called complex systems research.

Through the mid-1980s, Wolfram continued his work on complexity, discovering a number of fundamental connections between computation and nature, and inventing such concepts as computational irreducibility. Wolfram's work led to a wide range of applications—and provided the main scientific foundations for such initiatives as complexity theory and artificial life.

Following his scientific work on complex systems research, in 1986 Wolfram founded the first journal in the field, Complex Systems, and its first research center.

Then, after a highly successful career in academia — first at Caltech, then at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and finally as Professor of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science at the University of Illinois — Wolfram launched Wolfram Research, Inc.

Wolfram is a sought-after advisor, mentor and speaker in corporate, entrepreneurial and educational settings. He and his wife have four children and live in Concord, Massachusetts.

Full bio at: http://www.stephenwolfram.com/about/