Stephen Wolfram

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Stephen Wolfram (born 29 August 1959) is a British physicist, software developer, mathematician, author and businessman, known for his work in theoretical particle physics, cosmology, cellular automata, computational complexity theory, computer algebra, the Mathematica software application, and the Wolfram Alpha computational knowledge engine.



Stephen Wolfram's parents were Jewish refugees who emigrated from Westphalia to England in 1933.[1][2] Wolfram's father, Hugo Wolfram, was a novelist (Into a Neutral Country), and his mother, Sybil Wolfram, was a professor of philosophy at the University of Oxford. He has a younger brother, Conrad Wolfram.[3]

Wolfram was educated at Eton. At the age of 15, he published an article on particle physics[4] and entered Oxford University (St John's College) at age 17. He wrote a widely cited paper on heavy quark production at age 18.[2]

Wolfram received his Ph.D. in particle physics from the California Institute of Technology at age 20[5] and joined the faculty there. He became highly interested in cellular automata at age 21.[2] Wolfram's work in particle physics, cosmology and computer science earned him one of the first MacArthur awards. His work with Geoffrey Fox on the theory of the strong interaction is still used today in experimental particle physics.[6]

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