Mathematica is a general

software system for mathematical and other applications. It is used by

researchers,

engineers,

analysts and students from

high school to

grad school.

### Development

Developed by

*Wolfram Research*, headed by

Stephen Wolfram. Wolfram was born in

London in 1959 and educated at

Oxford. He got his

Ph.D. in

theoretical physics from

Caltech in 1979. He spent two years on the faculty at Caltech and then four more at

The Institute for Advanced Study at

Princeton. He then moved to the

University of Illinois to become director of the

Center for Complex Systems Research and Professor in several departments including

physics,

computer science and

mathematics.

His early research was mostly in high energy phsyics and quantum field theory, but in 1980 and 1981, he lead the development of the SMP computer algebra system, which was a forerunner for many of the elements found in Mathematica. The first version of Mathematica was released on June 23, 1988 and has since become an established tool in science, engineering and business.

Wolfram continues to do scientific research on various topics including cellular automata computer models, chaos theory and parallel computing. He has contributed greatly to computational fluid dynamics and continues to be a pioneer in the field of complex systems research.

### Applications

Mathematica can be used simply as a

numerical or

symbolic calculator or a

graphing system for visualizing

functions or

data. However, the real power of Mathematica comes from a

high-level programming language which allows you to build

computer models or

data analysis environments. It even has animated interfaces for creating

stand-alone interfaces or

embedded applications.