Conrad Wolfram

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Conrad Wolfram
Transmediale-2010-Conrad Wolfram.jpg
Conrad Wolfram in transmediale 10 talking about Wolfram Alpha.
Born (1970-06-10) 10 June 1970 (age 45)
Residence United Kingdom
Nationality British
Alma mater Cambridge University
Occupation Strategic and international director, Wolfram Research

Conrad Wolfram (born 10 June 1970) is a British technologist and businessman known for his work in information technology and its application.


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. He is the younger brother of Stephen Wolfram.

Born in Oxford, England, in 1970, Wolfram was educated at Dragon School, Eton College and Pembroke College, Cambridge,[1] from which he holds an MA degree in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He learned to program on a BBC Micro.[2]

Mathematics education reform[edit]

Wolfram has been a prominent proponent of 'Computer-Based Math'- a reform of mathematics education to make greater use of information technology. [3][4] and is the founder of[5][6]

The UK's Channel 4 News quotes him saying "There are a few cases where it is important to do calculations by hand, but these are small fractions of cases. The rest of the time you should assume that students should use a computer just like everyone does in the real world.".[7] In an interview with the Guardian he described the replacement of hand calculation by computer use as "democratising expertise".[8]

In 2009, he spoke about education reform at the TEDx Conference at the EU Parliament.[9][10] and again at TED Global 2010 where he argued that "Maths should be more practical and more conceptual, but less mechanical,"[11] and that "Calculating is the machinery of math – a means to an end."

He serves on the Computer science committee Advisory Board at King's College London.[12]

Conrad Wolfram is also part of Flooved advisory Board.

In 2012, The Observer placed him at number 11 in its list of Britain's 50 New Radicals.[13][14]

In August 2012, he was a member of the judging panel at the Festival of Code, the culmination of Young Rewired State 2012.[15]


Conrad Wolfram founded Wolfram Research Europe Ltd.[16] in 1991 and remains its managing director.[17] In 1996, he additionally became Strategic and International Director[18] of Wolfram Research, Inc., making him also responsible for Wolfram Research Asia Ltd, and communications such as the website.

Wolfram Research was founded by his brother[19] Stephen Wolfram, the maker of Mathematica software and the Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine.[20]

Conrad Wolfram has led the effort to move the use of Mathematica from pure computation system to development and deployment engine,[21][22] instigating technology such as the Mathematica Player family and web Mathematica and by pushing greater automation within the system.[23]

He has also led the focus on interactive publishing technology[24] with the stated aim of "making new applications as everyday as new documents"[25] claiming that "If a picture is worth a thousand words, an interactive document is worth a thousand pictures."[26] These technologies converged to form the Computable Document Format[27] which Wolfram says can "transfer knowledge in a much higher-bandwidth way".[28]


  1. ^ giving away software in push into China, The News Gazette, 9 March 2008.
  2. ^ The BBC Microcomputer and me, 30 years down the line BBC News, 1 December 2011
  3. ^ We need to base maths lessons on computers, The Daily Telegraph, 3 December 2009.
  4. ^ Closing the gap between modern life and the math curriculum New York Times, 10 February 2013
  5. ^
  6. ^ The despair of the dissenting government expert The New Statesman
  7. ^ Introducing the 'sat-nav' maths exam, Channel 4 News, Channel 4, UK
  8. ^ WolframAlpha Online Search Engine Calculations, The Guardian, 2 September 2009.
  9. ^ I calculate therefore I am, Conrad Wolfram, TedX Brussels, YouTube, 2009.
  10. ^ "Speakers at TEDxBurssels 2009". Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  11. ^ Conrad Wolfram wants to reboot the maths curriculum, Wired Magazine, 19 July 2010.
  12. ^ Advisory board,[dead link] King's College London, UK.
  13. ^ Britain's 40 New Radicals The Observer
  14. ^ Britain's 50 New Radicals Nesta
  15. ^ Past Judges
  16. ^ Wolfram Alpha goes live, Channel 4 News, Channel 4, UK.
  17. ^ Knowles, Jamillah (15 September 2009). "Guatemala, Wolfram Alpha, Acquine and news". Radio 5, BBC, UK. Retrieved 16 November 2010. 
  18. ^ A computational knowledge engine for factual queries, The Hindu, India, 25 May 2009.
  19. ^ Can Wolfram Take on Google?, The Daily Telegraph, UK.
  20. ^ Wolfram promises new way to probe the web, The Independent, UK.
  21. ^ Wolfram Releases Mathematica Player 7, Inside HPC, 10 December 2008.
  22. ^ Wolfram Releases Mathematic Player Pro 7, Dr Dobbs Journal.
  23. ^ webMathematica Japanese Edition: Unique Product Brings Computation to the Web, Mathematica Journal, volume 8, issue 4.
  24. ^ Making Science Leap From the Page The New York Times, 17 December 2011
  25. ^ The day that documentes and applications merged, Wolfram Research.
  26. ^ Interactive deployment, Wolfram Research.
  27. ^ Wolfram Alpha Creator plans to delete the PDF The Telegraph (UK)
  28. ^ Conrad Wolfram: computation will release data overload Wired 28 June 2012

External links[edit]