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.[1]

Born in Oxford, England, in 1970, Wolfram was educated at Dragon School, Eton College, Pembroke College, Cambridge University, UK[2] from which he holds an MA degree in Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He learned to program on a BBC Micro.[3]

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. [4][5] and is the founder of[6][7]

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.".[8] In an interview with the Guardian he described the replacement of hand calculation by computer use as "democratising expertise".[9]

In 2009, he spoke about education reform at the TEDx Conference at the EU Parliament.[10][11] and again at TED Global 2010 where he argued that "Maths should be more practical and more conceptual, but less mechanical,"[12] 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.[13]

Conrad Wolfram is also part of Flooved advisory Board.

In 2012, The Observer placed him at number 11 in its list of Britains 50 New Radicals.[14][15]

In August 2012, he was a member of the judging panel at the Festival of Code, the culmination of Young Rewired State 2012.[16]


Conrad Wolfram founded Wolfram Research Europe Ltd.[17] in 1991 and remains its managing director.[18] In 1996, he additionally became Strategic and International Director[19] 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[20] Stephen Wolfram, the maker of Mathematica software and the Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine.[21]

Conrad Wolfram has led the effort to move the use of Mathematica from pure computation system to development and deployment engine,[22][23] instigating technology such as the Mathematica Player family and web Mathematica and by pushing greater automation within the system.[24]

He has also led the focus on interactive publishing technology[25] with the stated aim of "making new applications as everyday as new documents"[26] claiming that "If a picture is worth a thousand words, an interactive document is worth a thousand pictures."[27] These technologies converged to form the Computable Document Format[28] which Wolfram says can "transfer knowledge in a much higher-bandwidth way"[29]


  1. ^

    Stephen Wolfram at the Notable Names Database

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

External links[edit]