From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The MathWorks, Inc.
IndustryMathematical computing software
FoundedDecember 7, 1984; 38 years ago (1984-12-07) in Portola Valley, California, U.S.
Area served
Key people
  • Jack Little (CEO and President)
  • Cleve Moler (Chief Mathematician)
ProductsMATLAB, Simulink
RevenueIncrease US$1.35 billion (2021)[1]
Number of employees

MathWorks is an American privately held corporation that specializes in mathematical computing software. Its major products include MATLAB and Simulink, which support data analysis and simulation.


The company's key product, MATLAB, was created in the 1970s by Cleve Moler, who was chairman of the computer science department at the University of New Mexico at the time. It was a free tool for academics. Jack Little, who would eventually set up the company, came across the tool while he was a graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford University.[2][3]

Little and Steve Bangert rewrote the code for MATLAB in C while they were colleagues at an engineering firm.[2][4] They founded MathWorks along with Moler in 1984,[4] with Little running it out of his house in Portola Valley, California.[5] Little would mail diskettes in baggies (food storage bags) to the first customers.[6] The company sold its first order, 10 copies of MATLAB, for $500 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in February 1985.[7] A few years later, Little and the company moved to Massachusetts,[5][8] and Little hired Jeanne O'Keefe, an experienced computer executive, to help formalize the business.[2] By 1997, MathWorks was profitable, claiming revenue of around $50 million, and had around 380 employees.[2]

Apple Hill Campus in Natick

In 1999, MathWorks relocated to the Apple Hill office complex in Natick, Massachusetts, purchasing additional buildings in the complex in 2008 and 2009,[9] ultimately occupying the entire campus. MathWorks expanded further in 2013 by buying Boston Scientific's old headquarters campus, which is near to MathWorks' headquarters in Natick.[10]

By 2018, the company had around 3,000 employees in Natick and said it had revenues of around $900 million.[11]


The company's two lead products are MATLAB, which provides an environment for scientists, engineers and programmers to analyze and visualize data and develop algorithms, and Simulink, a graphical and simulation environment for model-based design of dynamic systems.[12][13] MATLAB and Simulink are used in aerospace, automotive, software and other fields.[14] The company's other products include Polyspace, SimEvents, and Stateflow.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Intellectual property and competition[edit]

In 1999 the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against MathWorks and Wind River Systems alleging that an agreement between them violated antitrust laws. The agreement in question stipulated that the two companies agreed to stop competing in the field of dynamic control system design software, with MathWorks alone selling Wind River's Matrixx Software and that Wind River would stop all research and development and sales in that field. Both companies eventually settled with the Department of Justice and agreed to sell the MATRIXx software to a third party. MathWorks had total sales of $200 million in 2001, with dynamic control system design software accounting for half of those sales.[15]

MathWorks's Simulink software was found to have infringed 3 patents from National Instruments related to data flow diagrams in 2003, a decision which was confirmed by a court of appeal in 2004.[16]

In 2011, MathWorks sued AccelerEyes for copyright infringement in one court, and patent and trademark infringement in another. AccelerEyes accepted consent decrees in both cases before the trials began.[17]

In 2012, the European Commission opened an antitrust investigation into MathWorks after competitors alleged that Mathworks refused to grant licenses to its intellectual property that would allow people to create software with interoperability with its products.[18][19] The case was closed in 2014.[20]


The logo represents the first vibrational mode of a thin L-shaped membrane, clamped at the edges, and governed by the wave equation, which was the subject of Moler's thesis.[3]


The company annually sponsors a number of student engineering competitions, including EcoCAR, an advanced vehicle technology competition created by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM).[21] MathWorks sponsored the mathematics exhibit at London's Science Museum.[22]

In the coding community, MathWorks hosts MATLAB Central, an online exchange where users ask and answer questions and share code. MATLAB Central currently houses around than 145,000 questions in its MATLAB Answers database.[23] The company actively supports numerous academic institutions to advance STEM education, including giving funding to MIT Open Courseware and MITx.[24][25]


  1. ^ a b "About MathWorks". Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d Blanton, Kimberly (April 20, 1997). "At Mathworks, support + fun = success CEO Jack Little believes in power of his workers -- and their ideas". The Boston Globe. p. J5. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Haigh, Thomas (January 2008). "Cleve Moler: Mathematical Software Pioneer and Creator of MATLAB". IEEE Annals of the History of Computing. 30 (1): 87–91. doi:10.1109/MAHC.2008.2. S2CID 31651607.
  4. ^ a b Nagar, Sandeep (2017). Introduction to MATLAB for Engineers and Scientists: Solutions for Numerical Computation and Modeling. New York: Apress. p. 3. ISBN 978-1484231890. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Higham, Nicholas (March 16, 2017). "Tracing the Early History of MATLAB Through SIAM News". SIAM News. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Blanton, Kimberly (April 20, 1997). "At Mathworks, support + fun = success CEO Jack Little believes in power of his workers -- and their ideas". The Boston Globe. p. J1. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  7. ^ Ogewell, Verdi (April 25, 2016). "MathWorks: Product Digitization is a Boost for Smart Algorithms and Simulation". Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Chesto, Jon (June 18, 2018). "MathWorks expansion could bring up to 2,000 new jobs to Natick in the next five years". The Boston Globe. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
  9. ^ Breitrose, Charlie (December 30, 2009). "MathWorks buys Natick building to create campus". The Metrowest Daily News.
  10. ^ Grillo, Thomas (April 5, 2013). "MathWorks pays $55M for Boston Scientific's Natick HQ". Boston Business Journal.
  11. ^ Chesto, Jon (June 15, 2018). "Natick software firm to add 2,000 local jobs within five years". Boston Globe.
  12. ^ "Matlab edges closer to electronic design automation world". EE Times. October 4, 2004. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  13. ^ Ogewell, Verdi (April 25, 2016). "MathWorks: Product Digitization is a Boost for Smart Algorithms and Simulation". Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  14. ^ Welker, Grant (May 29, 2017). "MathWorks now in more than 180 countries". Worcester Business Journal Online.
  15. ^ "Press release: Justice Department Reaches Settlement with The MathWorks Inc". US Department of Justice. August 15, 2002.
  16. ^ "Federal Circuit Affirms Decision For National Instruments In Patent Suit Vs. Mathworks". Law360. September 7, 2004.
  17. ^ "MathWorks wins copyright and patent infringement cases". Jones Day. Retrieved September 16, 2017.
  18. ^ "Commission opens interoperability proceedings against MathWorks". King & Wood Mallesons. 2012.
  19. ^ "Opening of Proceedings" (PDF). European Commission. February 29, 2012.
  20. ^ "Closing of Proceedings" (PDF). European Commission. September 2, 2014. The Commission decided, as a result of the formal investigation, to close the antitrust proceedings initiated on 29 February 2012 against MathWorks in case AT.39840.
  21. ^ Lulka, Jess (October 14, 2015). "EcoCAR3 and MathWorks Partner for Advanced Vehicle Technology". Digital Engineering. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  22. ^ Booth, Nick. "MathWorks - the proof is in the Science Museum". Computer Weekly. No. 22 December 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  23. ^ Waterman, Pamela J. (June 1, 2015). "Mainstreaming Math Tools for Engineers". Digital Engineering. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  24. ^ "MathWorks supports MIT with $2M funding". Worcester Business Journal Online. March 21, 2014. Retrieved July 17, 2017.
  25. ^ "MathWorks Sponsors Boston STEM Week". Digital Engineering. October 10, 2016. Retrieved July 17, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°18′01″N 71°21′01″W / 42.30025°N 71.35039°W / 42.30025; -71.35039