|Industry||Mathematical computing software|
|CEO and President: Jack Little, Chief Mathematician: Cleve Moler|
|Revenue||$1.05 billion (2019)|
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 found the company, came across the tool while he was a graduate student in electrical engineering at Stanford University.
Little and Steve Bangert rewrote the code for MATLAB in C while they were colleagues at an engineering firm. They founded MathWorks along with Moler in 1984, with Little running it out of his house in Portola Valley, California. Little would mail diskettes in baggies (food storage bags) to the first customers. The company sold its first order, 10 copies of MATLAB, for $500 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in February 1985. A few years later, Little and the company moved to Massachusetts, and Little hired Jeanne O'Keefe, an experienced computer executive, to help formalize the business. By 1997, MathWorks was profitable, claiming revenue of around $50 million, and had around 380 employees.
In 1999, MathWorks relocated to the Apple Hill office complex in Natick, Massachusetts, purchasing additional buildings in the complex in 2008 and 2009, 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.
By 2018, the company had around 3,000 employees in Natick and said it had revenues of around $900 million.
The company's two lead products are MATLAB, which provides an environment for programmers to analyze and visualize data and develop algorithms, and Simulink, a graphical and simulation environment for model-based design of dynamic systems. MATLAB and Simulink are used in aerospace, automotive, software and other fields. The company's other products include Polyspace, SimEvents, and Stateflow.
Intellectual property and competition
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.
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.
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. The case was closed in 2014.
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). MathWorks sponsored the mathematics exhibit at London's Science Museum.
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. The company actively supports numerous academic institutions to advance STEM education, including giving funding to MIT Open Courseware and MITx.
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- "Opening of Proceedings" (PDF). European Commission. February 29, 2012.
- "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.
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