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The MathWorks, Inc.
IndustryMathematical computing software
Area served
Key people
CEO and President: Jack Little, Chief Mathematician: Cleve Moler
ProductsMATLAB, Simulink
Revenue$900 million (2017)[1]

The MathWorks, Inc. (branded as simply 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 found 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.[1]


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.[11][12] MATLAB and Simulink are used in aerospace, automotive, software and other fields.[13] The company's other products include Polyspace, SimEvents, and Stateflow.

Corporate affairs[edit]

Intellectual property and competition[edit]

In 2002 the US Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against MathWorks and Wind River 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.[14]

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.[15]

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.[16]

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.[17][18] The case was closed in 2014.[19]


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).[20] MathWorks sponsored the mathematics exhibit at London's Science Museum.[21]

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.[22] The company actively supports numerous academic institutions to advance STEM education, including giving funding to MIT Open Courseware and MITx.[23][24]


  1. ^ a b Chesto, Jon (June 15, 2018). "Natick software firm to add 2,000 local jobs within five years". Boston Globe.
  2. ^ a b c d Blanton, Kimberly (20 April 1997). "At Mathworks, support + fun = success CEO Jack Little believes in power of his workers -- and their ideas". The Boston Globe. p. J5. Retrieved 10 January 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.
  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 1484231899. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b Higham, Nicholas (16 March 2017). "Tracing the Early History of MATLAB Through SIAM News". SIAM News. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  6. ^ Blanton, Kimberly (20 April 1997). "At Mathworks, support + fun = success CEO Jack Little believes in power of his workers -- and their ideas". The Boston Globe. p. J1. Retrieved 10 January 2019.
  7. ^ Ogewell, Verdi (25 April 2016). "MathWorks: Product Digitization is a Boost for Smart Algorithms and Simulation". Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  8. ^ Chesto, Jon (18 June 2018). "MathWorks expansion could bring up to 2,000 new jobs to Natick in the next five years". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 5 December 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. ^ "Matlab edges closer to electronic design automation world". EE Times. 4 October 2004. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  12. ^ Ogewell, Verdi (25 April 2016). "MathWorks: Product Digitization is a Boost for Smart Algorithms and Simulation". Retrieved 4 August 2017.
  13. ^ Welker, Grant (29 May 2017). "MathWorks now in more than 180 countries". Worcester Business Journal Online.
  14. ^ "Press release: Justice Department Reaches Settlement with The MathWorks Inc". US Department of Justice. August 15, 2002.
  15. ^ "Federal Circuit Affirms Decision For National Instruments In Patent Suit Vs. Mathworks". Law360. September 7, 2004.
  16. ^ "MathWorks wins copyright and patent infringement cases". Jones Day. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  17. ^ "Commission opens interoperability proceedings against MathWorks". King & Wood Mallesons. 2012.
  18. ^ "Opening of Proceedings" (PDF). European Commission. 29 February 2012.
  19. ^ "Closing of Proceedings" (PDF). European Commission. 2 September 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.
  20. ^ Lulka, Jess (14 October 2015). "EcoCAR3 and MathWorks Partner for Advanced Vehicle Technology". Digital Engineering. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  21. ^ Booth, Nick. "MathWorks - the proof is in the Science Museum". Computer Weekly (22 December 2016). Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  22. ^ Waterman, Pamela J. (1 June 2015). "Mainstreaming Math Tools for Engineers". Digital Engineering. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  23. ^ "MathWorks supports MIT with $2M funding". Worcester Business Journal Online. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  24. ^ "MathWorks Sponsors Boston STEM Week". Digital Engineering. 10 October 2016. Retrieved 17 July 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