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Mathematica Celebrates 15th Anniversary with New High-Performance Release

Published June 23, 2003

June 23, 2003–When Wolfram Research first released Mathematica 1.0 exactly 15 years ago on June 23, 1988, it was immediately lauded as a dramatic advance. Today, on the software’s 15th anniversary, Wolfram Research continues to lead the world of technical computing with the release of Mathematica 5, the new high-performance version of this award-winning system.

“The importance of the program cannot be overlooked,” wrote The New York Times in June of 1988 with impressive foresight, while Business Week ranked it among the 10 most important new products of the year. Over the years, Mathematica has become essential in an exceptionally wide range of fields and has been adopted at all levels of usage, garnering a reputation along the way as a uniquely powerful, accurate, and versatile software system.

“I first conceived of Mathematica because I needed it myself,” says Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica and founder of Wolfram Research. “But I knew that if I could build the kind of general system I imagined, it would also be tremendously useful to a remarkable range of other people.”

Wolfram’s visionary concept for Mathematica was to create a single system that could handle all the various aspects of technical computing in a unified way. To accomplish this, Wolfram built on disparate ideas from computer science, logic, and mathematics to develop a new kind of programming paradigm, one that made it possible to implement virtually any operation or functionality. This programming paradigm has served as the foundation for Mathematica since day one, underpinning the extensive refinements in each successive version.

Mathematica has been built on innovative, long-term design principles,” adds Dr. Wolfram. “With Mathematica, our users not only have a system that can handle every aspect of their project today, but they also have a system whose design will endure in the decades to come. All too often, software companies rush products to market, only to discover that their design is incompatible with further development. Long-term design is critical in providing the best investment for users.”

Mathematica 5, Wolfram Research’s new advanced algorithms release, introduces a host of innovative features while further optimizing its existing functionality. These enhancements take Mathematica to a new level of capability, with unparalleled speed, scope, and scalability. A full press release about Mathematica 5 is available.

Version 5 represents not only the fruition of 15 years of R & D, but also 15 years of corporate growth and development. As the company has matured, it has continued to streamline its software development and engineering processes. These improvements have paved the way for Wolfram Research’s metamorphosis into a multiproduct company offering organization-wide technical computing solutions for business, research, and education. Based on elements of the same proven core technology, Wolfram Research’s line of fully compatible products gives users the best of all worlds: the ability to share information with others in their organization or profession while using a product ideal for their needs.

“Fifteen years after Mathematica 1.0, our original vision is stronger than ever, our development process is more efficient than ever, and we have steadily been able to expand on the solid base that we have established,” adds Dr. Wolfram. “I am continually told how exceptional this combination of assets is in the software industry. But there is much more that we can and will do to build on what we have. We are committed to maintaining and improving the standards of excellence that Mathematica and our company have set.