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Wolfram Alpha LLC Deploys Innovation-Focused Business Strategy

Published January 14, 2011

Names Social and Virtual Communities Pioneer Luc Barthelet as Executive Director

Technology innovation meets business innovation as Wolfram Alpha LLC, creator of the groundbreaking Wolfram|Alpha computational knowledge engine, has recruited Luc Barthelet—a pioneer in online social and virtual worlds—to lead the company’s strategic business development.

“Computable knowledge is just fascinating. Wolfram|Alpha is building the Star Trekcomputer. It turns everyone into an expert. We, and others, have the potential to build truly innovative products by injecting them with the knowledge and computational power of Wolfram|Alpha,” said Luc Barthelet. The company is actively forging partnerships that will bring the computational power of Wolfram|Alpha to search, mobile platforms, multiple OSes, app stores, and cloud-based solutions throughout the U.S., Europe, and Asia.

Barthelet is a long-time expert user of Wolfram Mathematica, the core technology that powers Wolfram|Alpha, and is the creator and administrator of Mathematica-users.org. He has been collaborating closely with Wolfram Research for nearly 20 years.

“I’ve been hoping to get Luc involved in our business for many years. I’m happy that we’ve found a fit and I’m excited to be working closely with Luc,” said Stephen Wolfram, President and CEO of Wolfram Alpha LLC and Wolfram Research.

Barthelet has had a sequence of successes launching startups in the social and virtual world communities. In 1988, his first software startup was acquired by Electronic Arts (EA). He went on to work at EA for 20 years, first leading the development of Paint products. Then he became the chief technology officer as well as the manager of the Entertainment Studio in San Mateo. He was responsible for leading product development for titles such as The Sims,SimCity 3000, and The Sims Online. In late 2010, Barthelet’s online virtual gaming community TirNua was acquired by RockYou.

Earlier this week, Wolfram Alpha LLC unveiled a consumer-focused update to the www.wolframalpha.com site. On Wednesday, the company released the first three in a planned series of Wolfram Course Assistant Apps for the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. The company plans to build custom mobile apps for many of today’s popular courses. Wolfram Course Assistant Apps use an intuitive interface that guides students through their coursework to help them solve problems, not just give them answers. Wolfram has a pipeline of releases planned for 2011.