Mathematica  Summa Cum LaudeSteven Wolfram,
founder of Wolfram Research (the Mathematica software company) is a
genius  really. Born in Britain, he dropped out of the Oxford University
physics program at the ripe old age of 15 because he was bored with
the overly simple classes. He moved over to Cal Tech and graduated with
a Ph.D. at 20. Stephen was the youngest person ever to receive the MacArthur
genius award. After a short while, he dropped out of research and wrote
his infamous mathematics program which, according to some, "itself,
could earn a good mathematics degree at any major university." Wolfram,
now 43 and very wealthy, spends his time contemplating "A New Kind of
Science," which is the title of his new book. In it, he postulates that
the inability of traditional science to explain complex phenomena, like
weather or the way water runs down the side of a pitcher, means we should
rethink our approach in a computational manner  like a computer (don't
worry, he did the thinking for us). Specifically, more like fractals.
Could he be the next Einstein or Newton? Time will tell, but most of
his contemporaries think he's spent too much time in isolation with
his computers.
