Stephen Wolfram, the future of programming, and why we live in a computational universe Watch Now This article originally appeared on TechRepublic . When it came to figuring out which computer scientist should help linguists decipher inscrutable alien texts, it was Stephen Wolfram who got the call. Sure, these extraterrestrials may only have existed in the sci-fi movie Arrival , but if ET ever does drop out of orbit, Wolfram might well still be on the short list of people to contact. The British-born computer scientist’s life is littered with exceptional achievements — completing a PhD in theoretical physics at Caltech at age 20, winning a MacArthur Genius Grant at 21, and creating the technical computing platform Mathematica (which is used by millions of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers worldwide), plus the Wolfram Language, and the Wolfram|Alpha knowledge engine. His role advising for Arrival came out of the blue, when what he says was an interesting script crossed his desk with a request for help in consulting and creating some visuals for the soon-to-be-shot movie. While Wolfram’s involvement was mostly advising on some of the science and technical references in the script, his son Christopher was charged with devising a way… Read full this story
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