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 Apple 30 years 1987 – Theodore Gray Harnessing the power of data

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Freak Poster
Freak Poster

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PostSubject: Apple 30 years 1987 – Theodore Gray Harnessing the power of data   Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:32 am

1987 – Theodore Gray
Harnessing the power of data
Theodore Gray, cofounder of Wolfram Research, used a Macintosh to create the interface for Mathematica, one of the first computer programs to give scientists, mathematicians, and engineers a powerful way to organize and make sense of their data. More than 25 years after its creation, Mathematica is still used for everything from enhancing search engines to improving flight safety to analyzing global warming trends.

Gray developed the user interface for Mathematica with the goal of changing the face of mathematics on a computer. At the time, mathematical software was just text, not unlike a teletype interface where the user typed and it typed back. It was a distant, stifling, and clumsy way to interact with complex programs. But on his Mac, Gray was able to develop a flexible, rich language with an intuitive interface anyone could use. For the first time, mathematical problems that previously required a large, expensive workstation could now be solved on a personal computer.

“The great power of tools like Mathematica and the Macintosh is precisely that you cannot predict where they’re going to go.”

— Theodore Gray

Mathematica was first used in applied sciences, physics, and chemistry. Now many industries depend on intricate algorithms of complex mathematics — some of which people encounter every day. It’s the brains behind Shuffle mode on iPod and the pattern of traffic lights. It’s how stocks are analyzed. It routes cell phone calls, subway cars, and package delivery services. It helps Siri answer questions. “The Mac has enabled most of what I’ve done,” Gray says. “It’s the secret sauce.”
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