?> Summer School Faculty

Wolfram Computation Meets Knowledge

See projects created from this year's students.

2018 Faculty

Stephen Wolfram

Stephen Wolfram is the author of A New Kind of Science and the principal lecturer at the Summer School. He is the creator of Mathematica, the creator of Wolfram|Alpha and the founder and CEO of Wolfram Research. Having started in science as a teenager (he got his PhD at age 20), Wolfram had a highly successful early career in academia. He began his work on NKS in 1981 and spent ten years writing the NKS book, published in 2002. Over the course of 30 years, Wolfram has mentored a large number of individuals who have achieved great success in academia, business and elsewhere. Starting the NKS Summer School (now called the Wolfram Summer School) was his first formal educational undertaking in sixteen years.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003


Kyle Keane

Program Director

Kyle Keane is currently a full-time lecturer at MIT and part-time consultant at Wolfram in the Technical Communications and Strategy Group. Kyle was a research programmer in the Special Projects Department of Wolfram Research from 2012–2015, where he worked on establishing K–12 programming initiatives, including developing a general step-by-step physics and equation solver in Wolfram|Alpha and helping Siri speak Wolfram|Alpha results. His main areas of interest are the pedagogical effectiveness of interactive graphics, evidence-based infusion of programming into science education, improving the accessibility of technology for people with disabilities and user experience. Kyle has a PhD from the University of California, Riverside, where his dissertation was on utilizing weak quantum measurements to protect quantum systems from information loss during quantum computing.

YEARS: 2019 | 2018 | 2017

Vitaliy Kaurov

Academic Director

Vitaliy Kaurov joined the Technical Communications and Strategy Group at Wolfram Research in 2010. He has given numerous talks at universities, research labs, companies and conferences around the world, educating people on how Wolfram technologies empower academics and industries, governments and individuals. Vitaliy is involved with international business development, oversees Wolfram Community, writes for the Wolfram Blog, is a faculty member at the Wolfram Summer School and helps with many other Wolfram initiatives. Vitaliy received his PhD in theoretical physics from the City University of New York in the area of ultra-cold quantum gases, and also worked in the fields of complex systems and nonlinear dynamics. He collaborated in National Science Foundation–sponsored research, was a professor at the College of Staten Island and served as an organizer and chair at American Physical Society conferences. Wolfram technologies helped Vitaliy to discover novel scientific ideas and develop innovative educational solutions.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Erin Cherry

Program Coordinator

Erin Cherry is an Indiana native and a proud alumna of Purdue University, where she majored in retail management. She has been with Wolfram since 2014, and this is her third year coordinating the Wolfram Summer School. Between helping other teams at Wolfram and coordinating the summer programs, she enjoys running, reading and napping. She now resides in Wisconsin, USA, and enjoys exploring her new state.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Swede White

Public Relations

Swede White manages public relations at Wolfram Research and is an alumnus of the Wolfram Summer School. Swede helps audiences understand the innovative things people can accomplish with Wolfram's technology through thought leadership programs, social media campaigns, and earned media placements in outlets like WIRED, The Wall Street Journal, Scientific American, Business Insider, and others. Prior to joining Wolfram, Swede worked in broadcast journalism and attended graduate school at Louisiana State University studying sociology. Swede's research interests include applying sociological theory to practical communications projects using computational methodologies in Wolfram Language, including natural language processing and network analysis. Specifically, he examines the relationship between identity formation and online communities. ​He's also written for VICE, reported for the NPR Newscast Unit, and presented research at academic conferences ranging from computational social science to masculinities and criminology.  

YEARS: 2019 | 2018 | 2017


Paul Abbott

Paul Abbott is an adjunct professor at the University of Western Australia. He obtained his PhD in theoretical atomic physics from UWA in 1987, worked for Wolfram Research from 1989–1992 and has been a Wolfram consultant and instructor since 1997. Paul was the founding technical editor of The Mathematical Journal in 1990 and was a columnist until 2010. His interests range from computational physics, applied mathematics and special functions to courseware design. All of his research and teaching since 1985 has used Wolfram technologies in some way, and his work has been recognized most recently by a Wolfram Innovator Award in 2015 and an Australian University Teaching Award in 2016. In his spare time, Paul enjoys cycling, walking, swimming, photography, reading and writing.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017

Markus van Almsick

Markus van Almsick has used Mathematica since the very beginning in 1987. His areas of research and interest are quantum physics, loop quantum gravity, group theory, image processing and machine learning. While at the University of Illinois from 1988 to 1992, Markus started to work for Wolfram Research, Inc. as a consultant. Thereafter, during his time in academia, he worked for the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics in Frankfurt, Germany, and as a faculty member in the Biomedical Image Analysis group at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. He was the first to provide Mathematica training in Europe, and has taught the Wolfram Language in dedicated lectures at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In industry, Markus has been involved in several Mathematica-related projects ranging from finance (Deutsche Bundesbank) and business modeling (ExxonMobil) to kid slide design (Kaiser & Kühne). As a member of the IMS steering committee, Markus has helped to organize the International Mathematica Symposium in Maastricht, the Netherlands; Beijing, China; London, the United Kingdom; and Prague, the Czech Republic. Since 2009, Markus has contributed to the code base of Mathematica, with a focus on image and signal processing.

YEARS: 2020 | 2018

Tuseeta Banerjee

Tuseeta Banerjee is a Research Scientist in the Machine Learning team, focusing on applications of neural networks. She imports and implements neural net models in the Wolfram Language for various high-level functions in Mathematica and for the Wolfram Neural Net Repository. In her previous role as a technology engineer, she provided machine-learning based solutions to clients. She is also a certified Wolfram language instructor, teaching and creating various courses on Mathematica programming with a focus on statistics and deep learning. Prior to joining Wolfram, she completed her Ph.D. in 2015 from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with her research work in the field of chemical physics and certification in Computational Science and Engineering. For her Ph.D. research, she used Monte Carlo-based quantum-classical path integral methods to study models that mimic chemical reactions and photosynthetic reaction centers.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Carlo Barbieri

Carlo Barbieri holds a PhD in physics from ENS in Paris. His current research interests are on the boundary between physics, biology and informatics. During his thesis "Inverse problems in biophysics," he worked on developing algorithms to extract biologically relevant information from biophysics experiments such as DNA micromanipulation or neural activity recordings. He spent one year as a visiting PhD student at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He earned a master's in physics from the University of Rome "La Sapienza", in his hometown, focusing on Boolean satisfiability and the statistical physics of complex systems.

He now works for Wolfram in the Advanced Research Group, and has developed the automated data analysis functionality for Wolfram|Alpha. He now works on Wolfram Cloud features such as instant forms and APIs. He is a music lover, an avid traveler and a bike maniac. He finds it weird to talk about himself in the third person.

YEARS: 2018 | 2017 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Taliesin Beynon

Taliesin Beynon is a development lead in the advanced research group at Wolfram Research who works on deep learning functionality for the Wolfram Language. He studied honors math at the University of Cape Town.

YEARS: 2018 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Sebastian Bodenstein

Sebastian Bodenstein received his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Cape Town for work on precision quark mass determinations and an analysis of the current discrepancy between experiment and theory of the muon magnetic anomaly. Currently, he is a developer for the Machine Learning Group at Wolfram Research, with a particular interest in neural networks. His other interests include making music, playing soccer and cooking indian food.

YEARS: 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015

Garrett Ducharme

Garrett Ducharme earned his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering with a computer science minor at the University of Illinois, located in Champaign, Illinois. Garrett has been with Wolfram Research since May 2015. He works mostly on paclets that may require lower-level C/C++. A few projects he is currently working on include WolframScript, ExternalEvaluate, ProcessLink (RunProcess, StartProcess, SystemProcesses), SSH (RemoteConnect, RemoteRunProcess), NetworkPacketCapture and ReadByteArray.

In his free time, he enjoys 3D printing, designing circuits and programming for his own small projects.

YEARS: 2018

Jonathan Gorard

Jonathan Gorard is a research mathematician at the University of Cambridge, where he works on a variety of problems related to the intersection of mathematics, physics and computation; having published his first scientific paper at 17, his published work now covers topics ranging from computational complexity theory, combinatorics and cosmology to general relativity, mathematical logic and the foundations of quantum mechanics to cellular automata, complex systems and quantum computation. Since 2017, he has also worked as a mathematical consultant for Wolfram Research, Inc., leading the development of the Wolfram Language's automated theorem-proving and quantum-computing frameworks and working on various related areas, such as semantic representation of mathematics, symbolic logic, discrete-state quantum mechanics and graph theory. He is also one of the principal researchers on the Wolfram Physics Project, having made several key contributions to the mathematical formalism of the Wolfram model (particularly in regards to the derivations of general relativity and quantum mechanics and its connections to quantum information theory); he has also done extensive algorithms development work for the Physics Project, particularly in relation to multiway evolution, hypergraph isomorphism testing, causal graph computation, causal invariance testing and the application of automated theorem-proving techniques. He attended the Wolfram Summer School as a student in 2017, has been an instructor since 2018 and is now the academic director of the Wolfram Summer School Physics track.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Vladimir Grankovsky

Vladimir Grankovsky has worked with broad topics including computer science, electronics design and neuroscience. He is interested in transhumanism, brain-like artificial intelligence and cosmology. He participated in the Wolfram Summer School in 2013 and has been using the Wolfram Language since his first year of university.

YEARS: 2018 | 2017

Robert Nachbar

Robert Nachbar is a project director in Wolfram Solutions, the consulting arm of Wolfram Research, where he both leads technical teams and develops custom applications for clients with Wolfram technologies. He joined Solutions in 2014 after retiring from the pharmaceutical industry, where he used Mathematica and other Wolfram technologies for drug design, data analysis and clinical research. He holds a PhD in organic chemistry from Brown University, and received the Wolfram Innovator Award in 2012. His research and computational interests include chemistry, biology, discrete mathematics, optimization, simulation and interactive visualization. He has been a frequent presenter at Wolfram Technology Conferences, most recently on genealogy.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

Jofre Espigulé Pons

Jofre Espigulé Pons has a background in physics. Prior to joining Wolfram, he did research on quantum physics and biophysics, in particular on the magnetoreception of birds and the limits of human vision. He was a student at the Wolfram Summer School 2015, where he used machine learning to identify species of birds based on their songs. He has a broad interest in topics ranging from computational linguistics to computational sports.

YEARS: 2019 | 2018 | 2017

Matteo Salvarezza

Matteo Salvarezza joined Wolfram Research in 2016 after attending the Wolfram Summer School. Shortly before that, he earned a PhD in theoretical particle physics (performing research on electroweak physics beyond the Standard Model) at the University of Rome "La Sapienza," Italy. At Wolfram Research, he is part of the machine learning group and works on developing tools and applications for the Wolfram Language, with a particular focus on neural networks. His most important personal interest is, by far, music—he has been playing guitar, keenly listening and composing music for the last 14 years.

YEARS: 2018 | 2017

Matthew Szudzik

Matthew Szudzik made significant contributions to A New Kind of Science from 1998 through 2000 and during the summer of 2001 as a research assistant to Stephen Wolfram. His work focused primarily on the analysis of simple programs and on the theoretical foundations of computational mathematics. He holds a PhD in mathematical logic from Carnegie Mellon University. Matthew Szudzik has also worked as a special lecturer and as an assistant teaching professor of mathematics at Carnegie Mellon's campuses in Pennsylvania and Qatar.


YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003

Riccardo Di Virgilio

Riccardo Di Virgilio received a bachelor's degree in economics and financial science in November 2005 and another bachelor's in moral and social philosophy in December 2007. From then on, he has worked as a web developer for Sprint24.com, developing a Python web application to centralize business management. Every employee now uses a barcode system to update in real time the status of an order, and the application automatically dispatches notifications (via email, SMS or fax) and creates related documentation (e.g. invoices, delivery documents, etc.). He succeeded in transforming a heavily paper-based production workflow into a dynamic, database-driven workflow, resulting in increased efficiency, reduced waste and a consistent decrease of labor and human errors.

YEARS: 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014

Christopher Wolfram

Christopher Wolfram is a full-stack programmer and algorithm developer who has been programming in the Wolfram Language since a young age. He has been the lead developer for several built-in Wolfram Language functions (including Nearest and Encrypt), as well as for Tweet-a-Program and several of his own apps. He has presented at SXSW, Maker Faire, livecoding.tv and other venues on topics such as machine learning, data science and IoT programming. Christopher enjoys 3D modeling, Haskell, Swift, history, tennis and traveling. He has been a mentor in the Wolfram Summer Programs for five years.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016

Teaching Assistants

Daavid Väänänen

Daavid Väänänen has a passion for advancing humanity by improving accessibility to high-quality education and applying emerging technologies to enhance organizational excellence and life quality for all. Since attending the Wolfram Summer School in 2017, he has been advocating and developing Wolfram Language–based resources as a Wolfram Community Ambassador, particularly with the Wolfram Foundation's Computational Thinking Initiatives. He holds a PhD in theoretical astrophysics from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris, France. As a postdoctoral researcher at North Carolina State University, he continued research on nonlinear dynamics of many-body quantum systems applied to astrophysical environments, as well as promoted educational outreach and public engagement. He also holds a group fitness instructor certificate and enjoys yoga, rock climbing, gardening and other outdoor activities. He firmly believes that by acting together, our persistent efforts will be able to transfer our optimistic ideas into positive realities for all people.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018

Meghan Rieu-Werden

Meghan Rieu-Werden joined Wolfram Research in 2017 as a data manager for the Advanced Research Group. She earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Bridgewater State University and a graduate certificate in database management and business intelligence from Boston University. She has been working in research since 2006 on various topics such as postgraduate medical education, preventive medicine and machine learning. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, crossword puzzles and crochet.

YEARS: 2018

Wenzhen Zhu

Wenzhen is a data scientist and software engineer at AWS, specifically in the Machine Learning Solutions Lab. As a customer-facing data scientist, her job is to design, develop and evaluate innovative machine learning and deep learning models to solve diverse challenges and opportunities across industries. She interacts with customers directly to understand their business problems and helps them with defining and implementing scalable machine learning and deep learning solutions to derive business value quickly. Before that, she graduated from Washington University in St. Louis, where she got a BS and MS in computer science and math. She likes machine learning because it is a powerful tool and subject that combines math and programming. She is also broadly interested in many machine learning and AI topics, computer graphics and financial investments. Outside of work, she loves traveling (business and personal), reading (emotional novels and research papers), watching movies (romance and sci-fi), shopping (tech gadgets, fashion and beauty products) and exercising. Dance is her favorite way of exercising, and she takes Latin dance and ballet classes regularly. She also plays the guzheng—an ancient Chinese string instrument. She is an INFJ, a very complicated personality. She is also an excellent cook, and she likes to cook authentic Szechuan dishes to host her friends on weekends.

YEARS: 2020 | 2019 | 2018