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Wolfram Summer SchoolFounded in 2003

18th Annual Wolfram Summer School June 28–July 17, 2020

In response to the global COVID-19 Pandemic, Wolfram Summer School will be launched as a fully digital experience this summer.

Current 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


Paul Abbott

Program Director

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

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

Mads Bahrami

Assistant Academic Director

Mads Bahrami joined Wolfram in 2018. He is interested in developing computational paradigm for any field of research, in particular, STEM education, religion, etc. Mads received his PhD in physical chemistry from Sharif University of Technology. His field of research is the foundation of quantum theory and quantum stochastic processes. He did his postdoctoral research in the EU under a Marie Curie fellowship and also in the US at the University of California, Riverside. Mads is also a lecturer of general chemistry, physical chemistry and quantum theory at different universities and community colleges in Los Angeles.

YEARS: 2020

Jonathan Gorard

Physics Track Director

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

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


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

John Cassel

John Cassel currently works as a Research Programmer with the Wolfram|Alpha Scientific Content team, focusing on biology topics. In the past, John has worked on a variety of database infrastructure and data modeling projects at Wolfram|Alpha, Agrible and other startups. John holds a bachelor's of science in computer science from UIUC and a master's degree of design in strategic foresight from OCADU, where he worked on multi-stakeholder engagement and modeling processes for the risk governance of emerging technologies. John is excited to engage with students with a diverse range of backgrounds and interests and hopes both the areas of his current work (biological sequence processing, bioinformatics, agroecology, biodiversity, natural resource management, systems biology, etc.) and his previous experiences (data modeling/databases, parametric design, strategic foresight, system dynamics modeling, probabilistic programming, etc.) will be applicable.

YEARS: 2020

Ahmed Elbanna

Ahmed Elbanna is a lecturer and researcher at Tanta University, Egypt. He obtained his PhD in mathematical statistics in 2018 from Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. His research focuses on networks, random graphs, data analysis and modeling. He started to develop his passion for the Wolfram Language back in 2012 and has been using it ever since in his research and courses. Currently he is a certified instructor for the Wolfram Language and organizes training workshops to teach it.

YEARS: 2020

Jesse Galef

Jesse Galef is a Research Scientist who joined the Machine Learning team at Wolfram in 2020. He got his master's in computer science from Columbia after going through and being a TA for the General Assembly data science program in Boston. Before specializing in machine learning, Jesse worked in the nonprofit sector as a media relations professional promoting effective altruism and the reduction of global catastrophic risks.

YEARS: 2020

Silvia Hao

Silvia has been an independent consultant in the Technical Communications and Strategy Group at Wolfram Research since 2015. She is also founder and CEO of a Shenzhen-based cloud solution company (Glimscape). Silvia chose her name because of a college-time crush on the works of Sylvia Plath. She is a big fan of Ray Bradbury and Ursula Le Guin. She worked at a state institute and at different companies, tried freelance, has now decided to run her own company. She considers herself an encyclopédiste wannabe. During her free time, she likes to explore random interesting questions using mathematical modeling. Mathematica is among the most powerful tools in her toolbox. Silvia got her bachelor's degree in theoretical physics from USTC and her master's degree in applied physics from CAEP. Despite long-time training in modern science, she still secretly believe in fairy tales.

YEARS: 2020

Jack Heimrath

Jack Heimrath is a PhD candidate in pure mathematics at the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. Before grad school, he read Part III at the University of Cambridge. His areas of interest include analytic number theory, dynamical systems and the interplay between the two. Jack was a student at the 2019 Wolfram Summer School, after which he heavily integrated Wolfram technologies into his teaching. Aside from teaching and learning mathematics, he enjoys reading comic books, bouldering, solving nonograms and studying chess endgames.

YEARS: 2020

Kiel Howe

Kiel obtained his PhD from Stanford University and worked as a Research Associate at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory writing mathematical poetry about subatomic particles. He now makes learning statistical mechanics and quantum computing into a delightful and interactive experience as an assistant professor at Minerva Schools at KGI, and his current research interests involve connections between deep learning, statistical mechanics and quantum information.

YEARS: 2020

Philip Maymin

Philip Maymin is a professor of analytics and the director of the master of science in business analytics program at the Fairfield University Dolan School of Business. He is the founding managing editor of Algorithmic Finance and the cofounder and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Sports Analytics. He is the chief technology officer for the Esports Development League (ESDL), an insight partner with Essentia Analytics, an advisor to Athletes Unlimited, and an affiliated of the Langer Mindfulness Institute and has been an analytics consultant with several NBA teams. He holds a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago, a master's in applied mathematics from Harvard University and a bachelor's in computer science from Harvard University. He also holds a JD and is an attorney-at-law admitted to practice in California. He has been a portfolio manager at Long-Term Capital Management, Ellington Management Group and his own hedge fund, Maymin Capital Management. He was a finalist for the 2010 Bastiat Prize for Online Journalism. He was awarded a Wolfram Innovator Award in 2015. He won the Wolfram Livecoding Challenge in 2016 and second place in 2018, and he won the Wolfram One-Liner Competition in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019. He is the only person to have won both the grand prize for best research paper (2018) and hackathon (2020) at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. He attended the 2007 Wolfram Summer School as a student, the 2019 Wolfram High School Summer Camp as an instructor and the Wolfram Technology Conference as a presenter in 2016, 2018 and 2019.

YEARS: 2020

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

Christian Pasquel

Christian Pasquel was part of the first group to join the Wolfram Research South America team in Lima, Peru, back in 2012. He has a physics background and worked on research during his first professional years. He currently manages the South America Connectivity group, working on connecting the Wolfram Language to external services and making blockchain and cryptocurrency data computable. His interests include evolutionary biology, astrobiology, artificial intelligence, music, films, books, playing with data and everything tech related. A self-proclaimed Wolfram fan, he enjoys livecoding and works on generative art projects using Mathematica. He is a cat lover and had the main part in an official music video available online.

YEARS: 2020

Max Piskunov

Max Piskunov is a researcher and a software engineer in the Wolfram Physics Project. He has been in the project since the beginning. He is the primary developer of SetReplace, the package used to run Wolfram models, which he started developing at the beginning of 2019. Max attended the Wolfram Summer School as a student in 2014, 2015 and 2019 (each time under a different name) and is joining this year for the first time as an instructor. He got his MS in physics from Moscow State University. He started a physics PhD at Northeastern University but quit to pursue the Wolfram Physics Project. He also did an internship at Lyft's self-driving division, where he worked on camera-to-LiDAR calibration. Max is a vegan and is involved in the animal rights movement. In his free time, he goes hiking, dabbles in flying photography drones and composes music.

YEARS: 2020

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

Marco Thiel

Marco is an applied mathematician with training in theoretical physics and dynamical systems, which many people might know because of a subarea called chaos theory. He is full professor at the University of Aberdeen (UK). Apart from some more theoretical work in mathematics, his main area of work is mathematical modeling. He uses mathematical structures and patterns to describe a large variety of systems. Some of the applications he has worked on so far are Alzheimer's disease, epilepsy, traffic modeling, studying the stability of our solar system, modeling the life cycle of a biological cell, population dynamics, the synchronisation of heartbeats of mother and foetus, financial and forensic mathematics, voting patterns, movement of newborns, climate modeling, whiskey making, accident reconstruction, and patterns in the mating behavior of fireflies. A lot of his work involves the analysis of data, i.e. informing and testing models with data. In 2017, Marco received the Wolfram Innovator Award; he is also an instructor for the Wolfram Language. He coordinates a data science postgraduate degree program, which is taught using the Wolfram Language, at the University of Aberdeen.

YEARS: 2020

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

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

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

Teaching Assistants

Mark Greenberg

Mark Greenberg retired after 20 years teaching high-school math and English in Arizona. His programming skills and passion for integrating computer technology into education have led to leadership positions and conference presentations, including a talk at the 2017 Wolfram Technology Conference. He specializes in creating educational games such as Chicken Scratch, which students have enjoyed in the Wolfram Summer Programs since 2018. Mark was a Wolfram Summer School student in 2019. Between part-time tutoring and teaching, he enjoys spending time with his family, making fractal art and, of course, programming in the Wolfram Language.

YEARS: 2020

József Konczer

József obtained a master of science in theoretical physics at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics. After that, he worked as an assistant research fellow at the Wigner Research Centre for Physics. He started his PhD at Eötvös Loránd University. He is a mentor and module leader at Milestone Institute Budapest. His main research topics are string theory, probability theory and discrete dynamical systems. His hobbies are waveboarding, diving and trying out new things.

YEARS: 2020

Robert Mendelsohn

Robert Mendelsohn joined Wolfram Research in 2019 and was a participant in the Wolfram Summer School in 2014. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Texas in 2019. He has worked for Heartland Payment Systems, Nokia and several defense contractors in areas related to cryptography and cybersecurity.

YEARS: 2020

Carlos Muñoz

Carlos Muñoz started working as a Consultant for Wolfram|Alpha in September 2019 and attended the Wolfram Summer School twice (in 2016 and 2019). His interest in systems biology led him to learn to program in the Wolfram Language, and he is currently finishing his undergraduate biology thesis on genetic regulatory networks. Besides work and his thesis, Carlos enjoys doing small science projects, making jewelry, playing video games and taking care of his pet ant colonies.

YEARS: 2020

Daniel Sanchez

Daniel Sanchez joined Wolfram Research as a developer for Wolfram|Alpha in June 2017. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from PUCP (Lima, Peru) in 2018. However, his interests now lie in the foundations of computation and the implementation and design of programming languages. These will be his research topics when he starts an MS in computer science. His hobbies—when he is not in front of a computer—are playing Super Smash Bros. Melee, studying Japanese and playing with his 15-year-old dog, Archie.

YEARS: 2020