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September 24, 2004

Creator of “Mathematica” Stephen Wolfram
To Speak Oct. 6 on “A New Kind of Science”

NORTHAMPTON, Mass.—Stephen Wolfram, scientist, author and creator of the technical and scientific computing software “Mathematica,” will speak about his latest book, “A New Kind of Science,” Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Carroll Room of the Campus Center at Smith College. The talk is free, open to the public and will be followed by a question-and-answer period.

Wolfram approaches science through the study of the “rules of the kind embodied in the simplest computer programs,” according to Wolfram’s Web site. “Such rules can lead to behavior that shows immense complexity and mirrors many features seen in nature.”

After receiving his doctorate in theoretical physics in 1979 at the age of 20, Wolfram made a series of classic discoveries about systems known as cellular automata, which have yielded insights in physics, mathematics, computer science, biology and other fields. In 1986 he founded Wolfram Research, Inc., and began the creation of “Mathematica,” a software system for technical computing and symbolic programming.

Wolfram has tackled an array of fundamental problems in science, from the origins of apparent randomness in physical systems to the development of complexity in biology and the ultimate scope and limitations of mathematics.

His talk is sponsored by the Louise W. and Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute and is part of the institute’s public lecture series, called “Visual Languages,” that takes a detailed look at the cultural influence of visual images and symbols.

The “Visual Languages” lecture series will continue Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Graham Hall of the Brown Fine Arts Center, with a presentation by Johanna Drucker of the College of Information, Technology and Communication at the University of Virginia. Also, March 4 and 5, 2005, the Kahn Institute will present a conference “The Promise and Politics of Human Stem Cell Research.”

For information about the Kahn Institute, go online to

Office of College Relations
Smith College
Garrison Hall
Northampton, Massachusetts 01063

Kristen Cole
Media Relations Director
T (413) 585-2190
F (413) 585-2174

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