June 1, 1996
The reception of the Mathematica system in the mathematical community has on occasion raised unexpectedly high feelings, and has sometimes appeared to take on the dimensions of a zealot’s war of disparagement against hype. Do you have an explanation for this fairly unique occurrence? What is your view of the matter?
I’m not quite sure what you mean. Any successful enterprise will have its detractors—that’s just the way the world works. I guess mathematicians can sometimes get a little more righteously out of control than other folk—witness the Unabomber. But I think that considering the level of success we’ve had, there have been surprisingly few detractors—even in mathematics.