Stephen Wolfram Q&A

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Some collected questions and answers by Stephen Wolfram

Questions may be edited for brevity; see links for full questions.

July 20, 2016

From: Reddit AMA

You have an uncommon experience of being (and being around) many prominent figures in the scientific community. How has this influenced the development of the Wolfram Language?

Designing a language that’s supposed to “know about everything” means one has to know about a lot of things oneself! It’s been absolutely crucial that I’ve been exposed to lots of different areas, and gotten to know the originators of lots of fields. At a practical level, it’s very common that I’ll want to get some judgement call on some detailed thing in some particular area. Now our company has a wide range of people who know about all sorts of different things. So my first step is just to think who in our company will know, or to consult our internal Who Knows What database. But then I’ll wonder who I can ask in the outside world. And it’s really wonderful being able to talk to experts in any possible field—and the founders of the field if they’re still around. I’ve had some really fascinating conversations that way.

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