Idea Makers: Personal Perspectives on the Lives & Ideas of Some Notable People

August 1, 2016
author |
Stephen Wolfram
year published |

This book of thoroughly engaging essays from one of today’s most prodigious innovators provides a uniquely personal perspective on the lives and achievements of a selection of intriguing figures from the history of science and technology. Weaving together his immersive interest in people and history with insights gathered from his own experiences, Stephen Wolfram gives an ennobling look at some of the individuals whose ideas and creations have helped shape our world today.

From his recollections about working with Richard Feynman to his insights about how Alan Turing’s work has unleashed generations of innovation to the true role of Ada Lovelace in the history of computing, Wolfram takes the reader into the minds and lives of great thinkers and creators of the past few centuries and shows how great achievements can arise from dramatically different personalities and life trajectories.

Stephen Wolfram has had a unique trajectory in science, technology and business. Widely known for his discoveries in basic science and his groundbreaking 2002 book A New Kind of Science, he has spent three decades building what is now the Wolfram Language: the knowledge-based computer language that powers Mathematica and Wolfram|Alpha and has contributed to countless inventions and discoveries, as well as to the education of several generations of students.

Wolfram was born in London and educated at Eton, Oxford and Caltech, earning his PhD in physics in 1979 at the age of 20. After a brief but distinguished academic career, he founded Wolfram Research in 1987 and as CEO has built it into one of the world’s most respected and innovative software companies, whose products are relied on by millions of people around the world.


Richard Feynman
Kurt Gödel
Alan Turing
John von Neumann
George Boole
Ada Lovelace
Gottfried Leibniz
Benoit Mandelbrot
Steve Jobs
Marvin Minsky
Russell Towle
Bertrand Russell and Alfred Whitehead
Richard Crandall
Srinivasa Ramanujan
Solomon Golomb