Mathematica Inc. (1968–1986)

Mathematica Inc. was a multi-faceted American software company and consulting group founded by Princeton University professors in 1968. The computer had three primary divisions: Mathematica Policy Research, which did consulting work, mostly "to develop mathematical models for marketing decision making"; Mathematica Products Group, best known for developing RAMIS; and MathTech, the company's technical and economic consulting group. The company was also a leading developer of state lottery systems.[1]

In early 1982, the company's stock was split 3-for-2.[2] Mathematica Products Group was soon spun off and purchased by Martin Marietta Corporation, in May 1983.[3] The division was then renamed Mathematica & Oxford Software. Marietta sold Mathematica & Oxford Software to On-Line Software International in 1986;[4] On-Line was in turn sold to Computer Associates, in 1991.[5][6] Mathematica Policy Research and MathTech meanwhile were spun off, and in 1986 both independently became employee-owned companies. Mathematica Policy Research was eventually renamed to Mathematica Inc.; it is the only former unit still carrying the Mathematica name.

Early day participants edit

  • Oskar Morgenstern, economist; one of the company's founders (1969)
  • Tibor Fabian, Mathematica's Hungarian-born president (1980s)
  • William Baumol and William Bowen: economists, early day participants

Divisions edit

  • Mathematica Policy Research⁣ – the only former unit still carrying the Mathematica name.
  • Mathematica Products Group – best known for developing RAMIS
  • MathTech, the company's technical and economic consulting group – "research projects and computer systems other than Ramis."[1]

A quarter of a century after Mathematica's founding, it "was largely owned by a group of professors in Mathematics and Economics at Princeton University ... as this group aged, they opted to cash out by selling." The result was a 3-way split: two units became employee-owned companies and another was sold several times.

Mathematica Products Group edit

In 1982, Mathematica Products Group's RAMIS was described as "nonprocedural" and "bordering on artificial intelligence."[7] This unit of Mathematica was purchased by Martin Marietta Corporation in 1983[8] and renamed to Mathematica & Oxford Software.[4] Marietta sold Mathematica & Oxford Software in 1986 to On-Line Software International, who merged the subsidiary into their own main operations;[4] On-Line was in turn sold to Computer Associates, in 1991.[9][10]

The RAMIS product sold well, initially on mainframes,[11] subsequently on PCs.

Mathematica Policy Research edit

The Mathematica Policy Research (MPR) unit's strength was in "social experiments and surveys."[1] In 1983 MPR reported "a major survey assignment for the American Medical Association."

In 1986, it became a separate, employee-owned company.

MathTech edit

Like MPR, in 1986 MathTech became an employee-owned company. Known today as Mathtech, Inc.,[12] it was described by The New York Times as "a Washington-area educational consulting firm [13]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c Karen W. Arenson (February 22, 1983). "MATHEMATICA'S SHIFT INTO SOFTWARE FIELD". The New York Times.
  2. ^ Staff writer (April 5, 1982). "Nickels & Dimes". Computerworld. XVI (14): 78 – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Staff writer (May 17, 1983). "Marietta to Acquire Mathematica Inc". The New York Times: D4 – via ProQuest.
  4. ^ a b c Staff writer (October 31, 1986). "On-Line Buys Software Firm". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company: 1 – via ProQuest.
  5. ^ "Features". Computerworld.
  6. ^ "Update: Wang leaves CA, hands off to Kumar". November 18, 2002.
  7. ^ "Mathematica, Inc". February 24, 1982.
  8. ^ "RAMIS II, PC Unison". Computerworld. September 9, 1985. p. 6.
  9. ^ "Features". Computerworld.
  10. ^ "Update: Wang leaves CA, hands off to Kumar". November 18, 2002.
  11. ^ including 40 AT&T licenses, and other known-name companies
  12. ^ "Mathtech Inc. was originally formed as the Strategy and Consulting arm of Princeton-based professional services firm Mathematica, Inc." "History".
  13. ^ James Barron (November 8, 1987). "Learning The Facts of Life". The New York Times.