The MathWorks, Inc. (branded as simply MathWorks) is an American privately held corporation that specializes in mathematical computing software. Its major products include MATLAB and Simulink. As of April 2014, it employed over 3,000 people worldwide with 70% located at the company's headquarters in Natick, Massachusetts, United States.
MathWorks was founded in Portola Valley, California, by Jack Little (President & CEO), Cleve Moler (Chief Scientist), and Steve Bangert (now inactive) on December 7, 1984. Its flagship product, MATLAB, made its public debut at the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control in Las Vegas, Nevada, that same year. The company sold its first order, 10 copies of MATLAB, for $500 to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in February 1985.
In 1986, MathWorks relocated to Massachusetts moving into its current headquarters in Natick in July 1999. In 2007, MathWorks acquired Polyspace Technologies and started including the Polyspace products in their MATLAB releases in 2008. In 2008, MathWorks acquired SciFace Software GmbH & Co. KG, makers of MuPAD, and started including MuPAD in their Symbolic Math Toolbox, replacing the existing Maple engine. In 2013, MathWorks acquired Steepest Ascent, makers of LTE Toolbox. MathWorks expanded its main campus in Massachusetts with the purchase of further buildings in 2008-2009 and 2013.
MathWorks refers to its corporate social responsibility program as its "Social Mission," which has five components: Investments in Education, Staff-Driven Initiatives, Local Community Support, Green Initiatives and Disaster Relief. The company annually sponsors a number of student engineering competitions, including EcoCAR, an advanced vehicle technology competition created by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM). MathWorks sponsors museums and science learning centers such as the Boston Museum of Science (since 1991) and the Cambridge Science Center in the United Kingdom. It also is a supporter of public broadcasting, including National Public Radio (NPR)'s Here and Now program. The company website gathered contributions to the 2010 Haiti earthquake relief efforts.
The licensing of MathWorks software was under investigation for anti-trust behavior by the EU. The case was closed in 2014.
MathWorks was found to have infringed 3 patents from National Instruments in 2003, which was confirmed by a court of appeal in 2004. The result was an injunction forbidding the manufacture and sale of Simulink R14. MathWorks then released R14SP1 to circumvent the injunction, but this was still alleged to infringe patents by National Instruments. There isn't much information that is publicly available after that on the outcome of the following trial for these new infringements, but since Simulink has remained on sale ever since and is still available in 2013, it is reasonable to assume that subsequent releases after R14SP1 were found to no longer infringe on National Instruments' patents, or that the court ruling went in favour of MathWorks, or again that National Instruments' patents eventually expired.
In 2011, MathWorks and AccelerEyes sued and counter-sued each other over intellectual property issues. MathWorks alleged patent infringement of their Parallel Computing Toolbox product by AcceleEyes' Jacket product. AccelerEyes alleged trade secret misappropriation by the same Parallel Computing Toolbox, as well as unfair and deceptive acts and practices, breach of contract, and unjust enrichment. In December 2012, AccelerEyes and MathWorks appear to have settled their dispute out of court and to have started working together.
In December 2012, Uniloc filed a lawsuit against MathWorks over alleged patent infringements in the activation software that MathWorks uses for MATLAB licenses to combat piracy.
The logo represents the first vibrational mode of a thin L-shaped membrane, clamped at the edges, and governed by the wave equation.