Stephen Wolfram: It was Steve Jobs who named ‘Mathematica’ by Philip Elmer-DeWitt @FortuneMagazine December 11, 2011, 2:29 AM EST E-mail Tweet Facebook Google Plus Linkedin Share icons The creator of the answer engine in Siri writes about his long relationship with Jobs Wolfram. Photo: Creative Commons There are a several novel anecdotes about Apple’s AAPL late CEO in the piece British scientist Stephen Wolfram wrote for Saturday’s The Guardian. While at NeXT, Jobs took great interest in Wolfram’s breakthrough algebra-solving computer program and even came up with a name for it: Mathematica When Wolfram asked Jobs to blurb A New Kind of Science, Wolfram’s 2002 book about how nature acts like a digital system obeying simple programs, Jobs demurred: “Isaac Newton didn’t have back-cover quotes; why should you?” Jobs chose Wolfram Alpha, rather than Google’s GOOG search engine, as the answer engine in Siri, the iPhone 4S’s digital assistant. At one visit during the NeXT years, Jobs apologized for becoming distracted. “He said he was going out that night on a date with a woman he’d met the day before and suddenly all his confidence as a technologist and businessman melted away.” That woman was Laurene Powell. Wolfram, who received a Ph.D. in particle physics at age 20 and one of the first McCarthur “genius” grants at age 21, writes of the awe in which he held Jobs’ intellect: One of the things I always admired about Steve Jobs was his clarity of thought. Time and again, he would take a complex situation, understand its essence and use that understanding to make a bold and unexpected move. Not a bad blurb. You can read Wolfram’s full piece here.