Students crowded into Gallagher-Iba Arena Monday afternoon for an interactive presentation with Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computer and chief scientist at Fusion-io.
Wozniak, unlike most speakers who visit OSU, held a Q&A rather than giving a speech. Audience members submitted questions, which were presented to Wozniak by Ken Eastman, Dean of the Spears School of Business, and Shae Godsey, Chairman of the OSU Speakers Board.
Wozniak answered an array of questions that varied from Apple Computer to guest-starring in “The Big Bang Theory.”
Through it all, he expressed his love for engineering and creating.
“If you have a life of building things, whether it’s hardware or software, you are in a good place,” Wozniak said.
One of Wozniak’s most common question topics was working with Apple and Steve Jobs.
Wozniak explained that he preferred the engineering side of the company rather than handling business management and marketing, which was Jobs’ role.
After co-founding Apple in 1976, Wozniak began developing the company’s first products. He created the Apple I and Apple II computers. These computers were some of the first successful personal computers, and they helped launch the personal computer industry.
“I think people heavily rely on Apple’s products now, and he’s the mind behind Apple,” Godsey said. “He invented the Apple I and Apple II and pioneered the personal computer, which is like a staple in our culture today.”
Wozniak didn’t stop there. He programmed video games, including the popular game “Pong”, and the first universal remote.
Regardless of all his success in engineering, Wozniak still had another passion that led him to a different line of work.
“I told my dad that I wanted to be an electrical engineer first and a fifth grade teacher second,” he said.
Wozniak said he has a passion for education and inspiring young minds. He decided to give his time to his local school district rather than simply donating money. He became a teacher, and fulfilled his original goal.
Today, Wozniak works as the chief scientist at Primary Data, according to his personal website, but he still keeps an eye on his old company.
During the Q&A, he commended Apple’s new iPhone 6, which he said he likes especially because of its large screen, and the job Tim Cook has done as CEO of Apple following the death of Steve Jobs.
Wozniak also weighed in on what Apple could have in store for the future. He said that the company will look into making even bigger products, such as automated cars.
“How do you grow a huge company? You do it with huge projects,” Wozniak said. “We started the company with a product that was as open as could be (the Apple I and II). We don’t like to be trapped or corralled.”