Apple Co-Founder Mentors HPU Students

Students showed Steve Wozniak, HPU’s Innovator in Residence, their device that reads brainwaves.

 HIGH POINT, N.C., Feb. 15, 2022 – Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak watched the hard work of High Point University students come to life during his recent visit to campus.

Ashlinn Corcoran, a computer science major and member of HPU Minds, put on a headset the group has designed to read brainwaves. With some intense focus, the device followed the instruction of Corcoran’s thoughts and turned on a light bulb.

Wozniak, HPU’s Innovator in Residence, cheered on the group for their progress and discussed troubleshooting such a high-tech device. What seemed like a scene from a futuristic movie was another example of the hands-on learning opportunities HPU students have to connect with leaders like Wozniak.

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Wozniak joined several faculty members from the Webb School of Engineering to discuss how data is impacting our daily life as part of a data science and analytics panel. Pictured from left to right are Dr. Michael Oudshoorn, dean of the Webb School of Engineering; Dr. Kim Titus, assistant professor of computer science; Steve Wozniak, part of HPU’s Access to Innovators program; and Dr. Matt Slifko, assistant professor of mathematical sciences.

HPU once again welcomed Wozniak to campus to guide and coach HPU students on Feb. 13 and 14. Wozniak took part in numerous campus-wide presentations and micro sessions. Dr. Brad Barlow, associate professor of astrophysics, led a special session titled Leading with Life Skills: A Q&A with Wozniak. Wozniak also mentored students throughout campus, participating in a Q&A with game design students, a micro session with a software engineering class, and a brainstorming session for HPU Minds, the group that has been building a headset to read brainwaves.

Wozniak guided students through troubleshooting while performing tests on their high-tech device. He also suggested other projects that the team can work on.

“I look for little signs of obstacles if I’m running into one issue after another issue,” said Wozniak. “Those signs may make you take a different direction. What if after getting the light to turn on you try to get a hue or a color, like thinking about the color you want? It may take time, but you’ll be proud of it when you get it done. That’s the biggest motivator in my life.”

Students have access to Wozniak and many other global leaders throughout the year. It’s something that Caitlin Black says is an amazing opportunity as a freshman to interact with innovators like Wozniak.

“HPU opens the door to a lot of people who could really help connect you with your career,” said Black, a computer science major from High Point University. “For a computer science major, meeting Steve Wozniak was really helpful and beneficial to see his insight into how computer science and technology are helping society.”

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Wozniak also mentored game design students in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication and a software engineering class. Students asked his advice on bringing their own ideas to life and navigating an ever-changing world.

Gaming design students were part of a session with Wozniak where they asked his advice for bringing their own ideas to life and navigating technology in an ever-changing world.

“It was very eye-opening to see his perspective,” said Nathaniel Bryant, a sophomore from Waxhaw, North Carolina. “It was great to see his perspective on the gaming industry, how he works with other people and how he handled some of his biggest challenges. That helped me see his journey and use that with where I should go in my career.”

“Creative thinking and having fun are so important when you’re in a difficult job, which engineering is,” said Wozniak. “Keep smiling a lot, have fun and don’t frown at the bad things.”

HPU students can enjoy another visit from a global leader who is part of the Access to Innovators program this week. Former Chick-fil-A Vice President for Talent Dee Ann Turner, HPU’s Talent Acquisition Expert in Residence, visits campus on Feb. 16.