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TOPICS: The founding of Apple, Innovation & Creativity, Wearables,
His personal vision for the future of Technology
A Silicon Valley icon, technology entrepreneur and philanthropist for more than forty years, Steve Wozniak has helped shape the computing industry with his design of Apple’s first line of products the Apple I and II. He also influenced the popular Macintosh. In 1976, Wozniak and Steve Jobs founded Apple Computer Inc. with Wozniak’s Apple I personal computer. The following year, he introduced his Apple II personal computer, featuring a central processing unit, a keyboard, color graphics, and a floppy disk drive. The Apple II was integral in launching the personal computer industry. He is listed as the sole inventor on four Apple patents.
In 1981, he went back to UC Berkeley and finished his degree in electrical engineering/computer science. To date, Wozniak has received ten Honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees. In May 1982 and 1983, Wozniak, founded the company Unuson, an abbreviation of “unite us in song”, which sponsored two US Festivals. Initially intended to celebrate evolving technologies, the festivals ended up as a technology exposition and a rock festival as a combination of music, computers, television, and people.
For his achievements at Apple, Wozniak was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Ronald Reagan in 1985, the highest honor bestowed on America’s leading innovators. In 2000, he was inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame and was awarded the prestigious Heinz Award for Technology, The Economy and Employment for single-handedly designing the first personal computer and for then redirecting his lifelong passion for mathematics and electronics toward lighting the fires of excitement for education in grade school students and their teachers.
Through the years, Wozniak has been involved in various business and philanthropic ventures, focusing primarily on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on, experiential learning that encouraged creativity and innovation by students. Making significant investments of both his time and resources in education, he adopted the Los Gatos School District, providing students and teachers with hands-on teaching and donations of state-of-the-art technology equipment.
He also founded the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was the founding sponsor of the Tech Museum, Silicon Valley Ballet and Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. In 2014, he was awarded the Hoover Medal, a prestigious honor given for “outstanding extra-career services by engineers to humanity,” and was inducted into the IndustryWeek Manufacturing Hall of
Fame. In 2015, Wozniak received the Legacy for Children Award from the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose. The Legacy for Children Award honors individuals whose legacy has significantly benefited the learning and lives of children. The Cal Alumni Association (UC Berkeley’s Alumni Association) presented Wozniak with the 2015 Alumnus of the Year Award.
Wozniak is the author of iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon (Norton Publishing), his New York Times best-selling autobiography. His television appearances include: ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, The Big Bang Theory, My Life on the D List, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Conan, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Celebrity Watch Party.
Wozniak continues to pursue his entrepreneurial and philanthropic interests to this day. In October 2017, Steve co-founded Woz U — a postsecondary education and training platform focused on software engineering and technology development. He has also recently co-founded Efforce — which leverages disparate applications of blockchain technology.