I dropped out of college after my first attempt. I was undisciplined and nothing really interested me. I returned a little more than 6 years later. I was more prepared and more focused. During those absent years I gained some engineering experience to give classes some meaning.

In one school quarter I had both a Pascal programming class and an introductory statistics class.

Toward the end of the quarter, I was required to write a simple baseball simulation program in the Pascal class. I spent most of a Saturday afternoon working on the project. Unsatisfied with simple simulation results, I added some fluff to create some nice print outs. Yes, this was in the day of huge noisy dot matrix printers with green and white paper.

Coincidentally, in the statistics class we had just been introduced to confidence factors. That same weekend I saw an opportunity to test my simulation with this new knowledge. I spent most of that Sunday cranking code to test the simulation results.

I had a blast all weekend.

To add icing to the proverbial cake, the same instructor taught both classes.

That Monday morning I walked into the instructor’s office and showed him my print outs.

He was flabbergasted. He asked what motivated me to do something like that. I replied that I saw a connection between what I had learned in both classes. Wasn’t that what education and knowledge was all about? To empower ourselves and enrich our lives?

The instructor asked me to give a 10 minute presentation in both of his statistics class.

I saw computers as a tool. A means to an end. I still do.

Posted: Category: Usability Tagged: General

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