Apple Computer co-founder Steve "Woz" Wozniak has joined UTS as adjunct professor – the first adjunct appointment he has accepted at any university.
The pioneer inventor, electronics engineer and computer programmer is working with staff and students in the Magic Lab (Innovation and Enterprise Research Laboratory), School of Software and Centre for Quantum Computation and Intelligent Systems in UTS's Faculty of Engineering and IT.
"Woz loves the energy, the vibe and the robots in the Magic Lab," said lab Director Professor Mary-Anne Williams.
According to Professor Williams, Wozniak is the "coolest person in the Universe" and provides an exceptional inspiration for UTS students. "He beams in on our telepresence device to chat with students, share his latest ideas and entertain with jokes and the occasional prank.
"Woz constantly highlights the new possibilities for technology to change the world and enjoys sharing his insights and experiences. The students have been totally wowed by the attention he has given them – one claiming he had changed her life in less than 60 seconds."
Wozniak is cited as having significantly contributed to the microcomputer revolution with the design of his Apple I and Apple II computers. He is also acclaimed for having developed the first programmable universal remote control.
"It's hard to imagine a more iconic mentor for UTS students than one of the most influential technology pioneers of the modern era," said UTS Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Glenn Wightwick.
"The first computer I owned was an Apple II and I spent thousands of hours programming it.
"His history aside, Steve Wozniak remains a leading voice in innovation and a promoter of creativity and ingenuity, especially among the young technologists who will take the next step."
"Woz is a strong advocate for technology and its impact on society," Professor Williams said. "He constantly highlights the new possibilities for technology to change the world and he will be working with us to help UTS reach its vision to be a leading university of technology."
Wozniak is expected to arrive for his second visit to the UTS City Campus in December.
Meanwhile, UTS is hosting the Sixth International Conference on Social Robotics early next week at the Powerhouse Museum.
With the theme "Social Intelligence", the conference will feature invited speakers Anthony G (Tony) Cohn from the University of Leeds, Peter Gärdenfors from the University of Lund in Sweden, Guy Hoffman from IDC Herzliya in Israel and Oussama Khatib from Stanford University.