One of the stars of NIWeek 2007 was a 10 year old wiz kid named Samuel Majors, who is using LabVIEW to automate his model train sets. Samuel was featured during a part of the keynote on Thursday, August 9th titled "Future Scientists and Engineers" (see keynote video here). He is a very bright, passionate, and articulate young person who is exploring the fun of building things that work.
After seeing Samuel speak on stage and watching his story during the keynote presentation, I felt very emotional -- it was inspiring that LabVIEW was having such a positive effect on this young person, enabling him to learn, be creative, and work towards his dreams. His story made me think about how I used to play with my model train set when I was 10 years old and how much I learned from the experience (e.g., the difference between AC and DC electrical voltage and how a variable power supply could deliver power to control the speed of the train's motor). Of course, when I was 10 years old, back in 1986, LabVIEW had barely been invented.
After the inspiring keynote presentation, someone came up to me and told me
that Samuel wanted to meet me! I was told that Samuel was
answering questions after the keynote, and when asked how he had learned
LabVIEW, said that he had read
LabVIEW for Everyone (which I
co-authored) and that it was his favorite LabVIEW book!!! I could
barely believe it. (but, fortunately there is
to prove it)
I quickly went over to where Samuel was answering questions to large group of people, and, after making my way through the crowd, introduced myself to him. He responded with a huge smile, we chatted for a several minutes about LabVIEW, and, to top it all off, he took a photo with me (below).