Eric Bynum, Standards and QA, Pearson
The Ball State University Mathematica computer lab in early 1991—four IBM RS6000 machines running Mathematica 2.0. I hadn’t used computers in earnest before that time. But my Calculus II prof had created Mathematica labs to accompany our regular curriculum. So there I was learning how to use computers as a college freshman. I credit Mathematica 2.0 with not only a deeper understanding and appreciation for applied math, but also for introducing me to what computers were capable of doing—a very, very exciting time in those early college formative years for me.
From there, I went on using Mathematica in classes that didn’t require it (math and physics both), got a Mathematica lab assistant position at BSU, and eventual employment at Wolfram Research, where I worked for nearly 11 years—years that I treasure in my early professional life. Now I work for Pearson and I insert Mathematica wherever and whenever I can. It is my tool of choice and always will be. And I owe it all to that initial introduction to Mathematica 2.0 in 1991.