** In 1994 one of my physics professors "sneaked" Mathematica 3.0 into the curriculum by setting up a pilot Computational Physics course, using an advanced copy of 'A Physicist's Guide to Mathematica' (see the preface). My final project for that class was a Mathematica program for calculation of the wavelength of and lifetime for Alpha decay based on the atomic number of the source. This was the start of a life long love affair with physics, computers and in particular with what Mathematica was able to accomplish with them.
** Working at RCA as a design engineer starting in 1997, I was able to bring Mathematica to bear in solving a wide range of CRT industry problems ranging from electromagnetic shielding, differential geometry and surface modeling of front panel glass curvature analysis, electron-optic lens design for lithographic etching. Mathematica could be used throughout entire workflows, from collecting automated measurement data in the lab to generating the final presentation graphics for the boardroom. The only software safe from redundancy was the large ANSYS and 3D-CAD packages. I started having Mathematica take over some of their operations, but by that time TV's went flat and CRT R&D operations owned by RCA was shut down.
** In 2006 I got work directly for Wolfram Research. Moving out to Champaign seemed quite natural, as I had become a regular Mathematica Technology Conference goer from the start of my RCA days. My initial contributions where to scientific data formats for the Import function and Load-on-Demand Curated Data that came out with Mathematica 6.0.
** Work with systems for Curated Data lead me to a position with Wolfram|Alpha in 2008, where among other things, I developed interfaces for data curators in Mathemaitca. These systems fed Mathematica's capabilities in the scientific and social sciences, including the development of content for DictionaryLookup, CountryData, ChemicalData, ElementData, ExampleData, SpeciesData, FoodData, FinancialData, WeatherData, TropicalStormData, EarthquakeData. One of my favorite parts of working at Wolfram|Alpha is the feedback from users who are amazed by what Mathematica is able to help them accomplish.
** Congratulations to Mathematica on going strong for 30 years. Over the next 30 years, I am looking forward to seeing Mathematica continue to amaze and accomplish much.