Revered Scientists, Award-Winning Teens Unwrap Top Holiday Tech

Tablets, 3-D printers, Ultrabooks, robotics kits and electric cars in demand.

In this season of giving and receiving, what holiday tech do science’s best and brightest most covet and what do they think others want most?

In a poll of two generational extremes, honorees from the Computer History Museum Hall of Fellows and finalists from this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair shared what technology tops their personal holiday wish list and predicted what the other generation would prize. Predictably, the scientists’ responses in this unscientific survey ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Bob Frankston

Bob Frankston Courtesy of Computer History Museum

Senior Scientists’ Holiday Tech Wish List

Bob Frankston, co-developer of the VisiCalc, the world’s first successful spreadsheet program, refused to constrain his wish list to reality.

“I tend to think of the products that don’t exist yet,” said Frankston, 63. But the 2004 Hall of Fellows honoree did divulge a yen for one particular gadget this holiday season.

“I do want a full-capacity Windows 8 pad with a very hi-res, small screen and not limited to lamed applications,” he said.

Gordon Bell

Gordon Bell Courtesy of Computer History Museum

Gordon Bell, a 2003 Fellow inductee for his key role in the minicomputer revolution and contributions as a computer architect and entrepreneur, was unable to jot just one tech item on his holiday wish list.

“I’m easy,” said Bell, 78, with a sprinkle of sarcasm. “The Surface that Santa Steve promised all of us that has Office so I can discard the incompatible and incomplete tablet that someone gave me in 2010 …. For my heart, a solid 24/7 monitor that is needed for a complete on-body health monitoring system. A tool that opens up the indestructible plastic packages that high-tech gear comes in.”

Tesla Model S Signature

Tesla Model S Signature

Federico Faggin, who was inducted into the Hall of Fellows for his contribution to developing the world’s first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004, had a vision much bigger than a stocking stuffer.

I would like the new Tesla Model S Signature,” he said. “It is an all-electric, four-door, sporty sedan with an exceptional range of 300 miles. It looks great, and it has a very peppy performance, going from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. I like the way it is designed: simplicity itself, rational, innovative, with very few moving parts.”

Tedd Hoff

Tedd Hoff Courtesy of Computer History Museum

Faggin, 71, gave another reason for putting the Tesla on top of his Christmas wish list. “I want to give my support to a company that wants to do things right and is willing to bet the farm on it,” he said. Plus, he added, “I expect it would be a lot fun to drive.”

Marcian “Ted” Hoff, one of Faggin’s team members on the Intel 4004 and a fellow 2009 Hall inductee, demonstrated his urge to invent is still going strong.

“What I would like as a tech-related gift would be a good device for measuring inductance and capacitance, including parasitics,” said Hoff, 75 who helped define the instruction set and architectural specs of the new chip. “I have thought of building such a device, but haven’t fully worked out the design.”

Next-Gen Researchers Reveal Holiday Tech Wants

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Jack Andraka, who won top honors for his new method to detect pancreatic cancer at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, said, “I would like an Ultrabook for Christmas. I don’t have a laptop and I travel a lot. I can’t catch up with my online classes so when I come home I am swamped with work. I spend so much time at the lab, too, so it would be great to work on school stuff while I have downtime there.”

A sophomore at North County High School in Crownsville, Md., Andraka said the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the model he’d prefer. “It’s thin and light and powerful and cool. I really like the embedded 3G and the Web conferencing system. I’m always Skyping people and need to have access wherever I go.”

Toluwani Soares

Toluwani Soares

Toluwani Soares, a senior at the Academy of Science and Technology in The Woodlands, Texas, is hoping for holiday gifts she helped make, though you won’t see them in stores this holiday season.

“For Christmas this year I would love to see appliances powered by the solar paint that my research team and I engineered,” said Toluwani, who, along with two classmates, won multiple awards at ISEF for developing the first paint that can be applied to a variety of surfaces and extract energy from the sun’s rays.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Easton LaChappelle, the second-place ISEF winner in the electrical and mechanical engineering category, has a Samsung Android tablet at the top of his wish list.

“I would want the new Galaxy Note 10.1 for the holidays,” said Easton, a junior at Mancos High School in Mancos, Colo. Compared to similar devices that “are always faster and better,” Easton said his tablet of preference “ties more into the multi-tasking aspect as well as making it a personal computer.”

Natalie Nash

Natalie Nash

Natalie Nash, an ISEF finalist in the computer science category for the smartphone app she developed to assist visually impaired people with mobility, wants an upgrade from her iPhone 4.

“I know a lot of people are talking about how it is not much different than before, but I am a supporter of Apple products,” said Nash, Penn State freshman. “For the holidays I will be looking at the new iPads as well.”

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

Ari Dyckovsky, the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at ISEF this year for his research in quantum teleportation, has dreams of an iPad.

“After sitting in classes the past months at Stanford, I am starting to realize how useful it would be for my education by affording me an all-in-one, easily portable device to take notes, record video, check email, read PDF files and books, and surf the Web,” said the freshman from Leesburg, Va.

Angela Fan

Angela Fan

Angela Fan, who took top honors at ISEF in the plant sciences category for her work in root nutrient foraging, also wants a device to help with note-taking.

“I would love a drawing pad that would allow me to take notes in class and draw diagrams at the same time,” said Fan, a Harvard freshman who attended Stuyvesant High School in Staten Island, N.Y. “Ideally, it would be able to covert my messy handwriting to text.”

Cross-Generation Holiday Tech Predictions

The Hall of Fellows and their protégé-aged fellow scientists also made their picks for the tech gifts the other generation would value.

Gordon Bell put Halo 4 and the Microsoft Surface at the top of his list for teens. Ted Hoff took a different approach.

“Room-cleaning and clothes picking-up robot, and [a] body dry cleaner for those who don’t like to take showers.”

Hoff also offered a more practical suggestion.

Mojo 3D Printer

Mojo 3D Printer

“As for teenagers, my guess is something along the lines of an iPad or iPhone or equivalent,” he said. “These young people seem to love the ability to communicate with friends using text messages rather than speaking. I suspect they find such devices especially appealing since the adults cannot overhear and generally cannot see the device display to read the communications.”

Bob Frankston said a gift that encourages “open frontiers and building blocks” is what he’d give today’s teenager — something along the lines of a 3-D printer/copier that, he said, can “take what we can do with software to the physical world.”

“I want to buy [teenagers] opportunity and building blocks,” Frankston said, adding that most people don’t look beneath the surface when it comes to technology. “[They] think choosing apps makes them digital.”

Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin suggested a PIC Robotics Development Kit, which allows building a variety of programmable robots with sophisticated sensory and motor capabilities.

“If I were a teenager that’s what I’d want,” he said. “I can picture myself spending many hours planning, programming, debugging and enjoying the result of my play-work. As a bonus for the unreasonable amount of time I would spend with this kit, I would get valuable learning and a richer experience then playing video games. Of course, I was a bit of a nerd when I was a teenager.”

Easton LaChappelle

Easton LaChappelle

Easton LaChappelle, a self-admitted nerd, said if he was buying a tech device for someone middle-aged or older this holiday season, an iPad or another Apple product would be at the top of his list.

“Apple seems a lot easier to handle than other devices, but then again, the Galaxy Note 10.1 could be good, too!”

Angela Fan also thinks highly of the iPad for older folks and said she’s considering buying one for her own parents.

Jack Andraka

Jack Andraka

“It would take some fiddling on their part for them to get used to, and they definitely wouldn’t use all of the functions, but I think my parents would like it,” she said.

Jack Andraka has a tablet at the top of his shopping list. He said, “An older person would love a Kindle Fire because they can adjust the font so they can see, easily access new books as well as Facebook, listen to music and get apps!”

Ari Dyckovsky

Ari Dyckovsky

Ari Dyckovsky chose the Kindle Paperwhite because it’s “focused toward portable e-reading” and “because he or she likely has a smartphone or laptop to accomplish most other things easily.”

Natalie Nash went with an old standby and thinks cameras make the perfect gift for Baby Boomers and beyond.

“Adults always have a reason to take pictures of events,” she said. “And cameras/taking pictures has not been tagged as a new young trend, therefore many adults do not feel out of place or annoyed by the concept like some do with texting and smartphones.”

Revered Scientists, Award-Winning Teens Unwrap Top Holiday Tech

Tablets, 3-D printers, Ultrabooks, robotics kits and electric cars in demand.

In this season of giving and receiving, what holiday tech do science’s best and brightest most covet and what do they think others want most?

In a poll of two generational extremes, honorees from the Computer History Museum Hall of Fellows and finalists from this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair shared what technology tops their personal holiday wish list and predicted what the other generation would prize. Predictably, the scientists’ responses in this unscientific survey ranged from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Bob Frankston

Bob Frankston Courtesy of Computer History Museum

Senior Scientists’ Holiday Tech Wish List

Bob Frankston, co-developer of the VisiCalc, the world’s first successful spreadsheet program, refused to constrain his wish list to reality.

“I tend to think of the products that don’t exist yet,” said Frankston, 63. But the 2004 Hall of Fellows honoree did divulge a yen for one particular gadget this holiday season.

“I do want a full-capacity Windows 8 pad with a very hi-res, small screen and not limited to lamed applications,” he said.

Gordon Bell

Gordon Bell Courtesy of Computer History Museum

Gordon Bell, a 2003 Fellow inductee for his key role in the minicomputer revolution and contributions as a computer architect and entrepreneur, was unable to jot just one tech item on his holiday wish list.

“I’m easy,” said Bell, 78, with a sprinkle of sarcasm. “The Surface that Santa Steve promised all of us that has Office so I can discard the incompatible and incomplete tablet that someone gave me in 2010 …. For my heart, a solid 24/7 monitor that is needed for a complete on-body health monitoring system. A tool that opens up the indestructible plastic packages that high-tech gear comes in.”

Tesla Model S Signature

Tesla Model S Signature

Federico Faggin, who was inducted into the Hall of Fellows for his contribution to developing the world’s first commercial microprocessor, the Intel 4004, had a vision much bigger than a stocking stuffer.

I would like the new Tesla Model S Signature,” he said. “It is an all-electric, four-door, sporty sedan with an exceptional range of 300 miles. It looks great, and it has a very peppy performance, going from 0 to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. I like the way it is designed: simplicity itself, rational, innovative, with very few moving parts.”

Tedd Hoff

Tedd Hoff Courtesy of Computer History Museum

Faggin, 71, gave another reason for putting the Tesla on top of his Christmas wish list. “I want to give my support to a company that wants to do things right and is willing to bet the farm on it,” he said. Plus, he added, “I expect it would be a lot fun to drive.”

Marcian “Ted” Hoff, one of Faggin’s team members on the Intel 4004 and a fellow 2009 Hall inductee, demonstrated his urge to invent is still going strong.

“What I would like as a tech-related gift would be a good device for measuring inductance and capacitance, including parasitics,” said Hoff, 75 who helped define the instruction set and architectural specs of the new chip. “I have thought of building such a device, but haven’t fully worked out the design.”

Next-Gen Researchers Reveal Holiday Tech Wants

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

Jack Andraka, who won top honors for his new method to detect pancreatic cancer at this year’s Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, said, “I would like an Ultrabook for Christmas. I don’t have a laptop and I travel a lot. I can’t catch up with my online classes so when I come home I am swamped with work. I spend so much time at the lab, too, so it would be great to work on school stuff while I have downtime there.”

A sophomore at North County High School in Crownsville, Md., Andraka said the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon is the model he’d prefer. “It’s thin and light and powerful and cool. I really like the embedded 3G and the Web conferencing system. I’m always Skyping people and need to have access wherever I go.”

Toluwani Soares

Toluwani Soares

Toluwani Soares, a senior at the Academy of Science and Technology in The Woodlands, Texas, is hoping for holiday gifts she helped make, though you won’t see them in stores this holiday season.

“For Christmas this year I would love to see appliances powered by the solar paint that my research team and I engineered,” said Toluwani, who, along with two classmates, won multiple awards at ISEF for developing the first paint that can be applied to a variety of surfaces and extract energy from the sun’s rays.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

Easton LaChappelle, the second-place ISEF winner in the electrical and mechanical engineering category, has a Samsung Android tablet at the top of his wish list.

“I would want the new Galaxy Note 10.1 for the holidays,” said Easton, a junior at Mancos High School in Mancos, Colo. Compared to similar devices that “are always faster and better,” Easton said his tablet of preference “ties more into the multi-tasking aspect as well as making it a personal computer.”

Natalie Nash

Natalie Nash

Natalie Nash, an ISEF finalist in the computer science category for the smartphone app she developed to assist visually impaired people with mobility, wants an upgrade from her iPhone 4.

“I know a lot of people are talking about how it is not much different than before, but I am a supporter of Apple products,” said Nash, Penn State freshman. “For the holidays I will be looking at the new iPads as well.”

Apple iPad

Apple iPad

Ari Dyckovsky, the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award at ISEF this year for his research in quantum teleportation, has dreams of an iPad.

“After sitting in classes the past months at Stanford, I am starting to realize how useful it would be for my education by affording me an all-in-one, easily portable device to take notes, record video, check email, read PDF files and books, and surf the Web,” said the freshman from Leesburg, Va.

Angela Fan

Angela Fan

Angela Fan, who took top honors at ISEF in the plant sciences category for her work in root nutrient foraging, also wants a device to help with note-taking.

“I would love a drawing pad that would allow me to take notes in class and draw diagrams at the same time,” said Fan, a Harvard freshman who attended Stuyvesant High School in Staten Island, N.Y. “Ideally, it would be able to covert my messy handwriting to text.”

Cross-Generation Holiday Tech Predictions

The Hall of Fellows and their protégé-aged fellow scientists also made their picks for the tech gifts the other generation would value.

Gordon Bell put Halo 4 and the Microsoft Surface at the top of his list for teens. Ted Hoff took a different approach.

“Room-cleaning and clothes picking-up robot, and [a] body dry cleaner for those who don’t like to take showers.”

Hoff also offered a more practical suggestion.

Mojo 3D Printer

Mojo 3D Printer

“As for teenagers, my guess is something along the lines of an iPad or iPhone or equivalent,” he said. “These young people seem to love the ability to communicate with friends using text messages rather than speaking. I suspect they find such devices especially appealing since the adults cannot overhear and generally cannot see the device display to read the communications.”

Bob Frankston said a gift that encourages “open frontiers and building blocks” is what he’d give today’s teenager — something along the lines of a 3-D printer/copier that, he said, can “take what we can do with software to the physical world.”

“I want to buy [teenagers] opportunity and building blocks,” Frankston said, adding that most people don’t look beneath the surface when it comes to technology. “[They] think choosing apps makes them digital.”

Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin

Federico Faggin suggested a PIC Robotics Development Kit, which allows building a variety of programmable robots with sophisticated sensory and motor capabilities.

“If I were a teenager that’s what I’d want,” he said. “I can picture myself spending many hours planning, programming, debugging and enjoying the result of my play-work. As a bonus for the unreasonable amount of time I would spend with this kit, I would get valuable learning and a richer experience then playing video games. Of course, I was a bit of a nerd when I was a teenager.”

Easton LaChappelle

Easton LaChappelle

Easton LaChappelle, a self-admitted nerd, said if he was buying a tech device for someone middle-aged or older this holiday season, an iPad or another Apple product would be at the top of his list.

“Apple seems a lot easier to handle than other devices, but then again, the Galaxy Note 10.1 could be good, too!”

Angela Fan also thinks highly of the iPad for older folks and said she’s considering buying one for her own parents.

Jack Andraka

Jack Andraka

“It would take some fiddling on their part for them to get used to, and they definitely wouldn’t use all of the functions, but I think my parents would like it,” she said.

Jack Andraka has a tablet at the top of his shopping list. He said, “An older person would love a Kindle Fire because they can adjust the font so they can see, easily access new books as well as Facebook, listen to music and get apps!”

Ari Dyckovsky

Ari Dyckovsky

Ari Dyckovsky chose the Kindle Paperwhite because it’s “focused toward portable e-reading” and “because he or she likely has a smartphone or laptop to accomplish most other things easily.”

Natalie Nash went with an old standby and thinks cameras make the perfect gift for Baby Boomers and beyond.

“Adults always have a reason to take pictures of events,” she said. “And cameras/taking pictures has not been tagged as a new young trend, therefore many adults do not feel out of place or annoyed by the concept like some do with texting and smartphones.”