After a highly publicized and lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer and other illnesses, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs died Wednesday evening.

Rob Hilton, associate professor in the computer science department, who teaches a highly sought mobile app development course — including the iPhone — stated that Jobs will be a sorely missed public figure.

Last year, Hilton had a brief run-in with Jobs at the Apple Campus in California.

“Besides being visionary, he made a lot of things unique,” Hilton said. “I watched him go to the lunch room; he went through the line just like everyone else.”

The co-founder of Apple Inc., Jobs was known not only for his love for design and desire to serve Apple’s consumers, but also for his ardor in maintaining confidentiality.

“He ran a really tight ship down there,” Hilton said. “He was able to control the release of products and software so well. It seems that Apple, as a whole, has adopted that atmosphere, which has helped them become so popular.”

Many WSU staff and students explained that, while they did not know Jobs personally, they feel for his family and see that the loss of Jobs might reshape the future of Apple’s products. Just after stepping down as CEO of Apple Inc. on Aug. 24, Apple saw an immediate drop of 5 percent in their stock, but it rebounded the following day.

“I’m not sure if he mentored anyone in particular to take his place,” Hilton said. “If there is no one like him — in innovation and brilliance — Apple’s products may just not be the same.”

Students agreed that Jobs’ greatest contribution to society was the change he incurred in the way people communicate worldwide and that, through a combination of various components, such as user-friendly interfaces, reliability and sleek design in Apple’s products, he allowed users to enjoy their experiences and want to repeat those experiences.

“You could say that I’m an Apple addict,” said Ryan Wilcoxen, a WSU senior studying zoology and psychology. “I have iPhone 4, an iPod, a MacBook and an Apple desktop.”

Other students and staff — Mac and PC users alike — agreed the man will be missed and that he has made innumerable contributions to society.

“On a human level, it’s always a tragedy with the loss of someone,” said Benjamin Barraza, web systems architect and employee of WSU. “People like Steve Jobs are rare; whether you like their product or not, or whether you agree with him or not, losing that sort of person impacts society. He certainly has left his legacy with us.”

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