We set up onstage beforehand with Christopher and it was apparent even then that he was freaky smart. But then he does a demo programming a Parrot AR.Drone to fly geometric patterns with Mathematica, and then debugged the program in real time on stage in front of a packed house. Amazing. When I was 13, I was still having trouble remembering the months of the year. (Of course, he is the son of a genius. But still!)
Report from Makezine here:
Mathematica creator Stephen Wolfram gave a talk at World Maker Faire New York 2012, but his 13-year-old son Christopher stole the show by doing some Mathematica programming on the fly to control a quadricopter.
His plan was to have a single line of Mathematica code that would make the quadricopter fly a specified 3D path. He had a list of points for a square, entered the line of code, and pressed Shift-Return, and… nothing happened!
I guess Christopher has debugged quite a lot of code in his 13 years. And now he set about doing it in front of the audience. A missing function definition. A missing command to connect to the device. He was finding quite a few things. And I was getting ready to call out that he should just give up.
But then… the sound of quadricopter blades, and up the quadricopter goes… flying its loop on the stage, and landing.
It had actually worked! It was pretty neat, being able to just type one line of code into Mathematica, and then having some physical object fly around in the pattern one had specified: