Willamette University

Your Peers Are At it Again

Noah Horton ’02
Young Alumni Leadership Award

Top 30 Entrepreneur; co-founder, Involver; wise-beyond-his-years software architect

Of the 25-plus you’ve filed so far, what’s your favorite patent?

There’s one I love because it’s bizarre: A proposal for using an imaging technique invented by someone else in a novel way. It allows field archaeologists to image very large relics in the field so they can see lost carvings and writing. I love it because it’s a software concept with implications far outside of software.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?

I actually wanted to be a patent litigator. I’m not sure what that says about me...

Have a guiding philosophy/quote?

Bias toward action. Essentially I think people analyze ideas too much, talk themselves out of things, etc. Many people fail because they never try.

What changed most about you between when you arrived as a student and graduated?

My confidence. I came from a small high school and suspected that I was a big fish in a small pond, but I was concerned about what would happen when I got to a bigger pond. At Willamette I gained confidence that I could succeed regardless of the pond.

Who’s one person at WU who really helped you out? How?

Fritz Ruehr unquestionably made the biggest impact. He was a deeply engaging teacher, but he was also a major enabler for my development outside the classroom. I enjoyed talking to him socially about the discipline of computer science and about life in general. He was also the person who supported me in my extra-curricular efforts, which taught me as much about the discipline and industry as classes did.

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Noah Horton ’02