Texas Teen's Homebrew Clock Gets Massive Tech Industry Attention

Ahmed Mohamed, a Texas teenager who was arrested earlier this week for bringing his homebrew clock to school--when a teacher and administrators mistook the gadget for a "hoax bomb"--has scored massive technology industry attention for his efforts. Mohamed, who is 14, has now been invited to the White House, congratulated by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, invited by Google to attend its annual Google Science Fair, along with many, many other Silicon Valley luminaries, and spawned his own movement, #IStandwithAhmed on Twitter.

In what might be a familiar experience for many-a-misunderstood inventor and engineer, Mohamed--whose project packaged a digital alarm clock into a pencil case--featured an AC/DC transformer, battery backup, and a seven segment display--all of which were mistaken for bomb components by his teachers. Mohamed reportedly has dabbled in projects ranging from robotics, clocks, and radios. Mohamed's struggle to be understood reflects a common thread for many engineers, illustrated by a Dilbert clip, where Dilbert's mom says "He's not like other kids... He disassembled the TV, our clock, and the stereo... but the part that worries me, is he used the components to build a ham radio set...".