March 12, 2007

BOOM '07 fills Duffield atrium with beeps, clicks and roars

Once upon a time, computing was just for computer scientists. Today, practically every machine has a chip in it, and most of our work involves some sort of processing, networking or data storage and retrieval.

The annual BOOM (Bits On Our Minds) exhibition is a celebration of the ubiquitousness of computing. Although run by Cornell's Department of Computer Science, it invites students from every college to display projects using digital technology. This year's exhibition, held Feb. 28, filled the Duffield Hall Atrium with booths, posters and gadgets and drew hundreds of visitors.

Computer science students were certainly there, some with posters describing arcane advances in database management and networking, others with practical ideas to speed up airplane boarding or schedule courses. Engineers tended to dominate the landscape, with self-driving cars and planes and a variety of robots. But also in evidence were computer-generated art and music and even some computer-based sociology.

Several projects earned awards:

The Where's the BOOM Youth Essay Contest for local area middle and high school students remains open until March 15.

A list of all BOOM exhibits is online at http://www.cis.cornell.edu/boom/2007sp/.