The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History announces the premiere of its exclusive exhibition, Bits and Bytes: The Innovation of Home Computers, on display from Feb. 8 to June 2. Dr. Rebecca Ingram, the Museum’s Curator, researched and designed the exhibit with contributions from the Brazos Valley Computer Museum, The National Videogame Museum, and Texas A&M University.
Opening on Feb. 8 at 6pm, the public is invited to a free and entertaining lecture by Dr. Tracy Hammond, professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and director of the Sketch Recognition Lab at Texas A&M. Following her talk, guests are invited to an opening reception with wine, appetizers, a gallery viewing, and live music by Johnny & Lisé McNally.
Dr. Hammond is an international leader in activity recognition (focusing on eye, body, and sketch motions), haptics, intelligent fabrics, smartphone development, and computer-human interaction research. Her research has been funded by NSF, DARPA, Google, and many others, totaling more than 9 million dollars in peer-reviewed funding. She holds a doctorate in Computer Science and Finance Technology Option from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as four degrees from Columbia University. Prior to joining the Texas A&M CSE faculty Dr. Hammond taught for five years at Columbia University and was a telecom analyst for four years at Goldman Sachs.
This exhibit, created for the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, explores the 20th-century development of the home computer, from the hobbyist kits of the 1970s to the spread of the World Wide Web in the 1990s. With loans from the Brazos Valley Computer Museum, Texas A&M Department of Computer Science, the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, and other lenders, the exhibit will display some key early home computers of the 20th century, such as the original IBM PC and the first all-in-one portable computer, the Osborne 1. In addition, visitors will also be able to view iconic videogame consoles of the 1970s and 1980s and have the opportunity to play classic videogames in an early 1980s-style living room.
The Museum is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 10am to 5pm. For more information about this exhibit and others, contact the Museum at (979) 776-2195, visit www.brazosvalleymuseum.org , or follow them on Facebook @BrazosValleyMuseumOfNaturalHistory.