An enthusiastic crowd of about 500 people filled Davis Hall for
a night of fun and games designed to celebrate and promote computer
science. Dubbed “CSE Kid’s Day” and hosted by
UB’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE),
the event featured robot demos, games designed to teach programming
concepts and kid-friendly interactive projects led by UB
The most popular spot for families with younger children was the
third ﬂoor of Davis Hall, where youngsters could program
robots to do fun things like follow a line, navigate a maze or
“We got the kids excited by showing them various ways to
write code and program a computer. Getting one of our robots to
dance to music was very exciting for the kids,” said Bob
DeBortoli, a computer engineering major.
In another activity, kids played games that taught programming
and computer science concepts without using a computer. Large
squares were taped on the ﬂoor, and the children moved
around the squares by following a series of prompts to sort numbers
in increasing order.
Kid’s Day, which was part of UB’s celebration of
National Computer Science Education Week, aims to get more students
learning how to code, program, script, design and harness the power
of computing to solve new challenges.
“I know that when I was growing up, I had no idea what
computer science was all about,” said computer science major
Meg Arnold. “By opening up our department to the community,
we can educate kids about computer science and hopefully spark
Arnold’s colleague, Gela Malek Pour, added: “We also
hope to encourage more girls to explore careers in computer science
by exposing them to the field at younger ages.”
The event was organized by the CSE Undergraduate Student
Advisory Board, which included Arnold, DeBortoli, Malek Pour and
Wendy Jansson, as well as Atri Rudra, associate professor of
computer science and engineering.