UNC Computer Science Dept. Turns 50

The UNC Computer Science Department at Chapel Hill celebrates its 50th birthday this year and is the second oldest computer science department in the nation. College of Arts and Sciences magazine editor Kim Spurr commissioned our team to illustrate this anniversary for the cover story. We knew we had to make a portrait of the department’s founder, retiring chair, and computer science giant, Dr. Frederick P. Brooks Jr. If we could also show the department’s diverse faculty and student population, all the better. We focused our efforts on a composite image of 7 students and faculty holding computer equipment old and new. From left to right, doctoral student Femi Alabi holds an abacus next to computer scientist Cynthia Sturton who is seated with a mechanical adding machine. Department Founder Frederick P. Brooks Jr. stands next to refrigerator size IBM computer from the early 80’s that has less computing power than the iPhone he is holding in his hand. Henry Fuchs wears an early virtual reality headset. Montek Singh embraces a desktop iMac and a laptop Apple computer. Current Department Chair, Kevin Jeffay, holds a tablet computer iPad and Ron Alterovitz, poses with robot “Baxter.” Our cover image of Baxter the robot holding balloons and party horn emerged during our shoot of each department member. Photography by Steve Exum of exumphoto.com

Click here to read the full story by Mark Tosczak. http://unc.edu/spotlight/comp-sci-turns-50