Explore UT: 2018

Explore UT is a day-long open house at the campus of the University of Texas. Thousands of children, parents, and teachers attend this free annual event held on the first Saturday in March. School districts from around the state send busloads of students.

There are hundreds of activities geared towards children, ranging from Hogwarts Jungle Potions Class to 3-D Mask Making to Getting a Feel for Frogs, Fish, and Other Slimy Things. In past years, I’ve taken tours and visited exhibits. This year I decided to attend some lectures that were marked “A” for “Adult.”

My first lecture was titled Secret Scriptures: The Missing Books of the Bible. Brent Landau, a professor in the Department of Religious Studies, spoke about his research related to early Christian writings. He kindly gave a free book on the subject to each of the five students in the classroom.

Next I attended Computers Learning to See: Visual Search and Recognition by Professor Kristen Grauman. She talked about her research related to search algorithms for visual recognition.

My last lecture was The Challenges and Future of Computer Science: Understanding and Shaping the 3-D World. Dr. Etienne Vouga discussed recent advances in 3-D technologies, including animation, virtual reality, and 3-D printing. None of these three lectures were crowded, but all were very interesting. I hope UT continues to offer adult topics in future years.

Since I was in the Gates Computer Science building, I watched a robot demonstration with some girls-with-crowns.

I looked at the gem and mineral collection in the Jackson Geological Sciences Building and then headed home. That was enough learning for one day!

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