CS Fest returns to celebrate computer science and tech


Over 80 students and faculty members gathered at Wold Atrium to celebrate the annual CS Fest organized by the Computer Science department and ACM-W.

Emma Vu, Contributing Writer

This past Wednesday, over 80 students and faculty members gathered at Wold Atrium to celebrate the annual CS Fest organized by the Computer Science department and Union’s chapter of the Association of Computing Machinery—Women (ACM-W). This is the first time the event took place in person after 2 years. Students and faculty had dinner from Tara’s kitchen, and participated in a number of games to get to know each other like trivia, Uhm Actually. There were game stations available for bonding activities like Beat Sabor contest in VR, Turing Tumbler, advanced Tic Tac Toe, interaction with Valerie robot, etc. Near the end of the event, students from Professor Poorna’s User Interface course presented their group projects. The event turned out to be a success with great attendance. Students and faculty had the chance to bond outside of the classroom through this event and moving forward, there will be more events organized by ACM-W to support the Computer Science community at Union College.


Prof. Matt Anderson, the main organizer of the event, remarks that “CS Fest is an annual dinner celebrating the computer science community at Union and is co-organized by the CS Department and ACM-W. Our last in-person CS Fest took place about a week before the college went remote because of the pandemic in 2020. It was great to have everyone back in person—this year’s event had a record number of attendees. We really appreciate everyone that came together to help make this event a success, including Fiona Shyne (and the rest of ACM-W) who arranged and emceed a number of computer science trivia games, Prof. Poorna Talkad Sukumar, who organized talks on interesting student projects from her CSC 380 User Interfaces course, and Cole Belmont, the Director of the MakerWeb Consortium, for allowing us to use the Imagine Lab for a Beat Saber contest in virtual reality.” The biggest thank the CS community wants to give is to Prof. Matt Anderson for managing all logistics that made this event possible.

Prof. Aaron Cass, ACM-W Community Chair Celia Lane ‘23, and Riley Spagnuolo ’23 gather at the Turning Tumble. The Turing Tumble is a simulation kit to explain the logic of computers using marbles and fun. (Jing Chen)
Fiona Shyne ‘23, the co-President of ACM-W and one of the student organizers of the event, says that It was so much fun to plan this event. I really enjoyed brainstorming question ideas with other ACMW members and seeing how people responded to them. It was also great to hear back from the CS professors when I sent out questions to them for trivia. Their answers were really amusing and honestly made my week. I was also impressed by the amount of people that came and how engaged they were. I look forward to seeing what we are able to accomplish next year.”