CS Badgers celebrate 50 years of innovation

Alumnae Daisy Wong and Linda Dietz pose with Bucky Badger

When Badgers come together, good things happen.  Such was the case Sept. 12-13, when the UW-Madison Department of Computer Sciences celebrated its fiftieth anniversary.  Nearly 200 alumni, faculty, staff and current students gathered Friday night at Union South and all day Saturday at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery to celebrate the department’s collective accomplishments.

Saturday’s program included an on-stage conversation between alumna Carol Bartz and Professor David Wood; an emeritus panel that examined the formation of the department, what early computing facilities were like, and grad student life during the turbulent late ‘60s and early ‘70s; and career reflections from Pavan Nigam and Leng Tan.  Nigam described his fulfilling experiences mentoring fellow Badger entrepreneurs, particularly in Silicon Valley, and Tan, an Oracle senior vice president, shared lessons learned--and her encouragement to others--as a high-level woman in tech.

Also on Saturday, a student showcase included demonstrations, posters and information tables with talented CS students.  Professor Michael Ferris led a behind-the-scenes tour at WID, and friends of Condor held a special breakout reception.

In the evening, a cocktail reception in WID’s soaring atrium was followed by a dinner at which the MadHatters men’s a cappella group gave a five-song performance (featuring “On, Wisconsin!” and “Varsity,” naturally) and Letters & Science Dean John Karl Scholz made remarks.

To see a photo recap of Saturday’s events, visit our album on Facebook.

[Pictured with this story:  Alumnae Daisy Wong and Linda Dietz share a smile with Bucky Badger at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery.  Photo by Sarah Morton, UW-Madison College of Letters & Science.]