Future students greeted by robot, virtual sabers, and AI interface at Open Day 2023

Future students greeted by robot, virtual sabers, and AI interface at Open Day 2023
Future students greeted by robot, virtual sabers, and AI interface at Open Day 2023

The Australian National University (ANU) campus was buzzing on Saturday 18 March 2023 as prospective students looked to find their place at Open Day. Future students and their families were greeted with a festival-like environment filled with opportunities to learn about the university experience, chat to current students, and meet our expert academics.

2023 marks the first time the flagship event has been held in autumn, just as students begin applications to study at ANU. The weather was ideal for beanbag luncheons on the Kambri lawn and strolls down University Avenue.

The ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics (CECC) offered a jam-packed program of activities, offering prospective students an opportunity to interface with robots, Virtual Reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) as well as presentations by world-leading researchers who may soon become their mentors

Tech Zone thrills with virtual, face-to-face interplay

ANU Chancellor The Hon Julie Bishop at Open Day 2023

The Birch Building was transformed into the CECC Tech Zone where visitors could try their hand at solving a Da Vinci Code-style cryptex puzzle.

Nao the humanoid robot showed off some fantastic dance moves and enticed ANU Chancellor The Hon Julie Bishop to join in.

The teaching labs were set up with VR headsets and controllers for those game to try their hand at ‘Beat Saber’ slicing blocks in rhythm with musical beats.

The Panic AI art installation was on show, inviting users to come up with words as inputs to see what the engine would create.

Seeing AI instantly turn words like “woman with umbrella” and “Big Bird boxing Elmo” into panoramic artwork offered visitors food for thought about AI models, feedback loops, and steering complex systems that involve humans and technology.

Our student-led clubs and societies set up information booths at the CECC Tech Zone - including the Computer Science Students Association, RoboGals, ANU Rocketry, ANU Formula Racing, and ANU Solar Racing.

Over in Kambri, the University was buzzing with activity. The Marie Reay Building was decked out as an exhibition hall, with each level of the building dedicated to a different academic College. On Level 5, our three schools - Engineering, Computing, and Cybernetics - were represented by current students, academics, and School Directors.

We held information sessions and alumni panels in the theatres, and captured on-demand content ready to share with those who couldn’t make it in person.

Our CECC Interim Dean, Professor Stephen Eggins set the tone in one of the first talks for the day. He welcomed a packed theatre of visitors to our campus and excitedly shared stories about the learning experience, people, and place.

“Computing, engineering and cybernetics are the key to creating a future that you want,” said Professor Eggins. “It’s not about the technology, the solution or the artefact. It’s about harnessing that technology for the benefit of others, for humankind, and for the future of our planet. And you can be a part of that, here with us.”

“I hope by the end of the day, you can see yourself and your future here with us at ANU.”

Big thanks to all who joined us at Open Day

It was fantastic to speak to so many future students and their families, and to showcase the role of engineering, computing and cybernetics in the world. For those who are just embarking on their educational journey, we look forward to seeing you at ANU soon!

Thank you also to all the wonderful staff and student ambassadors who contributed to ANU Open Day 2023 and helped to make the day such a success.

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