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Bits and Bytes: The Innovation of Home Computers

Updated: Jan 30, 2020

The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History proudly announces the premiere of its exclusive exhibition, Bits and Bytes: The Innovation of Home Computers, on display from February 8 – June 2, 2018.  Dr. Rebecca Ingram, the Museum’s Curator, researched and designed the exhibit with contributions from the Brazos Valley Computer Museum, the National Videogame Museum, and Texas A&M University.  

Bits and Bytes: The Innovation of Home Computers

Opening on Thursday, February 8 at 6 pm,the public is invited to a free and entertaining lecture by Dr. Tracy Hammond, Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Director of the Sketch Recognition Lab at Texas A&M University. Following her talk, guests are invited to an opening reception featuring wine, appetizers, and gallery viewing. 

Dr. Hammond is an international leader in activity recognition (focusing on eye, body, and sketch motions), haptics, intelligent fabrics, smartphone development, and computer human interaction research. Her research has been funded by NSF, DARPA, Google, and many others, totaling over 9 million dollars in peer-reviewed funding. She holds a PhD in Computer Science and FTO (Finance Technology Option) from MIT, as well as four degrees from Columbia University. Prior to joining the TAMU CSE faculty Dr. Hammond taught for five years at Columbia University and was a telecom analyst for four years at Goldman Sachs. 

This unique exhibit, created for the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, explores the 20th-century development of the home computer, from the hobbyist kits of the 1970s to the spread of the World Wide Web in the 1990s. With loans from the Brazos Valley Computer Museum, Texas A&M Department of Computer Science, the National Videogame Museum in Frisco, and other lenders, the exhibit will display some key early home computers of the 20th  century, such as the original IBM PC and the first all-in-one portable computer, the Osborne 1. In addition, visitors will also be able to view iconic videogame consoles of the 1970s and 1980s and have the opportunity to play classic videogames in an early 1980s-style living room.

The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History is committed to promoting science, and cultural and natural history with the integration of art in exhibits and educational programs. This exhibit was made possible in part through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station & the City of Bryan through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley. The Museum is open to visitors Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am-5 pm.  For more information about this exhibit and other displays, events, programs and activities, please contact the Museum at 979-776-2195, visit them on the web at, or follow them on Facebook. Regular Museum Admission fees: adults $5; seniors/students/children $4; members and children 3 and under are free.

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