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New Community Robotics Society at Western
Contact(s):   Jianna Zhang, assistant professor, computer science department, (360) 650-3845 Jianna.Zhang@wwu.edu9/23/2004

BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University is hosting a new robotics society where community members can build robots and learn how they work.

The Bellingham Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Society (BAIRS) is free and open to interested participants, including youth and adults. It provides hands-on experience in building smart robots and can turn the seriousness of computer science and engineering into fun. High school students and female students, who sometimes encounter cultural barriers in the areas of math and science, are particularly encouraged to attend.

BAIRS meets at 10 a.m. every second Saturday of the month at Western’s Communications Facility, Room 404. The next meeting will be on Saturday, Oct. 9.

“The purpose of BAIRS is to allow all of Bellingham to be involved with cutting-edge technology,” said Jianna Zhang, assistant professor in Western’s computer science department. “People will be able to build robots and understand how they work no matter what age.”

BAIRS is currently working on lego robots and robot navigation, among other things.

Zhang has been an assistant professor at Western since 2002. She earned her master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Regina and specializes in machine learning and natural language processing. Zhang has published multiple research papers in many areas of computer science, including artificial intelligence and intelligent softbot.

The society is a non-academic and non-profit organization affiliated with and supported by the computer science department at WWU. Parking is available in the nearby C and 12A lots with no permit needed on weekends.

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