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updated: 10/2/2012 7:20 AM

Purdue's computer science program marks 50 years

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Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Purdue University's computer science department is toasting its 50th anniversary this week with robotics demonstrations and tours of its sprawling campus digs.

Purdue officials say the West Lafayette campus' Department of Computer Science was the first of its kind in the U.S. when it debuted in 1962 with a teaching staff of five people who taught more than 20 courses.

The department has grown every year since then and is now housed in the $20 million Lawson Computer Science Building, which covers about 107,000 square feet.

That building will host Friday's kickoff of the department's 50th year with presentations on the program's history, a robotics demonstration and lectures by alumni Kevin Grazier, who's a scientific adviser for Hollywood films.

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