Boise State students and staff overjoyed by president's visit

BOISE -- It was a once in a life time experience for many at Boise State University -- getting the chance to meet the president and show off the programs they've been working on.

A day after President Obama toured the College of Engineering, KTVB got a similar tour.

The university says they presented several different options for the president's visit, and the White House chose the New Product Development Lab.

It worked out logistically since it was right across from where the president would deliver his speech, but he also liked the focus on computer science and the tie to local companies.

As President Obama toured Boise State's College of Engineering, he had nothing but praise for the program. One of the students he talked to most was senior Chris Brown.

A day later, Brown still couldn't believe the experience.

"It still doesn't seem real, it was really exciting, he's actually surprisingly easier to talk to than I expected, he's really laid back," said Brown.

Brown showed the president the lab where they use 3D printers to make local companies ideas into realities. It all happens in the matter of hours.

"He seemed pretty impressed, though I'm sure he's seen plenty of 3D printers before and he's actually extremely knowledgeable about the the topic, I was surprised listening to him talk, he really does know a lot about science," said Brown.

The president also decided as he walked by to peek his head into another room with dozens of monitors displaying projects powered by more than 100,000 processors.

Tim Andersen is the department chair for the Computer Science program. He says their students are using technology for various projects like health research and wind studies.

"So, it's really exciting to see this come to fruition and to see people recognize it," said Andersen.

Vice President of Research Mark Rudin walked Obama through the lab and said he was impressed by the president's interest and knowledge of computer science.

"He walked up and said you guys are doing great things here and I said, 'thank you very much Mr. President, I tend to agree with you on that,'" said Rudin.

The president complimented Boise State's innovative program and connection with local industry in his speech as well.

BSU President Dr. Bob Kustra said it was a very proud moment.

"I have to say I think I was nearly in tears during his speech and felt like it was the most satisfying day of my career here at Boise State and for the president of the U.S. to validate the work we are doing here," said Kustra.

Kustra says now they're focusing on using the president's visit to promote the program even more.


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