Quark 2008: engineering perfection

By the BITS-Pilani Goa team

Quark, the annual technical festival of BITS-Pilani, Goa was a stately, international exhibition, attracting 2,000 participants in 32 events. The technical excellence was complemented by creative mimes, dramatics and Rock clubs.  An event organised in truly BITSian fashion.

Three unforgettable days of exciting technical competitions, valiant efforts by participants and exhilarating revelry best sum up Quark’08, the annual technical festival of BITS, Pilani - Goa Campus, held from 9th-11th February. Quark is the fastest growing technical festival of any college in India, and it proved itself by becoming the biggest tech-fest in Goa. Quark’08 had a budget of around 20 lakh with Cognizant, Thermax and Cypress Semiconductors as associate sponsors, followed by event sponsors like Microsoft, Aditi Technologies, National Instruments, National Semiconductors, Bosch, NVIDIA, Red Hat, i-Flex Solutions and Zuari Industries.

Quark 2008

After 5 months of preparation, Quark started off with the event Contraption. Workshops that were held include Nex Robotics workshop, a finance workshop by Reuters – the leading news agency, a LabVIEW workshop by National Instruments, Rubik’s cube workshop, an Origami Workshop, a telescope making workshop by IUCAA, and an aeromodelling workshop by Mr. Ansari Wasi, three-time National Aeromodelling champion and manager of ‘Wings India’.

Quark’08 became an international festival with participation from international institutes like BITS, Pilani – Dubai Campus and Rutgers University. There were also more than two thousand participants from Goa as well as places all over India, who participated in 32 events spread over engineering and scientific fields. The event Schoolbag invited over 60 schools from all over Goa. The enthusiastic schoolchildren were shown around the exhibitions and also took a trip through the galaxy in the inflatable planetarium courtesy IUCAA.

Quark ’08 also featured a Corporate Exhibition, where various organizations including corporate power houses like Microsoft, Bosch, NVIDIA, M-Tech Innovations, Red Hat and others showcased themselves and reached out to the students. The BITS Research & Development Exhibition showcased the ongoing research and development at the Goa Campus.

Some special events included Sudo-Q, the Sudoku competition, Sci-Tech quiz and Quizotic, the business quiz. An event that left the audience in splits were the Ignoble awards, featuring quirky presentations on topics like the necessity of a machine to identify dogs by their bark! And of course, Matka, the mega-gaming event with prizes worth half a lakh. Other events included Binary Pirates, CodOlympics, Wall Street Raider, Optimus, Krypt-en-Krypt, Wavefront, Imagine, Simanupulate, IP-Bot and many more.

If the days were full of hard work, the nights had special shows that left the audience speechless. Quark’08 presented “Aurora”, over the three days with a wide range of entertainment which included mind-blowing performances by Dramatics, Mime, Music and Rock Clubs. On 10th, there was an air show by Mr. Ansari Wasi, who displayed myriad aero-models, gliders and helicopters performing tricky manoeuvres. This was followed by a magic show performed by Mr. Saras Chandra, a National award-winning magician. A touch of grandeur was added to the evening when the juggling troupe “Feeding the Fish” from London, performed “Flux”, where excellent precision, brilliant skills, radiant colours, cutting-edge technology and graceful choreography intertwined in perfect symphony to entrance the audience in a one of a kind, unforgettable performance that symbolized ‘Engineering Perfection’. The jugglers used state-of-the-art props programmed precisely to create myriad colours using lasers. The performance reached a crescendo when the performers danced to Vande Mataram, and used their props to create never-before-seen special effects, for which the audience gave them not one, but two standing ovations! The last day of Quark saw the finals of most events, such as the All-Terrain Transporter being held in a colourful arena with screen projectors streaming out the battle between the bots live to the audience. The festival came to a majestic end after a music and rock night with a mesmerizing display of fireworks lighting up the sky in Quark’s glory.

(Left) B-Dome: The Scene of action, (Centre) Plaza-Garden: lightings at Night, (Right) The Quark Mascot

Quark ’08 has been innovative and unique in many ways. The Corporate Exhibition and Schoolbag have been one of the first steps to connect the campus not only to the industry but also reach out to the School Children who will be the future citizens. The entire schedule of events and information coordination was done through an online software system ‘Natasha’ developed especially for this purpose. The Structure of a dynamic Organizing Committee coordinating with the various departments and clubs provided flexibility and impetus for the Quark’08 team to reach higher in ways that a traditional rigid system could never provide.

Quark’08 has become one of the biggest tech-fests in India thanks to the sponsors for their support, the Organizing Committee for the organization and conduct of the festival, various departments and clubs for their hard work, the participants from outside, the support of the BITS faculty and the alumni, and the colossal efforts of every BITSian. This has been one Quark to remember, for all of Goa and India.