Following the experimental realization of BEC in 1995, cold atoms have emerged as a near-perfect platform for exploring many-body physics. These systems are extremely clean (having effectively no impurities), well isolated, and completely tunable. In this talk, I will explain the basic principles of cold atom systems, introduce the “universality” that makes these systems so interesting, and illustrate a fundamental experimental problem facing the field. I will then describe the experiment we are building in the Navon group and how it solves this problem using digital micro-mirror devices (“programmable mirrors”). Finally, I will discuss some computational aspects of cold atom systems (time permitting).