Computers: The Past

Hi, everyone! I’m a time-traveller and the new writer for Passion For STEM. I hope you don’t hate my writings too much. To understand the future of Computing, we must first know at least a little about the past. Let’s do some time travelling together, then.

blur close up code computer
Photo by luis gomes on Pexels.com

*POOF*

It’s 1000 BCE and we’re in a moneylender’s place in China. We see someone asking for a loan of what is apparently a big amount (We know this because Susan is with us and translates it for us.) (Thanks, Susan.). What do we see the moneylender doing his mathematical calculations on?

It’s a weird rectangular device with lots of little beads in it. Familiar, huh?
This is currently known as The Abacus.

multicolored abacus photography
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

*POOF*

We’re back here. So, the Abacus was invented by the Chinese a long time (we’ll see how long when we take our next trip) before anyone even came close to inventing a device that helped humans in solving their math problems. It was a simple device with very basic operations but still could help a lot when big numbers were into consideration (like we saw at that moneylender’s).

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Plastic Surgery…in the war

This week I have received some exciting news. No, I didn’t win the lottery, if that’s what you’re thinking. Or discovered a cure for cancer. I received a letter from a certain university which more or less confirmed my research placement for the summer of 2k17. However it’s is on the condition that I am accepted through the Nuffield summer placement. Without exaggeration, I opened the acceptance email and I gave myself a high five (sad, I know).
The short email was formal of course but I would like to summarise it to a brief ‘you go girl!’. This was I had waited for, my chance to discover a side of medical research, which is fundamental to medical discoveries. I will be undertaking a 4-6 week journey through the world of research based around infection, immune system and inflammation, so I decided it was appropriate to write this post surrounding this matter. So without further ado, let’s get started.

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Thoughts #4 – Going back to Roman times

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“Now is the time to proceed to the wonders of Rome, to examine what we have learned over 800 years and to show that we have conquered the world with our buildings too.”

Pliny,XXXVI,101.

In this exert Pliny the elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus), Roman author, naturalist, natural philosopher and also naval and army commander refines the Rome’s view on their capability of presenting their wealth of knowledge though erecting living art. Architecture has the potential to pass on political messages and the splendour, grandeur and opulence of Rome conveyed this to the known world. Pliny also acknowledged the contribution to development by the Romans was almost entirely in the field of practical application. This quote also shows patriotism in Pliny’s tone, by saying the how the knowledge of Rome they are lead the way in transforming the world’s architecture.

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