[SIGCIS-Members] Digital history exhibition at Royal Holloway, London
james.sumner at manchester.ac.uk
Tue Oct 2 11:49:36 PDT 2018
Forwarding on behalf of the organisers:
The Computer Science department at Royal Holloway, University of London,
will be celebrating its 50th anniversary this month by taking people on
a journey through 200 years of digital technology.
The department is staging a special exhibition called ‘200 years of
becoming digital’ exploring the history of computing technology and its
effect on society, in particular the contribution of women scientists
The university will open its doors to host the exhibition on the
evolution of the digital world between 24 September and 29 November. The
free display will explore technological change over the past two
centuries and its effect on society.
The exhibition has five themes including a ‘Wall of Women’ which
celebrates the contribution of women such as Margaret Rock, an alumna of
Bedford College, which merged with Royal Holloway in 1985.
Margaret <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Rock> was recruited in
1940 to work at Bletchley Park, the site of the Government Code and
Cypher School which was responsible for decrypting enemy communications
during World War II. She was later awarded an MBE for her work within
the group that broke the German Military Intelligence Enigma code and
was said to be one of the best in the team.
The exhibition also includes a recreation of Charles Babbage’s
nineteenth century analytical engine, the forerunner of modern
computers; an explanation of the way in which miniaturisation has driven
increases in computer speed (a process that will soon come to a halt)
and the use of digital technologies in the entertainment industries.
Adrian Johnstone, Professor of Computing at Royal Holloway said: “This
is an opportunity to not only celebrate our 50th anniversary but show
how the technology which now impacts on all aspects of our lives originated.
“In the 50 years since our computing department opened we have seen
massive changes in the technologies available and how they are used.
“We particularly want to celebrate the contribution of women in
science and engineering. It’s fascinating to see that computing science
originally attracted many women into the discipline. Women are now
under-represented in this sector and we must reverse this trend.
Highlighting the contribution women have made in the past and the great
opportunities which now exist is an important part of this exhibition,”
added Professor Johnstone.
*The exhibition takes place in the Exhibition Space of the Emily Wilding
Davison Building until Friday 30 November 2018. **
**Open every day 10.00-18.00 and 20.00 on Thursdays. Admission free, no
This exhibition traces the development of computing ideas and technology
since the 1820s through four themes:
/The mechanical prehistory of computing /
How were tables of logarithms made in the 19th century? See a steam
driven calculator and a mechanical noughts and crosses machine along
with a modern 3D printer.
Female participation in computing slumped in the 1960s as programming
became seen as a technical profession, and again in the 1980s as the
home computer revolution took hold. Can we reverse the trend?
//Moore’s Law from beginning to end/
We have become used to computers getting faster and faster, as their
internal components become smaller. This trend has now slowed and will
stop soon because matter is granular, and we cannot reduce the width of
a wire that is only a few atoms across. See how memory density has
increased exponentially over 200 years.
/Toys, games and deep learning/
Leisure activities are now dominated by digital technologies. See
examples of robots, games consoles and animations. Learn how the
superfast hardware in games consoles has been harnessed to speed up
training of artificial intelligence applications. Can you distinguish
real-Obama from synthetic-Obama?
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