Here’s a little trick you can play on your friends, or someone you don’t know well enough to already know their birthday…
With the five cards below, you can “guess” anyone’s birthday. Just go through each of the cards in turn and ask them if their birthday (as in the date they were born, not the month, so if they were born on the 17th January, their number is 17) is on the card. Discount the cards their birthday is not on.
With the remaining cards, the cards their birthday is on, add up the numbers in the top left corner and the number you get should be their birthday!
For example, my birthday is the 30th April so 30 in my number. Its on card 1,2,3,4 and not card 0 so you would add up 2+4+8+16=30.
Is it science or is it magic?
Of course it’s science! This actually works on a system called binary, which is the language computers use. Binary is written in 0s and 1s and these together look just like 101001010010010101010 to us but to a computer that might actually mean something.
In this case, when you discount a card, that becomes a 0 and the remaining cards are a 1. So going back to the example of my birthday the cards would read 11110 (reading it backwards) and in binary this means 30.
There are loads of societies that you can get involved in at Newcastle University. These are clubs based around your interests or what course you study. One of our newest STEM ones is a hands on engineering society: the Marine Projects Society.
It all started when a group of Marine Technology students took part in the International Submarine Race in 2014 in Washington DC, USA. Students who were interested in working on it the following year took over and decided to form a society around it to enable students to partake in a variety of Marine related projects. The society remained focused on marine engineering so a a variety of engineering students across the university could collaborate on projects.
This academic year (2015/16) they are working on building an underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), which are underwater robots important in studying deep water habitats that we otherwise couldn’t access . The society aim to take part in the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) ROV competition in Long Beach, California, USA in June next year. The competition is based on acting as entrepreneurs selling the prospective client a product (in this case an ROV). To achieve this they must draft technical reports, marketing displays and engage in community outreach as well as build an ROV to demonstrate that it can perform certain set underwater tasks.
This years team consists of about 30 members, some of whom are a part of the core team and others are ancillary members who have the opportunity to learn from more experienced members and contribute in their own capacity. The current members form 3 sub groups, namely- 1) Structures & Chassis 2) Mechanical Systems 3) Electrical & Computing.
The Structures & Chassis team is responsible for designing the outer framework of the ROV and responsible for waterproofing and making certain design calculations (buoyancy, weights, center of gravity etc.).
The mechanical systems team is responsible for designing & building a manipulator (mechanical arm) in order to enable a person from the surface to control it remotely to perform certain underwater tasks such as picking items up.
The electrical & computing team is responsible for coding the control architecture or the ‘brain’ of the ROV. They are tasked with controlling the motor speeds, manipulator & underwater video-cam transmission.
This society is a really good opportunity for anyone who is studying engineering to get some practical experience. The students across the different sub groups come from a variety of engineering backgrounds (Electrical, Marine, Mechanical, Computer science). We wish them the best of luck with the ROV competition!