Science on Saturday: Circuits and Computers

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April 4, 2016

EECS faculty, students, and staff showed off their electric superpowers on Saturday at Science on Saturday: Circuits and Computers edition, an event hosted by the MIT Museum and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Faculty kicked off the event with on-stage demos explaining how, from atoms to apps, the power of electricity has transformed our lives. Afterwards, attendees were invited to participate in hands-on demos in the lobby of MIT's Kresge Auditorium. laser harp demo

Senior Neerja Aggarwal demonstrates the MIT Edgerton Center's laser harp. The musical laser harp is an interactive music-making machine with an unusual mode of operation: more than a dozen bright red laser diodes paired with photo-resistors that act as break-beam sensors to trigger musical MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) output. Waving ones hands or an object inside the open space triggers musical notes in the melodious pentatonic scale and a fog machine enables one to see the red lasers in swirls of smoke. Photo: Audrey Resutek/MIT EECS.

Demo

Steve Leeb, Professor of Electrical Engineering, explained how circuits and electric currents work. Photo: Anubhav Jain, MIT HKN.

pet robot demo

EECS Lecturer Adam Hartz shows a volunteer how to direct the movement of a "pet robot." Photo: Anubhav Jain, MIT HKN.

Demo

Nearly 1000 people attended the event, which included interactive demos in the lobby of MIT's Kresge Auditorium staffed by EECS faculty, students, and staff. Photo: Audrey Resutek, MIT EECS.

Prof. Dina Katabi

Dina Katabi, the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, asks a volunteer to tell a test subject when to hold his breath. Katabi's group has developed a system that can detect changes in breathing using wireless signals. Photo: Anubhav Jain, MIT HKN.

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Junior Loren Sherman was the event's master of ceremonies. Photo: Anubhav Jain, MIT HKN.

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Principal Research Engineer David Otten demonstrated a Tesla coil. Photo: Audrey Resutek, MIT EECS. 

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Senior Harlin Lee demos a magnetic levitation circuit developed in 6.302 (Feedback Systems). Photo: Audrey Resutek, MIT EECS.

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Vladimir Bulovic, the Fariborz Maseeh (1990) Professor of Emerging Technology and the MIT School of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Innovation (center) demonstrates that white light is made up of a spectrum of colors. Photo: Audrey Resutek, MIT EECS.

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Karen Lang, Education and Business Development Coordinator at MIT CSAIL, (left) demonstrates how to build an app. Photo: Audrey Resutek, MIT EECS. 

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William Freeman, Thomas and Gerd Perkins Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (far left) uses a tuning fork to demonstrate a "motion microscope" that can magnify tiny movements. Photo: Audrey Resutek, MIT EECS. 

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Bulovic uses a pickle as a different sort of light bulb. Photo: MIT Museum.