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Exhibits, events, conferences

This is my effort to keep Slide Rule and Mechanical Calculator alive.

For this I organize exhibits where slide rule, pascaline and mechanical calculators can be tested by the public.

I think it is useless to teach maths without explaining how calculations were performed before the digital era.

To complete the overview of the ancient technologies, I also prepare exhibits on astronomical navigation and the history of communication.

For a better vision of mathematics my exhibits aims to:

  • arouse curiosity about slide rule and mechanical calculators;
  • illustrate their history and use;
  • demonstrate the need to use computers critically.

To avoid boredom I organize dynamic exhibits, focused in teaching how to use the instruments.

From 2008 I show every year at Cagliari Festival Scienza, an Italian science fair sponsored by the U.N.E.S.C.O., a brief history of computing. The opportunity to try the calculators has made the difference and I have always more than 1,500 visitors. The exibits are now suspended due to other commitements.

As a static exposition of scientific instruments cause just a mild curiosity, I make a dynamic exhibit focused in quickly teaching how to use them. Math on the move! Since 2008 I show every year at Cagliari Festival Scienza, an Italian science fair sponsored by the U.N.E.S.C.O. with more than 14,000 visitors, a brief history of computing.

The best compliment I got from a group of young girls who advised everyone: "go to see the old computers, they are so cool". An unexpected success for a boring topic

Was there life before computer? was one of 10 educational projects that have represented Italy at the Science on Stage Europe Festival 2013 and "Old Calculators & Democracy" do the same in 2015.

Exhibits on the calculus

Cagliari Festivalscienza 2010, people interested

Somebody write notes

Cagliari Festivalscienza 2010, crowd


Cagliari Festivalscienza 2011, the nomographs

Nomographs helps the boys to understand logarithms

Cagliari Festivalscienza 2011, youngster at work

Youngs learn at the fly

Slide rules at Cagliari Festivalscienza 2012

Teaching to the teachers

Nicola Marras: teaching slide rule and nomography

Lesson of nomography to children

The pascaline calculator

Practice with pascaline

Mostra sul regolo calcolatore

Schede di una mostra sul regolo calcolatore

Exhibits on the communication

The concept of real time communication begin in '1800

The culture of instant information sharing was born in the 1800s. Back then, news and stock trade transactions would have already traveled in real time over 650,000 km of telegraph network.
In the last century you could chat online by means of HAM radio, a network entirely built by devoted hobbyists. Access to HAM radio wasn't available to everybody; good technical skills and motivation were required.

First Real Time Communication

The presentation and the posters of the exhibit

When we re-discover these technologies, we should ask ourselves: how our present world will be viewed in the future?

The exhibit, usually held in the context of Cagliari Festival Scienza, is aimed at showing how real-time communication has existed for almost 200 years and its probable developments.

Cagliari Festival Scienza 2017, people interested

People interested

Cagliari Festival Scienza 2017, Civil Protection

volunteers of the Civil Protection

Cagliari FestivalScienza 2018, interview

interview for local TV

Cagliari FestivalScienza 2018, Radiguet telegraph

OnLine 2018, very rare Radiguet pre-Morse telegraphs

Cagliari FestivalScienza 2018, telegraph equipment

telegraphic equipment

Cagliari FestivalScienza 2018, many students

many students

Cagliari FestivalScienza, the transmitter of IS1EHM

the radio of IS1EHM, the first Italian female radio amateur

Cagliari FestivalScienza 2018, telegraph station

postal telegraph station

history of communication

slides on the history of communication

Exhibits on the navigation

Cagliari FestivalScienza 2018, astronomical navigation

presentation of the exhibition on astronomical navigation

Download the presentation of the pre-GPS navigation exhibit by Nicola Marras

Program of the exhibition on ancient navigation

Science on Stage Italy  Cagliari FestivalScienza  Science on Stage Europe

The presentation of the exhibit

© 2008 - 2018 Nicola Marras Manfredi

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