Front panel of a 2007 recreation of the Antikythera Mechanism.
Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia
Venue: Forgan Smith (building 1), The University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Non-members are welcome. A donation of $10 per person includes entry in the lucky door prize and afternoon tea.

The Antikythera Mechanism: World's First Computer?

Found in 1901 in a shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera, this strange mechanism was described in a June 1959 article in Scientific American as "An Ancient Greek Computer", at least 2,000 years old, and later, this same journal characterized it as the most important technological artifact from the ancient world. It may be classed today as an "analogue computer" using a clockwork style mechanism to make various astronomical predictions. More recent research, just published (June 2016), offers new insights into what may have been its astrological significance. This talk will introduce the mechanism and the extensive research literature about it.

A working model of the mechanism, made from 3,900 pieces of Lego, has been made in the Gold Coast Techspace by Peter Caelli and James Sapsford who will bring and demonstrate this model during the lecture. It is hoped that members of the audience will be able to examine closely the Lego model in our usual 'Teaspace' after the lecture and the Betty Fletcher Award.

Professor Caelli is the former Head of the School of Software Engineering and Data Communications at QUT. He was a founder of ERACOM Pty Ltd that created and produced a range of encryption systems in Queensland for use particularly by the banking and finance industries in Australia, Europe and SE-Asia. He is a Fellow and Founding Member of the Australian Computer Society.