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18th November 2010

Exeter College hit by virtual asteroid

As part of one of the College’s four annual Subject Family Dinners on 11 November, Julian de Hoog, a DPhil candidate in Computer Science, gave a talk on his work on rescue robotics. He described to an attentive audience of students the difficulties of designing a robot that could rescue people trapped in the College’s lecture theatre by a falling asteroid. This image gives his impression of what the College might look like if the asteroid hit!

Other presentations by graduate students at the pre-dinner seminar included Earth Scientist Laura Gregory on studying the development of faults in the Mongolian Altay mountains; Physicist Steffen Schaper on using theoretical physics to understand the principles of biological evolution; Computer Science student Alex Flint on computer vision; and undergraduate Chemist Tim Hele on ring polymers.

At dinner, Tom Standage, Digital Editor of The Economist, asked students to consider what things that are obscure today will be ubiquitous in 2020. Smartphones, social networks and music players all existed but were obscure a decade ago, and are now ubiquitous. A lively but inconclusive discussion ensued.

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