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Magic of Queen Mary science at the Royal Society

The audience for this year’s Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition will see a magic show with a difference thanks to computer scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.

26 June 2009


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Original content:

<div class="rxbodyfield"><p>The research team has developed an interactive magic show to demonstrate the link between magic and computer science research for the annual exhibition. The team present a series of tricks and challenge the audience to work out how they are done. They then explain how each trick is performed and demonstrate its link to computer science.<br /><br />&#8220;Magicians need to understand psychology if their tricks are to be stunning. Designers of software need to understand those same psychology principles if their programs are to be easy to use,&#8221; said lead researcher Professor Peter McOwan.<br /><br /></p><div class="rx_ephox_inlinevariant" contenteditable="false" inlinetype="rxvariant" rxinlineslot="105" rxselectedtext="" sys_dependentid="17949" sys_dependentvariantid="825" sys_folderid="7999" sys_relationshipid="76099" sys_siteid="378"><div class="inline_img_left" style="width: 150px;"><img alt="Peter McOwan at the Royal Society Summer Festival" class="box" contenteditable="false" height="225" src="http://cms.qmul.ac.uk/Rhythmyx/assembler/render?sys_revision=1&amp;sys_siteid=378&amp;sys_authtype=0&amp;sys_contentid=17949&amp;sys_variantid=506&amp;sys_command=edit&amp;sys_folderid=7999&amp;sys_context=0" unselectable="on" width="150" /><br contenteditable="false" unselectable="on" /> <span class="sbcaption" contenteditable="false" unselectable="on">McOwan at the Royal Society Summer Festival</span></div></div><p>Fellow computer scientist Paul Curzon is also one of the magicians at the event. He said: &#8220;This link from science to magic makes our event entertaining and interactive. But there is a serious lesson in understanding computer science and its relationship to psychology.&#8221;<br /><br />Visitors to the exhibit will also be given a free &#8216;magic of computer science&#8217; booklet that explains how to do all the tricks as well as the computer science behind them. That means that members of the audience can continue the experience at home as they try the tricks on family and friends, and gain a deeper understanding of the science.<br /><br />The Summer Science Exhibition is the highlight of the Society&#39;s calendar and is the perfect opportunity to find out more about the UK&#39;s cutting edge science and meet the minds behind it.&#160;The event is open to the general public for free between Tuesday 30 June and Saturday 4 July.<br /><br />There will be over 20 fascinating interactive exhibits, covering topics from how fluorescent fish could provide better understanding of human disease to how new space missions could help unlock the history of the universe.</p></div>

For media information, contact:

Neha Okhandiar
Public Relations Manager
Queen Mary University of London
email: n.okhandiar@qmul.ac.uk
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