Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Tuesday 26th April 2016

We started the day with a bit of an eye opener at IBM in downtown Washington DC, the students were given an overview of where IBM have developed from - basically hardware, as in machines that punched cards, to typewriters, to the first computers right through to where they are now - in a significantly different but related field. In the last 100 years they have moved through major "technology" developments and are now involved in cancer treatment through the development of "Watson" a tool to help doctors sift through the mass of publications and empirical research to best help the patient with the exact type of illness they have and the treatment that would best suit their needs - in other words they have taught a computer to think.
They gave many other examples of how they are using software like Watson for the benefit of the human race. A few of the students really came into their own and asked intelligent and articulate questions to the presenters, which was awesome to see.

After a bite to eat the students all took off to various Smithsonian Museums - of which there are plenty, including Air and Space, Natural History, African Art, Native American Indian Art etc, there are 19 in total - just a few too many to get around in one day even with our expertise in "doing" museums.

Pizza followed and then the night tour of Washington DC, which was bus tour of all the main buildings and sites around the city, sights include White House, Capitol Hill, the Martin Luther King memorial, Lincoln memorial and the Reflecting Pool, WW11 Memorial, Arlington National Cemetery etc etc. It was a balmy evening after the heat of the day which made for a great last evening together. All the students are in good spirits and most are looking forward to getting home to see their pets and sleep in their own beds!!

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