Learning-Based Summer Camp with Daily Lunch and Snacks for One or Two at One on One Learning (51% Off)

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Choose Between Two Options

  • $85 for one week of summer camp including lunch for one ($175 value)
  • $165 for one week of summer camp including lunch for two ($335 value)

Pocket Calculators: Bite-Sized Binary

Doing math is much easier with a calculator in your hand, but what's really happening under those buttons? Read on to learn more about the complex calculations happening inside.

Few modern inventions are as taken for granted as the calculator. Today's calculators are so small as to be practically forgotten, tucked away in a pocket or the apps folder of a smartphone. But despite the compact size, a calculator's functions are surprisingly complex—the collaboration of several electronic circuits working together is needed to arrive at something even as simple as 2+2. When a user presses the buttons of a calculator, a chip inside translates each input into a binary number—a series of 1s and 0s—which it can more easily store in memory and send through a variety of built-in functions. Each function exists on an integrated circuit with its own logic and assortment of tiny counting beans. At the end of the calculation, the processor translates the binary solution back into a legible number and sends it to the calculator display. Heck, even the display is controlled by binary logic, which is why the numbers commonly consist of segmented lines. Each part of every numeral can be turned on or off according to the processor's instructions.

All this work happens so quickly and seamlessly we barely think twice about it. But only a few decades ago, the digital calculator was a revolutionary device—a mash of circuits and displays the size of a cash register and the cost of a midsize car. Before the 1960s, the only tools used to make personal calculations were objects such as the abacus and, beginning in the early 19th century, a variety of crude mechanical computers that used wheels and cogs to carry about basic arithmetic. Sharp unveiled the first desktop calculator in 1964, but it wasn't until the development of the microprocessor a few years later that engineers could begin to create pocket-sized versions. Nevertheless, calculators remained an expensive novelty for quite some time. A 1971 commercial for the Sharp EL-8, one of the first handheld calculators, touts its "price tag to match"—the low, low price of $345.

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In a Nutshell

Enrollment includes two snacks and one lunch per day as well as field trips and tutoring services in math and reading comprehension

The Fine Print

Expires Jul 31st, 2014. New clients only. Reservation required. Subject to availability. Merchant's standard cancellation policy applies (any fees not to exceed Groupon price). Limit 1 per person, may buy 1 additional as gift. Valid only for option purchased. Must register student the Friday before the week of attendance. Merchant is solely responsible to purchasers for the care and quality of the advertised goods and services.

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