1011+1101=24 using Minecraft

Build a calculator in Minecraft and add up binary numbers: This is what this Summer school, organized by the EPFL Education Outreach Department together with the Mathematics institute, offers from October 5 to 8, 2020.

A calculator is a reassuring companion during math tests. But how does it work? And how can we be sure that it displays the correct result?

During this pre-university week, the participants will answer such questions while designing a calculator in Minecraft.

To do so, they will learn how to use binary code. This code enables the transformation of information into 0s and 1s, a language that machines understand. Like small computers, the calculators transcribe our usual decimal numbers into binary numbers. And this is how 13=1101 and 1011+1101=24.

In order to design a calculator in Minecraft, the participants will have to use logic while developing algebra and computer science concepts (variables, binary system or truth tables) to be able to stack blocks, activate levers and finally understand how their TI-30X works.

Practical information

Where and when
October 5-8, 2020 at EPFL Lausanne – subject to favourable developments in the health situation related to the COVID-19 pandemic
High school students who have passed their first year
No preliminary knowledge of logic or computer science, nor any experience in playing Minecraft are required
Courses in French and English
No specific material required, neither laptop nor Minecraft licence
Teaching staff
Orane Jecker and David Strütt, EPFL Mathematics institute, accompanied by several EPFL students
CHF 50.- (excluding VAT). Lunches are included but the participants have to cover their housing expenses. Rooms are pre-booked at Youth Hostel Lausanne until September 18, 2020. Please contact [email protected] if you are interested
Registration is closed
Please contact the Education Outreach Department for any question: [email protected]