Learning Popular Mechanics

Nowadays, people seem to be attached to their cell phones and constantly hooked on the internet. However, many do not have the slightest idea on how these modern inventions actually operate. Seeking to educate others on technological functions, Ed Dougherty, Director of Villanova’s Engineering Entrepreneurship program, presented a talk on “Popular Mechanics” in the Idea Accelerator. Explaining the history of telecommunications from two cups connected by a wire to modern cell phones, Dougherty outlined the development of cell phones and explained key components, such as electricity and magnetism. Through describing the operations of the internet, he detailed how computers interact with the internet and the protocol for applications, transmission control, hardware, and internet processes. Moving to a more recent development, he described how self-driving cars work. Capable of seeing their surroundings and navigating without human control, these cars build a 3D image of their environments utilizing tools such as GPS, lasers, radars, and video. By learning the basics of these technologies, people can better appreciate these inventions and understand the impact that they will have in the world moving forward.