Foucault Pendulum

buildscc | 08 Feb 2012 | | projects


This is a joint BUILDS - PHOTON project. BUILDS is working on a small scale model for PHOTON to take and work with BU to have a large scale model installed in a building on campus (SCI?).


If you want to join this project, email John-Nicholas Furst

Background Research

Build an Accurate Foucault Pendulum: [1]


After a consultation with PHOTON BUILDS engineers discussed with PHOTON that they would need approval from structural engineers, BU Facilties, and Boston Building Modifications Board.

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Coding Bee

Allan and George are planning a coding bee! Here are the rules:

Allowed Symbols

( {left,open} {paren,parenthesis} ) {right,close} {paren,parenthesis} [ {left,open} {bracket,square bracket} ] {right,close} {bracket,square bracket} { {left,open} {brace,curly {bracket,brace}, squiggly {bracket,brace}} } {right,close} {brace,curly {bracket,brace}, squiggly {bracket,brace}} < {bra,less than,{left,open} {waka,angle{ bracket,}},langle} > {ket,greater than,{right,close} {waka,angle{ bracket,}},rangle} ! {exclamation mark,bang,shriek,factorial,wow} @ {at{, symbol},strudel} # {hash,pound{, sign},number sign,crunch,sharp,{octo}thorpe,tic-tac-toe} $ dollar{, sign} % {percent,percentage}{, mark} ^ {hat,carat,circumflex} & {and,ampersand,pretzel} * {star,asterisk} ` {backtick,grave,backquote} ~ {tilde,twiddle,wiggle,squiggle} - {minus,hyphen,dash} _ {underline,underscore} + {plus,add} = {equals,equal to} | {bar,pipe} \ backslash / {forward ,}slash ? {question mark,surprise noodle} ; semicolon : colon ' {apostrophe,single quote} " {double ,}quote . {period,dot,point} , comma Enter: like hitting the 'enter' key on any sane system Tab: puts a 'tab' symbol [no automatic indentation] Space: hit the spacebar Backspace: Hit the fucking backspace key. Don't use the arrow keys. No editor-specific key bindings. Please explicitly state capital letters (e.g. "capital A") You may use the capslock key. We will not help you if you have forgotten if it is on. Allowed alternatives to standard American letter names: Z may be 'zed' H may be 'haich'


  • Python [the classic] ** Tabs are recommended. ** You are given a prototype. e.g.
      def fib (a):

** Python 2.6 or 2.7 ** No imports

  • Haskell** Please use spaces. **

You will be given the type and name of the function. e.g.

	fib :: Int -> Int

** GHC 6 or 7, with no extensions enabled. Haskell 98 is acceptable.

  • C ** You will be given a function prototype. Please complete it. e.g.
	int fib (int a);

** GCC version 4.x, with no flags. **

No imports; you may use anything in libc. (Including GNU extensions)

  • PHP ** you will be given a function prototype. e.g.
	function fib(a) {

** PHP Version 5 ** Restrictions?

  • Perl ** you will be given a subroutine name and the arguments it must take. e.g.
	sub fib {

** Perl 5 ** No use statements. Restrictions?


The prize will be a ceiling tile with your gorgeous face on it created by our very own - Monica Gribouski.



  • Factorial
  • Power [integer powers] {no cheating}
  • Fibonacci
  • Quadratic Formula
  • endswith:
  • GCD


  • Check paren matching
  • Substring given index and length
  • Check primality
  • Fizzbuzz
  • Binary search
  • Decide substring:
  • Remove duplicates from a list
  • Given a byte, output its bits. [most-significant first]
  • Search


  • Sort a list in maximum O(n^2) time
  • Sort a list in average {n log n} time
  • Output primes
  • Print/list all factors of a natural number
  • All contiguous substrings
  • Square roots of integers, round down.
  • Reverse a list/string
  • Capitalize
  • atoi
  • Intersection of two sorted lists
  • parse csv?

=== Impossible ===

  • RSA [just for Kyle]
  • Give all permutations of a list [list does not contain duplicates]
  • // Give all permutations of a list without repetition [oh god way too hard]


Meeting Minutes for 2012-02-08


Kyle Brogle

  • So, there was a career fair today, and we might get free pizza! Also, hello to all newcomers. General note, everyone should subscribe to the “BU Colloquim” list for awesome talks going on around campus. To those who received the doodle, the BUILDS wireshark workshop is set to be held this coming monday at 6pm.

Allan Wirth

  • Lan-Tunes
    • Everyone should thank allan for writing a new music server for BUILDS, found at HTTP:// (sorry gutenbach). This saturday (around 6pm) Allan will be going over his solutions/ the puzzles for the Mozilla CTF a few weeks ago.

John-Nicholas Furst

  • The minutes will be much more reliable (cough, cough) in the future.

Valerie Young

  • Musical Stairs
    • The stairs hackathon this past weekend was a great success! Thanks to all those involved. Further progress is blocking on the acquisition of more (working) parts, which should be arriving soon. The next meeting will be this coming sunday at 4pm.

Monica Gribouski

  • Multitouch Table
    • Next meeting will be this sunday (more sanding). We are also considering entering the Multitouch project in the Imagineering Competition.

Christopher Woodall

  • Soldering Workshop
    • The soldering workshop was a great success! People got experience soldering, and a second workshop is in the works so keep checking your email.

Anthony Inzero

  • BUILDS Bot
    • Progress is currently blocking on the acquisition of parts (for BUILDS Bots)

John-Nicholas Furst

  • just checking on the (in)active status” of certain projects:
    • Jeff / CNC DrawBot:
      • active, Project blocking on the acquisition of a NEW LASER. It’s been ordered, waiting on arrival.
    • George/ DerpNet:
      • inactive
    • Chris/ Conductive Paint:
      • Still active, need to mix the paint (and need time to do this)
    • Liam et al/ Video Game Collective:
      • temporarily inactive.
    • Rusty et al / Coil Gun:
      • inactive, Version 2 pending submission of write-up.

Danny Cooper

  • Document Camera
    • The Document Camera is blocking on having free time. Also, project “hack-a-tile.” If you have a cool project (like LEDs), you should mount them in the ceiling tile! cf: the FAN OF DAMOCLES.

John-Nicholas Furst

  • The dean of students has sent out a survey concerning Gender Neutral Housing, so you should check it out.

David House

  • Remember everyone, elections for officer positions will be held next month, around March 16th, as mandated in the meta-meeting. Check your email.

Monica Gribouski

  • NEW BUILDS T-SHIRTS. Contact monica if you have any (good) ideas.

Avery Gray

  • Still working on a music player. If you’re interested in tooling around with something like this, contact Avery.

Christopher Woodall

  • Maker Faire Cambridge
    • The mini-Maker Fair is coming up (this april). If we have any working/finished projects by then, we should submit them. We should also consider helping them start the event. An email will be sent out soon, so keep checking your email.