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The Institute Logo

The Institute's logo is the abacus Chinese, an ancient calculus instrument formed by a frame with sticks or parallel wires. The idea came informally, in the 1980s, when the current Institute of Computing was still the Department of Computer Science (DCC), belonging to the Institute of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (IMECC). Instead of using a technological artifact characteristic of the time, the adoption of the abacus sought to refer to an object that timelessly represented the act of calculating. The use was consolidated after Prof. Hans Liesenberg developed a code that would insert the logo illustrated above into word processor documents Latex.

The number represented by the abacus is 1969, the year of creation of the Department of Computer Science and also the year of the beginning of the Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science.

In 1998, the Congregation of the now Institute of Computing officially adopted the logo.

Prof. Jorge Stolfi, former Director of the Institute, created three-dimensional versions of the representation, giving him features like the ones below:


In 2019, IC, in partnership with Buildbox, developed a work to modernize its visual identity and decided to use the 2D Chinese Abacus as logo.

How does Chinese abacus work?

There are different types of abacus. The IC is called the Chinese 2/5 abacus. It consists of two accounts at the top (each corresponding to 5 values) and five accounts at the bottom (each corresponding to 1 value). The rightmost column corresponds to the units; the next column, on the left, is the tens column, and so on.

Curiosity: the correct positioning of the abacus is with the rods in a vertical direction. In the original representation of the IC logo, the abacus appears lying down, with the rods arranged horizontally.