Monday, June 6, 2011

(I) Plenary Sessions - Goh Jun Hong

(A) My key learning points from each session...

1. Importance of Water - Dirty and Clean
I learnt that sufficient sanitation facilities and clean drinkable water are needed around the world. We, the Singaporeans, are very lucky whereas in other countries, 1.1 billion people do not have clean water, 2 billion are prone to waterborne disease. Clean sanitation and toilet bowls dates as far back as 1700BC. Asia is predicted to be the largest water environment infrastructure market in the world in the year 2050. Singapore is recognized for dealing with water issues since Singapore has came out with a plan to bring Singapore clean water.

2. Revolution of Microelectronics Technology
I learnt that the start of Microelectronics Technology was started at 1948 due to the invention of the transistors at Bell Laboratories. Electronics play a big role in human life. The invention of integrated circuits and how it changes the electronic industries. The 9 O's: Bio, Radio, Info, Nano, H2O, Audio, Video, E=mctwo. They make the acronym: BRAINWAVE. Microelectronics, according to the professor, is the Most Rounded, Broadest Coverage and Electronics encompasses virtually everything.

3. Innovative Breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology
I learnt that the smaller size the object is that has the same volume, the larger the surface area, thus the more energy. An example the professor provided was that fine sugar dissolved faster than hard sugar because the fine sugar has more surface area thus releasing more energy.
0D - Particles
1D - Fibres
2D - Film

4. IT for Animation
I learnt that stop motion is like story-telling where not much technology is used. In order to animate, Geometric Modeling, Linear Algebra, Calculus and the Laws of Physics have to applied to the movie. 2D animation can look like 3D animation depends of what kind of lighting. According to the professor, Everyone can invent, Identify and Analyze the problem and Invent for a reason. It is the Frontier in Science and Technology, Fascinating Animation. Math is applied in movies and games. IT is in our life.

5. Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think
I learnt that the job of a Geodesist is to measure shape and size of Earth gravity field and things that change overtime using space-based techniques. Sea-level rise will not be the same everywhere. Self-attraction and loading is also known as Sea level "Fingerprints". When the glacier is heavy the crust is depressed and water is attracted to the glacier due to gravitational attraction. When the glacier is melted, the crust rebounds and water flows away from the glacier. The formula is "Fg = (G m1 m2)/d^2" which means Gravitational attraction is equivalent to the Mass of one object multiplied to the Mass of another object divided by the square of the distance between the two objects. GRACE or The Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment is sent to space to observe the Earth's gravitational field and measuring the amount of gravity in each countries.

(B) Deepest impression...
The plenary session that leaves the deepest impression on me is "Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think" by Assistant Professor Emma Hill, School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences, Division of Earth Science. What I like is the fact that the presentation was short and sweet, plus easy to understand, while teaching us new terms within the strict time limit of just 15 minutes. Assistant Professor Emma has a loud and clear voice with a tinge of humour, that makes the last plenary session all the more engaging. Geology interest me a lot since it unravels how the Earth actually works, and since it is the first time I heard the term "Geodesist" I was interested in the occupation. I too was interested that gravity actually is an indicator and has a say in Global Warming.

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