Monday, June 4, 2012

Plenary sessions [Day 1]

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

     1. Plenary session by Prof Kerry Sieh was regarding Earthquake research on the coral reefs of Sumatra.

- I learnt that sedimentology is a study of sediments in the earth. 
- The layers in the earth determine the age and whether they are from tsunamis. 
- The study of earthquakes and tsunamis is basically through sedimentology and physics. 
- The use of the GPS can not only help a driver navigate him or herself, it can also help measure tectonic deformation. 
- Corals can measure uplift and subsidence. 
- Geologists can also use ancient corals and SuGAr to make forecasts. 
- Radiometric dating helps find out the age of a coral. 
Other than curiosity, there are good reasons to study geo-hazards such as earthquakes, making forecasts is based on physics (hydrodynamics) and engineering. 
The Sumatra plate is also sinking due to the oceanic-continental plate convergence between the Indo-Australian plate and the Eurasian (Sunda) plate.

     2. IT for Animation by Prof Seah Hock Soon was basically focusing on talking about Animation, Science and Technology, Information Technology and Innovation. 

There are many forms of animation, such as stop motion, 2D animation and 3D animation.
- Mathematics such as Geometric modelling, Calculus and the laws of Physics is used in the process of making an animation. 
- The challenges of 2D animations are, beautiful art form, skilled artists, it is labour intensive and the budget pressure. 
Everybody can be an inventor, Keep it simple and perfect it later, Take the first step, start something big. 

     3. Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology by Prof Ma Jan talked about the uses of nano technology, such as killing bacteria using nanotechnology, and nano cell treatment for freckles.

- smaller size for a fixed volume = Larger surface area.
- “ Theres plenty of room at the bottom. “ 
- “ Materials with ten times the strength but only a small fraction of the weight. “ is know as Carbon Nano tube (CNT)
- “Shrinking all the information housed at the library of congress into a device the size of a sugar cube.” is known as quantum dots.
-“ Detecting cancerous tumours when they are only a few cells in size. ” is known as nano particles.

(b) New questions...

New questions I have about the topic are...
- How can we be more prepared for the tsunamis or earthquakes using our current technology?
- How do we operate the animation software that the professor came up with?

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