Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reflections for Day 1 (Tim Yap)

In day 1, we attended the 5 plenary sessions, in which a variety of specialised professors spoke about their respective careers.

First was "Importance of Water - Dirty and Clean" by Prof. Ng Wun Jern, who works on ways to manage waste water. I learned of the many harmful substances that can flourish in polluted rivers such as the Singapore River 50 years back. I learned of the main problems pollution poses to people as well as the irony of the societal and economic development, in which economic development compromises the water resources from which it began. Other interesting facts were statistics on people who have clean water-related problems and some basic sewage history, and the fact that Singapore is a one-of-a-kind country in which the island itself is practicallly a water catchment.

Next was "Revolution of Microelectronics Technology" by Prof Yeo Kiat Seng. I learned of the many areas in daily life where electronics reach out to, BioNanoElectronics, the 9 'O's that spell out 'BRAINWAVE' and the many fields of electronics where people can work in. Interesting facts were the visible development of products and the semi-conductor industry.

Then was the "Innovative Breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology" by Prof Ma Jan, in which were displayed many fascinating products of nano-tech, bio-tech and def-tech.

Next was the "IT for Animation" by Prof Seah Hock Soon, who gave us a brief introduction on the field of animation, of 2D, 3D, stop motion and motion capture. We learned of geometric modeling expressing the necessity of the knowledge of mathematics.

Last was Prof Emma Hill, who told us about the work of geodisists, showing how the earth continues to change the shape of its surface and how the melting of glaciers affect the rise of sea levels.

The plenary session that leaves the deepest impression on me is the last lecture. What I like about it is that now I know how the earth continuously changes in the surface very rapidly and how glaciers affect sea level and change direction of water flow globally.

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