Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 1 Reflections Gwendolyn

  1. Importance of water - Dirty and Clean

I learnt that water is very important. Pollution can result in smell, diseases, health risk and environmental degradation. 1.1 billion have no access to clean water, 2.4 billion suffer from inadequate sanitation, 3.4 million die every year from water-borne diseases and 2 billion are at risk of water-related bacterial diseases. Even though the flushed toilets were invented during the 1760-1500 BC, it was not until 600 BC did it appear again. The professor was engaging and charismatic, unlike the stereotypical lecturer. He crack jokes and make the entire plenary session captivating and entertaining.

2) Revolution of Microelectronics technology

I learnt that microelectronics would soon play a big role in our lives. The supply chain of this is mainly to Asia and Singapore is right smack in the center of it. In addition, the proliferation of electronics are driving global demands. This would mean Singapore would see more business as a trading port. The speaker was monotonous and change slides rather quickly, thus many of us could not jot down enough information.

3) Innovative breakthrough in Nano-science and Nano-technology

I learnt that Nano-technology has made what was considered impossible in the past possible now. You want a material ten times the strength of steel but only a fraction of the weight? Use Carbon Nano-tubes. Shrink all the information in the Library of COngress into the size of a sugar cube? It is possible with the help of quantum dots. Detect cancerous tumors when they are only a few cells in size? Nano-particles are the answer. Nano-particles deliver the drugs directly to the tumors and thus reduce damage to healthy cells. The speaker was charismatic and able to keep everyone’s attention on him.

  1. IT for Animation

I learnt that traditional animation involves a lot of work and thus labour-intensive and cost more money to produce. Nowadays, with the aid of computer animation technology, animations are now less labour-intensive and thus cost less to produce. However, countries such as Japan still uses traditional animation to produce popular anime and it involves very little computer aid.

5) Disappearing Glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think

I learnt that geodesist, a lesser-known job, measure the shape and size of our planet as well as its gravitational field. Glaciers play a key role in the process ‘Self-attraction’ and maintain the sea-level all over the world. As the glacier melts, it will create a domino effect, decreasing the relative sea-level near the glacier and increasing the relative sea-level as the distance between the glacier and the area being measured increases.

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