Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Reflections on Plenary Sessions - Stacey

(A) My key learning points

Importance of Water - Dirty and Clean
- Economic development can compromise water resources. There is an increasing need to protect our water resources as economies develop.
- Singapore is like a water catchment. It is built in such a way that water is collected at various points and transported.
- There are currently many problems with the way we are using our water resources and there is no one solid solution that everyone can use. It is an expanding industry.

Revolution of Microelectronics Technology
- Computers were revolutionized from mega huge machines to a more compacted and portable one.
- Everything is being made smaller, thinner and lighter.

Biomedical Engineering & Technology
- Smaller size for a fixed volume = larger surface area
- With the same volume, nano-tech makes things smaller so that it will have a higher energy level.
- It does not reinvent anything, just modifying existing stuff

IT for Animation
- Animation uses much mathematical ideas. Such as calculus and the laws of physics.
- The cost of making 2D animations are higher compared to making 3D animations. This is so as 2D animations work on a frame by frame drawing and needs skilled artists to do so.
- There are 3 different types of lighting to make 2D look like 3D. They are the ambient lighting (adding color to the object), diffuse lighting (applying shadows to the objects) and specular lighting (highlighting the objects to make it more realistic).

Disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think
- The sea-level rise will not be the same everywhere
- Closer distance between two objects = stronger gravitational force
- The factors that affect the distribution of the mass on Earth are mostly due to water and the mantle. 

(B) Deepest impression
The plenary session that leaves the deepest impression on me is the plenary session: disappearing glaciers, rising sea levels, and why gravity is even more important than you think. The information shared in this plenary session was new and interesting as I did not know how gravity starts a "chain" effect on the water distribution around the Earth. That the level of the seawater closest to a melting glacier is lower compared to the further areas due to the gravity pull of the water.

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