Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Day 1 Reflection

  For the first Plenary Session, which was about the importance of water, I feel that the talk was very interesting, as most of the content that was presented to me were new, and the presenter was humorous and engaging. We mostly take water for granted, as here in Singapore we get access to clean drinkable water almost everywhere, even from the tap. But in some parts of the world, they are not so lucky. They have absolutely no access to safe and clean water to drink, and may have to drink polluted water, which may contain viruses from infectious diseases. Till today, 1.1 billion people worldwide have no access to drinking water, 2.4 billion people do not have proper sanitation facilities, 3.4 million people die each year from waterborne diseases. The number will increase if we do not help these people. We are not just making a difference for ourselves, we are also making a difference for others.
  The second Plenary Session, which was about the revolution of microelectronics technology, taught me more about the microelectronics in our everyday lives, and how they have evolved over the years, from a heavy and slow computer to a light and fast computer. Electronics is pervasive. It enables entertainment, medicine, manufacturing, transportation, etc. Electronics and biology are converging at the Nanoscale. For example, programmable blood that can tell the blood glucose level of the patient, electronic contact lens that enables blind people to see, and brain implants that allow you to talk to each other just by thinking about him/her. Microelectronics Technology will be the future of practically everything.
  The third Plenary Session, which was about the innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology, gave me new insight about Nano-Technology. Nano-Technology is all around us, in both living and non-living things. From the hull of the ship, to the body armor that soldiers use. They save lives both medically and in combat. The most important thing about nano particles would be that the smaller size for a fixed volume equates to a larger surface area. Thanks to Nano-Technology, we can treat more diseases and bacteria, have treatment for freckles, strong and light body armor for soldiers and police, and the list goes on…
  The forth Plenary Session, which was about animation, we were introduced to stop motion animation, 2D and 3D animation, how mathematics are applied in movies, and motion capture. Most of these I have some knowledge of, so this session fuels my knowledge for these topics. Some of the learning points from the session would be everybody can be an inventor; take the first step, start something big; and to keep things simple and perfect it later.
  The fifth and last Plenary Session for the day, which was mainly about gravity and sea levels, was very interesting, probably because I am more into the Earth’s geography. The main key learning point from this session would be the sea-level rise will not be the same everywhere. This is due to a very complex process formed by the glacier ‘denting’ the Earth’s crust, thus causing the sea water to be attracted to the glacier. When the glacier melts, the water would flow back into the sea and cause a sea-level rise. Sea-level rise will be highest farthest from the glaciers. This is different in different parts of the world. 
  The Plenary Session that leaves the deepest impression on me is the session on the innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology. What I like about it is the fact that nano-technology is all around us, and they help improve our way of lives, sometimes without us knowing! They help save lives, practically in all areas. The fact that the smaller the size for a fixed volume equals to a large surface area fascinates me. If we can apply this formula into our everyday lives, life would be so much better.
  Overall reflection for day 1, it has been a fun and meaningful day. I am looking forward to the next 2 days and 1 night here in NTU.

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