Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lunar Surface Systems: International and Technology needs

Dr. Michael R. Lowry

  • James Webb Telescope (2014): Successor to Hubble Telescope.
  • Kepler Telescope (2009): JPL + NASA. Has photometer. Searching Earth sized planets. Higher signal to noise ratio than ground based telescopes.
  • LCROSS (October 9 2009): Lunar CRater Observation and Sensing Satellite. Threw up 90 litres of water into the air. Recoverable water. Anomaly: Communications black out. IMU star tracker failover. Ping pong between control deadband. Lack of sensor resolution. Insufficient full failure mode analysis. Software patch uploaded.
  • Aircraft like design of Low Earth Orbit spacecrafts. Longest runway. $1.5 billion amortised cost for every use.
  • Constellation: Solid rocket booster carrying occupants. Altair Lunar Lander (heavier). Pad abort test (new capsule).
  • Augustine Commission: Budgetary considerations. Mars exploration. Launch alternatives. "Flexible path".
  • Interplanetary Flotsam and Jetsam: 4.5 billion year old rock from Mars. Fossil evidence. Primitive Martian life.
  • Getting to Mars
  • Preliminary Lunar Surface System. International guidance.
  • South poles are good. Always sunny. Use solar panels perpendicular to the ground.
  • Space transportation: Rocket equation. Carry mass (fuel) to and from Mars/Earth. Launch window, Flexible Path, Aero braking, Production of fuel remotely, Ion propulsion.
  • Rover: Radiation protection, dust mitigation, guidance matching terrain maps, teleoperated navigation.
  • Communication: Space certification, disruption, QoS, reconfigurable networks.
  • High efficiency, high recovery ECLSS (Environmental Control and Support System).
  • Light weight structures.
  • Smart home systems: iPhone application.
  • Planning done at Mars and only call back to Earth when help is needed.
  • Safety certification: Class A mission standards.
  • Plug and play certification of open architectures.
  • Interoperability.
  • Extend human civilisations
  • Ancient systems for radiation resistance.
  • Mars: A death cemetery for robotic explorations.
  • Contracting out parts of missions.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Part 4 physics presentations

Missed the first presentation.

Anna Yang - Mechanical model of the breast
  • Aid clinicians
  • Cancer research
  • Segmentation of regions from MR images
  • Three interests: Air, skin, fat
  • Using active contour models to find a 3D model from a series of pictures.

Matthew Walbran - All fibre Coherent Anti-stokes Raman Scattering
  • CARS for spectroscopy
  • Multiplex CARS to cut down tuning time.
  • Fibre being an optical fibre.

Ihab Ramadaan - Investigating the use of "colour" spectral CT
  • Imaging modality
  • Distinguishing different oragans/tissues
  • Current techiques use markers but triple xray doses and time. Also dual energy scans but again double the time and xray. Also spectral CT works like RGB
  • LHC = Large Hadron Collider
  • Testing spectral CT and acquisition developed in collaboration with the university of Canterbury.
  • Stopping power determined by the sensor layer.

Yukti Srivastava - Construction of an EDFA for use in an adavance lab
Speaker is crazy with the laser pointer. She needs a light saber!
  • Amplification of light in long fibres.
  • Connectorised components of the lab equipment.

Pratik Raval - LED as replacements to traditional lighting.
  • Light is confined in LEDs because of internal reflection. Angle of illumination is small as well.
  • Thermal management of LEDs due to thermal output over a small component size.
Poor guy. Not sure what his contributions were.

Jason Kuo - Bacterial tagging with optode
  • Using labview and a single fibre probe
  • Ended up a two fibre probe to compact coupling issues causing an irregular peak.

Amy Lin - Construction of a femtosecond Kerr shutter
  • Need to combact "chirp" in super-continuum production
  • Super-continuum source
  • Optical delay line
  • Polarizer
  • Kerr medium
  • Orthoginally, a femtosecond pulse source
  • Analyzer

Kaidi Liang - Super-continuum generation
  • Making tapers for super-continuum generation
  • Third order effects most prominent in super-continuum generation
  • Taper = heating a fibre and stretching under control.
Terminology issue: core

Neil Alan Campbell - Determining iron loading using MRI T2* decay curves
  • Iron loading is the amount of iron in tissue.
  • MRI for determining iron loading without having to take biopsies.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Writing for academic publication

Gina Wisker

Why publish:
  • Finish PhD
  • Confidence in writing skills
  • Stop head spinning
  • Connecting with community
  • Sharing your research
  • People need to know your idea
  • Get feedback
  • Peer reviewed
What is stopping you:
  • Lack of confidence
  • Discourse
  • Not ready or fully developed thoughts
  • Fulfilling other obligations
  • Being a perfectionist
What helps you:
  • Deadlines with consequences
  • Presentation to colleges - views - ideas
  • Reading others' work
  • People supporting you for the effort
  • Teaching in anyway - coherent communication
What is appropriate to write and publish now?
  • Initial results and PhD direction
What you have been working on?
  • Getting familiar with tools to develop on top.
Who are you doing it for?
  • Supervisor: So they know I'm on track
  • Myself: Marks the first start of my PhD research
  • Community: Thoughts and feedback
Main issues to explore
Theories to use
Research to be done
What's done already by me?
Someone else


Calls to papers
What do the publishers like?
What do the editors like?

How does it contribute? What does it contribute? Why does this matter?

Publication / Conference
  • Publications are shorter
  • Conferences written in speech
  • Catch the butterflies in the conference and write them in the publication

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The invisible thread

Kevin Prohl
  • Eye contact, engaging story, gestures, relation, variation, tone; for the audience.
  • Imagery
  • Vocal variation, pause, volume, pitch.
  • Pictures, colour.
  • Have a lesson; a triad - in threes.
  • Take something away - "take away".
  • Impact openings - attract attention.
  • Convection, sincerity.
  • Connect to the audience.
  • Making that connection to the audience - the invisible thread.
  • "Ready, Aim, Blame"
  • "Hiss"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ray Avery

Went to MIT guys for advice on making incubator. They suggested a car part model. That seemed useless because repair would be very hard to do since each part would be custom made and very hard to service in a third world country.

The ideal would be to make something that did not require any repairing, at all.
  • Incubator - costs nothing and requires no replacement.
  • Snap fitting - no screw driver likely to be found in third world countries.
  • Making things indestructible - physically and electronically.
  • "Life Raft"
  • Eventual incubator can be sold in third world countries but also first world. "It is not a cheap knock off".
The baby generates the bugs (source). The air needs to be cleaned from within. Using UV LEDs to kill the bugs. LEDs also serves as an impromptu heating element. Air filters can be made self cleaning through periodic reversal of air flow into the incubator.

Monday, September 28, 2009

MikesBikes MCC Competition Final Results

MCC 2014 Scoreboard
Sent: Monday, 28 September 2009 10:39 a.m.

Hi Company Managers,

The final rollover for the MikesBikes competition was processed over the weekend. Attached is the Scoreboard report showing all Firms' end placing ranked by Shareholder Value (SHV).

Congratulations to the teams below who placed in the top 3 spots for SHV:

1st - Meritocratic Society $92.41
2nd - OGC $86.50
3rd - Bradford Says Smack $82.14

We noted that the level of competition and decisions were quite high across the board this semester. There were many interesting decisions and gambles which paid off. Business by nature is risky, and the winning teams made calculated risks where other chose to play it safe or missed opportunities. We were also pleased by the decisions and results of the following teams, who we commend for succeeding to reach a high SHV:


iBike Pro

Storm of Action



Ring a Ling Bikes

We've also created an MCC news page to display previous winners and the current results. You can access this by following the link given below:

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Kind Regards,

Danny Master
SmartSims International

IndustryFirmSHVProfitSales Revenue
AsiaMeritocratic Society$92.41$12,515,588$36,546,794
North AmericaOGC$86.50$8,463,745$26,985,872
EuropeBradford Says Smack$82.14$7,948,173$26,671,502
North AmericaOnePlusOne$55.95$4,050,075$29,585,905
EuropeiBike Pro$54.10$5,837,377$20,613,120
EuropeStorm of Action$51.36$5,788,154$27,711,565
North AmericaVivo tinto$34.28$3,443,477$18,749,716
EuropeRing a Ling Bikes$24.77$2,100,923$15,166,398
AsiaSir McJoffalot$12.74$1,461,955$8,151,000
AsiaS & D Corporation$12.74$1,461,955$8,151,000
North AmericaTavron$9.55$197,243$5,166,590
AsiaAD & JD Group$6.39$107,530$16,129,164
North AmericaJuggernaut$3.97($816,215)$13,127,800
EuropePhoenix Bikes$3.40($1,984,644)$4,537,650
North Americalance's bikes$1.97($3,930,810)$10,200,944

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A refined sensor-ability: Applying process algebra to sensor network analysis

Allan McInnes

Communicating Sequential Processes (CSP): mutually consistent denotationally; operationally; and algebraic semantics.

Refinement can provide verification.

Node modeling. Example node:
  • TinyOS: programmed in nesC; component-based; Event driven.
  • TinyOS concurrency: Interrupts (asynchronous) and Task scheduling (synchronous). Task scheduling done with a FIFO queue.
  • Model executed on FDR2.

Network modeling:
  • Time Flooding Synchronization protocol: same time base (only says all nodes will have the same time, whatever it is).
  • Model maxed out at seven nodes.

Further refinements:
  • Network level models against node models. High -> Low level.
  • Check fault tolerance in a network.

Friday, September 11, 2009

ECE Part 4 project on an intelligent online tutoring system

The Felder-Silverman model

  • Facts
  • Discover relationships
  • See it
  • Hear it
  • Logical steps
  • Random order
  • Try it out
  • Think it through

Testing -> Learning -> Application

  • What type of questions can be asked to students?
  • Notion of time to measure stress levels or improvement?
  • Rephrasing a question?
  • Active/Reflective
  • Sensing/Intuitive
  • Visual/Verbal
  • Sequential/Global

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Martin Evans - Nobel Leaurete

Never believe anything

Nullius in verba
Expect the unexpected

Pluripotental cells: including Mouse and man
Embryo equivalence: can be maintained indefinitely.

Derived from work of Berry where a single tumor from one mouse to
another and the cell could differentiate into the full range of cells.

Interrelationships of tumor cells and embryoid bodies.

Couldn't culture embryonal carcinoma cells.

Matt Kaufman. Activation of egg cell. Grow haploid cells?

Cell lines.
Lethal embryonic mutation.

Gene therapy not passed onto germ cells.

Having a defective gene may have disease resistance; Darwin
philosophy. Although it is bad to have two copies of the bad gene.

Isolated stem cells.
Regenerative medicine.

Induced transdifferentiation. Reverse engineer a cell back to the

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Computer readable format for representing biological models.

  • SBML
  • SBO
  • CellML
  • SBGN
  • insilicoML
  • MML
  • VCML


  • Declarative not procedural
  • Level 3 will support composition of modules

  • Explicit mathematical modeling.
  • Meta data provides context. Simulation and graphing meta data. Application specific annotations.


  • Proposed guidelines for annotation and curation of quantitative models.
  • Tuples: {data item} {optional qualifier} {entity qualifier}


  • Minimum information required to replicate a simulation.


  • Three languages: Process diagram; Activity flow diagram; Entity relationship diagram.

Physiome model description

  • Software agnostic description of the model.
  • Encoding standards.
  • Annotation.
  • Describe simulation experiments.
  • Describe simulation experiments.
  • Post processing.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

eResearch in New Zealand: Overview and Prospect

Seminar Notes:
  • Complexity of data, findings, ideas continually increasing.
  • Memex (Bush, 1946): external memory for storage/artefacts/experiments.
  • Accessibility: Equipment/computation/resources.
  • Complexity: Between disciplines.
  • Repeatability: Data, models.
  • Collaboration: Virtual presence.
  • Be able to use resources without knowing/no distinction.
  • Centralising data/sharing via the internet.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The role of Industry and Universities in developing successful technology Industries

Tony's involvement:
  • Governance, Strategy building, Innovation management, Commercialisation of technology, Business growth.
  • Phitek, Senztek, Auckland UniServices, Auckland materials accelerator, FRST, Vesper Marine, BEP Marine, SiFE.
  • Driven by knowledge, not financial success.
  • Science led research has long lead times to completion (esp biotech).
  • Little knowledge of market and competition.
  • Commercialising research:
    • validates the quality and relevance of the research.
    • builds status.
Companies seldom engage in fundamental research.

University technology transfer companies:
Good to go to the company's CEO and build a relationship there.

Good entrepreneurs delegating work to others. Bad entrepreneurs do all the work themselves.

Catch-22 with patent protection: Have to wait for patent to come through before product/service can be released; once you have the patent you need to be prepared to fight infringements - can be a stumbling block for start-ups since cash is limited.

If there's one idea, there must be another that goes with it?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spark: Ideas 2 Business Workshop

Summary of the workshop:

Venture summary
  • Write for the opportunity, not the features. The sections on finance, marketing, etc are there to see if you can follow through with the opportunity.
  • What is the unique value proposition? How does it scale if you took the idea out of NZ.
  • Risk and reward.
  • Having good credentials isn't very important. Venture capitalists/Angels can provide the right people if needed.
  • "Tell me what I want to hear so I can get you there".

  • Teams don't have much in way of hierarchy.
  • "We're all in this together".
  • Technical questions raised within a company usually traverses down through a hierarchy of roles rather than to team; team disintegrates into a hierarchy or responsibilities.
  • Keep the differentiation among team members but need to keep the team integrated.

Market validation
  • Customers are interested in what they're buying in terms of benefits rather than features.
  • What is the pain point? What is the thing that customers feel threatened or incapacitated by?
  • "Product/service X has feature Y. So what?"
  • Creating a habit.
  • Don't have a solution looking for a problem.

Sales and marketing
  • Build a relationship.
  • Help people buy. Don't sell to them.
  • Don't close the sale when people come to you.

  • Sources close to you: Friends, Family, Foes, and Fools.
  • Speaker was entertaining so I forgot to write down notes :-p
  • Speaker was from the ICE House so a bit of publicity for their funding rounds.

  • Analogy: A person can live on just water for extended periods but cannot live for long with no air. A business can operate with a cash reserve (shareholder funds) for extended periods but cannot operate very long with no cash flow.
  • How well can the business turn assets into sales.
  • Assets = (Stock + Debtors) + Fixed assets.

Intellectual Property
  • Patent -> Time and Money.
  • Time to market: Is it worth sacrificing just to get a patent?
  • Trade secret: Coke, KFC.
  • Copyright is automatic.
  • Not much benefit in registering a trademark.
  • Case study: Satellite Spies

  • Camera accessory: Orbis Flash
  • Prototype made.
  • Lawyer was consulted on patenting. Non-Disclosure Agreement used when speaking to people about the idea.
  • Savings used to create real prototype.
  • Simple market validation by asking friends and people on forums.
  • Finding the right manufacturer in NZ and China.
  • Entrepreneur also needs to be a salesperson.
  • Publicity: Forums, email database, website, YouTube, mavens, banner ads, product reviewers.
  • Masters Program to give customers ownership of the product success.
  • 3rd party logistics for shipping.
  • Crossing the chasm. Technology adoption. Each section is vertically integrated but the sections are not horizontally integrated.
  • Make. Sell. Count.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Doctoral forum

Creating the hole and subsequently fulling it. Originality in the title and the thesis. Social changing or general outcome dependent on another outcome. Explicitly say where the thesis is original and valuable.

Originality cannot be measured as there is nothing to measure against.

Use phrases that indicate originality and contribution. "this extends the classical approach" "these findings have the implications"

Coherent story. Clarity of argument. Link between chapters. Don't have a solution hunting for a problem. Incompleteness in ground work.

MCC CMC Markets

Contracts for difference. Entry and exit prices only. Don't own the underlying product.

  • Individual share cfd
  • Market sectors
  • Indices
  • Forex and metals
  • Treasuries and commodities

Exposure is the killer. Margin call. Can't go below threshold or account will be liquidated.

AUD $10,000

Monday, June 22, 2009

Open Flash Chart 2 - Python API

Version 2.10 of this library/module was re-written from scratch to be much easier to use. It removes the need to call functions when adding chart attributes and makes for an intuitive usage. The library is also significantly smaller than previous versions.

It is hoped that this new library can cater for new attributes added to Open Flash Chart without having to make modifications.

This library does take the liberty of assuming the programmer is *smart*. The library does not do any lexical or grammar checking.

Python instance attributes
Every instance of a class has a collection of attributes that can be set and retrieved. This Python library exploits this fact to give a dot-notation interface to setting Open Flash Chart attributes.

class Chart
The Chart class can be used in multiple situations where a container is required: chart data; custom value; group of elements.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hello Sonali ! (Spark 2009 CEO)

I don't think anyone reads my blog, haha. You can be my 5th unique visitor ;-)

Spark :: The University of Auckland Entrepreneurship Challenge

Spark is a student-led initiative, in partnership with The University of Auckland Business School and business incubator The ICEHOUSE (International Centre for Entrepreneurship).

Create, foster, empower.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Domain Names

I've recently bought myself 6 domain names for my own enjoyment!  Three I'd use and three I'll just park:

Personal portfolio of all works (websites, graphics, programming).

Portfolio of media (cards, photos, graphics, books).

My Blogger site.

Parked for a stockmarket company.

Parked for my PhD.

Parked for a future company.

I'm using for my (advertising free) hosting. 200MB hosting space and 2GB monthly transfer limit which isn't too bad.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Postgraduate place, medical, supervisor problems, wave, pgsa,

Postgraduate place, medical, supervisor problems, wave, pgsa,

The transition from taught learning to research:
Very careful speaker. You're now the person defining the question and answering it as well. 50% drop out rate by 4th year: reasons are more than just academic reasons. Pedantic work.

Make an original contribution, international standards, demonstrate knowledge of literature, satisfactory in its methodology.

Punctuation festival. Decisions. Self audit.


Assumptions are important. Perceptions can see through changing assumptions. Empirical for objectivity; connect facts together to form the truth. Exegentic for collecting recounts to form the truth. Qualitative for collecting subjectives to form the truth. Research approach.

If you were to cross the road and have to take note of all the stimuli around you, you would be uncapavle of crossing the road. Must filter out things but then you are limiting yourself in scope.

Language is a metaphor.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Custom Instruction, Avalon MM Slave, Verilog

Managed to get a custom instruction to work without much incident which was a shocker.  Didn't think I was up to the task.  Just have to make sure to specify appropriate interface signals like "custom_instruction_slave".  System generation and synthesis was pretty easy.  Using the new custom instruction was also easy as it's exposed as a #define-d macro in the System.h file.

I also managed to create my own Avalon MM Slave component.  Just had to specify the necessary slave interface ports and test that the component was behaving as expected before making my own SOPC component for use in a system.  It worked first time so I was very happy that I didn't have to trouble shoot anything.

In extending my Avalon MM Slave component, I hit a few behavioural bugs and I'm not sure if it's because I don't understand Verilog enough or because of a problem in the synthesised circuit.  My problems/glitches mainly came from the use of multiple edge triggered signals in a sensitivity list and the assignment of asynchronous signals in a clocked always body.