Nabin K. Malakar, Ph.D.

NASA JPL
I am a computational physicist working on societal applications of machine-learning techniques.

Research Links

My research interests span multi-disciplinary fields involving Societal applications of Machine Learning, Decision-theoretic approach to automated Experimental Design, Bayesian statistical data analysis and signal processing.

Linkedin


Interested about the picture? Autonomous experimental design allows us to answer the question of where to take the measurements. More about it is here...

Hobbies

I addition to the research, I also like to hike, bike, read and play with water color.

Thanks for the visit. Please feel free to visit my Weblogs.

Welcome to nabinkm.com. Please visit again.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Color-coded boarding scheme

The airlines board aircrafts in the ascending order of "Zones". Zone 1, 2 and 3 etc are called in order.
Everyone knows how chaotic and time consuming it is. Because the next person in line has to wait for people who are trying to stow their luggage. This creates a long line. So, It does make sense to fill the plane from the back and come progressively front-ward.   People with kids and needing assistance should be boarded first.

Recently there are various ideas being put forward to speed up the boarding airplanes. It seems that boarding from back of the plane and filling window-seat passengers are the best way [see 1 and 2]. I like the Wilma boarding scheme where the window seats are zone 1 and aisle seats are zone 3.

Having seen some of the schemes to speed up the boarding, I am inspired to propose a color-coded boarding scheme. My idea is closer to steffen's method (see figures).
In this scheme, instead of calling zones, the calling is dependent upon the color-codes say blue, green, purple, yellow etc. Blue and green color seats are  the window seats are are called first.  I realized that  in [2] it is similar to the wilma scheme.
If tickets are booked together, in the case of husband/wife/ friend scenario, they can be coded the same color.

The seats are filled from back to front in an alternate seats. As shown in the figure, 1, 2, 3 etc are blue and seats 19, 20, 21 etc are also blue. If 1 and 25 booked together, then they are grouped together as blue. The numbers 13, 14, 15 and 7, 8, 9 are green color. In this way, the passengers get enough space to move around to stow their luggage and should make boarding faster. The assignment of color code can be made while the boarding card is being printed. Alignment of passengers in the gate will make  the boarding smoother. Just an idea.
Steffen method of seating order. See [2 ,3] for details. See text for details on how it might be possible to make it faster by color-coded boarding.



The final result might look like:
Color coded boarded scheme. Blue and green are called  first by the  stewards  in a sequence.
People who booked flights together get the same color code as in #5 or #18.


References:
  1. http://physicsworld.com/blog/2011/08/how_to_board_an_aircraft_in_a.html
  2. http://arxiv.org/abs/1108.5211
  3. http://www.citeulike.org/user/eyliu/article/9730619
---

Saturday, November 19, 2011

This week: Neutrinos still superluminal according to experiments

A lot of things happend this week, so I am pinning few down here...

"The statistical interpretation of the quantum state is inconsistent with the predictions of quantum theory"
http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/1111.3328
http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/137499597688930305

Are neutrinos running faster than light?
http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/137675067193700352
http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/137506258361126913

http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/137595451984711680

http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/137593841875288064

http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/137592914200104960

http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/136812249892401152

http://twitter.com/#!/nabinkm/status/136599314486140928

Automated FarmBots for farmer-less farming:
Recent developments in automated farming the crop field has achieved centimeter level accuracy in localization of the farming UAVs.

http://aerialfarmer.blogspot.com/2011/01/uavs-and-agriculture-4.html
http://www.commoncontrolnow.com/Download/The-Unmanned-Farmer.pdf


Lets just call it "Microwave Maths" or "Lightwaves in your service" instead of that long title
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=microwaves-and-the-speed
However, it nicely points out the physics happening inside the microwave.
By measuring the cooked spots in microwave, one could calculate the speed of light. I think it could be a nice textbook entry for high school students in western world.



Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fobos-Grunt Lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome

Fobos-Grunt mission to scoop Phobos, one of the moons of Mars...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LfsNzNEHhM#!&t=3495
(note how the tail disappears @ about 1hour mark)

The spacecraft is expected to reach Mars' orbit in September 2012, with landing on Phobos scheduled for February 2013.

Update: it seems it is stuck in the earth's space because of some technical troubles... they say if it does not fire in two days, it might be lost!
Ref: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15684192

On the other news:
Mars Science Laboratory, a suv sized rover, is going to be launched by the end of this month.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2011-347
Snapshot credit: http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/

Follow MSL @marscuriosity
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phobos-Grunt

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Clocking your Time-- Globally

Daylight saving is the practice of temporarily advancing clocks during the summertime so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn.

The following video nicely explains all you need to know about the daylight savings time.


Back in the days, daylight saving time was thought as an innovative way to schedule people's work hours around the availability of the sun. The questions are "Does it really save the money?", and "Does it make people more productive, or rather less?" It has been highly debated (there goes ideas for few more correlation studies!).

Personally, for me, even though the DST says it is lunch time, my biological clock says it is otherwise. It takes time to get used to the DST changes, and that happens every time DST changes are made. In general, there might be people who are sleep deprived because of DST. To catch a sudden change is another pressure the body is subjected to, which might in turn increase the health related risks.
Thats why I think DST might not be effective in "saving" anything (cry out for more research!!).

Moreover, I would argue that in the age of internet, the whole idea of local time shall be removed. We all shall globally adopt the UTC. So, instead of referring to the local time and then going plus minus x hours for intercontinental communication/scheduling, one could simply refer to UTC. That means in USA east coast, a person who wakes up at about 7 AM will say, "I woke up at about 12PM (UTC) today". Everyone will adapt to the same clock, but will manage to sleep/work according to the local sunrise/sunset with reference to the UTC. It may sound weird to say that the sun will rise at 10PM (UTC) in USA east coast, or  12AM (UTC) in south asia, but it will be OK after some practice. We will all enter into the new year at the same time around the globe. Since UTC would be the only standard, it would be very simplified to, "meeting at 9PM"-- no need to worry about the country, place, or whatever. Simply pick your universal time!
You can see how complex it becomes for each region.
If UTC were to be the only time, one could say meet @ 6PM UTC! 

---

Friday, October 7, 2011

Physics in Alphabet

A = 6.02x10^23 -- Avagadro's constant

B = E/c -- Magnetic field equals the electric field divided by the speed of light

C = 299792458 m/s -- The speed of light

D = sqrt[(X-x)^2+(Y-y)^2)] -- The distance between points (x,y) and (X,Y)

E = mc^2 -- Mass-Energy relation

F = ma -- Force equals mass times acceleration

G = 6.67x10^-11 m^3 kg^-1 s^-2 Gravitational constant

H = 6.626x10^-34 J s -- Planck's constant

I = V/R -- Current equals voltage divided by resistance

J = Newton*meter -- Joule (unit of energy)

K = 8.9875*10^9 N*m^2/c^2 -- Boltzmann's constant

L = m(v x r) -- Angular momentum equals mass times the cross product of the velocity and radius

M = (Y-y)/(X-x) -- Slope equals the rise over the run

N = kg*m/s^2 -- A Newton (N) is a kilogram meter per second squared

O = (0,0,0) -- The origin is usually designated as an "O"

P = mv -- Momentum equals mass times velocity

Q = c*m*(delta)T -- Heat loss/gained equals the specific heat times the mass times the change in Temperature

R = v/w -- Radius equals velocity divided by angular velocity

S = E x B -- The Poynting vector

T = 2(pi)*sqrt(L/g) -- The period of a simple harmonic oscillator

U = mgh -- Potential energy equals mass times gravitational acceleration times height

V = dx/dt -- Velocity equals the change in position over time

W = F*d -- Work equals force times distance

X = [-b / sqrt(b^2 - 4ac)]/2a -- The quadratic equation

Y = F(x) -- Y is a function of X

Z = (delta)(lambda)/(lambda) -- Redshift (the change in wavelength divided by the rest wavelength)

Source: internet

---

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Nobel Prize in Physics 2011

The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded "for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae" with one half to Saul Perlmutter and the other half jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/2011/press.html

What are type Ia supernova and how they help?
Answer is here...


Saul Perlmutter, U.S. citizen. Born 1959 in Champaign-Urbana, IL, USA. Ph.D. 1986 from University of California, Berkeley, USA. Head of the Supernova Cosmology Project, Professor of Astrophysics, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.
www.physics.berkeley.edu/research/faculty/perlmutter.html
Brian P. Schmidt, U.S. and Australian citizen. Born 1967 in Missoula, MT, USA. Ph.D. 1993 from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Head of the High-z Supernova Search Team, Distinguished Professor, Australian National University, Weston Creek, Australia.
msowww.anu.edu.au/~brian/
@twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/cosmicpinot
Adam G. Riess, U.S. citizen. Born 1969 in Washington, DC, USA. Ph.D. 1996 from Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA. Professor of Astronomy and Physics, Johns Hopkins University and Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, USA.
www.stsci.edu/~ariess/



---

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Simulated Moon Landing Compared with the Eagle's descend to Moon

An   enthusiastic  Apollo fan created a footage using Google Moon and matched it with the video from the Eagle's camera.

Watch the video... it is awe-mazing!



You can download the Google Moon KMZ file for import into Google Moon from:
http://www.mem-tek.com/apollo/Google_Moon_KMZ_files/Apollo_11.kmz
---

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'll leave you something to imagine

Symphonyofscience has brought quite an interesting music video (made with the auto tunes).
The latest video is named "The Quantum World".
It examines the nature of the atoms and subatomic particles that make up everything we know. Watch the video, have fun!




They feature the followings:
Richard Feynman - Fun to Imagine
BBC Visions of the Future - the Quantum Revolution
Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman
Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking
Brian Cox TED Talk
BBC What Time is it
BBC Wonders of the Universe
BBC Horizon - What Is Reality

I loved the last punch line...

The Lyrics:

[Morgan Freeman]
So, what are we really made of?
Dig deep inside the atom
and you'll find tiny particles
Held together by invisible forces

Everything is made up
Of tiny packets of energy
Born in cosmic furnaces

[Frank Close]
The atoms that we're made of have
Negatively charged electrons
Whirling around a big bulky nucleus

[Michio Kaku]
The Quantum Theory
Offers a very different explanation
Of our world

[Brian Cox]
The universe is made of
Twelve particles of matter
Four forces of nature

That's a wonderful and significant story

[Richard Feynman]
Suppose that little things
Behaved very differently
Than anything big

Nothing's really as it seems
It's so wonderfully different
Than anything big

The world is a dynamic mess
Of jiggling things
It's hard to believe

[Kaku]
The quantum theory
Is so strange and bizarre
Even Einstein couldn't get his head around it

[Cox]
In the quantum world
The world of particles
Nothing is certain
It's a world of probabilities

(refrain)

[Feynman]
It's very hard to imagine
All the crazy things
That things really are like

Electrons act like waves
No they don't exactly
They act like particles
No they don't exactly

[Stephen Hawking]
We need a theory of everything
Which is still just beyond our grasp
We need a theory of everything, perhaps
The ultimate triumph of science

(refrain)

[Feynman]
I gotta stop somewhere
I'll leave you something to imagine

---

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy g (9.8) day!

Sept 8th is written as (9.8.YYYY).
When I was trying to update my lab-book, I realized that today is 9.8.2011. The first two numbers represent the acceleration due to gravity (g). Since we started celebrating pi day, tau day and what not day... why not celebrate a g day!

In the context of "g", I remember one incident as told by my close friend (happened in Nepal).
He was teaching a lab and one of his strict instruction was to write down the title of the lab report in ALL CAPS!!!!
Then the next day the report came back which read...
A STUDY OF SIMPLE PENDULUM TO ESTIMATE THE VALUE OF G.

Hilarity ensues


---

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning @Stanford

Stanford is offering free online classes under computer sciences department.

There are three free online classes being offered this semester. The  online registration is free. With the help of high-speed internet, anyone who is enrolled can watch the lectures and participate in the   assignments, homework, and tests.
With thousands of students enrolled, this is one of the massive experiment too, which will serve as the stand post for the next generation of education system.





 http://robots.stanford.edu/cs221/



The text books used for the AI classes are:
aProbabilistic Robotics (Intelligent Robotics and Autonomous Agents series)Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (3rd Edition)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sungazing and Stargazing @AlbanyStarGaze

Phil is organizing two programs at the telescope observatory at the Earth Science rooftop (access by staircase in middle of 3rd floor):

Sun-gazing THIS AFTERNOON, Thursday, Sept. 1, at 1:00.

Tomorrow MORNING, Friday, Sept. 2, 4:30-6:00 AM. Jupiter, Mars, Mercury &
Orion nebula. Take tunnel if podium entrance is locked.

Stargazing / sun-gazing is always weather permitting. Rain or clouds may
cancel a program without further notice.
 
Follow @AlbanyStarGaze  for future events



Stargazing: Astronomy without a TelescopeSimple StargazingttCelestron 21061 AstroMaster 70 AZ Refractor Telescope

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My Favorite Nine Blog Posts by Nepali Bloggers

I missed the Fifth Online Blogger Bhela (see पाँचौं अन्तर्राष्ट्रिय नेपाली ब्लगर भेला समिक्षा तथा Archive).  

As a guilty pleasure, I am posting my favorite nine blog posts. Here are they not arranged in any particular order...
  1. http://www.aakarpost.com/2011/07/tfcnepal-smile-face-school.html
    I have to say, when I encountered few many Nepali tweetpals, I thought these guys are here just for fun. However, among the zigery-pokery, a nice thing emerged: Tweet For Cause Nepal (TFC-Nepal). Now the tweets by Nepali tweetpals are being directly used for helping children. Neat!
    (Not to mention: I also liked the travel diary by Aakar.)
  2. http://archanashrestha.blogspot.com/2011/02/blog-post_9239.html
    This one by Archana G is good one. Culture in 21st century. Do we ask enough questions?
  3. http://dacharya.blogspot.com/2011/03/blog-post.html
    Although written lightly, it touches the deeper subject of Nepali culture on punctuality and timelessness. If we can not get the time right, where do we go from there?
    (Not to mention: the helpful posts by Dilip G for new and old bloggers.)
  4. http://www.dautari.org/2011/01/nepali-blog-wall.html
    I like this collection of Nepali blog walls by Nepalean G. While people take pleasure in claiming to be the pioneer in Nepali blogging and put the self-pride, I ask them: what have you done to really better Nepali Blog-o-sphere?
    This is the one stop for new or old bloggers to take references from.
  5. http://dhaiba.blogspot.com/2011/05/blog-post_20.html#more
    Dhaiba G, has done a great work in bringing the face of the creators. Hats off to his dedications!
  6. http://gautambasanta.blogspot.com/2011/07/blog-post_29.html
    Against the flow: Basant G is one of the example in recent history where he returns to Nepal and faces the question: "kati lyais ta?"
    Well, it still needs to be highlighted: what academicians  brings to country is bigger than the paisa...
    You can not buy gyan by paisa. Wishing him all the best.
  7. http://bednath.blogspot.com/2010/07/blog-post_31.html
    ... देश चलाउनेहरु एउटा कन्ट्रयाक्टमा सचेत बर्गलाइ विदेश पठाएर आफु बलेको आगो ताप्न खोज्छ. Why do we need to sell the labor to other country? This needs some serious attention
  8. http://merasirjanaharu.blogspot.com/2010/10/blog-post_15.html#more
    Language is not my subject. However, this post in interesting and seems the author has done some nice research in the topic. I like this as an example of how a blog post can be good if it is well researched/written.
  9. http://www.blog.krishnathapa.com/2011/05/blog-post.html
    Among lots of post about being aboard, this one touches you. If you are aboard, this will put you in the frame. 
Please do share yours. Getting Nine out of so many was a hard problem. I was very much tempted to get few more, but I disciplined myself on the (already decided) number.
 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Nepalese Physicists departing from Nepal in Fall 2011

Thanks to Sanjiv G (Mahesh G and Yubraj G), we present a list of Nepalese physicists departing from Nepal for the Fall 2011.
The list is not yet complete, will be updated as more info comes in.




1.Udaya Raj Dahal- University of Connecticut
2.Niraj Raj Ghimire -University of Connecticut
3.Basant Kumar Dhital- City University of New York, Graduate Center
4.Subin Sahu- Oregon state University
5.Jeevan G.C.- Florida International University
6.Anup Pandey- Ohio University
7.Hem Moktan- Oklahoma state University
8.Yubaraj Malakar- Kansas state University
9.Sudeep Jung Pandey- University of Central Florida
10.Dhan Bahadur Rana- New Mexico State University
11.Diwakar Sigdel- Florida International University
12. Raju Timilsina- Central Michigan University
13.Ekraj Dahal-Boston college
14.Uttar Pudasaini-Old Dominion University
15.Gajadhar Joshi- University of Uttah
16. Rajesh Panthi- Oklahoma state University
17.Bhim Prasad Chaulagain- Wayne State University
18.Niraj Shrestha- University of Memphis
19.Namoona Pandey-Florida International University
20.Alina Karki-Ohio University
21.Sudiksha Khadka- Ohio University
22. Yuba Raj Dahal- Kansas State University
23. Pratap Timalsina- Kansas State University
24. Yuba Raj Poudel-University of Idaho
25. Ashish Sapkota - Iowa State University
26. Ganesh Pokhrel- University of Memphis, Tennessee
27. Jiba Nath Dahal- University of Memphis, Tennessee
28. Shreeram Acharya-University of Central Florida
29. Amrit Laudari- Missouri State University
30. Prakash Nepal- University of Wisconsin
31. Khagendra Adhikari-Univ of southern Mississippi
32. Ek Raj Adhikari-Univ of southern Mississippi 

I would recommend that the students should become life member of NPS before they depart.



Please let us know if someone is missing.
Please join Google group of NPS: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/nps_nepal


I had written about my experiences of departure here:
http://merotime.blogspot.com/2009/10/at-airport.html


And what to pack here... (the list needs revision as per your destination: hot/cold, but gives a general idea)
http://merotime.blogspot.com/2009/08/excitement-begins-here.html
http://merotime.blogspot.com/2009/09/items-to-bring-to-usa-on-your-luggage.html

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sunday, July 24, 2011

RoboSub 2011




Robosub (http://www.auvsifoundation.org/foundation/competitions/robosub/) is a competition involving Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV). The challenge is to overcome the obstacles and perform the tasks without human interventions.
The winners are:

1st Place: ETS Team SONIA (awarded $7,000)
2nd Place : Cornell University (awarded $4000)
3rd Place: University of Florida (awarded $3,000)
4th Place : Reykjavik University (awarded $2,000)
5th Place: University of Maryland (awarded $500)
6th Place: University of Rhode Island (awarded $500)
7th Place: United States Naval Academy
8th Place: North Carolina State University

Mayor's Cup for Community Outreach: Carl Hayden High School (awarded $1,000)
Second Chance Award: University of Central Florida (awarded $1,000)
Outstanding Technical Mentorship: University of Maryland ($500)
Hardware is Hard Award: Utah State University (awarded $500)
Innovation on a Budget Award: Mesa College (awarded $500)
Best Paper Award: Kyushu University (awarded $500)

http://www.auvsi.org/news/#RoboSub2011
The video:



The team describes the challenges and the experience during the competition:
http://sonia.etsmtl.ca/en/news/final-day-we-finished-in-1st-place

 A great collection of their papers etc:
http://www.auvsifoundation.org/foundation/competitions/journalpaperarchives/2011robosubjournalpapers/

Monday, July 11, 2011

Attending MaxEnt 2011 in Waterloo, Canada

I am attending MaxEnt 2011 in Waterloo Canada.

Travelling to Waterloo was slightly involved because of the few reasons. The first one was the visa issues. At least, I am thankful that it arrived a week before my departure. Few of my friends could not make it due to the delays. Another one was that the airfare to the nearby airport was  very very expensive.  So, I travelled via Toronto (about an hour drive).
However, the best part of the airport was that the the wifi was free. So, I quickly joined the network and started calling people while waiting for my shuttle to arrive.

Here, in MaxEnt 2011, I will be presenting my work on collaborative experimental design by two intelligent agents.  The abstract of the talk can be found here ...(PDF!)
The work is the result of the overall successful (past) developments (by the Giants) of the Bayesian method of inference, experimental design techniques and the order-theoretic approach to questions. 
We view the intelligent agents as the question asking machines and we want them to be able to design experiments in an automated fashion to achieve the given goal.  Here we illustrate how the joint entropy turns out to be the useful quantity when we want the intelligent agents to efficiently learn together.
The details are in paper, which will be put in arxiv soon.

On the side notes:

Google detected right away that I "moved" to canada. So they wanted to offer Google.ca

yahoo music does not seem to work!

Pandora does not work.
Interesting!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Time Calls, once again

Today's Nepal is what was supposed to be the "new nepal" as was envisioned by the people who took bullet(s) in their chest a few years ago.   Those who survived might have a better answer to whether they took the bullet(s) for this. This is econo-political issue, which I am not much educated about, as a physicist.  It turns out that there are a lot of matters which I am not well educated about. Life is a journey where we learn. Either by doing or imitating what others did in similar instances: by following examples.

I wanted to talk about an issue that has been pointed out in a recent presentation by a Journalist (Prem Baniya). Everyone knows how corrupt the elements of the society has been through during these volatile period. Definitely, it needs a huge clean-out operation. One can wonder whether it is possible or simply blame it to the "bad politics" over the cup of the tea.  However, this time, the fingers has been pointed to the professionals; Those who were used to be set as respected examples.

The claim is that the associated professors take the paid leave on benefits, go aboard. And, do not return.
It turns out that those who took the benefits enjoy about $20-25 thousands over the five year period. Coming overseas on the paid leave is some kind of commitment that they had when they left the country.

It is the time to set an example.  As always, it is a call for Physicists. They have been good at setting examples or inspiring  generations.
The time calls once again.
Can the group of Nepali Physicists, who enjoyed the benefits and who have now decided not to go back, pay back what they have been blamed for?

If no one dares to come clean, the examples will never be set the same way.


Ref:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Miss-pronounced Names and Excuses

http://bit.ly/j5WYh7
While doing the Teaching Assistantship (TA) duties, I always advertised my name.
"My Name is this and you can Google me!" and I wrote them with big letters on the corner of the board. Corner because it will stay till the end of the class, just in case. And I always encouraged them to call me by name... instead of "excuse me!".

I also gave them semester specific Email address such as "Email+Fall2020@gmail.com". That way I could filter the Emails according to the semesters/courses.

I always try to relate the name of the students with their faces. Sometimes I mis-pronounce the names of the students. It is a weird situation, you can read it from their face, but I would tell them immediately that "If I mis-pronounced your name once, I allow you to mis-pronounce my name three times". They seemed happy with that deal.
Moreover, Knowing each other by name is good for future networking too. They  grow up fast and become your friend.

Selling  your name, even the first few letters of your name, is better than the situations when  students looking for you asks others with  your description such as the TA with the weird cap, sandle, or may be BIG nose etc. 

Have you ever mis-pronounced names? Any interesting stories that you faced with names?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Disasters and Safety Code Designs




Disasters, they are luck of the draw from a long tail distribution. When they come, they wipe it out.
All we can do is be prepared for such events. The best way to do it is by enforcing better design codes and reinforcing rules for people's safety.

The recent disaster in Japan has left human being, one more time, thrilled with the power of the nature. Since this is one of the best documented disasters, we all have seen videos of tsunami wiping out the whole village or town. Notably, however, one must appreciate the strength of the buildings. Tall buildings by the side of the water wave stood the stress.

Simply, when water wave meets the shoreline buildings ...
The force per second is

Since the density of water is 1000 kg/m^3, assuming that the velocity of the water is 100 m/s, we can see that every square meter of the building  subjected to a 1m thick water intake is acted by 100 tonnes of lateral force (every second). To help visualize, if the walls were the floors, and elephants were to stand; every square meter was virtually supporting at least 20 adult african elephants! This make me highly appreciate the rules made for building strength.

One of the reason several cameramen survived with the first person videography was because such strong buildings were there to stand the waves. They stood the earthquakes and then tsunami.

We can probably relate the safety design codes with structures in our capitol: Kathmandu. However, that makes me feel dizzy. Lets not do that this time.

Out heartfelt condolence goes to all the people who suffered from the natural disasters.

Ref:
Tsunamis are shallow water waves [http://www.tulane.edu/~sanelson/geol204/tsunami.htm]

Thursday, March 17, 2011

AstroRobonaut@Space

Humans in International Space Station has a new companion: A Robonaut (R2B). R2 is the first humanoid robot in space. It will go thru extensive tests after which it will serve side by side with human missions in ISS and beyond.
From: http://robonaut.jsc.nasa.gov/default.asp
There are currently four Robonauts, with others currently in development. This allows us to study various types of mobility, control methods, and task applications. The value of a humanoid over other designs is the ability to use the same workspace and tools - not only does this improve efficiency in the types of tools, but also removes the need for specialized robotic connectors. Robonauts are essential to NASA's future as we go beyond low earth orbit and continue to explore the vast wonder that is space. 
See the preparation on time lapse:


Twitter Follow:
http://twitter.com/AstroRobonaut
Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/NASArobonaut

Just imagine a humanoid-robotic hand picking the martian dust!
Robot Building for Beginner (Technology in Action)The LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT 2.0 Discovery Book: A Beginner's Guide to Building and Programming RobotsRobots

Friday, March 4, 2011

Google Global Science Fair 2011

In association with CERN, National geographic, Scientific American and LEGO; Google brings the first global science fair. http://www.google.com/events/sciencefair/
The competition is aimed to the students enrolled in home, public or private school from around the world. The age group is 13 - 18 years. Students may enter as individuals or in teams of up to 3.
The winner will take away $50,000 scholarship award and other exciting prizes (http://www.google.com/events/sciencefair/prizes.html).

How to enter:




Here is one of the sample project about use of AI and health care system.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Arduino The Documentary

Arduino is one of the success stories of hard work and the power of collaboration in open source projects.
For curious minds who have wanted to try something  Arduino makes the way. The best part being the accessible budget in the involved projects.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It's intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
 Getting Started with Arduino (Make: Projects)Beginning ArduinoArduino UNO board


Arduino The Documentary 2010


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Promote Nepal Tourism year 2011 the simplest way!

Nepal decided that 2011 should be deemed as "Nepal Tourism Year 2011". The word has not been out as much as it should have been (Well the stats will tell). So, if you are in foreign country (and are willing to promote it), you can contribute to it by a simple method:
name the wifi with promoting words to nepal tourism year 2011;
such as
NEPALtourismYEAR2011
nepal2011
or some other variations.

This is simplest way to get involved as it only involves changing your wifi name set for home network and will make few of your neighbors aware of it or might make them curious about it.
http://nepaltourismyear2011.com/



Saturday, February 12, 2011

Drilling the VostoK ice core: search for life in isolated places.

Update: The Russians (may [1, 2]) have reached at the depth of 3768 meters, the surface of the sub-glacial lake. [Sourcehttp://news.discovery.com/earth/they-did-it-curent-status-on-russian-lake-vostok-120206.html]
More: here,
The origin of life is an interesting topic because addressing it affects so many philosophical aspects of present day science. As a computational scientists, we do believe in the Markov Chain Monte Carlo-like trial and error method of evolution[!], whereby the living organism is subjected to several forces of evolution and the chances of evolution depends upon the probability of survival of the evolved beings.
Other views on origin of life are open and are welcome!

The vostok ice core has been compared with other environments such as that of the deep sea of Europa or the ice volcanoes of Enceladus; the moons of Jupiter and Saturn respectively. This lake has been isolated for 14 million years. Exploration of such isolated system (without infecting them) could open up possibilities of testing various hypotheses on the origin/possibilities of life on outer/other planets.
A nice article: http://www.cosmonline.co.uk/blog/2012/02/05/vostok-lake-time-forgot 

Lake VostoK src


Quoting BBC:
The Russians have friendly competition from US and British teams. Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey (Bas) are hoping to begin their project to drill into Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica later this year. An American crew is targeting Lake Whillans.


From:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/02/antarctic-lake-drilling
Comparing the Epica and Vostok dust records during the last 220,000 years: stratigraphical correlation and provenance in glacial periods [An article from: Earth Science Reviews] Refined analysis of radar altimetry data applied to the region of the subglacial Lake Vostok/Antarctica [An article from: Remote Sensing of Environment]Unmasking Europa: The Search for Life on Jupiter's Ocean Moon



Friday, February 11, 2011

Coding Practice in MatLAB

MATLAB for Engineers (2nd Edition)I had a post trying to relate a good coding practice in Matlab to the bus resistance of the code.

This week, in mathworks blog,  Brett suggested three nice tutorials for matlab enthusiastic. This is equally useful to  experts as well. They are:


From:

Good MATLAB Coding Practices


Sunday, February 6, 2011

Open Access Physical Review X (PRX)

American Physical Society (APS) has opened up for the creative commons (cc) side of it.
Recently it announced the open access journal Physical Review X (PRX) with the aim of "covering all of physics and its application to related fields".

I think by publishing in the open access journals authors have two fold benefits. One, the readers will get unrestricted access to the articles. Second, because the readers get the easy access, the author will ultimately get more readers. Plus the authors retain the copyright of the articles. The cc3.0 license permits anyone, without the need to obtain permission from the author(s) or APS, to copy, distribute, transmit, and adapt article content, provided proper attribution is given to the author(s) and to the source of the material.

Currently there is $1500 processing fee supposedly to "cover the expenses associated with peer review, composition, hosting, and archiving."


From http://prx.aps.org/

PRX features

  • Publication in a fully open access journal
  • Broad subject coverage encouraging communication across related fields
  • Validation through prompt and rigorous peer review
  • Retention of copyright by authors
  • Liberal reuse rights through Creative Commons licensing
  • Rapid dissemination via continuous online publication
  • Full integration with the Physical Review family of publications through APS's journal platform

A list of open access journals:
http://www.doaj.org/doaj?func=expand

Friday, February 4, 2011

Today marks the 45th day and I am still thinking...
Did it really happen and what if it would not have happened?
I could not collect enough courage to jot down these words.

We will try our best to continue on the path that you illuminated.

Mom, please rest in peace.








































































.