Nabin K. Malakar, Ph.D.

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.


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


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.

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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Miss-pronounced Names and Excuses
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 "". 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.

Tsunamis are shallow water waves []

Thursday, March 17, 2011


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.
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:

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.
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 (

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