Wednesday, July 31, 2019

R for statistical computations and a good R tutorial ..

The logo of the R-project ..
R is a programming language and free software environment for statistical computing and graphics supported by the R Foundation for Statistical Computing. The R language is widely used among statisticians and data miners for developing statistical software and data analysis.- Wikipedia

Released in August 1993 by Ross Ithaca and Robert Gentleman, R is a Free and Open Source software and is one of the most widely used Statistical Analysis software used by Data Scientists and Analysts from around the world.

Recently I have started being serious about R. Earlier I used to work on Octave and Matlab. Additionally knowing something about R would be an added advantage.  Click here for the original website of R, the R-project. 

I was browsing the net for a good R tutorial. I found one here.. (click here..) Good one ..

Learning R - Richard Cotton, O'Reilly Publishers, US. 499 pages..

R is basically text based. R Studio is Gui based environment. 
RStudio is a free and open-source integrated development environment for R, a programming language for statistical computing and graphics. RStudio was founded by JJ Allaire, creator of the programming language ColdFusion. Hadley Wickham is the Chief Scientist at RStudio.- Wikipedia
 The scientific and statistical community are slowly coming to knew first hand the power of Free and Open Source software..


Monday, July 29, 2019

Robotic Process Automation ..

What is special about Robotic Process Automation ? Do you actually have robots doing the work ?

Robotic Process Automation is actually the name given to processes that have been automated.

For any activity / process to be eligible to be coalled RPA, it has to satisfy necessarily the following four conditions

1. The process should have a fixed input and output
2. The process should be rule-based, ie. an algorithmic approach
3. The process must be repeatable
4. The process should have a sufficient volume of operation

The Loan Application Processing in banks, credit card application processingare examples of RPA.

According to, currently, practitioners divide RPA technologies into three broad categories: probots, knowbots and chatbots.
  • Probots are bots that follow simple, repeatable rules to process data.
  • Knowbots are bots that search the internet to gather and store user-specified information.
  • Chatbots are virtual agents who can respond to customer queries in real time.

TECQUIP talk on Technological and Manufacturing Excellence

Recently I was invited for a talk in an Engg College in North Bangalore (SKIT) as part of the World Bank sponsored TECQUIP programme. The title of the talk was Technological Excellence and Manufacturing Excellence, where do we stand ? Thoroughly enjoyed it.

SKIT campus near Nagasandra.
If I were to travel the 60 kms in my own car, causing so much of traffic congestion and environmental pollution, it would have been wasting 2-3 hours of morning prime time. On the advice of my friend Prof. Srishail, I took a bus to the nearest metro rail station in Indira Nagar from Koramangala Sony World stop, just 10 minutes.

By 8 AM, I was in the metro train on purple line that took me to Kempegowda station (Majestic) and then on the green line to the last stop, Nagasandra. The trip lasted just 40 minutes sharp. I saved almost 2 hours and 20 minutes on my journey to Chimney Hills, Chikkabavanara on the Hesaraghatta Road. The journey was so cool and comfortable, it happened so fast that I did not get time to read anything on the way. We should really complement the Namma Metro for getting these two lines ready and soon when more routes will be opened for Metro rail traffic, the city will benefit a lot ..

At SKIT, my presentation for the first two hours to a class  of 50 students was on Technological Excellence (luckily had read up material on NASA, JAXA and ISRO's heroic exploits in deep space) and the rest 3 hrs was on Manufacturing Excellence, thanks to Toyota Production philosophy (Lean Manufacturing and Innovation). It included the basic PDCA cycle and game-based experiential learning sessions on 5S (click here), Standard Operating Procedure (SOP click here), Kaizen (Continuous Improvement, click here) and Theory of Constraints (TOC click here) ..

Deming's PDCA cycle ..
It was a good managerial exposure for the students who are in the final year of engineering in the circuit branches of Electrical, Electronics and Telecommunications, Computer Science and Information Technology. These students are in the process of preparing themselves for higher studies and the job market. I am very hopeful, the students too enjoyed it. The TECQUIP Orientation programme which they are undergoing has been initiated with help from the industry at SKIT.

The portal is an interesting online education and industrial consulting group setup by my fiend Raju Gundala from NITIE Mumbai, that has been doing great yoemen service to small and medium scale businesses in Bangalore and around the country. Through efforts of Raju Gundala, the technical academic institutions in and around Bangalore are benefiting a lot by getting the right amount of industrial exposure. Hope he will come out with very innovative programmes that can benefit both industries and academic institutions around Bangalore.

With Bangalore being the third largest Indian city in terms of GDP contribution, industrial activity in Bangalore is picking up and manufacturing excellence is the buzzword everywhere. With the industrial titans of Toyota, Bosch and Headquarters of ISRO, there is not better place than Bangalore to be discussing about technological excellence and manufacturing excellence.

George ..

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Avoiding an algorithmic way of life

Most of us these days are very much dependent on systems and IT for most of pur activities and actions. For example when we want to search for the meaning of a word we Google it to find what it means. Wehen we want to go to a place in the city the next day, the previous night we google it to find where is the location and what is the easiest way to reach there. When i want to but a digital camera, instead of going to the nearest store I would immediately look at the best ecommerce store, Amazon and find the variety of digicams available, the features, costs etc.

Is our life being dictated by the algorithms of Google, Amazon and the like ?

When we read a book on Kindle, more than what we learn from the book, Kindle and Amazon learns more about the reader, his interests, reading speed and so on. In future we are worried if Kindle is connected to face recognition and motion sensors, it will even tell us what to study, depending on our interests, where to live, place preference and whom to date and whom to marry !!


Monday, July 22, 2019

Chandrayaan 2 launched with clockwork precision ..

Courtesy TOI ..
While the whole world watches, the Scientists and Technologists from ISRO waitedin baited breath for the launch at 2:43 PM (IST) today 22 July 2019 of Chandrayaan 2 aboard the gigantic cryogenic 640 Tonne GSLV Mark III rocket.

Everything went to clockwork precision (click here for the video) and the Chandrayaan was launched on Monday afternoon. It is one of the toughest missions of ISRO, as this is the first mission which has a lander and a rover in it that will walk on the lunar surface.  Th present time duration of walking is two weeks, a lunar day, and it will cover almost 150-200 m of lunar surface. Then the night sets in, the rover does not get the sunlight (lunar night) and energy to power its solar arrays.

After two weeks at the onset of the lunar day, on Oct 5, we have to see how it will be able to capture sun's rays and leap back to life. The Chinese rover Yutu 2, in the lunar South pole sent aboard Chang'e 4 rocket, though initially was projected to have a life of a month is now in its sixth month and very healthy.

After a six and a half weeks flying manoeuvre covering 3,82,000 kms through barren space the 2378 kg spacecraft will enter lunar orbit.

The spacecraft will do a nail-biting soft landing in the Aitkin Basin in the lunar South Pole on the 7th of September, to share lunar surface with YUTU 2, the other healthy rover from China in the lunar South Pole for more than six months.

Courtesy ISRO, BBC
It's just good prayerful wishes from the bottom of the heart of every Indian for ISRO .. ISRO, get ahead with optimism, faith and great self-confidence .. The future belongs to YOU .. 

Just heard that ISRO is planning Chandrayaan 3 in 2020, which will also bring lunar soil back to earth. That is going to be a still tougher mission as the robotic rover will have to get back to the lander, that will then rise and dock with the orbiter in lunar orbit for the return journey to the earth.

This will be the precursor to India's first manned trip to Moon sometime around 2030 or before.

Europe and Japan which have managed to land on asteroids has not yet landed on lunar surface. This is a great moment not only for India, but the whole world ..


Friday, July 19, 2019

Data Visualisation Presentation..

Dr. Sukanya explaining the finer aspects of Data Visualisation in R
Today 19 July 2019, Business school and Engineering school of Alliance University joined hands for an interesting session on Data Visualisation using interesting free and open source software available, thanks to the Free Software Foundation. R, Python and Gnuplot .. 👍👍🙏

Data visualization principles help to communicate data-driven findings in a better way. Open source software R has various packages for data visualization like ggplot2, tidyverse etc. The session focused on the basics of data visualization by exploring grouping the data sets using different parameters, sorting datasets, adding derived columns to data sets and representing the data through histogram, boxplots, density curves to bring out the inherent characteristics of the data. The different packages and datasets like NHANES, gapminder were demonstrated.

The session was well attended by students and faculty alike. 

Data visualisation is a very important aspect of Data analytics given Big Data and different forms of data including videos and audios available in the Internet ecosystem. 

Dr. Shobana from Alliance Engineering gave a top class presentation on Python
Dr. Sukanya spoke of using R and Dr. Shobhana spoke of Python and it's capabilities in Data Visualisation.  Dr. George spoke of gnuplot with its strength in visualising graphical data in 2D and 3D.

This will be followed up soon by sessions soon to discuss detailed aspects of Data Visualisation using R and Python separately.

The effort put up by both the faculty members in sparing their time to read, think and do a presentation on Data Visualisation has not only improved their professional competence a great deal, it has made them competent and confident to engage serious sessions for senior students both in the Engineering and Business schools.

The impact on the audience in getting exposed to a highly important and emergent area of Data Analytics , ie., Data Visualisation was an added bonus.  

Looking forward to more such presentations in cutting edge areas in future.


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

The greatness of Pandit Jawaharlal Neru ..

A true and great leader to the core ..
Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru was the first Indian Prime Minister. He also happens to be a widely misunderstood politician because of the political allegations and accusations that have been labeled against him by an illiterate and selfish political class.

I feel whatever be the personal working style of Nehru, he is one of the greatest Indian politicians India has ever had, who could be put in seniority after Mahatma Gandhi. He who has spent almost ten years in British prisons fighting for Indian freedom from British exploitation and misrule.

Nehru has been a great literateur who has enriched global literature by his literary contributions through four of the greatest books on Indian culture and civilization,  
  • Discovery of India
  • Glimpses of World History,  
  • Letters from a father to his daughter and 
  • An Autobiography
One of greatest works on India, ever ..
The sad fact with people slinging mud on Nehru are people who are ignorant and have not made any attempt to read any of these books, most of them have been written while in prison.
The dead cannot defend themselves ...
The other contender of the fundamentlist thinking group in the country have nothing to say when asked neither how many years Sardar Vallabhai Patel has spent in British prisons raising his voice against British oppression of Indians nor his literary contributions to the world ? Was Patel an opportunist who was careful not to antagonise the British and be in their bad books, history will say.

If India never had a leader and a global statesman like Jawaharlal Nehru, would we have progressed so much in Science and Technology ? Would we have had all the great establishments in Space Science, Atomic energy, IITs, IIMs, the green revolution, the white revolution and the like .. ?

If Nehru had not called Vikram Sarabhai aside in 1961-62 and had not asked him to start some basic and simple space experiments, initially sounding rockets to study the altitude variation of temperature and gaseous composition from Thumba, Trivandrum, to understand the truths of space and nature, would Indian space science and technology have matured to this state now ?

 And Nehru knew exactly which all sectors of the economy and areas of science and technology, our crappy bureaucrats should be allowed to interfere and where all it should be left free to the specialists and subject experts. 

Nehru and ISRO
That is why we are now a great nation. We had great leaders who suffered in prisons for long periods even for three years at a stretch, often for total periods of individually upto 9-10 years, in non-cooperation and Quit India movements, fighting for Indian freedom. 

Leaders who were intelligent, sincere and honest to the core for the sake of the country ..

George ..

Monday, July 15, 2019

World Class Manufacturing ..

Here is a link ..

Click here for a video of WCM ..


History of lunar robotic probes ..

History behind lunar missions 

Moon surface bright North hemisphere, courtesy Washington Post.
After India’s successful lunar orbiter Chandrayaan 1 success in 2008, the Chandrayaan 2 robotic rover launch was planned for 2012, but was postponed when Russia grew jittery with sharing their technology.

Despite this hiccup, India developed the technology indigenously, launch date was fixed in January 2019. Knowing that some more maturing of technology was needed, the launch got postponed to April ‘19 This is the greatest satisfaction and point of consolation in this whole exercise. We may learn slowly, but the learning is firm and sure..

With the orbiter and rover technology indigenously developed we have the wherewithal and capability to launch extra terrestrial missions to anywhere in the Universe.

July '19, Courtesy Washington Post (WP)
After the Israeli private lunar launch failure, our launch was postponed from April to July for carrying out more checks and now again to another slot not decided yet . Lifting a 640 Tonne craft to 200-300 km altitude has it’s own challenges. Europe is decades away from such high technology ..

Doing some research found these facts and dates - Prior to this, Chinese Yutu robotic rover aboard Chang’e 3 did a moonwalk in 2013. Earlier Lunokhod 1 of Russia (USSR) aboard the Luna 1 did moonwalk in 1970. That was the earliest history of moonwalking..

If India never had a leader and a global statesman like Jawaharlal Nehru, would we have progressed so much in Science and Technology ? Would we have had all the great establishments in Space Science, Atomic energy, IITs, IIMs, the green revolution, the white revolution and the like .. ?

If Nehru had not called Vikram Sarabhai aside in 1961-62 and had not asked him to start some basic and simple space experiments, initially sounding rockets to study the altitude variation of temperature and gaseous composition from Thumba, Trivandrum, to understand the truths of space and nature, would Indian space science and technology have matured to this state now ?

A true and great leader to the core ..
 And Nehru knew exactly which all sectors of the economy and areas of science and technology, our crappy bureaucrats should be allowed to interfere and where all it should be left free to the specialists and subject experts.

It is so gratifying to note that the Indian government supports the stance of our founding fathers and are making the right choices and steps taking it to the forefront of nations in high technology applications.

While closely preserving our democratic traditions, bringing the high impact areas of renewable energy, space exploration, hi-technology research, employment generating growth and poverty alleviation to the forefront should be the lookout of all citizens of the country.  Effective and efficient decision making, devoid of favouritism and corruption, should be the the mantra of the political class to take the country forward meaningfully and gainfully.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

10 critical moments in Chandrayaan 2 mission ..

10 critical moments in the 9 week Chandrayaan 2 Moon mission of ISRO .. The July 15 2019 mission of Chandryaan 2 was abandoned as a glitch was detected in the spacecraft functioning.

1. Launch to GSLV rocket from Sriharikota 

2. Launch of spacecraft after escaping earths gravity

3. Traveling distance to the moon

4. Entering lunar orbit

5. Drops down and settles in a 100 km altitude lunar orbit

6. Drops the lander with rover

7. Rover has a soft touchdown near lunar South Pole

8. Lander releases the rover

9. Rover steps out to lunar surface 

10. Over 14 days rover does a 200 m *Moonwalk*  ..

And all this is controlled remotely from the ISRO Deep Space Network at Byalalu near Bangalore 3,74,000 km away from lunar surface .. 


Thursday, July 11, 2019

Better by Atul Gawande ..

Atul Gawande, a US surgeon of Indian parentage
Finished reading an excellent book Better by Dr. Atul Gawande, an American surgeon, published by Penguin books. 

Dealt with many issues like the treatment / operation camps and casualties in the US-Iraq war, to euthanasia, capital execution by injections to oncology, cystic fibrosis affected children, etc.. really excellent writing ..

Helps get good understanding of the medical profession in general, doctor's mind in particular and the moral dilemmas faced by medical professionals and understand how medical science has helped through better medical care and mass immunisation drives reduce infant mortality and improve human longevity across the world..

One chapter talks exclusively on how male and female doctors attend patients of the opposite sex and the ethical issues involved.. Another talks of how and why doctors are taken to litigation on the very sensitive issue of medical / surgical failures, which essentially leads to higher medical costs in US and the world. 

The impact of the Apgar score to reduce infant mortality rates across the world is well illustrated . 

The Apgar Score is a method to quickly summarize the health of newborn children against infant mortality. Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist at NewYork–Presbyterian Hospital, developed the score in 1952 to quantify the effects of obstetric anesthesia on babies. - Wikipedia

The Apgar score used in the paediatrics section in medicine, helps me to innovate its application into retailing and other service sectors in the industry.

The importance of the influence of bell shaped normal distribution in medical treatment also gets special mention in the book. 

A good read. I have also read some of his earlier books like Checklists (click here) and Being Mortal. His writing style is captivating and explains complex medical concepts, conditions and medical treatments in very simple terms to be clearly understood by the layman.


Chandrayaan II - the details and what to look out for !!

The trajectory of the rocket and the spacecreft
In spite of all the high profile Apollo missions by US planned under a spirited Kennedy administration in the early 60s and executed by the Nixon administration in the late sixties, 1969 to be precise, it took 39 more years until Indian ISRO’s lunar orbiter Chandrayaan I discovered the presence of magmatic water on a moon crater in 2008.
Even though US disbanded the successful Apollo Moon Mission programme by Dec. '72 after 7 missions after the Apollo 17 mission, the data brought down from lunar atmosphere and rock samples from lunar surface were not tested for water presence, considered the most vital element in the subsistence of organic life as we know it, anywhere in the Universe. Even though controversies abound, if the US moon landings are ever debunked by future generations, it will indeed be a sad day for global science and technology ..

Click here for the Astronomy Now website that gives a very clear pic of the mission ..

The assembly of the spacecraft payloads traveling to lunar orbit
The second Indian mission Chandrayaan II is headed for a landing of the lander Vikram for the first time ever in the treacherous area exactly 600 kms away from the South Pole of the moon between the craters Manzenius C and Simpelius N at 70 degree South latitude on 6 September 2019. The rover Pragyaan in the lander has a one lunar day life (14 earth days) and is capable of moving 150-200 m on lunar surface.

There are a lot of ifs here, but on a positive note, will it make some surprising discoveries about the origin of the moon ?

Forever indebted to Nehru ..
What is the difference between the Chandrayaan I and Chandrayaan II missions ?

1. Chandrayaan I spacecraft was just an orbiter of the moon with a crash landing module (finished it's mission in 2008 itself) while Chandrayaan II is planning a soft landing on the moon using a lander and move a robotic rover on lunar surface for about 200 m to collect data for studying it's origins.

2. Chandrayaan I was launched on a less powerful rocket, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C11) which through a series of slingshot missions helped the spacecraft of the Chandrayaan I orbiter escape the earth's gravitational pull. In contrast, Chandrayaan II uses the Geostationary Launch Vehicle (GSLV Mk III) with higher power that vertically takes off and develops enough thrust to escape the earth's gravitational pull. The spacecraft is put on the solar orbit after six slingshot maneouvres for its seven week sojourn to the lunar orbit.

3. Chandrayaan I mission objectives were to just orbit the moon and crash land a module while Chandrayaan II objectives are much laudable and can help throw light on the evolution of the solar system itself.

Why are we interested in knowing about the origin of the moon ?
Firstly, it will help us to understand the formation of the other planets and their moons a couple of billions of years back and secondly, perhaps throw light on the formation of the solar system and galaxies billions of years back.  It is going to be a scientific and technological treat for the scientific and technical brains of the space agency as well as a treat for the people of the world to know how their planet came to be what it is today after 4.6 billion years of evolution. A great satisfaction for the Engineers and Scientists at ISRO to have furthered the frontiers of knowledge in understanding the Solar system ..

There are presently 4 theories floating in scientific circles about the origin of the moon. 

Sept 6, 2019 will be a great day for Indian space research .
1. Double Planet Theory (Co-creation theory) - at the origin of Universe itself, Earth and moon were co-created as separate planets
2. Fission Theory - material spun off from earth over millions of years resulting in the formation of the moon
3. Capture Theory - Space debris floating around was captured by Earth and one of the captured large debris happened to the moon
4. Large Impact Theory (Giant Impact Hypothesis)  - an unknown large object is said to have impacted the earth resulting in many fragments. The heavier fragments coalesced to form the Earth and the lighter fragments got thrown off and became the moon.

Even though the Moon is the closest space object from the earth, we still do not known how it was formed and when. Probably Chandraayan 2 would throw more light on the origin of the moon and help us to debunk the other three ..

The mission in brief ..
The safe ejection from the Chandrayaan II orbiter, of the Lander (Vikram) and Rover (Pragyaan) from a 100 km altitude orbit, riding piggyback on 3.3 T space vehicle is very crucial. The craft is taken outside earth orbit on the 640 T GSLV MkIII M1 rocket from Sriharikotta. The trip in the sun's orbit over a 6 week long period covering 3,82,000 kms is an event the whole world is eagerly looking forward to. 

India's successful Chandraayan I launched in 2008 had the orbiter and the Moon Impact Probe while this mission comes with the complete package to walk around the moon and do some basic and simple data collection and experimentation.
Even though the Chandraayan II project should have taken place around 2012-13 as per original plans, due to unforeseen delays with a collaboration with Russia for the lander and the rover technology, that did not materialise, it got delayed. Then India, thanks to the government at that time which gave full support, embarked on the indigenous technology route when the lander and rover were developed indigenously all alone. The project thus got extended to 2019.

The list of instruments on the Orbiter, lander and rover are given below. (courtesy, click here for the link)

On the Orbiter :
  • Terrain Mapping Camera 2 (TMC-2), which will map the lunar surface in three dimensions using two on-board cameras. A predecessor instrument called TMC flew on Chandrayaan-1.
  • Collimated Large Array Soft X-ray Spectrometer (CLASS), which will map the abundance of minerals on the surface. A predecessor instrument called CIXS (sometimes written as C1XS) flew on Chandrayaan-1.
  • Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM), which looks at emissions of solar X-rays.
  • Chandra's Atmospheric Composition Explorer (ChACE-2), which is a neutral mass spectrometer. A predecessor instrument called CHACE flew on Chandrayaan-1's Moon Impact Probe.
  • Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), which will map the surface in radio waves. Some of its design is based on Chandrayaan-1's MiniSAR.
  • Imaging Infra-Red Spectrometer (IIRS), which will measure the abundance of water/hydroxl on the surface.
  • Pragyaan in close quarters ..
  • Orbiter High Resolution Camera (OHRC) to examine the surface, particularly the landing site of the lander and rover.
  • Laser Retroreflector Array (LRA) from NASA
The lander's instruments include:
  • Instrument for Lunar Seismic Activity (ILSA), to look for moonquakes.
  • Chandra's Surface Thermophysical Experiment (ChaSTE), to examine the surface's thermal properties.
  • Radio Anatomy of Moon Bound Hypersensitive ionosphere and Atmosphere (RAMBHA-Langmuir Probe), to look at plasma density on the surface.
The rover instruments include : two science instruments to look at the composition of the surface:
  • the Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscope (LIBS) and 
  • the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS).      courtesy
The mission in graphics, courtesy ToI ..
What happens on lunar surface ??  

The orbiter at a height of 100 km above lunar surface with release the lander-rover combo for a soft landing on lunar surface. After detaching itself from the lander, the rover Pragyaan will spend a lunar day, almost 14 earth days on the lunar surface and walk about 150 - 200 m on the unexplored rocky terrain in the South pole of Moon from Sept 6 to Sept 20, 2019 collecting data and samples of surface rocks.

It is the first time that any country is attempting a landing on the dark side of the moon in the Southern hemisphere.

George ..

Saturday, July 06, 2019

Top ten rules for success, Prof. Yuval Noah Harari

Prof. Yuval Noah Harari of Hebrew University, Jerusalem and author of three classic best sellers on the human species, our past and our future, in this video talks of the future of humanity and mentions the top ten rules for success to make ourselves relevant and take oneself forward in the present world.

Quite practical, meaningful and philosophical !! Complied by Carmichael. 

1. Be Adaptive - the world is changing so fast,  with AI disruption going to happen soon, there will be no need for doctors, teachers, lawyers etc.. we humans need to adapt to a world where we will have to change our jobs every ten years and adapt. The best areas to invest would be Emotional Intelligence.

2. Learn how to deal with failure  - Do not get discouraged with failure, instead take failures as great learning opportunities and scale much greater heights with the learning. A person who has failed and knows how to crack the exam has learnt much more than the person who cracked the exam with a straight A in the first attempt.

3. Be a story-teller - Everyone looks forward to listening to things narrated to them in an interesting manner. Let there be a good learning too in what we say to catch the audience attention. Everybody tends to understand better in stories or real life cases. That is one of the reason why the top Universities in the world teach complicated concepts and thoughts through cases.

4. Get to know yourself - through meditation, travel, trekking or sports. The anger we express on others is more damaging for us than to the other person.

5. Practice Vipaasana meditation - it is an ancient Indian / Budhist meditation technique. Click here for more info .. Helps one to see reality more clearly. Just observe  your self starting with our own breath and then concentrate on different parts of your body, relaxing our muscles etc.. It helps us to understand our anger, emotions and other feelings. Listen to S N Goenka one of the global experts on VM ....

6. Engage with spirituality, not religiosity - Morality helps us to see the reality. Spirituality is about questions and reality is about answers. Spirituality is in everybody  and is unique. Religiosity is potent and can divide people on petty issues.

7. Study philosophy - Philosophical issues of Freewill, morality, humanity etc. have been studied by people over centuries without any impact. In the new technologically advanced environment, the society will need more philosophers to study practical issues to gain insight.

8. Read lots of books - Books expose us to the wonderful world of ideas and thoughts, it teaches us something new. By reading books we keep up-to-date with the wonderful, ground breaking, revolutionary ideas of the world

9. Develop your social skills - In the present time, our interactive, communication skills have more impact than our physical features.  To understand the society and people better, one needs to develop the ability to socialise well

10. Find your mission - Try to contribute to society by finding where and what one is good at and do it better. That is the call for which we are here on planet earth.

The video concludes by mentioning what Prof. Yuval considers the three main threats facing humanity by the turn of the century.
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Climate change and 
  • Disruptive Technology
Disruptive Technology and other threats facing us he says, will force us to reinvent ourselves and engage in different pursuits every ten years ..

The late Cambridge Cosmologist Sir. Stephen Hawking had predicted that the three greatest threats facing humanity at the turn of the century are atomic weapons, aliens from outer space and AI robots. Click here for the link ..

Impact of Climate Change, courtesy
The  only difference we observe in their approaches is that while Stephen Hawking accepts the threat of aliens from outer space a major threat, Yuval never mentions anything about it, may be out of his ignorance on extra terrestrial sources of life and EI, but definitely Yuval finds the pressing issue of climate change to be a major threat to humanity than aliens from outer space.

Click here for interesting 25 min video ..

Yuval says that we can predict the future, but not influence it. we find with each passing day, technology is pervading all aspects of our life and by understanding this technology we are able to predict the future better than anyone else. 

The purpose of this writing was to crystallise some thought processes of some of the great thinkers of our times. This should help us to understand our future much better.


Thursday, July 04, 2019

Kaizen burst events - what, why, how and where ?

What is a Kaizen burst ?

A Kaizen Burst event, which is also called a Rapid Process Improvement (RPI), is a 3-5 day event whose focus is achieving dramatic improvements to particular parts of a specified process by the time the event ends -

An intense Kaizen observation focused around a certain area looking at continuous improvement which is realised to a good percentage, about 80% is called a Kaizen Burst.

A Kaizen event has 4 phases, selecting, Planning, Implementing and Followup.

Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Lisa Genova TED talk - how to improve our neuroplasticity and avoid Alzheimer’s disease ?

Lisa Genova, US neuro scientist, author of Still Alice ..
Neuroplasticity, also known as brain plasticity, neuroelasticity, or neural plasticity, is the ability of the brain to change continuously throughout an individual's life, e.g., brain activity associated with a given function can be transferred to a different location, the proportion of grey matter can change, and synapses may strengthen or weaken over time. - wikipedia
Listening to this TED talk by Lisa Genova (click here) will help us understand the risk mankind faces from a grave lifestyle disease afflicting mankind with no special reason, Alzheimer's disease, affecting every second person above 80 years of age , in other words how to improve our neuroplasticity .... 

Lisa tells us why our brain cells degenerate over time and how we can avoid this natural degeneration by creating new functional synapses in our brains , for example through reading a new book, learning a new language or an instrument, engaging in aerobic exercises etc .

In the process of neuroplasticity, new synapses are created by learning. The amount of new synapses (joining point of the nerve fibres in the brain) overtakes the older ones getting dysfunctional due to amyloid plaque accumulation. 

Healthy and Alzheimer's affected brain, courtesy Alzheimer's Association
In other words, facts and information stored in some part of your brain which got erased from ageing of the cells (amyloid plaque accumulation) has now been stored in a new synapse. We have almost a hundred trillion synapses in our brain.

We cannot remove the plaque that accumulates in the amyloids of the synapses at the end points of the nerve fibres in our brain. But we can create new fresh synapses that can capture new facts of knowledge and prevent the brain from getting stunted. Learning new skills, languages, knowledge  etc overtake the amyloid plaque accumulation in the synapses in our brains due to our poor sleeping habits of the past.

I was surprised in my earlier visit to IIT Bombay, end 2018, to find my Professor, Uday Gaitonde, moving the mouse very easily with his left hand (earlier he used his right hand). When i asked him, he told me he has learnt a new skill and the aim is to keep away Alzheimer's disease.

One skill that I too have acquired of late (and which I want others also to acquire quickly) is the ability to move the computer mouse of the office computer with the left hand at great speed. It has not only helped improve my word processing speed, it has reduced excessive strain on my right shoulder blades otherwise and brought about healthy synapse generation in my brain.

So as we march to old age, let us be more creative, helpful, accommodative of other people which will keep our brain fresh and give us active old age.


Chandrayaan 2 risk assessment ..

As engineers  very much interested in technology and engineering applications and as a business school professors, we look passionately fo...

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