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Dr. Rajesh Ingle

Branch Counsellor

Dear All, It gives me immense pleasure to write this message for the new Issue of PISB’s P.I.N.G. The Credenz edition is always special for all of us. This newsletter provides a platform for all, including student members to showcase their talent, views and further strengthen IEEE activities. The response received for all the Issues of P.I.N.G. is heartening. It is a great pleasure to serve PICT IEEE Student Branch as a Counsellor and to work at various levels in IEEE. As a counsellor at PICT IEEE Student Branch; as a Chair, Conference Committee at IEEE Pune Section; Vice Chair, IEEE India Council, IEEE Region 10 Students Activity Coordinator; and Member, MGA SAC. I am thankful to all the members of PICT IEEE Student Branch for their active support. In January 2016, I had the opportunity to attend IEEE Region 10 Meeting at Kuala-Lumpur, and also deliver an Expert Talk on “Internet of Things, Cyber Physical System: Towards Internet of Everything” at UTM, Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia. I was able to contribute in the Region 10 Meeting at Bangkok, Thailand, from 4th to 5th March, 2016. This year, we also got an opportunity to organise and attend IEEE Region 10 SYWL Congress at Bangalore, India. A few of our students got an opportunity to work at the Asia-Pacific level. I am thankful to the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) Vice Chancellor: Dr. Vasudev Gade, CEO: Dr. A. Chavan, Dr. Y.P. Nerkar, Coordinator, Engineering Faculty and OSD Dr. Lalit Pawar for their support for students to attend this event at Bangalore. I would also like to mention the strong support from our Principal Dr. P.T. Kulkarni for all the students to work at this level. I also participated in the IEEE MGA SAC meeting at Chicago, USA from 9th July to 11th July, 2016. Various important issues including funding, rebate model, and section support to student branches were discussed and the new proposals submitted to MGA accordingly. At PISB, many events are conducted throughout the year and widely appreciated by students, acclaimed academicians and industry professionals alike. The events include IEEE Day, workshops, Special Interest Group (SIG) activities, Credenz and Credenz Tech Dayz. Credenz is the annual technical event held in September each year. We are organizing the first international IEEE conference, ICEI-2017 at Pune and our members will get the opportunity to participate and volunteer for organising this event successfully. I thank all the authors for their contributions and interest. On behalf of IEEE R10 & IEEE Pune Section, I wish PISB as well as this newsletter all success. I congratulate the P.I.N.G. team for their commendable efforts. Prof. Dr. Rajesh Ingle IEEE R10 (Asia Pacific) Student Activities Chair Vice Chair, IEEE India Council Dean and Professor, PICT


Flashback

nostalgia

Pooja Bhurke, Ex-Editor, P.I.N.G. page. Our goal for theming Credenz ’11 ‘Socialise’, was to reach out to more people and the editorial team worked round the clock to get articles from industry professionals and other colleges through online submissions. We maintained strict quality standards and switched to using professional software for editing and design. The team’s enthusiasm and immense hard work paid off in the form of a beautiful glossy Issue filled with interesting and relevant articles on the latest technology. It also received strong appreciation at PYCON and other conferences.

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y tryst with P.I.N.G. began in my second year, when I joined PISB as a volunteer for Credenz ‘10. My interest in the newsletter stemmed from a history of editing school magazines combined with a keen passion for technology. We were already making waves in the tech event space with Credenz and CTD and I was excited about this seemingly simple newsletter’s immense potential. The initial Issues of the newsletter were simple black and white copies without a cover page, and one of the first hurdles our team had to address was the lack of contributors. In an effort to garner publicity, we came up with the idea of making badges which said “I got ping’d!” for every writer who gets an article published - and it worked! That CTD issue of P.I.N.G. saw greater submissions than ever before, and we could see people sporting their beautiful badges with a copy of P.I.N.G. throughout the event and after. In 2011, as an editor, I was determined to take P.I.N.G. further from a newsletter to a functional magazine. With every Issue, we learnt something new, and one of the major takeaways from the previous Issues was the importance of design. For the Credenz ’11 Issue, we added a designer as an official member of the ‘P.I.N.G. team’, for the first time. We decided it was time for P.I.N.G. to get a facelift, and hence allocated more budget to improve the paper quality and get a coloured cover 3

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The strength of PISB, being a student run organisation, comes from its members. For the next CTD Issue, I had the pleasure of welcoming new members into the editorial team. They brought with them a new streak of creativity and zeal to break our records. The CTD Issue saw submissions pouring in from all corners and we pushed ourselves to raise the standards of the magazine. It was truly a proud moment when our efforts were recognised by the IEEE Council and the editorial team was invited to work on the IEEE Pune Section Newsletter and subsequently felicitated in the IEEE AGM 2012 (Pune Section) for its contributions. Being a part of the PISB family was an incredible experience which helped in honing essential life skills such as quick decision making, efficient leadership and teamwork, skills which would come into play every day in my corporate life. More importantly, it also introduced me to a tight-knit network of remarkably creative and passionate people. Every new batch of PISB has strived to reach greater heights than before and this is starkly visible in P.I.N.G., which has come a long way from being a college newsletter to a magazine which proudly sits amongst other IEEE journals and is distributed widely as a reliable source of latest technology trends and viewpoints. I look forward to this new Issue of P.I.N.G. and wish the team success in all their endeavours. (Pooja Bhurke was an Editor of P.I.N.G. 8.0 and currently works at Rakuten Inc.)

CREDENZ.INFO


conception

Digital Transformation Genie is out of the bottle

They attach a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to every investment, for example, an Order to Cash cycle time - 90 days to 20 days etc. ERP gives you an ability to run your internal business, which we call operations. As a result, you can measure it using this KPI. SMAC works differently as each component of SMAC gives you a different flavour of transformation. The right focus to each should be given to design an appropriate KPI. The below mentioned points give you a direction to generate the right KPI.

The P.I.N.G. Team is honoured to introduce a special feature, “Conception”, which offers insights into improving your business. Rajeev Dev, Vice President of Digital Transformation at Cybage gives the readers his perception of the growing tech world and what makes you tick.

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or any brand to survive, it must evolve. In today’s world, it is all about evolution. However, evolution itself has a different meaning and the gap between evolution and revolution is reducing day by day. Organisations are adopting “Digital Transformation” to evolve. Business leaders are highly excited, but are confused about Digital Transformation being an IT strategy or Business strategy. Used as an IT strategy, you will end up making a few mobile apps, or a few reports. Digital Transformation as a business strategy makes your business 100% involved in the entire journey and guarantees better results. Digital Transformation means usage of digital technology to improve the performance of your business. Formally, it means enhancing your internal business processes and transactions using SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics, Cloud). With Big Data, IOT, AI etc. being most talked about, organisations must realise that SMAC can shorten the journey of crawling before you can actually run. With Digital Transformation as a business strategy, we come to the next obstacle where most of the business leaders come from an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) background. CREDENZ.INFO

S (Social Media): It is an advanced feedback mechanism with an advantage of 2-way communication about what users and employees think about your product and strategy respectively. Through better preparedness, you ensure bringing right products at the right time, which gives you an edge over others. Social Media is a culture and a great improvising tool and hence, the KPI should be measured accordingly. M (Mobility): In a recent survey, 87% of young audience answered that it is difficult to leave their smartphones at any time of the day. Mobility is all about user experience and how easy you make it for your employees and users. In order to measure enhanced user experience for a great KPI, you must focus on simplicity. A (Analytics): Focus on satisfying the needs of your leaders in terms of information content that your analytics can provide. Inarguably, they will make smarter decisions with better information and hence, the KPI should be designed accordingly. C (Cloud): Cloud is about scalability. Contradictory to defining cloud in terms of money saved, I would measure it by the ability to take your business from X to 100 times X, something that traditional IT models cannot do. Business will not have any control if businessmen don’t adapt SMAC and hence, it is extremely important to attach the right KPI for this initiative to be successful. SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Neural Dust

editorial

Augmenting aesculapian technology

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narguably one of the most complex parts of the human body, no organ of any organism has ever been as intriguing as the three-pound weight sitting inside our heads. Its functioning has flummoxed neuroscientists and doctors alike for ages. An organ that ceases to repose even while man luxuriates, the brain is the epicentre of the entire human body. Everything that we dofrom moving our limbs to emotional responsesis a consequence of small voltage surges sent through the nervous system by the brain. As ameliorations in modern neuroscience result in furthering the understanding of its operation, the question becomes that of harnessing its power with electric signals for use in various fields, most notably medicine. Making this seemingly farfetched vision closer to becoming a reality, a team of engineers at UC Berkeley have developed a system of implantable wireless sensors whose size is comparable to that of a speck of dust.

Backdrop The use of electrical impulses in medical treatment is not a neoteric trend in modern medicine. The technique has been employed since around four millennia ago by ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who used electric rays to stimulate heart muscles, similar to modern-day defibrillators. Scribonius Largus, a Roman physician used to prescribe standing on an electric fish on the sea shore to relieve pain! The earliest recorded use of electricity being used for medical treatment was in 1767 by 5

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a group of doctors in Middlesex Hospital, London. Electrotherapy has traversed a long path since then, undergoing many changes. The basic concept underlying it, however, has always remained unwavering- the use of external stimulation with big, bulky equipment. Understructure The team, led by Jose Carmena and Michel Maharbiz of the renowned Swarm Lab at UC Berkeley made a breakthrough in the field of bioelectronic medicine by developing minuscule, tetherless sensors that can be implanted in the encephalon or the peripheral nervous system. About the size of dust particles, these batteryless sensors, dubbed Wireless Neural Dust, are capable of scrutinising neural activity. Contemporary brain machine interfaces(BMIs) are usually degradable. Most of these BMIs that are adopted for prosthesis control make use of wires drilled through the skull. These prevailing methods are relatively ungainly and significantly increase the likelihood of infection or inflammation of the tissue. To surmount the impediment imposed by these externally powered neural interfaces, Carmena and Maharbiz’s team concocted a sophisticated alternative. Contriving Paramount to each device, referred to as a mote, is a piezoelectric crystal. This crystal converts mechanical energy of ultrasound pulses generated by an external ultrasonic transceiver into electricity. The built-in transistor interacts with the nerve or muscle fibre that the mote is positioned on, to record voltage spikes. Modifying the vibration of the crystal, the signal changes the echo detected by the ultrasonic receiver. Thus, surfaces the backscatter technique. Electrical data received from these motes is further transmitted by the receiver to a computer. As the name suggests, these implants are sized identical to a large grain of sand i.e. 1 millimetre cube. Researchers aim to minimise it to 50 microns, a mind-boggling size that’s smaller than the width of human hair! The current iteration of CREDENZ.INFO


the motes that were implanted in the peripheral nerves and muscles of rats, have been enclosed in surgical-grade epoxy. In order to increase their life span to over a decade, the team plans on building further generations of motes from a biocompatible thin film.

new type of medicine provides a refined method of targeted treatment for a wide range of diseases by using electricity as a stimulant. Moreover, it is capable of invigorating the immune system. This is just the beginning. Epilepsy, type-2 diabetes and bowel diseases are predicted to be mitigable.

Pertinence This seemingly thaumaturgic invention opens up a myriad of new doors, significantly blurring the boundary between Biology and Engineering. In the current stage of development, the dust motes are capable of solely monitoring the peripheral nervous system. However, it is predicted to work just as efficiently for the central nervous system. Ergo, a potential solution offered by Neural Dust is enhanced and effortless prosthesis control. Not only does the wireless operation reduce tissue damage and inflammation, but also trounces the amount of energy dissipated when radio waves are used instead of ultrasonic pulses.

Future Directions The future promises multifarious possibilities for Neural Dust. Current military protocols for espionage are perilous as they chiefly rely on human spies. One slip-up on their side could compromise their identity as well as the entire mission. Instead, an efficacious recourse would be to directly zero in on the criminals and surreptitiously monitor their organisation. Deploying the Dust motes on the battlefield to make foes unconsciously inhale them, could easily enable us to go behind enemy lines and prepare a combat strategy. Since the cardinal objective of the Dust is to read nervous signals, computer programs could be designed to interpret these pulses to monitor the enemy’s thought process.

Overcoming substance abuse is onerous beyond question. The effects traditional rehabilitation can have on the victims are intimidating. Not to mention the constant denial, in conjunction with withdrawal symptoms. What if we told you there was another way to manumit addicts that is completely painless and trauma-free? Ultimately, all cravings are signals that pass through the nerves. Dust motes sprinkled throughout the nervous system have the capability to subdue these signals using electrical surges. A similar approach can be applied for hunger suppression and bladder control. Cutting through the fog of uncertainty and sideeffects surrounding run of the mill chemical medication, Neural Dust provides a pathway for a groundbreaking new field in medicineelectroceuticals, also known as bioelectronics. This CREDENZ.INFO

As propitious as this is from a defence standpoint, a darker side lurks behind its salubrity. How do we know that ordinary citizens would not also become targets for mind surveillance? What if these tiny motes, that you wouldn’t even realise were in your body, are already in your brain at this very moment, quietly recording every thought that you have, watching every move you make?

- The Editorial Team SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Bridging the Rift With Padma Vibhushan Dr. Jayant Narlikar

interview

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ounder of the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), Padma Vibhushan Dr. Jayant Narlikar is renowned for being a pioneer in the field of cosmology. A protégé of Sir Fred Hoyle, he is prominent in his support of the Steady State Theory of the universe, as opposed to the prevalent Big Bang Theory. Besides his scientific literature, Dr. Narlikar is a revered author of popular science fiction, novels and short stories.

Q A

What made you realise you wanted to pursue Cosmology?

I was at Cambridge at the beginning of my academic career. The professors at Cambridge taught Cosmology in an exciting manner. Fred Hoyle, who was my supervisor at that time, gave me a broad picture of what Astronomy covers. He had contributed to almost all branches of Astronomy, which was extremely rare. When I was his student, Cosmology, the subject that describes the origin and evolution of the universe, excited me the most. So I took it up for research. Hoyle, who was the originator of the Steady State Theory, discouraged me to work on such a controversial theory for my research as I was a new research student. I was disappointed as I wanted to work on it, but he gave me other problems to work on.

Q A

Could you please explain your Quasi-Steady State Theory of the universe for our readers?

If you consider an expanding universe and compare it to a gas cloud, then when it expands, its density becomes less because the same mass is covering a larger volume. When you say that the universe is in a steady state, then you are saying that the general properties of the universe are not changing. What we need to do then, is to keep the density constant. This constancy is only possible if you produce enough matter to take the place of the matter which has moved further apart. This means that matter needs to be created. However, people questioned the creation of this matter because we read in Physics texts about the law of conservation 7

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Padma Vibhushan Dr. Narlikar, Founder, IUCAA

“I

have always tried to follow a philosophy of giving my best effort towards whatever I am trying to do.”

of mass. One cannot produce matter out of nothing. Hoyle’s partners, Hermann Bondi and Thomas Gold, when asked this question, pointed out that in the rival Big Bang theory, the whole universe was created at a single point, so where did that originate from? In our case, they replied, this is happening uniformly at small levels. But in the Big Bang, this rule is violated in a big way, since the whole universe is created out of nothing. So that was one level of argument. Hoyle wanted to give a mathematical answer. He said that the universe is assumed to contain large quantities of negative energy fields, called C fields or Creation fields. This negative energy field compensates for any creation of matter. Creation of matter will increase the density, but at the same time if you create a negative energy field, it leads to the cancellation of the positive matter. Hence, there is no violation of CREDENZ.INFO


Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics the law of conservation of matter. My work in this was to give a mathematical expression for this idea and to work out some consequences.

Q

You were at Cambridge around the same time that Stephen Hawking was. Could you share with us an instance of your interaction with him?

A

Hawking and I were students together and he was two years junior to me. When I was in my third year, he joined Cambridge University as a research student. The story goes that he wanted to work with Fred Hoyle but he declined because he had taken on 7-8 students that year. Hoyle suggested it would be better if he went to some other professor. Hawking went to Dennis Sciama of the same department. Also, we were both vacation students at the Greenwich Observatory for six weeks or so. It was the kind of summer job one takes on to earn some money and learn a bit about observational astronomy. There were a number of students at that Observatory. We once had a table tennis tournament amongst us. He and I reached the finals and I defeated him. But the fact that he was playing table tennis shows that his health was quite normal. He used to take long walks as well. It was soon after him joining Cambridge that his health began to deteriorate. And then he slowly started losing motor control.

Q A

Could you share a fond memory from your time at Cambridge?

In Cambridge, they have a prize called Smith’s Prize, which dates back to the 19th century or even earlier. It is a prestigious prize that has been won by many distinguished scientists. During my time there, I had applied for it, by submitting an essay on my research work. When I sent my essay in, Fred Hoyle’s wife called me one day and said to me that their cat, Tatty, was sitting on my essay, which was lying around. “She always likes the best of things to sit on!”. That was her way of indicating that I had got the prize, even though she was not supposed to disclose this. She knew because all the professors in her husband’s department were the CREDENZ.INFO

judges, so he must have found out and mentioned it to her.

Q A

What was it that motivated you to set up an establishment like IUCAA?

The idea to set up an establishment like IUCAA came from the University Grants Commission Chairman, Yashpal. He had an idea which needed a scientist. I had also independently been thinking that a lot of research was being done in India outside the University structure in autonomous institutions. The University level of research was declining very rapidly and something was needed to be set up. An Inter-University framework was suggested and Astronomy and Astrophysics were sparsely covered, so this was a subject that seemed necessary. This opportunity came at the right time.

Q

IUCAA is now widely known as one of the best research facilities in the country. What has this journey been like?

A

We were lucky to have an imaginative architect, Charles Correa, to work on IUCAA. He wanted to have a building which would reflect what modern Astronomy is, to provide a contrast to his previous work in Jaipur that reflected ancient Astronomy. I asked Charles, who was thrilled to say yes. That is how these buildings came up, which attracted a number of architecture students. I pointed this out to my wife to which she said that the work being done in IUCAA was the aim. My response was that results cannot be produced instantly. I asked our scientific advisory committee how they would rate IUCAA on a world wide scale. They couldn’t give me a reply then. A few years later, I asked them the same question to which they said that it was in the first division of such institutes around the world.

Q

A lot of the books you have written including fiction, make science more accessible to ordinary people. How do you think the rift between common man and science can be bridged further? SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Quantizer

is a project started by the renowned MIT Media Lab in collaboration with CERN, where a live feed of particle collision data from the Large Hadron Collider under the ATLAS Experiment is sonified and converted into music. This music, created in real-time, can be listened to at the Quantizer website.

A

Science is producing a lot of new ideas and many of them are being converted into technology, which we use. If there is such a powerful input in our way of living, coming from science, one should try to understand what it stands for even if one doesn’t become an expert in science. That’s the reason I have been writing or using other media to convey the excitement of science, the advantages and the dangers of science, for example, implications of nuclear bombs, etc. I think the onus really lies on scientists like myself or my colleagues to make science attractive to the younger generation. Normally what the common man says is, “This is something in a box. I don’t want to open it, because I won’t understand it”. What I say is, open it. Whatever comes out, try to understand it. At the moment, there are few scientists that are conveying the spirit of science to the younger generation.

Q A

What do you think is the reason for low interest in students in offbeat fields of science?

When I look at Astronomy for example, a place like IUCAA does attract many young students and post-docs who were working abroad and joined here. It is certainly the case that if you see a good environment, you come and pursue science, even if you get paid less. If you are pursuing a career in the computer field or information technology, you can buy a car in two years. Here, you might have to wait for four years before you buy one, but you eventually do!

Q A

Do you think the education system has something to do with this dissipating interest?

It certainly does. If it were so designed to project science and mathematics as interesting and powerful forces, then people would be attracted towards it. At the moment, they are being presented in our textbooks like mantras that you mug up and repeat without understanding their significance. For that reason, I feel we need an overall change in the way these subjects are taught. One should not have rote learning, one

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should have understanding.

Q A

If you weren’t a cosmologist, what branch would you have chosen?

I had started in my school days as a fan of Mathematics. So, when I went to Cambridge, I took the Mathematical Tripos, which had various branches of Mathematics. As I said, Astronomy attracted me more, so I took it. If that hadn’t happened, perhaps I would have chosen some other branch of Mathematics. That’s my guess.

Q

What was the biggest challenge you have faced in your life? And how did you overcome

it?

A

When I went to Cambridge as a student, I discovered that the method of teaching was different from the one followed in India. Here, there is spoon-feeding. You are told how to solve a problem along with examples and then you find that you’ve got the method right. This is slow and steady. In Cambridge, they rushed from one topic to another, with the expectation that we would work out the gaps ourselves. I found that very nerve-racking. What I would’ve expected to be a one year course in a university in India would be completed in 24 lectures! One had to be very fast in keeping pace. Facing that kind of environment was one of the first challenges I had.

Q A

What advice would you leave our readers with?

I have always tried to follow a philosophy of giving my best effort towards whatever I am trying to do. Doing things half-heartedly won’t work. Doing two things half-heartedly is worse than doing one thing with full focus. Whatever you do, give it your best.

We thank Dr. Jayant Narlikar for his time and contribution to P.I.N.G. - The Editorial Team CREDENZ.INFO


maven

Nura Headphones

Adaptable acoustics

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t is always the thing we use the most that we pay the least attention to. Same goes for our gadgets. An example of such a gadget is headphones. If not misplaced, they get stepped on and break. So, the search for a new one begins. Unfortunately, we don’t appreciate the importance of having the right headphones unless we lose them. We test many headphones and then finally settle on one which we think, at that moment, meets all, if not most, of our requirements.

getting through and which are not. Nura is a combination of a microphone and headphones. Our ears produce a sound of their own, called “otoacoustic emissions”. A sensitive microphone is in-built in Nura, which picks up and analyses these emissions. Using this information, Nura adjusts the speakers present in the headset to produce a sound which is tailor-made for your hearing. You just need to calibrate Nura once before using it. The process of calibration is simple. Using Nura’s smartphone app, tones of 11 different frequencies are generated to measure the relative sensitivity of your ear to these tones. It takes 30 seconds to 1 minute to complete this test. Once the test is complete, a unique hearing profile is generated and stored in the app and headphones.

After a few days, we realise that listening to a 30-second snippet of a random song and measuring the performance of a pair of headphones is like measuring a cricketer’s ability in 3 balls. Just as some cricketers are meant for one day and some for 20-20 matches, everybody’s hearing ability is different. What if I told you there are headphones in the market which can adjust itself according to your hearing? ‘Nura’ is a pair of headphones that measures and adapts to its user’s hearing. After wearing them, it automatically measures your hearing and adapts to it in the span of 30 seconds. Our hearing is as unique as our voice and fingerprints. Each of us has different sensitivities to different frequencies of sound. This means that the same pair of headphones sound different to different people. This is where Nura comes into the picture. It knows which sound frequencies are CREDENZ.INFO

The design of the headphones is also unique. It’s made up of both in-ear and over-the-ear sections. The over-the-ear section plays low-frequency tones i.e. bass and the in-ear bud plays high tones, which gives crystal clear notes, creating an immersive listening experience for the user. Nura’s makers ran a Kickstarter campaign with a target of $1 Million. The idea was well received by people and it raised a whopping $1.8 million, surpassing its target by a huge margin. Various experts tested these headphones and their reactions were mostly positive. The sound quality was unanimously praised, but the sound tests still need some tweaks. The product is expected to start shipping around May 2017. Ultimately, Nura is a product that will leave you wondering why you used those lacklustre headphones all those years. It’s a perfect gadget for audiophiles. Put on Nura, sit in a dark room and get lost in an album. - Ganesh Kulkarni Associate Software Engineer Accenture Pune SEPTMBER 2016 2016 P.I.N.G. P.I.N.G. ISSUE ISSUE 12.1 12.1 SEPTEMBER

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Bionic Leaf

maven

An organic concoction

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uitably adapting a biological process taken for granted using modern technology may just be the ‘Eureka!’ moment for the world, as it looks to lessen its dependency on fossil fuels for meeting its daily energy needs.

A team of researchers at Harvard University have created a system, dubbed the ‘Bionic Leaf’, which improves the photosynthesis process occurring in plants to generate usable fuels. It does so by making use of solar energy to divide water molecules and hydrogen-consuming bacteria to produce liquid fuels. Chemist Daniel Nocera of Harvard University and his team collaborated with synthetic biologist Pamela Silver of Harvard Medical School and her team to develop a living battery, which they call a Bionic Leaf for its melding of biology and technology. The system uses solar electricity from a photovoltaic panel to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, and then adds pre-starved microbes to feed on the hydrogen and convert carbon dioxide in the air into alcohol fuels. The photovoltaic cell is layered between two thin metal oxide catalysts. Bionic Leaf is required to be immersed in water at room temperature and atmospheric pressure to produce fuels. Sunlight falling on the silicon wafer is converted into electricity. This electricity is passed through the catalysts and used to split water 11

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molecules, resulting in the release of hydrogen on one side of the silicon wafer and oxygen on its other side. A question comes up here, if Bionic Leaf can split the water molecules this easily, why not use the hydrogen produced as a fuel? Hydrogen is extremely versatile as a fuel if one looks at it from a chemical standpoint. However, hydrogen, being a gas, is much more difficult to handle. Liquid fuels are much easier to contain, making them a better choice. Actual field-grown plants have the ability to convert only 1% of the sunlight they receive into energy. This synthetic Bionic Leaf, however, does the same with an efficiency of about 10%, which bodes well for the future of energy resources. In nature, plants use sunlight to make carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water. Artificial photosynthesis exploits the same starting inputs-solar energy, water, and carbon dioxide-and produces energy-rich liquid fuels in their stead. The system that Nocera and Silver built, makes use of a pair of catalysts to split water into oxygen and hydrogen, and feeds the hydrogen thus produced to bacteria along with carbon dioxide. The bacterium, a microorganism that has been biologically engineered to have specific characteristics, is what transforms the carbon dioxide and hydrogen into liquid fuels. This novel system can use either pure carbon dioxide in its gaseous form, or directly extract it from the air. This means it could be carbon-neutral, introducing no additional greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Allowing the bacteria themselves to capture carbon dioxide from the air results in an efficiency of 3 to 4% significantly higher than natural photosynthesis. This is not the first time that artificial photosynthesis has been attempted for energy production. Nocera’s research is distinct from the work being carried out by the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), a project that utilises inorganic catalysts for the reaction in CREDENZ.INFO


Nissan’s mind-reading Leaf is a quirky concept car that scans

the driver’s brainwaves to identify and record the emotion or response to a certain event while driving. Depending on the nature of the response of the driver, it displays one of 30 pre-recorded messages on the outside of the car.

place of bacteria, to convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide to liquid fuel. The innovation of this project lies not only in its superior performance in energy efficiency, but also in its integration of entirely separate fields: inorganic chemistry (to split water) and biology (to convert hydrogen and carbon dioxide into fuel).

The JCAP project uses the bacterium Ralstonia eutropha grown in contact with an inorganic catalyst system. This makes the Ralstonia absorb the hydrogen and synthesise biomass and fuels from carbon dioxide concentration in the presence of oxygen. This particular system is scalable and reduces carbon dioxide at an efficiency of around 50% when it is producing these compounds, requiring 180 grams of carbon dioxide per kWh of electricity. Coupling this hybrid device to existing photovoltaic systems would yield a carbon dioxide reduction energy efficiency of around 10%, exceeding that of natural photosynthetic systems. JCAP’s contraption appeared in 2015, producing an astonishing 216 mg of alcohol fuel per litre of water. However, there was a cause for concernthe nickel-molybdenum-zinc catalyst has a troublesome side-effect: poisoning the microbes. So, the team went about searching for a better catalyst, one that would not harm the living organisms while effectively splitting water. As the team reported in Science on June 2, they found one in an alloy of cobalt and phosphorus, an amalgam CREDENZ.INFO

already in use as an anticorrosion coating for plastic and metal parts found in common everyday objects. With a small electrical surge, this new catalyst can construct itself out of a solution made of plain water, cobalt and phosphate phosphate in water actually being good for organisms like the Ralstonia bacteria that make up the back half of the bionic leaf. Passing an electric current from a photovoltaic device through this solution at a high enough voltage is sufficient to split water molecules. This voltage is even higher than what is needed to induce the cobalt to precipitate out of the solution and form the cobalt phosphide catalyst. This means that when the bionic leaf is running, there are always enough electrons around to induce the catalyst’s formation. Therefore, no excess metal is left in the solution to poison the microbes or bring the bionic leaf’s water-splitting to a halt. It was observed that the new artificial leaf has been able to run for up to 16 days at a stretch. This new catalyst in the bionic leaf helped boost the efficiency of version 2.0 of producing alcohol fuels like isopropanol and isobutanol to roughly 10%. Hence, for every kilowatt-hour of electricity used, the microbes could scrub 130g of carbon dioxide out of 2,30,000 litres of air to make 60g of isopropanol fuel which is better than the efficiency of natural photosynthesis at converting water, sunlight and air into stored energy. Commercialising the available technology might still be a distant dream; however, the vast array of applications that can be derived out of turning sunlight into usable fuel presents a host of exciting opportunities for researchers across disciplines. After being scaled, this technology could potentially solve a lot of energy problems in countries which lack proper power infrastructure, at a more affordable cost.

- Nikhil Yelamanchili Transaction Risk Investigator Amazon Hyderabad SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

12


Nanoengineering

pansophy

Infinitesimal but propitious

I

n the last two decades, the innovations of nanoengineering in electronics and computing have triggered numerous remarkable changes in the IT industry. Nanoelectronics speed up day-to-day activities in human life, making them simpler. The present scenario has witnessed some pioneering developments in this field. A great deal of applications used in modern electronics and the computer world are based on the same.

Scientists from Munich Laboratories have constructed the world’s smallest nanotube transistor, with a channel length of only 18nm, making it the most advanced of its species that is currently in production and use. Carbon nanotubes were grown in a controlled process, each one measuring only 0.7 to 1.1 nm in diameter. A single human hair is around 1000 times thicker by comparison. Not to mention an impressive current delivery rate of around 15A at 0.4V gate voltage, which is 10 times more than that of silicon transistor. It has tremendous applications in secure mobile solutions as well as memory products and ultra low power devices. The world’s fastest graphene transistor for high frequency applications, demonstrated at IBM Laboratories, possesses a cut-off frequency of 40 GigaHertz. Here, the graphene transistor was grown epitaxially using processing technology compatible to that employed for advanced silicon device fabrication. A layer as thick as a single atom 13

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of carbon, bonded in a hexagonal honeycomb like arrangement is what constitutes graphene. Signals that pass from one neuron to another through diffusion i.e. the major functionalities of a synapse can now be replicated using an organic transistor. The device is based on a combination of pentacene and gold nanoparticles. It’s alternatively termed as Nano Organic Memory Field Effect Transistor (NOMFET). These encapsulated nanoparticles, fixed in the channel of the transistor and coated with pentacene, have a memory effect that enables them to mimic the mannerisms of a synapse during the transmission of an impulse between two neurons. New generations of neuroinspired computers, capable of responding in a way similar to the human nervous system, are a groundbreaking application of implementing this technology. Electronic circuits are mainly fabricated on rigid Silicon wafers, but flexibility opens up a whole new perspective. Amorphous Silicon that was used to design the flexible display devices like laptops earlier, is being increasingly replaced by Cadmium Selenide nanocrystals, where electrons move much faster than those in the former substance. Besides speed, an added advantage is that CdSe can be deposited at room temperature, whereas Si has a higher threshold opening up the possibility of using more extensible plastic foundations. Motorola Laboratory designed a working 5-inch colour video display based on Carbon Nanotubes known as Nano Emissive Display (NED), a revolutionary technique that could create large flat panel displays with superior quality, longer lifetimes and lower costs than their present competitors in the market. Moreover, it is optimised for a large screen High Definition Television (HDTV) with an astonishing thickness of less than 1-inch. Longer lasting NED flat screens provide high brightness and excellent uniformity without compromising the colour purity. After years of intensive research, engineers have CREDENZ.INFO


Electronic Tattoos, developed by nanotechnologists at Tel

Aviv University, are sticker-like systems that can be worn on the face to detect facial muscle movements. These tattoos, consisting of a carbon electrode, a sticky surface and a polymer coating, could be used to monitor facial expressions and emotions through the muscles. succeeded to fashion the first “active matrix” display that incorporates a new class of transparent nanowire transistors and circuits to create a display containing Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). One step closer towards realising applications such as e-paper, flexible colour monitors and “headsup” displays in car windshields. It is capable

semiconductor (S-DFB) laser is responsible for powering the wireless mode of transmission. Recently, high-coherence semiconductor lasers based on integral high-Q-resonators in hybrid Si/ III-V platforms have been developed which provide unlimited bandwidth due to their absolute purity. Now, these two coupled together could improve throughput almost exponentially. At Stanford University, Carbon nano tubes have been used to design a basic computer. With the potential to launch a new generation of gadgets that operate faster. These consume less energy than their silicon counterparts. IBM declared a major leap in the tech world by introducing light signals to transmit information for further computing instead of electricity. This mind boggling procedure is called “Silicon nanophotonics”. Not only does it allow the integration of different optical components side-by-side with electrical circuits on a silicon chip, but also exploits the use of light pulses for communication.

of modernising a myriad of industries. In this process, OLEDs consist of electrodes made of a material dubbed as Indium Tin oxide nanoparticle, and plastic capacitors that store electricity. All of the components are transparent until activated. The diodes can be utilised to build antennae that aim radio signals and microwaves more precisely than the current ones available. Such antennae might improve cell phone reception, reducing the risk of attacks like eavesdropping or tapping military transmission in the battlefield. Nanomagnetic switches are speculated to transform the building blocks of modern electronics. A series of experiments at UC Berkeley exhibited their higher efficiency through low power dissipation, making them a viable replacement for the conventional transistors in all computers. At present, fibre optics are more reliable compared to any other traditional communication medium on account of their high data transfer rates and secure transmission. Apart from being immune to electromagnetic interference, they also provide unlimited bandwidth. Distributed feedback CREDENZ.INFO

A one-of-a-kind technology that provides a super highway for large volumes of information at rapid speeds between computer chips in servers, to tackle big data is quite the incredible boon the computer industry required to keep up with the current, fast paced scenario. Through nanoengineering, it is thus plausible to design a high speed machine that has the potential to store, analyse, manipulate, transfer and display large amounts of data at an instant with the help of light signals and many more advancements from the contemporary electronics world.

- Dr. K. C. Nandi Professor in Physics Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

14


Gremlin Drones

featured

Miniature Secret Service

T

oday’s day and age are such that we are living in a world full of enemies; a world in which every nation is making an attempt to move heaven and earth in order to earn wings of security. In this very race for arms, an innovation has been proposed that could certainly re-shape our world, for better or for worse; an innovation that will be well appreciated by drone enthusiasts in particular; an innovation going by the name of “Gremlin Drones”. The governing body of U.S.A.’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is planning to launch a fleet of reusable drones meant to sow turmoil among enemy air defenses. This project serves the purpose of making use of a gigantic aircraft which will launch swarms of small unmanned drones high up in the air. These drones have the ability to fly to standstill ranges where they can tactfully spy on enemy lines. Subsequently, the drones can be retrieved in the same way and will be carried back by another aircraft after the completion of their mission.

from a mother ship. The shortlist comprises of the companies Lockheed Martin, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Dynetics and also Composite Engineering Inc., all of them being organisations that are involved in defense engineering, especially aerial vehicles. An opportunity to further develop the Gremlin technology now lies in their hands. DARPA is scheduled to announce the final Gremlin winner by 2020. It is interesting to find out the depth and history behind the origin of this technology’s eccentric name. “Gremlin” is the name of a fictional mischievous fairy-like creature, who is responsible for an unexplained mechanical destruction. During the bloodiest eras of World War 2, British pilots superstitiously believed that the mayhem to the fighting aircrafts was caused by Gremlins. These mythical creatures proceeded to wreak havoc aboard all the aircraft flying around and always took the blame for any mishap occurring to them. Gremlin drones are named after these elusive imps, magnificently proving that behind every innovation there is always an inspiration. According to the development plans, DARPA’s robotic Gremlins will reside in the interior of manned aircrafts. Furthermore, they are to be launched from a safe distance by a separate fighter aircraft. They would fly up to a distance of 500 miles to the destination area and linger there for close to three hours before returning to be picked up by a C-130 recovery aircraft, possibly using the bucket drop technique. The aircraft will carry them back to their base, where ground troops would prepare them for their next mission within 24 hours. DARPA expects each Gremlin drone to have a lifetime of up to 20 missions.

The initiative aims to do a superior job of spotting enemy aircraft by employing a swarm of air-borne drones. Pilots will launch the drones as needed for electronic attack, reconnaissance missions and surveillance. Recently, the agency has awarded contracts to four firms which have been shortlisted for exploring different approaches to the challenge of launching and recovering the drones 15

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Gremlin drones are expected to be smart and inexpensive, having a limited life period. They will be characterised by a compact design in order to facilitate their usage in aircrafts as well. These machines will be robots without pilots, that is they will be unmanned, which would result in the extensive lowering of expenses, with a target CREDENZ.INFO


Atlas, the Next Generation of the bipedal humanoid robot developed

by Boston Dynamics, is capable of walking over a variety of different terrain, assessing navigation, manipulating objects and operating in both indoor and outdoor conditions. It can avoid obstacles and stay balanced using various sensors, making use of hydraulic actuation. cost of $700,000 per drone. Minimal weight and economical power usage are a must for each one of these. Gremlin drones need miniature cameras, communications, GPS navigation, batteries, data processing power, and high-tech tools on board, such as advanced flight-control. Reusability of these compact aircraft makes maintainability and operational cost burdens disappear. By scaling up the number of systems engaged in operations, the effects of a loss of any individual Gremlin is reduced eventually. All the Gremlins will also need to be able to communicate with each other in order to team up the fleet. They will also need to transmit data through military satellites in order to deliver the gathered intelligence during the mission. Even if one of the drones malfunctions or is shot down by the enemy, it will not have a lasting impact on the mission as there will be several others of the same type in the fleet carrying out the mission.

Gremlins which are a part of the fleet can act as decoys, jammers and radar detectors, passing on details of where enemy radar resides so that they can be attacked at a later time. The jamming operation will create a great nuisance to the enemy radar by blocking communication signals. It would be possible to use these cheap Gremlins as missiles with supplementary additions. Such drones can be used to attack targets as well. In this way, used Gremlins can be made to stay behind, while unused drones still could be brought back to CREDENZ.INFO

fly another day. The C-130 aircraft would ultimately be achieving many missions with the help of different drones having different capabilities. The project plan needs to explore high-fidelity analysis, precision digital flight control and station keeping. Sending a number of Gremlins on secret-gathering missions is one thing, but recapturing them instead of leaving them in the hands of enemies is a huge bonus to the U.S. military. However, this project also invites competition from the Russians as well as other troops. Once Gremlin drones become a success, it will be a victory for U.S. Military. However, other military developers will have to deal with the drone threat. The biggest challenge for the rest of the world will be how to face this drone hazard, which will never stop spying on others. It is entirely possible that rival nations, in order to defend against these drones, could end up setting them on fire. Consequently, this Gremlin battle may put the very existence of mankind at risk. Taking into account all the possibilities, DARPA is therefore trying to stay ahead of everyone else in developing such a technology. DARPA officials will be choosing the best plan of execution to develop these deceptively diminutive drones to coordinate their actions in the air leading to a technological advance that will revolutionise the world. In legends and stories, the Gremlins were the ones who were responsible for malfunctioning of any system and in real-life defense systems, that is what these drones will be. While it is equally thrilling and terrifying, one thing is sure, the world has a good chance of witnessing these Gremlins in the near future, as proposers seem to be excessively encouraged to leave no stone unturned in exploring this project.

- Mrunal Bhokare Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

16


Origami Robot

philomath

Flexible curative pills

A

visit to the doctor is a tedious process which involves waiting for your appointment, the doctor’s diagnostic and if required, a lengthy surgery. A team of MIT researchers have now conceptualised a technology, which achieves this process with the gulp of a pill. The Origami Robot is a technology which bridges the gap between conventional medical practices and userfriendly innovation.

The ingestible ‘Origami Robot’ is a device that can be folded up and swallowed in a pill by patients. The acidic juices in the stomach cause the robot to unfold, after which the magnet is then guided through the stomach by external force. The team of scientists at MIT, Sheffield University and the Tokyo Institute of Technology recently demonstrated that this device was successful in dislodging and removing foreign objects in a mock stomach. It is believed that further modifications of the robot will be able to patch wounds, deliver medicine and perform targeted surgery in the otherwise inaccessible locations of the stomach- applications that promise a revolutionary transformation in non-invasive procedures and treatment of the digestive system. The robot, once in the stomach, propels itself using “stick-slip” motion, in which its appendages stick to a surface during a move, but slips free again when its body flexes. The robot is then controlled by magnetic fields that direct its motion through 17

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rotational forces. Since the robot is controlled externally, it can effortlessly creep through the walls of the stomach to remove a swallowed marble or repair the linings of the stomach. A quick rotation will make it spin in place, while slower rotations will let it move by pivoting around a fixed end. To test the robot’s functionality, scientists modelled a cross section of a pig’s stomach using Silicon. They filled the model with water and lemon juice to mimic the acidic fluids of the stomach and carried out a test run. These tests have shown that the Origami Robot is adept in sliding over a foreign object (such as a battery) and dislodging it so it can pass through the colon and be evacuated from the body. This has enormous effects in the healthcare sector today. Approximately 3,500 batteries are accidentally swallowed in the US each year, which is equivalent to about ten each day. These cases can be fatal; if a battery is not digested by the body normally after swallowing, its contact with soft inner tissues can cause an electric current between the battery and body, leading to chemical burns. With the Origami Robot, batteries like these can be dislodged simply by swallowing a pill! The next stage would be to test the Origami Robot in the stomachs of animals such as cows before moving on to human trials. Future designs may add sensors that enable them to navigate themselves through the digestive system, without the need for an external applied magnetic field. The device is expected to be available for clinical use in the next six to eight years. While the design is still undergoing changes and trials, the Origami Robot is expected to provide a promising model for the future of non-invasive procedure.

- Kaavya Muralidhar Stanford University, California U.S.A. CREDENZ.INFO


philomath

Crystal

Fast as C, slick as Ruby

R

uby is a dynamic, open source programming language that focuses on simplicity and productivity. Even though it has an elegant syntax that is natural to read and easy to write, it is not essentially known for its speed. Due to this main reason, it is observed that Ruby is not the right tool for demanding applications. This is where Crystal comes into the picture.

Incorporating the simplicity and speed of C with the basics of Ruby, Crystal is something unique. This programming language has its syntax similar to that of Ruby but is not an exact replica. However, it cannot run Rails. Unlike Ruby, Crystal is a transcribed language but without having to specify the type of variables or method arguments. A direct simplification for programmers, where they can code more freely as they are bound by lesser semantic rules, has thus surfaced in the tech world. Since Ruby is known for its metaprogramming capabilities i.e. writing of computer programs with the ability to treat smaller programs as their fundamental-building-block data, it was a cumbersome job to achieve a better alternative to it. Interestingly, Crystal achieves the same with the help of macros while reducing boilerplate code. Being a compiled language, it brings forth a multitude of advantages. Having a compiler offers numerous optimisations for free. In addition to that, when a Crystal program is compiled it is stored as a well-organised single file native code. Deployment becomes extremely convenient and easy. Concurrency is handled impressively. C code can be called by writing bindings to it in the program itself. Equipped with an outstanding library and various utility tools, Crystal appears to provide various features that are desired by many programmers. CREDENZ.INFO

They have been turning to Rust (a programming language) for these until now. Then Crystal came along and offered the same characteristics: refined metaprogramming, fewer sigils, a bigger standard library and fibres. It comprises of all the components a developer requires to build modern applications. JSON, YAML, CSV, HTTP and even Web Socket are bundled within Crystal itself, making it tremendously simple to start building something. The fact that Crystal compiler uses LLVM (a collection of modular and reusable compiler and tool chain technologies used to develop compiler front end and back end) is key to the optimisations that reflect in the code. Furthermore, Crystal supports object oriented programming. Currently, Crystal is the platform being employed for developing multiple web frameworks. Amatista and Kemal are a few instances to being with. There is a lot more that makes Crystal syntactically and indistinctly similar enough to Ruby, that you as a programmer can easily adapt to. Some of Ruby’s greatest weaknesses translate to Crystal’s strengths. If you have been wondering what you can build using Crystal, well to your surprise, the answer is pretty much anything and everything from games, graphic renderers, low-level agents to web applications. If you enjoy Ruby’s productivity for writing code and C’s efficiency for running programs then to get the best of both worlds, Crystal is the obvious solution for you. Now the choice is yours to select what field your next shiny project will focus on, exploiting the benefits of Crystal!

- Sejal Abhangrao Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTMBER 2016 2016 P.I.N.G. P.I.N.G. ISSUE ISSUE 12.1 12.1 SEPTEMBER

182


DSAC

philomath

Calibrating time in space

A

ll human beings intuitively understand the basics of time. We all use it every day to schedule our day-to-day activities, navigate from one place to another, run our machines and so on. In travelling from one place to another, we use speed-time relation to pick out the most efficient route. Navigation technologies like GPS have made this child’s play.

However, what if we were to navigate from Earth to a planet far away? Is it still as easy as switching on the GPS in our phones? On a purely theoretical basis- yes. But in order to achieve this, we need a very accurate measurement of time itself. What is the need for DSAC? Time measurement is fundamental to the operation of navigational technologies. Their accuracy relies on that of time measurement. We thus turn to atomic clocks, which provide us with the most precise measurement of time. Current ground-based atomic clocks are fundamental to deep space navigation. But these clocks are far too large to be flown in space. This results in tracking data being collected and processed on the Earth. This is where DSAC comes in. What is DSAC? Deep Space Atomic Clock or DSAC is a miniaturised, ultra-precise mercury ion atomic clock for precise radio navigation in deep space. It is an atomic clock small enough to be flown into deep space. Although its dimensions are only 29 cm x 26 cm x 23 cm, it’s just as accurate as its bulky counterparts on planet Earth. 19

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How does DSAC work? DSAC uses the mercury ion trap atomic clock, which uses the hyperfine transition frequency of mercury ions at 40.50 GHz to effectively “steer” the frequency output of a quartz oscillator to a near-constant value. This generates a novel timemeasuring instrument which is not only compact, but also exact. How does DSAC help Deep Space navigation? DSAC has a time drift of no more than 1 microsecond error in 10 years! It also eliminates the need of a two-way link with Earth-based atomic clocks. This enables autonomous radio tracking for a spacecraft’s time-critical events such as orbit insertion or landing. Its other advantages include: • Improved tracking precision in deep space • Effective use of the Deep Space network • Efficient data transmission since ground antennae are not required, nullifying the weather impact Key to future exploration DSAC not only enables precise Deep Space navigation, but also provides solutions for simultaneous tracking of two spacecrafts. This is made longer by using a ground antenna’s entire spacecraft viewing period. At Saturn, there is a 15-25% increase in tracking, with the percentage increasing as a spacecraft travels further. Improving data precision by 10 times since Ka-band mitigation is reduced. Thus, new discoveries can be made in gravitational and occultation science. DSAC ensures that we can achieve huge strides not only in relatively conventional areas of space exploration, but also in fairly obscure fields of gravitational science.

- Hrushikesh Patil Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune CREDENZ.INFO


philomath

MELiSSA Zero G

Inception of space agriculture

W

hen Ridley Scott envisaged and portrayed an artificial environment for growing potatoes on Mars in the Matt Damon starrer “The Martian”, he was not too far off from reality! A few years back, European Space Agency (ESA) hogged the limelight when it asked two French caterers to create a meal for Mars based on nine foods: rice, lettuce, spinach, wheat, onion, tomato, soybeans, potatoes and spirulina. ESA has undertaken the Micro-Ecological Life Support System Alternative (MELiSSA), an initiative to grow nutritious food sustainably in space.

MELiSSA is set to replace the current generation of life sustainability systems. It not only aims to remove metabolic waste from the various streams such as water or air, but also yields food in the process. The first stage of the MELiSSA cycle sees the organic waste being put into a liquefying compartment that breaks it down to basic minerals, volatile fatty acids, carbon dioxide and ammonium. Proteolysis, saccharolysis and cellulolysis are the primary biological functions which take place in this compartment. This is followed by the photoheterotrophic compartment where the bacterium Rhodospirillum rubrum weaves its magic and breaks the volatile fatty acids and minerals into nitrogen components. The next module of the cycle is the nitrifying component where a mixture of the Nitrosomonas and Nitrobacter bacteria react on oxygen gas with urine from the crew and ammonia from the second chamber. This gives CREDENZ.INFO

rise to nitrates which act as suitable fertilisers for plants. The next section of the process is paramount to MELiSSA. It is the all-important photoautotrophic compartment where food is actually grown and oxygen is produced for the crew. The nitrogenenriched growth media are used to grow plants for consumption. It is divided into two parts: the algae compartment and the higher plant compartment. In the algae compartment, large quantities of algae, comprising of species of cyanobacteria known as Spirula are grown. These are not only very naturally active photosynthesisers, but also widely used as a dietary health supplement. The higher plant component is engineered to provide food and water for the astronauts. 8 crops have been selected for growth in zero gravity and several others are being studied for future opportunities. The fifth compartment of MELiSSA includes the spaceship crew itself. They consume the food grown in the nitrogen enriched soil and produce solid and liquid waste which is delivered to the components of the cycle. The real challenge lies in processing the food after it’s cultivated. Cooking in zero gravity still remains a hurdle. Scientists are exploring options to design an artificial gravitational environment to make cooking feasible in space. 3D food printers are an alternative but getting it to work in zero gravity is untractable. With various endeavours to colonise Mars by people like Elon Musk or Yuri Milner, it’s a distant possibility that life will be self-sustainable in outer space. ESA’s efforts in coming up with methods to take care of dietary needs in outer space are commendable. Let’s hope we live to see the day when man will be leading a healthy and nutritious lifestyle beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

- Ankit Choudhury Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTMBER 2016 2016 P.I.N.G. P.I.N.G. ISSUE ISSUE 12.1 12.1 SEPTEMBER

202


Artificial Neuron

philomath

Synthetic grey matter

S

ince the very beginning of development, we humans have been very introspective and craved to understand why or how we take certain decisions that reflect in our day to day life. The human brain has always held an exquisite allure due to its ability to take decisions with speed and accuracy and its inability (as yet) to be completely implemented by technology. Computers were not only built for simplifying complex problems, but to create a way to replicate how our brains work in order to solve those complex problems, to give us humans a sense of ultimate control over the most powerful organ, so basically to suffice our egos. Although uptil now human creativity and power of thought have been unrivalled by any robot invented, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are a few streams, among others that have been developed entirely to quench this very thirst. Imagine the uproar, then, if the most important and minutest unit of the brain could be technologically manifested.

IBM’s Research department in Zurich claims to have come up with artificial phase-change neurons that can be scaled down to mere nanometers and have considerably low power consumption in regard with the high speed of signal transfer. The most imperative factor replicated from the human neuron is that these artificial neurons incorporate the randomness with which each of them sends an 21

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impulse ahead. There’s a fixed pattern of impulses for each stimulus to which the brain reacts and these patterns are randomized due to the excess electric charge, variable conductance and various other aspects. To understand further, one must compare the structural as well as functional models of the original and the artificial. The neurons in the human brain are longitudinal structures with fibrous dendrites which has chemical receptors. These receptors receive neurotransmitter chemicals like acetylcholine and dopamine which cause the permeability of the neuronal membrane to change and therefore create a channel of ions to enter the neuron. This changes the electric potential and creates a potential difference between the opposite sides of the neuron thus causing an electric impulse to flow onwards through the axon and the whole cycle repeats till it reaches the concerned organ. Apart from the input through the dendrites, the output from the axon and the spike generator (potential difference) itself, the functioning of this inventive neuron is based on the ‘artificial’ neuronal membrane. It is a lipid bilayer that has been implemented by using a square cell of GST or GeSbTe i.e. Germanium-Antimony-Tellurium which is a phase-change material. Phase-change materials are those which change their properties according to their physical state. Moreover, these substances are what forms the basis of re-writable Blu-ray discs. GST, in this case, is a conductor when crystalline and a resistor when amorphous, it’s original state in the mechanism. As soon as the heat due to electricity changes the physical state of the material, it conducts and sends forth the message only to be changed back after a fixed amount of time if the system remains nonresponsive. The innate randomness is borne of the fact that the amorphous GST is left just a little different than earlier after every impulse which in turn affects the following crystalline state, thus making the system stochastic. The implications of the successful technological CREDENZ.INFO


Electronic ‘Nose’

An , created by researchers from KU Leuven in Belgium, is the most sensitive gas detection system. Made of microscopic sponge-like metal-organic frameworks, this chemical sensor can detect traces of chemical weapons like sarin residue on food present in extremely low concentrations like parts per trillion. implementation of a human neuron are humongous, particularly in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Language. At present, the CMOSbased artificial neuron has been used for

neuromorphically finding correlations in data faster in a more efficient manner as compared to the conventional methods. Although not exactly the same, the artificial neuron can be improved to create a much closer prototype to the actual neurons that are located in the human brain and once that door is unlocked a lot of other doors can be unlocked. Cognitive computing could be revolutionised by this ultra-dense integrated neuromorphic technology. IBM’s neurons can some day lead to the creation of an ‘artificial brain’ which will not only function much faster than a human one, but also retain its cognitive abilities. However, controlling the brain is an extremely powerful and dangerous concept as there is an equal possibility of dire security threats. Terrorism may become much more advanced and uncontrollable if such technology falls in the wrong hands. Imagine hacking into the brain of Presidents of all the countries in one go. Imagine literally programming the Presidents’ brains to rule the world without getting caught, gradually bringing it to ruins. Even if the rest of the people refuse to join them, the humans-turned-robots alone could have CREDENZ.INFO

advanced capabilities to overthrow the world as we know it- or will know it. Ray Kurzweil’s theory of technological singularity foresees exactly this and strongly propagates the progress of security with the equal progress of technology. In fact, it could be any day now that Isaac Asimov’s Three Rules of Robotics could be incorporated in the Constitution. On the other hand, all forms of permanently paralysed, handicapped as well as any temporary kind of disability patients could be treated by a ‘brain transplant’ or an alternative machine to transfer the functioning of those nearly impossible tasks with the same way a dialysis machine works on the kidneys. World’s first sucessful brain transplant in Johannesburg, South Africa was the result of a nineteen hour long surgery that rendered the then thirty six year old patient cancer free! Commercially, finding corelations is already becoming faster and hence consumer statistics can be graphed and utilised efficiently in turn improving the economy as a whole. Controlling the environment would become second nature and with the current growth in technology our beloved mother Earth could breathe safely again. Faster computers are on the way and humans are bound to meet their metal counterparts. Such technologies come with immense power and power as we know it, has the notorious ability to make or break things. We humans stand on the brink of our future and the only thing standing in between is how we use this power; for world peace or personal gain.

- Urjeeta Tule Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

22


Holoportation

philomath

Dwindling distances

C

ommunication, being a two-way process, is a crucial aspect of interaction amongst individuals and has been a major part of our lives since civilisation itself. In the present tech-savy era, numerous advanced means of communication are evolving everyday; be it a new generation of smartphones or a striking VoIP based app. Microsoft based product Skype offers video calling functionality which is widespread throughout the globe. We are all aware of the concept of “Teleportation”, which refers to the movement of an object from one point to another set of geographical coordinates by psychokinesis. However, it has not been actualised and seen only in science fiction films and games. If accomplished for mankind, this concept would enable us to travel colossal distances without actually moving in the physical medium.

Microsoft has a vision to bring future technologies straight out of science fiction. The company’s mixed reality headset also called HoloLens was a research project brought into action this March. The whole idea to develop this lens was to bring fantasies to life. Mixed reality facilitates 3D holographic content into your physical surroundings permitting you to interact with the digital content. Researchers have developed a new technology using HoloLens to implement interaction between users distant from each other termed as “Holoportation”. This project originates from the Microsoft Research Interactive 3D Technologies (I3D) team 23

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which works on development areas that include 3D graphics, machine learning, computer vision, augmented reality and virtual reality. As the name suggests, Holoportation technology is all about casting a live hologram of a person present elsewhere using 3D cameras and HoloLens. The working system consists of a rig of high-quality 3D cameras which are placed at certain positions to capture a subject from various different angles in order to achieve the desired effects. These cameras set up a real-time 3D image and send it to the receiver. The receiving system, a HoloLens projects the accumulated 3D images resulting into the formation of a hologram (a temporally consistent apparition that replicates the sense of someone’s presence in the same room as you while allowing them to be physically present elsewhere). Now, this virtual image appears before the user in the HoloLens’ field of view. The amount of data transmitted by all the cameras requires advanced processing to create a data stream which has to be refined in a window time of 33 milliseconds. The complete Holoportation process not only generates a huge amount of data but is also tedious to deal with since video streaming codecs available today are not 3D enabled. Once the stream has been recorded, the whole scene can be played back as a 3D hologram and the entire recording can be shortened for a recap. This technology takes long distance communication to another level altogether. Instead of simply looking at your physically distant loved ones on a screen while video conferencing, you will now be able to virtually feel their presence. Even though physical interaction is unavailable due to the current HoloLens iteration, phenomenal evolution is expected in the field of Holoportation in the near future. This promising technology illustrates the evolution of communication from 2D systems to 3D models. - Piyush Kothari Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune CREDENZ.INFO


philomath

Food Computer

DIY farming

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ven the foremost scientific advancements are bound to fall backward in front of the uncertain physiology of the living world. After encompassing the same genetic structure, cocoa from Ghana tastes better than those produced elsewhere. This phenomenon is attributed to the physical and climatic conditions prevailing in that area. Attributes like taste, shape, size, colour, texture and even the nutritional content of the plant is a pliable expression, adaptable to the surrounding physiographic and climatic conditions which aren’t globally democratic, and which we remain a slave to.

Researchers at MIT have developed a concept called “climate-controlled box”. Caleb Harper, the founder of the CityFarm research group, MIT Media Lab explains, “Everyone in the world wants to know more about where and how their food is coming from. There is a groundswell of consumers who would like to make a big difference. All we need is the tools”. Their technology is focused on enabling coding of factors such as CO2, light, humidity, pH, etc. and personalising them for a particular plant. With the help of an array of sensors, these growth conditions are monitored and gathered. These variables collected over time act as data banks based on which, optimum conditions for a particular plant and identified and recreated. Progress can be monitored and alterations can be made remotely and easily via a 3D interface consisting of virtual environment, sensor readouts and toolbars. CREDENZ.INFO

These farms employ hydroponic technology wherein the plants acquire their required nutrients through a mist which has crucial minerals added to it, thus eliminating the requirement of soil. The growth process is accelerated by a factor of four. This concept has empowered us to cultivate seasonal and area specific crops locally, thus reducing the carbon footprints of transporting crops, and also have them arrive fresher. Growing crops whose commercial production was long stunted due to climatic changes from their germplasm, is now possible. Thus, this platform for making climate-recipes has the potential to one day provide optimised food around the world. Being an open-source technology, this also provides a learning curve to IT enthusiasts. The vision of incorporating open-source in the naïve field of vertical farming is a success and hence is currently being adopted globally. There is one question that needs to be addressed to perfect this technique and enable mass production of crops; the huge disparity in the amount of energy currently needed to grow food with hydroponics vs traditional methods, how to bridge this gap? On a broader scale, acute food crises make this innovation highly plausible in terms of sustainable development. It increases food security, since effect of natural calamities and diseases on the production of crop can be mitigated. Since this technology is now modified into affordable assemblies suitable for personal indoor use, on an individual level, it facilitates a more intimate relation with the food we consume and provides us with the perfect blend of nutrients. Through this technological breakthrough, an extremely personalised version of health care in the most natural way can be adopted in the future. - Kshitija Patel Cummins College of Engineering Pune & - Sanika Joshi MITSOM Pune SEPTEMBER SEPTMBER 2016 2016 P.I.N.G. P.I.N.G. ISSUE ISSUE 12.1 12.1

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AI

2

philomath

The espying aegis

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uman response is slow and error-prone which leads to its incompetence in a field where actions taken within fractions of seconds might save companies a fortune. Cybersecurity or Cyber-defense remains to be a crucial challenge for the safety auditor as the black hat hackers are coming up with unimaginably new and complex tactics and deceiving methods to hack systems and infiltrate organisations. Take for instance, the conficker worm which infected the French Naval computer network, forcing aircraft at several airbases to be grounded because their flight plans could not be download or the stuxnet worm which was developed to vandalize Iran’s nuclear program. Without a doubt, the cybersecurity professionals are responsible to hunt as well as patch every possible vulnerability to defend our systems from attacks on the network, whereas, all it takes for the evil side to bypass privileges is a single loophole. Statistics suggest that cyberattacks have resulted in losses of approximately $400 billion per annum. As Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco Systems rightly pointed out, “There are two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those who don’t know they have been hacked!”. Ergo, security personnels were looking for a new ally in their quest for defence strategies when they stumbled upon an already existing technology that can be exploited for the same purpose, Artificial Intelligence (AI).

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What if a cyber attack could be predicted before its actual occurrence in the system, thus giving us the leverage of preventing it? Revolutionary, isn’t it? Isn’t it? Security researchers at MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), along with the machine-learning startup PatternEx, have developed a system based on AI which they referred to as ‘AI2’ (read as AI squared), the revolutionary interweaving of Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity. What this system has achieved till now is an astonishing detection rate of about 85% of cyber-attacks. It reviews data from more than 3.6 billion lines of log files which have been collected over a span of three months and informs suspicious activities, if any. The system does not just rely on Artificial Intelligence alone, but also on human input which researchers call Analyst Intuition (AI), hence the name Artificial Intelligence Squared or as aforementioned AI2. The internal working of this concept is chiefly dependent on three different unsupervised machine-learning methods. The approach is multi-step. Firstly, the behaviors of different entities (events) within a raw big data set are computed, followed by the presentation of the analysed set of events it finds suspicious using ML based outlier detection system. Then, it is responsible for receiving labels about the same in the next step. Subsequently, a supervised model using feedback from the analyst in conjugation with these findings is sculpted. These models are used on a new dataset or as programmers like to call it, log file, to predict attacks. Undergoing constant enhancements, this method becomes more efficient with each passing day. The entire algorithm is then repeated continuously. For instance, AI2 picks up two hundred suspicious events initially. A human analyst incorporates his knowledge. In a matter of days, the analyst may find only around thirty to forty questionable events in a day because the rest of the attacks are already taken care of by the system through CREDENZ.INFO


Eyefluence is a new technology that enables a user fitted with

a head-mounted display to interact with a VR environment, using only movements from the eyes. Not only does it track eye movement, it also understands eye biomechanics and combines it with the eyebrain connection to create a fast and easy eye-interaction system. previous executions of the process. The principle is straightforward: “The more data it analyses, the more accurate it becomes”. During initial tests, the team demonstrated that AI2 is roughly three times better than similar automated cyber-attack detection systems presently in use. Moreover, It reduces the number of false positives by a factor of five. AI2 is characterised by four key components. The first one being big data processing that enables a platform to easily quantify the properties of different events. Secondly, the outlier detection system identifies cases which do not conform to an expected pattern. Here, it learns a model from the features extracted by the big data processing system. Multiple scores are used to determine extreme or rare events. The third feature includes a feedback mechanism that facilitates continuous learning by incorporating analyst input and feeding it into supervised learning modules. Lastly, a supervised learning module is employed to predict whether an incoming event is normal or malicious.

of volunteers to label photos as either “objects” or “non-objects” and feed that data into the algorithm. Although, for a cybersecurity system, the average person on a crowdsourcing site such as Amazon Mechanical Turk simply does not have the skillset to apply labels like “DDoS” or “cross-site scripting” attacks. This is where the rubber meets the road. Experts cannot afford to spend all day reviewing bulks of data that have been flagged as suspicious. Therefore, an effective machine-learning system should have the capability to improve itself without overwhelming its human overlords. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is also a front-runner in fostering this particular idea as its Cyber Grand Challenge (CGC). It is currently offering a platform to seven finalists to code an AI-driven system which is pitted against the other six to attack and at the same time, devise a defense strategy against them. They are judged on numerous parameters such as efficiency, response time and accuracy. Once the competition commences, participants are not permitted to touch their keyboards. Despite big guns in the cybersecurity field that are already existent, analysts are apprehensive of the capabilities of such a system. The ongoing extensive research on AI2 promises a wider scope for the technology in the coming decade. We can expect humans to come up with a skynet, which spreads itself into millions of computers, not as a virus demolishing systems but rather to defend them and not turn against their creators; an approach completely opposite to what conspiracy theorists might have.

Coming up with cybersecurity mechanisms that merge human-computer based approaches is tricky, mostly due to the challenge of manually labeling cybersecurity data for efficient algorithms. For instance, a computer-vision algorithm that can identify objects with high accuracy, makes labelling input data simpler. You need a handful CREDENZ.INFO

- Shadab Shaikh Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Hypersound

philomath

Exclusively for your ears

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ver envisioned a scenario where a mere glass pane could speak to you? In the contemporary tech world, our mobile phones, TV screens, PC monitors and automotive dashboard screens are already equipped with the capability of providing us with speech recognition features and warnings. What if our windows and door panes were being used as speakers rather than the traditional subwoofer? This is where an innovative idea to simplify our lives was introduced viz. hypersound technology that turns glass into speakers!

Turtle Beach’s Hypersound Audio technology is a disruptive audio technique that is highlydirectional and can drive immersive, virtual reality audio experiences within commercial applications. As the name suggests, glass is the main substance employed to emit sound. This technology provides an effective means of projecting sound in a highly directional manner, without using humungous loudspeaker arrays, to form sharp beams. Designers are thus given the unique ability to control the footprint of audio. Being the most directional audio solution available till date, this class of speakers has been increasingly gaining popularity after its launch on 9th June, 2016. Much like the transmission of communication signal through modulation where it is superimposed on a high frequency electromagnetic carrier wave to facilitate efficient transmission with minimal attenuation, this technology employs ultrasound waves which are inaudible 27

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to the human ear, to produce directive audio. The working glass is a collection of multiple layers of transparent materials and electronics that are responsible to carry out the actual functioning. These include digital processors that inject the corresponding sound signal from the source and eject it onto the ultrasound beam, thus creating audio that we can hear. A 3D effect of the generated audio will be produced and perceived by anyone who is situated along the path of the directed sound beam. Unless you are the targeted listener, the ultrasound beam will remain largely inaudible. This property of hypersound optics renders it a highly target-specific thin speaker with the property of imparting a VR effect. It can thus be heard only by the required listener without invading other people’s space. The benefits consumers will enjoy are an immediate consequence of these transparent speakers’ salient functionalities. Among the various features that make it what it is today, improved frequency response and audio quality are the major ones. The glass-cum-sound panels are smaller with loud emitters embedded within them which further enhance their efficiency apart from the low power consumption due to a requirement of low voltage cables. A speculated alternative to headphones, this technology is potent enough to bring an upheaval in the field of sound engineering as it opens umpteen doors for exploration into the future of glass-based directional audio products and its application in the consumer, commercial and hearing ability related healthcare arenas. Furthermore, it can be integrated into desktop monitors, automotive dashboard glass, commercial displays, television screens and what not! Offering a whole new space for research and invention, this is an extremely promising concept. For budding acoustic engineers and researchers Hypersound Glass Speakers will provide a rewarding platform in the years to come! - Anindita Chanda Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune CREDENZ.INFO


philomath

Project Alloy

Blending realities

D

igitalisation has driven mankind to reside in a world where both virtual reality and augmented reality are ubiquitous. The former projects concoct an entirely new view before our eyes, whereas, the latter makes use of what is already existing and visible to us. Microsoft, Intel and Magic Leap are the few companies working towards producing a consolidation of these two ecosystems into a single concept known as a merged or mixed reality.

One such venture is Project Alloy by Intel. Researchers have attempted to overcome potential barriers of virtual as well as augmented reality through an all-in-one headset. Users can have their entire body in a simulated 3D environment that is based on their surroundings in the real world to prevent collisions with nearby objects. This would for instance, in gaming, accompany multiple lives by supplying a prejudgment of what the periphery would look like. Coming to the actual functioning - a head-mounted display set up similar to the mainstream VR headsets incorporates the capabilities of augmented reality. Equipped with a PC equivalent processor which ensures efficient and uninterrupted computing, it also consists of two buttons. One side of HMD (head mounted device) acts as a main controller button. Two sets of Intel’s real sense depth-sensing cameras provide six degrees of freedom through Fish Eye Lens i.e. Intel’s replay graphic creation software which superimposes graphics over the real world view. This is what creates a 3D experience, thus reducing dependency on any external device. Wireless technology facilitates an untethered user experience. A long battery life further adds to the CREDENZ.INFO

list of advantages. Microsoft’s upcoming holographic computer setup can be attached to Project Alloy for enabling a trueto-life computing experience. This system would comprise of various applications compatible with Intel Real Sense and other mixed reality headsets. The industries that can exploit this device are diverse. An entire CPU can be replaced by this technology. It can be used in conjugation with AutoCAD’s 3D view for a different perspective on interior decoration to give a prejudgment by visualizing the room with respect to furniture. For academic purposes, students can be given a comprehensive graphical study of the topics through a new realm of interactivity. Easy analysis of brain and intricate surgeries can be aided through the use of the same. In construction and architecture, it can assist for work on visualisation of different prototypes. Neuroscience is speculated to witness groundbreaking advancements by implementing this technology. An average course span is around eighteen years, which is quite long, but with mixed reality surgeons can practice brain surgery at an early stage which would result in decreasing the course span to 10-13 years. Moreover, 3D MRI scans would be revolutionised and capable of providing a real sense of where exactly the surgery is to be carried out. Intel plans to expose this specialised HMD for sale to consumers by the end of 2017 or during the first few months of the following year. Furthermore, there is scope to extend its functionalities such that it is compatible with Intel’s new Kabylake processor, a seventh generation chip sized 10 nm. The future holds boundless possibilities for this exclusive innovation that will benefit a vast multitude of industries.

- Deepak Chowdhary Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Robotic Sheath

philomath

Forestalling cerebral palsy

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he human brain is a complex control system that regulates and handles our body’s various mechanisms. Being the sole supervisor for our body, if any damage or problem affects the brain then the entire human body undergoes abnormalities. Cerebral palsy is one such abnormality that occurs in the early childhood phase of human beings. Cerebral palsy refers to a series of neurological disorders that cause locomotion impairment. Cerebral relates to the brain while palsy means the partial or complete muscle and body paralysis. The technology currently being researched and worked upon for this disorder is the Robotic Exoskeleton which is being tried and tested in order to prevent cerebral palsy in infants. The device under development is a compiled research by a team of scientists from the University of Oklahoma.

Introduction The neurological disorder, cerebral palsy, is the result of a brain damage or deformity that leads to permanent locomotion dysfunction in the infancy stage of human beings. The symptoms of this impairment vary from person to person. The abnormality or damage of the brain occurs either before birth, that is, in the foetal phase or during birth or within the first few years after birth. It primarily affects muscle control and coordination, posture, reflexes and bodily balance. Children suffering from this rare disease also face other 29

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problems related to their senses such as impaired vision, loss of hearing, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, etc. Generally, these babies have difficulties in crawling, rolling over or sitting and also a delay in being able to walk. Along with these signs, one third of those with cerebral palsy also face seizures and a lack of ability to think or reason out. Global statistics state that about 1 to 4 per 1,000 live births or children suffer from this incurable condition. To come up with a method of resolving this ailment, scientists from the University of Oklahoma have been working on the robotic exoskeleton for babies which will act as a prevention technique to cerebral palsy. The exoskeleton has the ability to detect which babies show signs of cerebral palsy in the span of two to eight months of age. This motorized gadget is designed to help babies who face the risk of cerebral palsy by developing and aiding their cognitive and locomotion skills. Research Analysis Being a neurological disorder, cerebral palsy has been studied and researched a lot. The discourse on the subject resulted in understanding that cerebral palsy is a condition that one is most likely to be born with and that there are some who can suffer from brain injuries post birth and thus become vulnerable to it. Birthing complications, accidents, body and substance abuse, medical negligence or malpractice during pregnancy, any type of injury or physical trauma are all major risk factors that can lead to the child being born with this spastic condition. Since the symptomatology of cerebral palsy is extremely diverse with a few common aspects, the malady does not get clearly diagnosed until the child attains the development and effective mobilising of its limbs which is usually around the time the child becomes six to nine months old. Preferential utilisation of limbs, delay in motor development, etc. then becomes clearly evident. Nowadays, through scientific advancement and alternative approaches to conventional medicine, cases of cerebral palsy are being treated. One such technological development is the Robotic Exoskeleton. CREDENZ.INFO


Leka is a programmable robotic toy that is designed to interact and

cater to children with special needs, especially those suffering from autism. The spherical robot has a face with expressions and uses light and sound to interact with users to improve cognitive and motor skills through a series of simple games. Thubi Kolobe, a researcher and therapist, had created a locomotion test which resulted in the prediction of which premature babies were the likeliest to fall prey to cerebral palsy or other physical disabilities. After having succeeded in identifying these children, she focused her aim to

a more concentrated age bracket, that is, the kids who are two to eight months old. This is usually the period when children develop the basic strength and ability for the utilisation of their limbs. The achievement of motion such as crawling, kicking, etc. is not just a development of the motor skills of the child but is also an avenue for growth of their visual and depth perception, cognitive skills, analytical and problem solving aptitude and various other aspects. By 2003, Thubi started a collaboration with the engineering professors of Oklahoma University namely Andrew Fagg, David Miller and Lei Ding in order to device a wearable gadget that would help prevent cerebral palsy in vulnerable infants and also promote and support the development and functioning of their motor skills to their optimal potential. The robot is a mix between a skateboard and an exoskeleton which can be worn as an overall. The device can keep track and record the brain activity of the child along with the corresponding muscular response by using machine intelligence. The aim of the device is to facilitate movement of CREDENZ.INFO

the child and in the process, strengthen the limb muscles thereby creating and activating the brain waves that are responsible for locomotion and growth. The robot termed as the Self-Initiated Prone Progression Crawler (SIPPC), is now in its third generation. The current prototype involves an exoskeleton that supports the child when the child rolls on a softly padded skateboard. The exoskeleton, that resembles a onesie is covered with 12 motion sensors that capture the movements of the baby and transform these signals into a 3D image on a computer. The algorithm that runs this device also has an added benefit that basically makes the device understand the attempted movement of the child, thus ensuring a boost to the effort of the child, this gives the baby a rewarding satisfaction and hence increasing the morale of the child. Conclusion This venture has been funded by the National Science Foundation’s National Robotics Initiative and according to IEEE, the team has also done a trial study with 56 children between the age group of four to eight months. A few modifications were done during the trial where a cap covered with EEG electrodes was used in order to record and analyse the brain activity of the children. Concurrently, scientists from other parts of the world are developing the device for adult-sized hands so that it can be scaled down to fit a child. This research is still under the process of being termed as the complete cure to cerebral palsy, but there definitely is a ray of hope. Seeing the miraculous results of this project, parents of the children suffering from cerebral palsy are overwhelmed and ambitious that this device will turn out to be the ultimate preventive measure for this disorder. - Anushka Rajeev Nair Amity University Mumbai SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Algorithmic Trading

philomath

Computerising the bull

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oney. They say it makes the world go round. They say it defines your value. They say it can either make or break someone. Regardless, there is no denying the impact that money has on society. When we say money, the first thing that pops up into our mind is a bundle of cash being freshly expelled right out of the Automated Teller Machine preceded by the characteristic ‘kaching’ sound it makes. Without a doubt, we all have grown way too accustomed to the paper form of money. What if I told you that the form of money that you have in mind at this very moment only accounts for about 3% of the world’s wealth? What if I told you that 97% of the entire world’s money is digital currency, in the form of binary digits (1’s and 0’s) lying on some random server faraway in another country? Hard to believe right? I thought so too.

Computers are becoming ever more pervasive in the present world of finance. Ranging from managing stock portfolios, to running stock markets as a whole, their capabilities are required everywhere. A vast multitude of financial institutions worldwide hire immensely skilled mathematicians to design algorithms of high efficiency for the use of stock trading, best suited to fulfill their tailor-made requirements. In recent years, the field of computational finance has undergone considerable development. One of the most important changes was the introduction 31

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of a new form of trading known as High-Frequency Trading (HFT). It is a type of algorithmic trading that is characterised by high speeds, high turnover rates and high order-to-trade ratios that leverage high-frequency financial data as well as electronic trading tools. The defining features of this revolutionary concept, which can be used to distinctly categorise it, are highly sophisticated algorithms, short-term investment horizons and high cancellations rates of orders. HFT uses proprietary trading strategies which are carried out by advanced computers to move massive quantities of capital in and out of positions in a fraction of a second. It is estimated that today, HFT accounts for more than nearly 40% of all equity trading volume. In finance, the Sharpe ratio is a way to examine the performance of an investment by adjusting for its risk. Accordingly, HFT has a potential Sharpe Ratio that is multifold higher as compared to traditional buy-and-hold strategies. HFT and electronic trading now pose new types of challenges to our global financial system. Outside of the financial system, only a handful of the commoners tend to be aware of the presence of something called HFT in the stock market. Prior to 1998, people were the paramount medium of electronic exchanges. This specifically appointed group was known as stock brokers, the stereotypical image we have of people shouting consistently at each other on the market floor, as illustrated in the media. However, post 1998, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission authorised electronic exchanges, the trading rates have increased exponentially. Thereafter, by 2010, HFT trades, had an incredible execution time of a few microseconds. This startled everyone. To expound on the potential impact this has on our economy, envision a developing country on the opposite side of the globe. Within a fraction of a second, based on the sentiments of the financial investors in that particular country, potentially trillions of dollars could be pumped out of the economy. The probable consequences of such a situation are dire financial chaos and collapse of integral national economies. Illustrating the same is The Flash CREDENZ.INFO


Smart Sutures

made from threads dipped in physical and chemical sensing compounds have been developed by engineers at Tufts University. These sutures, when used in stitches, can monitor the wound and send diagnostic information about it wirelessly to a remote computer or mobile phone, to track its healing progress.

Crash of 2010, which included a downfall of some trillion dollars in the United States stock market. Stock indices such as the Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 collapsed and rebounded rapidly for a duration of around 30 minutes. This was caused due to the volatile prices of stocks, futures, and ETF’s (exchange traded

funds). The U.S. Commodity Trading Futures Commission report described it as one of the most turbulent periods in the history of financial markets. Nearly five years after the incident, on April 21, 2015 the U.S. Department of Justice laid 22 criminal counts against a trader named Navinder Singh Sarao. The charges comprised of the usage of spoofing algorithms, where multiple orders for large quantities of stocks were placed, which were then cancelled later, resulting in tremendous amounts of stock market volatility. The use of such techniques has now been banned. Being one of the various methods of algorithmic trading, HFT is now publicly declared. This has also proved beneficial for increasing awareness as well as widening the stock market related knowledge, a layman possesses. However, the specific algorithms underlying HFT are closely guarded by their owners. A huge community of programmers, algorithm designers, and mathematicians has sprung up around the entire realm of finance. There now exist numerous platforms that allow users to design as well as CREDENZ.INFO

test their algorithm in live markets within an initial amount of seed money, in exchange for a percentage share of the profits that the algorithm derives. All this has resulted in nothing less than a Cold War type of arms race, to build faster and more efficient computers and transmission lines to carry financial data throughout our world economy. As Micheal Lewis explains in his award winning book ‘Flash Boys’, new companies have been created for the very purpose of channelling data in a shorter period of time from one place to another. Back in the day, it used to take a couple of seconds for a signal to be transmitted from the financial institutions in Chicago, to the ones in New York. Thereupon in 2009, a remarkably ambitious project was commenced to link these two financial centres with a high speed fibre optic connection. Instead of winding around roads and highways, the line was burrowed straight through mountains, as even a slight turn in the cable would result in a delay of seconds. Since then, the same company regularly leases their lines to the most powerful financial institutions in the United States to carry out High-Frequency Trading efficiently. An obvious conclusion thus surfaces, from which we can infer that even a delay of a few seconds can make or break the high-paced world of finance. So the next time you are using your coding chops to build the next revolutionary product or maybe even compiling program modules to produce a small piece of software, remember that one line of code that you write has the capability to bring world economies, as a whole, to either ruins or prosperity.

- Shubhankar Deshpande Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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Swarm Chip

philomath

Escalated computation

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IT has been at the forefront of pioneering computer innovation for the last 60 years. With their latest discovery, they have yet again proved to be worthy of that title. A team led by Prof. Daniel Sanchez has developed a 64-core chip architecture called Swarm, that will push the processing speeds of tomorrow to uncharted levels with minimal code overhead. It includes specialised circuitry for prioritising and executing tasks in a simple yet efficient manner. Even common algorithms run on this architecture 3 to 18 times faster than the best parallel computation algorithms known to date. In some cases, it has achieved an unprecedented level of a 75-fold speedup increase.

memory location before a higher-priority task has read from the same location. In such cases, Swarm automatically backs out the results of the lower-priority tasks. It thus maintains the synchronisation between cores accessing the same data that programmers previously had to worry about themselves. The Swarm chip architecture has extra circuitry to store and manage its queue of tasks. It has a circuit that records the memory addresses of all the data its cores are currently working on. It implements something called a Bloom filter, which crams all the data into a fixed allotment of space and answers yes/no questions about their contents. If too many addresses are loaded into the filter, it will occasionally yield false positives, indicating “yes, I’m storing that address”- but it will never yield false negatives. The Swarm chip has two main advantages over its counterpart multi-core architectures. First is that it supports tiny tasks and second, it enforces a global order among these tasks. Current multi-cores only function efficiently when handling large tasks and have trouble handling tiny tasks.

As of right now, very few commercial softwares are able to fully and efficiently utilise all the cores of a multi-core chip due to the difficulty that comes with writing the code. Writing code that will take advantage of multiple cores requires complicated planning and delegation of resources to parts of the program to utilise all available cores. This hasn’t yet been achieved at the consumer software level, which is why Crysis isn’t running better on your new 10-core Intel! What sets Swarm apart from its counterparts, is the extra circuitry that has been embedded into its architecture, which leads to greater optimisation by using time stamps. At times, tasks running in parallel may come into conflict. For example, a task with a lower priority may write data to a particular 33

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Task-based processing systems are gaining more and more popularity as programmers are reaching the limits of data parallelism for many common problems. Swarm chip architecture promises new avenues for acceleration with minimal overhead in code. The New Age of Processing dawns over us. With this new architecture, will come a new approach to solve problems we have encountered and unleash the full potential of parallel processing systems. The wait now remains as to when this technology will grace the consumer market. With its breathtaking speed, Swarm chip will soon change our lifestyle experience and take it to a whole new level! - Shams Rizvi Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune CREDENZ.INFO


philomath

Pillo

Your personalised medic

T

he advent of robots is no longer an idea of science fiction. In fact, it is rapidly gaining momentum as an intrinsic part of our daily lives. With the current rate of modernisation, the future will observe an overflow of AI devices. Currently, robots can not only communicate with humans and respond to our commands, but also perform household chores as well as protect us from multiple threats. A new class of robotic machine has been introduced to tackle one of the most important part of our lives- health.

Since it is connected to the Internet, it answers any health related questions instantly. It also connects to a healthcare professional, whenever required, within minutes. In case of an emergency, Pillo notifies your closed ones about your health. The health monitor, being compatible with any wearable wireless device, allows you to share your integrated health and fitness data from a totally secure location. In the near future, Pillo may be seen with its own app for added functionalities. There are plenty of automatic pill dispensers available. So why do we need Pillo? Most robots such as Amazon Echo, Alpha 2 and Jibo simply notify the user to ingest medicines and dispense pills on time, but they aren’t capable of actually dispensing the pills the way Pillo does. Mabu is another competitor for Pillo. It is an interactive robot that listens and talks, acting as healthcare coach to aid chronic disease management and a means of staying in touch with doctors and pharmacies. What differentiates Mabu from Pillo is that Mabu’s customers are healthcare companies, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors, while Pillo targets the consumers.

Built by Pillo Health, Pillo is a home health robot that combines facial recognition, video conferencing and automation to create a personal health assistant that can dispense your vitamins and medication. In a layman’s words, Pillo is what results when you combine a service like Siri with a pill dispenser. What you end up with, is a robot that provides your pills while offering medical advice. With the help of artificial intelligence and identity recognition softwares, Pillo recognizes each and every member of your family and ensures the timely consumption of all kind of medications by the right patient. Furthermore, it keeps track of the dosage which eliminates the possibility of a patient missing their dose. The robot restocks medicines notifying you when they run out. Upto four weeks of medication and vitamins in tamperproof containers can be stored securely. For liquids and other medication that cannot be confined in a box, Pillo provides audio and visual reminders. CREDENZ.INFO

“Our goal was never to build a smart device. From the very beginning, we set out to create ‘someone’, a true healthcare companion for the home.” states Emanuele Musini, the CEO and co-founder of Pillo. This robot is the smartest and friendliest methodology for health management. It is a platform liable to gain functionalities with time. In the near future, the Pillo Health team intends to add calorie counting, stress management, baby monitoring, digital health reports, a nutrition dashboard and various other facilities to enhance the healthcare experience this robotic guide brings to your home.

- Shivani Mehendarge Pune Institute of Computer Technology Pune SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

34


Star Trek

panegyric

Wagon train to the stars

“T

o boldly go where no man - where no one - has gone… before.” These words were said by Captain Kirk in the hope that they would inspire his crew when they were embarking on their voyage across the galaxies. Little did he know that these words would inspire a whole generation of young minds, prepared to traverse into the technical unknown. The popular series sparked envisionary technologies which people believed would remain just a figment of imagination. Fifty years since the first Star Trek movie, we have managed not only to achieve but also better the seemingly impossible tech depicted in the fictional universe.

MIT developed a working model of the Hypospray. In 2012, they succeeded in devising a jet-injector that delivers a range of doses to various layers of the skin, an improvement to the painful conventional methods of using the needle.

On the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek, we divulge into their immense contribution in propelling the technical aeon. The Innocuous Antidote The voyages of the starship, Enterprise, would never have continued for as long as it did without the highly entolled Hypospray. Descending from a system of non-invasive transport mechanism of compressed air, the Hypospray is a jet injector that delivers the medication intramuscularly or intra-arterially. The injectant is transferred from the device to the subdermal layer of the skin. The Hypospray is not contaminated by use, unlike the syringe we are currently using. This gives it the freedom of being used on many people until the medicine runs out. Years later, the researchers at

Food Replicator In Star Trek: The Next Generation, the viewers were introduced to an ostensibly alluring technology, which was used to dematerialise quantities of matter and rematerialise it to another form. This device was known as the Food Replicator. Throughout the series, the replicator could perform many functions such as producing ‘real’ food materialised from patterns used by the transporters.

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P.I.N.G.

ISSUE 12.1 SEPTEMBER 2016

Natural Language Queries Natural Language Queries have now been in use for quite long. Intelligent assistants like Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana are now integrated in everyday life to the extent of being irreplaceable. The fact that the human race has managed to create mechanical counterparts that are skilled in conversing in natural languages is remarkable in itself. What makes this feat even more astonishing is that the inspiration behind this innovation was a talking computer depicted in the Star Trek series way back in the 1960s. The computers onboard the Federation starships, voiced by Majel BarrettRoddenberry, could communicate with the crew in a human-like manner. In her honour, Google’s personal assistant, Google Now, was originally codenamed Majel. Currently the natural language technology has moved from the screened assistants to the screenless assistants. Amazon’s Echo is one such screenless companion that can perform tasks ranging from providing weather reports to dimming lights in one’s apartment.

With the invention of 3D printers, the replicator is now a reality, than an idea that Star Trek envisaged. In 2015, a company in Israel created a device named The Genie, which cooks the food item of your choice within 30 seconds. The Genie provides the user with a mobile application where

CREDENZ.INFO


3DRudder is a novel foot-controlled VR 3D navigation system

that provides a seated control interface to the user. It contains no mechanical parts and makes use of the body’s natural balance, resulting in reduced fatigue of the user. Controlled by simple movements of tilting the feet in the direction we want to go. we can cue up various food items. This information is read from the pods, which store freeze-fried natural ingredients, that help the Genie in baking or cooking the particular dish. In addition to this, scientists are working on a 3D printer which is closer to the food replicator in the series. NASA held a Star Trek Food Replicator contest in 2016, to build a 3D printer which prints kitchenware and food growing supplements, which will help astronauts survive on their mission to Mars.

Experiential Super Computer. Staying true to Star Trek, the technology has been nicknamed the Holodeck. The computer will be able to simulate real life situations, be it the environmental or social conditions. It will combine the touchbased controls, VR technology and feedback with computers to induce the simulation. While the technology as a whole is still a dream, components of the same have been developed with success. Unfortunately, we still have to travel miles in terms of technology to make the Holodeck a reality. Conclusion To echo Captain Kirk’s words, mankind is slowly but surely exploring the indefinite extent of space through technology. In addition to the technology mentioned in this tribute, advancement in many such technologies is predicted, the most prominent being the Transporter and the Warp Drive.

Holodeck A hypotechnology that has been a childhood dream for most of us, materialised into a tangible reality by the Xyrillian race, is the “Holographic Environment Simulator” or more commonly know as the Holodeck. In Star Trek, the Xyrilliana humanoid alien species- were technologically way more superior to the human race. The Holodeck typically consists of a room equipped with hologrids which contain omnidirectional holographic diodes. These diodes enable the creation of holographic matter by manipulating the photons which are contained within the force fields. The holodeck enables one to watch the world in a third person perspective without interfering. Alternatively, one can be a subject of the world and interact with the objects present due to the program. The human race, finally catching up to the Xyrillians, have started developing the NYU

CREDENZ.INFO

The Transporter, a fictive teleportation machine used by the crew, was a far-fetched idea. German scientists have been partially successful in implementing the transporter. The device scans a physical object, dismantles it, sends it over the internet and rebuilds it in another location with the help of a 3D-printer. A device which enables us to travel millions of light years from Earth at a speed faster than light, scientists and organisations such as NASA, have been working on the genesis of the Warp Drive. The machine used by the Enterprise on their missions fuels from a concept which violates Newton’s Third Law. Speculation is rife and the question on its existence still remains. Nothing can undermine the role played by the Star Trek series in shaping a generation of technological enthusiasts and scientists. It is a testimony to the imaginative brilliance of the creative team, that some of the technology is yet to take shape in the real world even after 50 years of its depiction. However, it’s not too long before they crystallise into reality. Only then will Star Trek accomplish its final mission. - The Editorial Team SEPTEMBER 2016 P.I.N.G. ISSUE 12.1

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IEEE Region 10 Asia Pacific Region The IEEE Board of Directors, on 24th August, 1966, agreed on the establishment of IEEE Region 10. This led to the formation of R10 on 1st January, 1967. The commencement of this Region opened doors for technical advancements along with a plethora of opportunities for both technical professionals as well as students. Also known as the Asia-Pacific Region, it consists of 57 sections, 6 Councils, 17 sub-sections, 515 Chapters, 60 Affinity Groups and 958 Student Branches. Stretching from South Korea and Japan in the north-east to New Zealand in the south and Pakistan in the west, this Region has a membership of 113,000, making it one of the largest regions in IEEE. Dr. Tatsuji Nomura, the first official director of Region 10, was responsible for the initiation of a regional committee comprising of representatives from each member country. India was the third country to form a section in 1969. The IEEE India Council was the first of the six councils currently in the AsiaPacific Region. It was established in 1976 due to the growing number of sections throughout the country with the aim of coordinating IEEE activities across the country hosted by various Chapters. One of its preeminent projects was to host a series of seminars by distinguished IEEE lecturers on emerging areas of technology. The year 1979 saw the committee members drafting and approving a new set of bylaws. Under the newly decreed set of bylaws, the first Region 10 delegate and director to be elected was V. Prasad Kodali, who took office in 1981. This was also when the IEEE membership of this Region crossed the 10,000 mark. The IEEE Pune Section was founded on 26th June, 2010. It falls under the jurisdiction of the AsiaPacific Region. Presently, the Pune Section has more than 300 professional members and over 1100 other members, including students. There are 19 IEEE Student Branches in different Engineering colleges in and around Pune city. Of these, the PICT IEEE Student Branch (PISB) of Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT), boasts the largest membership. To commemorate the completion of 50 years of IEEE Region 10, the R10 Director, Ramakrishna Kappagantu, has approved the 50th Anniversary Celebrations from 24th August, 2016 for one year, across the AsiaPacific Region. The recently held Student/Young Professionals/Woman In Engineering/Life Member Congress held at Bangalore, India from 24th - 26th August, 2016 kicked off the 50 years celebration. The esteemed Dr. Barry Shoop, the 2016 IEEE President and CEO along with Karen Bartleson, the 2016 IEEE President-Elect, graced the Congress. Hosted by PISB, Credenz ‘16, its annual technical symposium, is the inaugural technical festival under the banner of R10’s 50th anniversary celebrations. IEEE Region 10 Mission Statement: In order to fulfill IEEE’s mission of advancing the theory and practice of electrical, electronics, communications and computer engineering, as well as computer science and related areas, Region 10 activities are directed to developing and maintaining regional entities for the best interests and benefits of the IEEE members in the region. To achieve that mission, the Regional activities include: • To formulate goals and objectives for the Region.


IEEE Region 10 Asia Pacific Region • To plan Regional operations, including budget preparation and approval. • To report officer, financial operation and meeting reports to the Regional Activities Department. • To plan and implement programs in support of the local organisational units in meeting the needs of the members of the Region. • To plan and implement programs for the volunteer structure of the Region, for example, develop and implement leadership training. • Programs for volunteers and members to enhance their interpersonal skills, group skills and leadership abilities. • To provide leadership opportunities for interested members to take an active role within the operations of the Region. IEEE Region 10 Coordinators (from the PICT IEEE Student Branch) • • • • •

Yash Lahoti, IEEE Region 10 Student Activities Project coordinator Vaibhav Tulsyan, IEEE Region 10 Student Activities Petitions coordinator Shweta Singh, Student Activities Chair Meetings coordinator Faizaan Shaikh, IEEE Website Contest coordinator Ambarish Pande, Web, App and Design team member Sectional Coordinators, Pune Section

• Radhika Shouche, Women In Engineering (WIE) secretary, Pune section • Pratik Pugalia, Section Student Representative of Pune

PISB delegates at IEEE Region 10 SYWL Congress, Bangalore, India


Achievements PICT IEEE Student Branch PICT IEEE Student Branch (PISB) is widely known as one of the largest student branches in Asia. It has been an active participant in hosting various events through the annual tech festival Credenz and Credenz Tech Dayz (CTD). However, the activities conducted under the PISB banner are not limited to Pune Institute of Computer Technology (PICT) alone. Our members truly take an initiative to raise the bar with every year that passes by. Making the most of every opportunity that crosses our way, we reflect upon a few significant benchmarks. • PICT IEEE Student Branch (PISB) was awarded the Best Student Branch Award by IEEE India Council in the year 2015. • Dr. Rajesh Ingle, the IEEE Region 10 Student Activities Chair, who is also the PISB Counsellor, was honoured with the IEEE Region 10 Best Student Branch Counsellor Award in the year 2014. He has played a key role in the effective collaboration of the entire organisation and its activities, motivating us at all crossroads throughout our journey. He has singlehandedly instilled in us a strong sense of work professionalism and demeanour, inspiring us with his vision at all times. • An infographic is a simpler way of transforming an otherwise monotonous representation into a captivating experience. Ms. Kinjal Sanghvi won the second prize in the Student Branch Infographics Competition held at the IEEE Region 10 Student-Young Professionals-Women In Engineering-Life Members Congress, Bangalore, India representing PICT IEEE Student Branch. The poster was highly appreciated and visually engaged a large audience. • Ms. Sneha Gathani with five other delegates from different sections, won the second prize at the IEEE R10 SYWL Congress Innovation Ideas Competition 2016. The event consisted of a session conducted by Mr. Sudheendra, the Vice Chair of the IEEE Bangalore Section. The participants were introduced to several video clippings and an interactive presentation, putting light on the question of where and how the innovation and creation among individuals is lost as they grow up, which gave them a new perspective. • Four PICT IEEE Student Branch (PISB) members, Ms. Kinjal Sanghvi, Ms. Isha Pachkawade, Ms. Shamli Singh and Ms. Shriya Hardikar have been a real asset in enthusiastically designing the IEEE Region 10 Newsletter Special Supplement, celebrating 50 years of the establishment of IEEE Region 10. The e-copy has been released and published on the IEEE Region 10 website. PICT IEEE Student Branch (PISB) members have been actively involved in numerous other activities organised by IEEE. • Mr. Yash Lahoti has made significant contributions to the editing team while volunteering for the SYWL Congress held in Bangalore, 2016. • Ms. Sneha Gathani and Ms. Nidhi Ramanathan have also volunteered as graphics designers for the SYWL Congress, Bangalore, 2016.


PISB Office Bearers 2016-2017 Branch Counsellor: Dr. Rajesh B. Ingale Chairperson: Vice Chairperson:

Rishabh Patil Amol Soley

Treasurer: Vice Treasurer:

Vaishnavi Dongre Rahul Chaudhari

Secretary: Joint Secretary:

Angad Singh Kalra Shubhankar Panse Tanmayan Pande Kshitija Waghurdekar Pratik Pugalia

Secretary of Finance: Joint Secretary of Finance:

Rajas Kapure

Development Team:

Atul Avhad Geeta Khatri Rashneet Kaur Rajpal

VNL Head: VNL Team:

Akshit Pasrija Tansmay Deshpande Anmol Bora Kshitij Kucheria Mitesh Rane Shubham Kolhe

Rutu Gandhi

PRO Head:

Atharva Jaiswal Madhura Rathi Saloni Takawale

PRO Team:

Chetna Beri Raunak Maheshwari Sakshi Waigaonkar

Creative Head:

Shriya Hardikar

Senior Designer:

Abhishek Ghorpade Akriti Goyal Devraj Baheti

Design Team:

Kinjal Sanghvi Sneha Gathani

P.I.N.G. Head: Priyanka Bhagat Rohan Chandavarkar Shamli Singh P.I.N.G. Team: Aishwarya Naik Komal Preet Hora Nandita Yelamanchili Webmaster: Ambarish Pande Faizaan Shaikh Web Team: Aniruddha Humane Rachit Joshi Sohail Shaikh Programming Head: Anuj Godase Jainesh Patel Pranjal Bhor Rudra Lande Shweta Singh Swapnil Khandekar Programming Team: Aarya Patil Arnav Shrivastava Disha Agrawal Naman Shukla Rohit Lokwani WIE Chair: Trupti Katariya WIE Secretary: Anjali Jain Nidhi Ramanathan Senior Council: Abhishek Shirgaokar Anandraj Shah Naman Mandlik Piyush Gaikwad Saikiran Yamajala Shubham Chakrawar Yash Gandhi Yash Kale Yash Lahoti


PISB Office Bearers 2016-2017 Junior Council: Aakruti Shitut Aashutosh Bhaiya Aditya Kulkarni Ajinkya Bhujbal Amruta Sajane Aniruddh Tejomurtula Anisha Gunjal Anuja Musale Anurag Gangras Apoorva Bhadale Arpit Baldua Ashish Mokashi Bhagyashri Abhale Charvi Gupta Dhruv Singh Nunia Gaurav Londhe Harshal Yeola Hemant Dixit Hrishikesh Raut Isha Pachkawade Jinkal Bhimani Kaustubh Jadhav Maanav Mehrotra Mahima Mundra Mamata Tayade Mayuri Powar Mithun Tiwari Mradul Badole Mrunal Khinvasara Nakul Sarwate Nehal Borole

Nikita Jyoti Nikita Kagade Nikita Kotak Nikita Mandhani Nitesh Shinde Pankaj Wajire Pranav Borole Prashanti Salunkhe Pratik Mangtani Pratik Randad Rachit Thakur Rajat Gedam Rashi Bisen Sakshi Malik Sanjali Suryawanshi Sanjana Rinke Shantanu Rathi Shrenik Changede Shruti Kangle Shruti Rudrawar Shubham Doijad Shubham Bidkar Shubham Khankale Snehal Dikhale Sohail Jafar Shaikh Suhavan Gupta Tanishk Shively Tushita Singhel Uttkarsha Shirke Vaibhav Lohani Vishakha Ratnaparkhi


P.I.N.G. 12.1  

P.I.N.G. 12.1 boasts a plethora of articles, featuring one on DARPA's Gremlin Drones, a revolution in the way crucial military operations ar...

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