Thursday, 1 March 2012

Challenge to take Malaysia further in IT indexes

BANGI: Malaysia aims to be among the top 10 in the information technology (IT) competitiveness index and top 20 in the digital economy index by 2020, in line with the national digital transformation plan.

Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said this was because information technology was now seen as the key element that would revolutionise and support the growth of many industries.

These include the healthcare, communication and biotechnology industries.

"Malaysia moved 11 places from 32 to 21 in the recent world IT competitiveness index.

"In the digital economy ranking conducted by The Economist and IBM, Malaysia is now 36th among 70 countries.

"Take this challenge to help the country move up to the top 10 in the IT competitiveness index and top 20 in the digital economy index," he said at the second International Conference on Visual Informatics (IVIC) 2011 here yesterday.

His speech was read by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia  board of directors chairman, Tan Sri Dr Zulkefli A. Hassan.

The three-day seminar, attended by some 200 experts in the field of visual informatics from 15 countries, is hosted by UKM and jointly organised by 13 public and private universities in the country.

Themed "Visual Informatics: Sustainable Innovation towards Wealth Creation", the seminar is chaired by seven professors from renowned universities, including Cambridge University and Imperial College, London.

Present were IVIC chair Prof Datuk Dr Halimah Badioze Zaman and UKM deputy vice-chancellor (students and alumni affairs) Prof Ir Othman A. Karim.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Information Technology Unit of Civil Engineering

We establish Information Technology Unit of Civil Engineering to spearhead the IT services in FKA. Starting as a unit with few technical staff 5 years ago, ITUCE is expanding by forming several new sections called Services Unit, Academics Unit, Laboratory Unit and Resources Centre Units. ITUCE is headed by Information Technology Manager. ITUCE now is the only it unit in UTM that served as a department offering IT subjects, laboratory experimentation and modeling for postgraduate programmes.  We are focusing on the knowledge based type of information. Automating the process to database format , such that raw data can be analyzed and interpreted for engineering purposes.

order to fulfil the mission, ITUCE offered three core subjects and two optional subjects for the undergraduate programme while for the postgraduate programme, two optional subjects are offered.  In 2009 ITUCE received excellent feedback in teaching by achieving a minimum of 4.5 over 5.0 in the e-pp evaluation for its lecturers. The excellence in teaching is further proven by completing the teaching records for all courses and the progress of input in  e-learning is 100% for L1 and 70% for L2.  High level facilities in teaching include computer laboratories and engineering soft wares for students to enhance their IT skills in civil engineering.  ITUCE is also actively involved in research especially in the application of Information Technology tools to civil engineering problems.  

IBS, Earthquake, Database management system and Vibration based damage detection are the major fields that have been explored. In 2009, ITUCE has been awarded a total of RM290,000.00 grant for research and innovation works.
In publication, ITUCE staff have produced 6 international conference papers and 3 international journal papers. Moreover, ITUCE staff are also actively involved as reviewers for International journals.  ITUCE staffs are also active in consultancy. In 2009 ITUCE is able to complete four projects worth RM65,000. One of the successful contributions to the faculty is establishing an online ISO9001 system.  Apart from that, ITUCE also provides IT services for the faculty ranging from computer maintenance, website development to system development.

43rd International Annual Conference, June 26-29, 2012 Congress Center Karlsruhe, Germany

Energetic Materials
Synthesis, Characterisation, Processing

New energetic materials for ammunition, propellants and pyrotechnics must meet a variety of requirements, some of which may be contradictory. Requirements relate primarily to the performance, but insensitivity, stability and vulnerability also play an important role. Research is therefore focussed on new, nitrogenrich compounds as well as heterocycles, nanoscale components and energetic ionic liquids. Especially where nanoscale components are concerned, new processing approaches are important for product development. The development of new, energy-rich materials may lead to new, innovative applications, and the improvement of existing products.
The 43rd International Annual Conference of the ICT would therefore welcome contributions relating to new energetic ingredients, energetic solids and binders, formulations, processing techniques and comprehensive characterisation of rocket and gun propellants, high explosives and pyrotechnics.
The 43rd International Annual Conference of the ICT will act as a forum for reviewing the state of the art of new energetic materials in the fields of synthesis, characterisation and processing. The conference will also provide a platform to present new ideas and to stimulate the scientific discussion process, opening up new scientific perspectives in the field of energetic materials.

New Economy Skills for Africa Program-Information and Communication Technologies (NESAP-ICT)

NESAP-ICT is an innovative program launched by the World Bank in 2008 to support countries in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) in building skills for the knowledge economy. It focuses initially on globally benchmarked, employable skills for the Information Technology (IT) and IT Enabled Services (ITES) industry - sectors that can create thousands of new jobs and catalyze economic and social transformation.
The IT/ITES industry offers young people the prospect of work in many areas. In IT the options include hardware and software maintenance, network administration, help desk services, applications development and maintenance and R&D; while in ITES, they include call center and back office operations, multimedia, and animation and cross-industry services such as Finance and Accounts and Human Resources. The encouraging news is that the global “potential” for IT/ITES outsourcing is currently estimated at US$500 billion, only 15% of which seems to have been tapped; and is expected to treble to US$1.5 to 1.6 trillion by 2020. The lack of skilled manpower is a binding constraint to realizing the potential of the sector. Even India which has 30% of the global labor supply suitable for the industry expects a shortfall of 0.8 to 1.2 million skilled workers for its ITES industry by 2012. Sub-Saharan Africa is thus keen to boost its “talent” profile so as to benefit from this burgeoning market opportunity The soon-to-be-completed submarine fiber optic cable networks around Africa and the terrestrial backbone networks that are now being laid promise a new era of affordable, high speed broadband connectivity throughout the continent. African countries therefore hope to claim a slice of the global IT-ITES business. Emerging successes include: Mauritius in “eco-friendly IT”, South Africa in “IT-enabled financial services” and Egypt in “multilingual call centers.” Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Nigeria are stepping onto the global outsourcing stage. All these countries believe that skilled workers are critical for deepening and sustaining the momentum of their success.
Vision: Bringing Africa onto the Vision: Bringing Africa onto the global IT-ITES radar screen
The soon-to-be-completed submarine fiber optic cable networks around Africa and the terrestrial backbone networks that are now being laid promise a new era of affordable, high speed broadband connectivity throughout the continent. African countries therefore hope to claim a slice of the global IT-ITES business. Emerging successes include: Mauritius in “eco-friendly IT”, South Africa in “IT-enabled financial services” and Egypt in “multilingual call centers.” Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, Madagascar and Nigeria are stepping onto the global outsourcing stage. All these countries believe that skilled workers are critical for deepening and sustaining the momentum of their success.

The World Bank

Global Information Technology

Sweden and Singapore continue to top the rankings of The Global Information Technology Report 2010-2011, Transformations 2.0, confirming the leadership of the Nordic countries and the Asian Tiger economies in adopting and implementing ICT advances for increased growth and development. Finland jumps to third place, while Switzerland and the United States are steady in fourth and fifth place respectively. The 10th anniversary edition of the report focuses on ICT’s power to transform society in the next decade through modernization and innovation.
The Nordic countries lead the way in leveraging ICT. With Denmark in 7th and Norway in 9th place, all are in the top 10, except for Iceland, which is ranked in 16th position. Led by Singapore in second place, the other Asian Tiger economies continue to make progress in the ranking, with both Taiwan, China, and Korea improving five places to 6th and 10th respectively, and Hong Kong SAR following closely at 12th.
Networked Readiness Index 2010-2011

With a record coverage of 138 economies worldwide, the report remains the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative international assessment of the impact of ICT on the development process and the competitiveness of nations. The Networked Readiness Index (NRI) featured in the report examines how prepared countries are to use ICT effectively on three dimensions: the general business, regulatory and infrastructure environment for ICT; the readiness of the three key societal actors ? individuals, businesses and governments ? to use and benefit from ICT; and their actual usage of available ICT.

Under the theme Transformations 2.0, this 10th anniversary edition explores the coming transformations powered by ICT, with a focus on the impact they will have on individuals, businesses and governments over the next few years. Since the beginning of the report, the sheer amount of information generated by today’s digital society has increased at an astounding rate. In order to measure impact of ICT and this new data revolution, a new data sharing platform is also launched on the occasion of the report’s 10th anniversary to provide users with a set of tools to explore the impact of information and data technology on a range of socio-economic areas. The platform uses DevInfo’s database system and features a unique data visualization tool developed by public relations agency RuderFinn.

The Networked Readiness Index uses a combination of data from publicly available sources, as well as the results of the Executive Opinion Survey, a comprehensive annual survey conducted by the World Economic Forum with its network of partner institutes (leading research institutes and business organizations) in the countries included in the report. This survey of over 15,000 executives provides unique data on many qualitative dimensions important to assess national networked readiness.

by World Economic Problem

International ICT Capstone Pilot with Paris, France

This spring, MPICT conducted an exciting pilot project, funded by the National Science Foundation, which created an international ICT capstone course for students from four community colleges in the MPICT region and the Centre des Formations Industrielles (CFI) in Paris, France, which has a “Digital Sister City” relationship with San Francisco, CA, where MPICT’s office is located.

International collaboration is increasingly common in ICT workforce roles. This experience explored how we might better integrate international experiences into community college ICT education.

For this project, 24 American students were recruited from Santa Rosa Junior College, Ohlone College and City College of San Francisco in California and Truckee Meadows Community College in Nevada, and 18 French students were recruited from CFI in France.

The project was based on Cisco Networking Academy curriculum, because that is common around the world, and it provided a common background on which to build experiences. Students were required to be enrolled in or have completed CCNA4: Accessing the WAN.

Ohlone College offered the specially created course, taught by Michael McKeever from Santa Rosa JC and Danijela Bedic from Ohlone, which was designed as a real world scenario. Students were asked to assume they worked for previously separate wine companies in the U.S. and France, which had recently merged. It was their job to work together to integrate their different network systems into a functional new system. This kind of situation is now common in real world ICT operations.

Classes were delivered through CCCConfer, a California Community College version of the Elluminate (now Blackboard Collaborate) platform. That allowed everyone to interact in real time with teachers and each other to learn the scenario and relevant background. With the time difference, the course was delivered simultaneously at 8am Pacific Time and 5pm Paris time. Students who could not be online in the moment could later review recorded archives of the 8 sessions.

Students were grouped in 6 teams, each made up of 4 American students and 3 French students from the CFI. Teams then tasked to work together to analyze the situation and come up with viable solutions. They had to discover and manage time and cultural differences and find ways to work together remotely. Cisco Packet Tracer enhanced with its Multi-User capability was used for the network environment.
Thirteen of the American students were selected to travel to France to complete their project face-to-face with their French counterparts and present their solutions to Cisco executives and college professors. A Cisco hosted Telepresence session engaged U.S. students not able to travel to Paris.

CFI students alternate 2 weeks in the classroom and two weeks with ICT employers. Most gain full employment at the completion of their two-year program. American students visited four work sites: (1) the data center of Paris City Hall; (2) a switching center of France Telecom (Orange); (3) the IT center of the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and (4) the sophisticated network infrastructure of the Société Générale, one of the oldest and largest European financial services companies.

Many of the success elements of this project are reproducible to enrich other ICT educational experiences: building relationships between programs at different schools anywhere, finding common backgrounds on which to build experiences, engaging students with real world scenarios, using effective collaboration tools, engaging business partners, integrating real cultural experiences and helping everyone understand the real world relevance.

Globe Business supports 5th International ICT Awards

MANILA, Philippines ? Globe Business, the enterprise and corporate client servicing unit of Globe Telecom, takes part in the 5th International ICT Awards as it continues to contribute in advancing the country?s BPO sector.
Globe Business has been an ardent supporter of the ICT Awards since 2008 and remains a strong partner of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines and the Business Processing Association of the Philippines in this annual event.
The International ICT Awards honors individuals and organizations for their outstanding performance in promoting the country as one of the top BPO destinations around the globe. It aims to continuously improve ICT in the Philippines by encouraging innovation and excellence among BPOs. The awarding takes place on March 31, 2011 at Dusit Thani Manila.
For four years now, Globe Business has been presenting the ?BPO Employer of the Year? award, an honor given to organizations in the local customer service industry who contribute to the Philippines? global recognition and competitiveness in the field. Winners of this award are recognized for their significant investments in human resources, exemplary practices and commitment to corporate social responsibility, among others.
?We have remained strong in the BPO industry and they have our support as we collaborate to further enhance the position of the Philippines in the international markets,? said Jesus C. Romero, Enterprise Segments Head of Globe Business. ?We are pleased to be part of the 5th International ICT Awards ? Philippines 2011 as we recognize and honor the achievements of BPOs that continue to provide its employees with the best possible working environment where they can develop both professionally and personally.?
?At Globe Business, we understand that an enterprise?s most important asset is its people. The customer service sector is an industry that heavily relies on the skill and capabilities of its human resources, hence, we are honored to be given this opportunity to recognize the commitment of BPOs to their employees,? added Romero.
As it further sustains strong partnerships with BPOs, Globe offers end-to-end solutions that can serve as effective tools for companies to further attract and retain their assets. Globe Business? Employee Prepaid Plus service, for instance, enables customers to deploy communications allowance as part of their company benefits that employees can value and enjoy. Globe Business is also focused on providing the sector with reliable and diverse domestic and international backbone networks. It assures BPOs and enterprises that it delivers telecom solutions that are certified with international standards.
?For us, it?s all about supporting the industry and our role as telecom service providers is to invest in our infrastructure to provide the best customer experience. But we don?t stop there. We also bring world-class services that are certified by international standards. Certifications are part of our support system that ensures customers what they get are at par with global standards. The effect has been tremendous and it has allowed us to continue to invest in the industry,? Romero said.

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