How powerful is data?

How powerful is data?

The following map presents a very small samples of the distribution of students’ accommodation of one of the universities in Malaysia based on ada mobile ad exchange data. The students and their corresponding approximate residence spots are identified by geofencing the day and night time location updates.

Some highlights:

  • Obviously most students stay near to campus. Some prefer driving and that explain why the car park of that university always full house.
  • The full detail information of the map (not for view here) can be used to plan the university shuttle bus route and to identify the students’ favourite hangout spots.
  • We do not unlock the identities of the mobile phone owners, a.k.a. the Pandora box. We know where they are but not who they are.

The work is credited to ada Data Science and Engineering team.

Original post at



Tutorial on Sage mathematics software system / Python Programming

Dear UTAR Students,

I am giving a 3 hours tutorial on Sage on the coming Friday (23-Jan-2015), 10am-1pm at SE203 computer lab.

Sage ( is an open-source mathematics software system that is derived from Python programming language. Unlike C / C++programming , Sage enables the users to focus only on the problem solving instead of dealing with the computer resources and settings (e.g. memory architecture, pointers, variable types, brackets etc.).

Basically, the tutorial is meant for the students of UEET2533 Information Theory and Coding to kick-start their assignment. Following the common practice in teaching this subject, the tutorial will be opened to public (UTAR). Students from other courses are welcome to join as the tutorial will be general enough for all the students with little knowledge in C programming (not a must, though).

We will do the programming using the cloud service at and the slides can be found in . We will spend the first hour to learn programming in the cloud; the second hour on the syntax and control logic and the last hour on solving some simple math problems (e.g. 1+1=2).

No registration is required but do let me know if you are coming as the computer lab can only accommodate limited number of students.

Let’s have fun in programming!

CANS2010 – Call-for-Participant

The 9th International Conference on Cryptology And Network Security (CANS 2010) will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 12-14, 2010.

It will be co-organized by Multimedia University, Malaysia and Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR). The main goal of the conference is to promote research on all aspects of network security, as well as to build a bridge between research on cryptography and network security. We therefore welcome scientific and academic papers that focus on this multidisciplinary area. Previous CANS have been held in Taipei (2001), San Francisco (2002), Miami (2003), Xiamen (2005), Suzhou (2006), Singapore (2007), Hong Kong (2008) and Japan (2009). Areas of interest for CANS

2010 include, but are not limited to:

A Joke of Pi

Recently I read a joke from a book named It must be Beautiful: Great Equation of Modern Science (Farmelo, 2002).

The author wrote a joke:

A mathematician, a physicist, an engineer and a biologist are together and someone asks them what is the value of \pi .

The mathematician responds crisply that it is “equal to the circumference of a circle divided by its diameters”.

The physicist counters that is is “3.141593, give or take 0.000001”

The engineer says it is “about 3”.

And, the biologist asks back, “What is \pi ?”

Someone was not happy with this joke and asked me what is the value of \pi .
I said, “I am just a tutor. Please ask your lecturer.”