Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Archive for December, 2011
December 30th, 2011

A handy list of leadership best of 2011 lists is available over at (here).

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December 29th, 2011

2011 was a great year for Students for a Smarter Planet. Students worked on projects ranging from solar panel system to automatic waste sorting system and smart parking.

You can see Extraordinary Student Success Stories posted by Olin College of Engineering from The Grand Challenges Regional Summit here.

Also, 6 projects are winners in the IBM/IEEE Smarter Planet Challenge 2011, which was to create projects that would enhance curricula by providing ways that students can learn by doing.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Fareeha Safir,Heather Beem,Edward Burnell,Deborah Hanus
In this exercise, students will build a functional solar panel system. The lessons are designed to help students learn about renewable energy, rural development and large-scale systems. Creative design thinking and collaboration are key
elements. It can be executed in developing countries as well.

University College, Cork
Fiona Edwards-Murphy, Amy Long, Maura Carol Power, Killian O’Connell, Siobhan O’Connor
This team proposes to use Body Area Network and mobile technology to reduce cost and improve quality of health care in under-developed geographies.

Boston University
Yanfeng Geng, Mikhail Gurevich, Andrew Ochs, Ted Grunberg
Propose to build a new “smart parking” system which receives a driver’s parking request and allocates best parking space for him. In contrast with Parking Guidance and Information (PGI) systems, this system changes from “driver parking and searching” to “smart parking allocation” using the programs designed to optimize driver requests and available spaces.

Weiyi Zheng, Yorman Garcia, Farhan Shaukat, Taylor H. Perkins
Created a project for high school students to learn about C and Arduino programming skills; GPS coordinates system; hardware assembly and taping ability; and basic video editing in order to program a drone to fly over a predefined
set of waypoints with the option of taking video or set of pictures along the flight path.

Amritha Vishwa Vidyapeetham
Neha Tadimeti, Ushma Unnikrishnan, Athira S, Sreeja K, Amritha K Ku
Building an automated waste sorter which sorts waste into various categories like metals, hard plastic, soft plastics, cloth, paper, etc. The waste that is initially fed into a blower is passed throughh four different sorting units: eddy current separator, triboelectric electrostatic separator, air classification unit and ion bombardment electrostatic separator.

National Institute of Technology Karnataka, Surathkal
Suhas GP, Ananthatejas R, Pramod GS, Yashwanth KP
Will build a website which helps people find the buses and routes between places in Bengaluru; the tool will optimize the routes and number of transfers (connections).

You can also be a winner! Nominate your project and we will let you know about our contests.

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What are the U-cities?
The term U-city stands for Ubiquitous-city. Let’s start with, what is ubiquitous?
Ubiquitous means something that is omnipresence, so, it is everywhere all the time.

But, how can a city be Ubiquitous? It would need the help of information technology systems and sensors all over the place (inside and outside the houses). According to the popular web encyclopedia: Wikipedia, “All information systems are linked, and virtually everything is linked to an information system through technologies such as wireless networking and RFID tags.”

In order to create a complete U-city, we will probably need to create new sensors for water management, traffic and even health care.

What about sensors that detect a heart attack; automatically call an ambulance and unlock your house front door just when the emergency people get there?

I imagine a traffic system that automatically adjusts the traffic light timers according to the current traffic conditions or change the traffic flow by “blocking” some routes with the traffic lights or some signals just after an accident has occurred.

I bet geotagging and augmented reality with currently available smartphones will help thinking about more projects and ideas!

But, who will build the new systems, sensors and devices? Who will link all those systems and exploit their information? What about a Students For A Smarter Planet chapter and IBM working together with that common goal? You can start thinking and even developing some projects that will be needed for the U-cities.

In order to get more ideas, you can read more information about U-cities in the following links:

Or just search for “Ubiquitous-city” in your preferred web search engine to get more ideas!

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December 18th, 2011

Working to create a smarter planet requires leadership, something that is not taught, or is inadequately taught, in school.  A fairly effective way to bootstrap one’s leadership ability is to hire an executive or leadership coach (here), but there are misconceptions about coaching is.  A post here attempts to debunk key misconceptions and point to (1) the process of effective coaching and (2) the meta-skills coaching builds: noticing, reflecting and making sense, moving forward, and learning.

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