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Scienticians and the Great Flood: Theories That Don’t Hold Any Water – Dr. Aaron Mulvany

By Anusha  Aijaz

(Student, School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Habib University)

Dr. Aaron Mulvany holds Ph.D. in South Asian Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. His interests include music, anthropology, folklore, and history. He is the assistant professor of Social Development and Policy.

Dr. Aaron gave a lecture on water-related disasters, which is the field he holds great expertise in. He gave the whirlwind tour of the scientific (and pseudo-scientific) discourses on the Great Flood. The Great Flood, or Toofan-e-Nooh (literally: the Storm of Noah) as it is known in Islamic cosmology, was a supposedly universal disaster in which all of humankind, except for a few divinely selected individuals, was destroyed.

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Game programming for everyone by Dr. Umair Azfar Khan

By Anusha  Aijaz

(Student, School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Habib University)

Dr. Umair Khan has always been passionate about computer games. His enthusiasm made him explore the domain of computer science and programming which led to his eventual PhD in the field of Planning Graphs and Artificial Intelligence. His PhD thesis was about using planning graphs to help NPCs (Non-Playable Characters) in making decision in a self-contained environment of a Role Playing Game (RPG).

His recent paper, ‘Genetic Algorithm (GA)-Based NPC Making’ included in the Springer’s Encyclopedia of Computer Graphics and Games. This paper explained how games can produce large populations of non-playable characters (NPCs, the ‘extras’ of video games) based on social, ethnic and cultural considerations.

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Modeling reality with mathematics- Syed Shahzad Raza

Syed Shahzad Raza is currently a lecturer of Mathematics at Habib University. Mr. Raza gave a talk which covered important aspects of modeling our perception of reality. In the talk, Mr. Raza explained how basic mathematics can be used to model and solve problems in natural and social sciences. A brief lecture video of Mr. Raza’s talk is also available on Habib University official Vimeo channel.

 By Syed Shahzad Raza

“It is not the reality that we see, but the perception of reality that we recognize as real.”

Mathematics, along with its abstract nature, has enormous applications in social and natural sciences. Be it the area of artificial intelligence, biology, economics, chemistry, engineering or physics; the queen of all sciences, i.e. mathematics, dominates these domains with glory and pride. Knowing such significance of mathematics in all areas of sciences, it becomes imperative for every researcher to explore this kingdom for answers to her/his problems. This leads to modeling of reality; with mathematics providing the right tools, techniques and solutions. (more…)

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Successful Innovation: Prototyping for Entrepreneurship

Habib University School of Science and Engineering (HU-SSE) kicked-off its Fall 2015 SSE Public Seminar Series with a lecture and discussion by Mr. Raja Sabri Khan.

Mr. Khan is an aerospace design engineer from MIT University and a resident of Karachi. He is the founder and owner of Integrated Dynamics, which is considered pioneers in design, development and manufacturing of unmanned aircraft and robotic systems for civilian and scientific applications in Pakistan.

The talk focused on an often overlooked aspect of successful innovation – the ability to prototype the entire entrepreneurship model from conception to finished products. A brief lecture was followed by a robust interactive session between the students and Mr. Khan.

 

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Wind Mill @ Numaish Karachi, April 2015

The Hawai Chakki Project

Frere Hall, Karachi

Numaish Karachi was an exhibition of over two dozen installations which aimed to open up public spaces for cultural production. It was organized by the social awareness campaign, ‘I Am Karachi’ to promote science education and cultural activities. The first of four public exhibitions was held at Frere Hall in April, 2015.

Habib University‘s School of Science & Engineering’s faculty and students were responsible for a few of the installations at the exhibition. Among them was the ‘Hawaii Chakki’, or windmill, which harnesses wind energy to produce electrical energy.

 

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Seminar on ” National Instruments (NI) Solutions in Teaching Engineering Electronics”

National Instruments (NI) held a workshop in Habib University on “NI instruments Solutions in Teaching Engineering Electronics” in August 2015. Habib University lab staff and faculty members participated in that seminar.  This workshop was about the control engineering where control systems were interfaced with LabVIEW software , along with its simulation and interfacing.  During this workshop NI ELVIS Board with other sub boards, peripherals and systems were used for control engineering.

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NI representative during the seminar session

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Inspiring women in STEM

Zainab Nagin Cox – NASA JPL1

About Zainab Nagin Cox – NASA JPL1

Nagin graduated from Cornell University with a BS in Operations Research and Industrial Engineering and a BA in Psychology and was commissioned as an officer in the US Air Force. As a lieutenant, she was stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and worked as a systems engineer in the F-16 aircrew training. Then she attended the Air Force Institute of Technology where she received a master’s degree in Space Operations Systems Engineering. As a captain, she served as an Orbital Analyst at NORAD/Space Command in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado Springs. After leaving the Air Force to pursue more civilian space applications, she joined JPL in 1993 and began her time on planetary missions working in outer solar system projects. She served as the Deputy Team Chief of the engineering spacecraft flight team for NASA/JPL’s Galileo mission to Jupiter until February of 2000. She then moved to inner solar system exploration as the Deputy Team Chief of the Spacecraft/Rover Engineering Flight Team on the JPL Mars Exploration Rover Missions. (more…)

Quantum Computation … and Akbar?

By Jibran Rashid

 

At Habib, our undergraduate students are not only allowed, but also expected, to contribute to cutting edge problems in faculty project. This is exemplified in Dr. Jibran’s informal quantum information and computation discussion group, where students are introduced to fundamental quantum concepts such as non-locality and entanglement.

The deal with quantum

A ball thrown at a wall returns to its origin with velocity equal in magnitude but opposite in direction (assuming an ideal setup). In other words the direction or sign associated with the velocity in the beginning and at the end is anti-correlated. This is a direct consequence of the laws of physics. In essence these laws serve as a fundamental guiding principle through which we derive physical consequences such as the correlations above. The example may seem mundane given that such correlations are part of our every day experience. The intriguing nature of correlations produced by quantum physics (known as nonlocality) however defy such an intuitive explanation. In order to obtain a better appreciation of this quantum behaviour let us take a historical detour … (more…)

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Protein Engineering; A Rational and Practical Approach in Biotechnology

Protein engineering is one of the most powerful and remarkable developments in biotechnology. It has been used over decades to manipulate amino acid sequence at gene level leading to novel protein with desired functions. Construction of gene at will in order to produce new protein structure is no longer dream due to the advancements in the field of genetic engineering. This exciting area of research has enormous commercial applications with huge impact on industry ranging from drug designing to stem cell research, bio engineering, chemical industry, environment, food and agriculture. Protein engineering is relatively new field gaining lots of attention, has had major breakthrough in medical science with the production of insulin; may play vital role in nearly every field in future.

This talk of Dr. Samina Yasmin gave students and other audience an overview of genetic modification and their applications in biotechnology. This talk essentially provides a basic understanding and insight in the prevailing approaches and strategies used in protein engineering in order to generate efficient and novel protein with improved functionality.

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