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IEEE Student Conference on Research and Development - IEEE SCOReD 2015

The 13th Edition of IEEE Student Conference on Research and Development - IEEE SCOReD 2015, organized by the APU IEEE Student Branch in collaboration with IEEE Malaysia Section, took place successfully on the 13th and 14th December 2015 at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

The Conference was an overwhelming success, attracting 200 delegates, speakers and researchers from different parts of the world in which they provided great intellectual and social interaction for the participants. A large group of well-known experts in their respective fields participated in the conference.  This huge cross-disciplinary event provided unique opportunities for researchers and practitioners to not only discuss latest trends in their field of expertise but expose to latest developments in neighboring related fields.

IEEE SCOReD 2015 was inaugurated by Prof. Ron Edwards, Deputy Vice Chancellor Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) and Associate Prof. Zuhaina Zakaria, Chair IEEE Malaysia Section on the 13th of December 2015. There were four keynote speeches delivered in the Conference that include “Smart Grid Research & Issues” by  Assoc Prof Dr Izham bin Datuk Zainab Abidin, “Big Data Initiatives: A Malaysian Perspective” by  Prof Dr Rajasvaran Logeswaran,  “Benefit of Satellite Communication in Today’s Society”  by Assoc Prof Ir Dr Mandeep Singh and “Towards Silicon MOS Quantum Dot Spin Qubits” by Dr Lai Nai Shyan.

IEEE SCOReD 2015 organised by APU received 240 research papers out of which 140 quality  papers were selected in a rigorous and stringent review process. APU organizing team was able to bring in 200% increase in research paper submission as compared to last year’s submission, a record in IEEE SCOReD history as on date.

SCOReD is a series of highly successful Asia Pacific regional conference focusing on students at higher learning institutions in Electrical and Electronics Engineering and other related field is organized by IEEE Malaysia since 2001. It provides a unique platform for students and researchers to share their experience and views in their latest research and breakthroughs. It is created upon the idea of promoting Asia Pacific as the center of Electrical and Electronics excellence in this region and to prompt the research development activities among student researches. Conference papers were submitted to IEEE Xplore to be included in IEEE Xplore digital library and indexed in SCOPUS.

Paper presentation sessions were classified into Automation, Cloud Computing, Computational intelligence, Computer Engineering & Applications, Electronics, Information & Communications Technology, Laser & Optics, Mechatronics & Robotics, Network and Communication Technologies, Power & Energy, Signal & Image Processing and Software Engineering.

Further details can be obtained at http://ieeemy.org/scored/.

Global Congress on Computing and Media Technologies - GCMT

With great pleasure and pride we would like to share that the ‘Global Congress on Computing and Media Technologies’- GCMT 2015 organized by the prestigious Sathyabama University, Chennai, India in association with Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation, Malaysia (APU) from November 25th  to 27th, 2015 was a great success. GCMT 2015 gave an opportunity for both the Universities to bring together researchers, developers and practitioners from academia and industry to share their research results and developments in area of Innovative Computing and Media Technology.

GCMT 2015 received more than 500 papers in early submission and 240 papers were accepted. More than 85% of the papers were from international participants as far as USA, Africa, Singapore and UAE apart from Malaysia. All accepted papers in GCMT '15 will be published in Scopus/ Web of Science Indexed journals. It is also a pleasure to share that 11 APU Staff from the School of Computing & Technology presented their research papers in GCMT 2015 either by physically attending the conference or presenting through Skype sessions.

 

We are also proud to announce that the paper presented by Mr. Daniel Mago, co-authored by Ms. Gayatri brought laurels to APU by winning the ‘Best Paper Award’ at GCMT-2015

GCMT-2015 was covered exclusively by most of the national and regional media channels/newspapers in Tamil Nadu. Most importantly, Doordharshan – the India National Television Channel covered the event, which was broadcasted all across India in Prime Time News.

Mr. Leo Gertrude David, lecturer School of Computing was the initiator and the link behind our association with Sathyabama University. He had spearheaded this collaboration with Sathyabama to organize the entire conference representing APU. Academic Leaders Mr. Kamalanathan, Dr. Chen Tet Khuan and Mr. Naresh Kumar Appadurai represented APU in the event. Dr. Chen Tet Khuan also delivered keynote address entitled "Computer Games Development: From the Perspective of Game Level Design & Documentation" and chaired one of the parallel sessions. Mr. Muhammad Ehsan Rana, Head of the School of Computing, provided overall leadership and guidance to the staff towards ensuring the overall success of GCMT 2015.

Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with VMware

On November 18, 2015 (Wednesday),  VMware Inc (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in cloud infrastructure and business mobility, announced a collaboration with Asia Pacific University of Technology & Innovation (APU) by signing  an Memorandum of Agreement (MoA).  The collaboration will enable students with the right knowledge and skills on virtualization and cloud technologies as part of APU and VMware’s commitment in developing relevant skillsets to support Malaysia’s growing digital economy.  

The MoA was signed by Prof. Dr. Andy Seddon (Dean, Quality Assurance and Partnership, APU) and Mr. Laurence Si (Country Manager, VMWare Malaysia) at One World Hotel in conjunction with VMware vForum event which, IT professionals  engage with experts and learn about the latest technologies, tips, and trends in the Information Technology.

As a result of this MoA, the APU-VMware collaboration will include the following provisions to staff and students, and more:

  1. The creation of a Center of Excellence, known as the VMware Cloud Innovation Centre, where VMware software-defined datacentre and cloud solutions will be hosted on the APU campus, providing staff and students the platform for training, talent development, research and development and proof of concept initiatives. APU will also have access to materials and tools created by VMware engineers via the VMware IT Academy Program resources and VMware Laboratory. Training modules and activities will include webinars, technical deep-dive discussions.
  2. Leveraging VMware’s expertise in enabling businesses in Malaysia in today’s mobile-cloud era, VMware will collaborate with APU to jointly develop relevant APU-VMware elective or specialization module(s) in emerging technologies, such as cloud computing, software defined networks and software-defined datacentres. Joint APU-VMware Industrial Certification will also be provided to successful students upon elective module(s) completion. 
  3. VMware will provide a 70 percent discount off VMware Certified Professional Certification examination fees for eligible APU full-time students as prescribed under the VMware IT Academy Program.
  4.  VMware will also sponsor awards for outstanding APU students and/or graduates who have completed the training and gained VMware Certified Professional (VCP) and Associate (VCA) certifications. 
  5. APU will appoint VMware Student Ambassadors to lead university activities to raise students’ awareness of the VMware IT Academy Program, VCA and VCP Certifications, and virtualization and cloud computing technologies.

As a part of its commitment in developing Malaysia’s next-generation workforce, VMware will be also be providing internship opportunities, providing on-the-job training for students to gain relevant work experience and witness technology in action.

APU Excels Again at UTP-HAX 2015

Our students made us proud again! 

Team YOLO, comprising Nicholas Ian Nonis, Choong Chih Xien and Goh Eu Gene, bagged the 1st Runner Up position of the UTP-HAX National Hacking Competition, which was organised by Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS on the 13th and 14th of November 2015. The competition saw participation from more than 40 teams, who came from local private and public universities.

3 teams of students represented APU in the competition: Team YOLO, Team EZ (Alexandr Suhameraa, Maray Omaraliev, Ahmed Nabil Al-Eryani) and Team NACHOS (Toong Chee Sheng, Syahmi Suleiman, Mohamed Siddiq Rahmat). The competition was intense – as students had to scan, test, hack, defend and use creative and constructive methods to secure their system. Throughout the competition, our students, who were from the APU Cyber Security & Forensic Club (CSFC), demonstrated outstanding effort and excellent teamwork; in which Team YOLO and Team NACHOS managed to enter the semi-finals, while Team YOLO eventually stood out as one of the finalists of the competition.

 

Other than securing remarkable positions at the competition, our students demonstrated their outstanding problem-solving ability – as Team YOLO attain 3 Bounty Awards (a special award given to the first team to solve a challenge), whereas Team EZ bagged 1 Bounty Award as well. 

Apart from the prizes and achievement they accomplished, these students were also exposed to memorable experiences of performing their best under pressure. The UTP-HAX was a good platform for them to seed creativity, foster innovation and stimulate teamwork among themselves. Congratulations to the teams and thumbs up to their coaches: Mr. Yogeswaran Nathan, Mr. Sulaiman bin Harun, Ms. Yusnita Yusof and Mr. Khoo Li Jing for their guidance and dedication in managing the teams.

Thinking BIG with Big Data

As part of MDeC’s efforts to position Malaysia as a Big Data Hub in ASEAN, the National Big App Challenge 2.0 was organised to provide a platform for teams, start-ups, software companies and students to showcase their Big Data applications to the Malaysian market. As differed from the previous National Big App Challenge, MDeC provided “twice the fun” as they divided the challenge into two categories: the Cyberjaya City Hacks and the OpenGov Hacks. 
 
Our team of APU students excelled in both categories; as they were announced as the Top 5 Finalist of the Cyberjaya City Hacks and the Top 10 finalist of the OpenGov Hacks. Despite stiff competition from industry experts and software companies, our students impressed the judges with their outstanding skills, as they became the only student team selected into the finals of Cyberjaya City Hacks! Among all the universities and industry professionals that participated, APU team was the highest placed university / tertiary team.

 

The National Big App Challenge 2.0 was a platform up to industry standards, as it involved a series of selection and judging processes, which were catered for the participation of industry experts and software companies. Our team, who named themselves “Analytical System Solvers”, prepared for the Ideation & Validation, Hack & Pitch and Video Submission processes under the guidance of their mentor, Mr Manoj Jayabalan. At the finals, our students had the opportunity to meet the team of judges and VIPs, which was made up of industry experts such as Mr. Richard Stirling from Open Data Institute, UK, YBhg. Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia (Prime Minister’s Department) and YBhg. Dato’ Seri Zainal Rahim bin Seman, General Director of  The Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU). 
 
Congratulations and well done to Wayne See Wei Earn, Azhar bin Anuar Veera, Chong Yeong Dee and Swee Tze Xiang for their dedicated effort over the three months of competition. Special thanks to their mentor, Mr Manoj Jayabalan, APCA group, Prof. Dr. Ir. Vinesh Thiruchelvam and Ms. Hema Latha Krishna Nair for guiding and monitoring the students’ progress! We are proud of the students’ achievements and delighted to see that they have gained more exposure towards the Big Data industry through this platform created by MDeC.

Kidocode Hour of Code

It is to share with great pleasure that APU organized a free Computer Programming Session “KidoCode Hour of Code” for the children of APIIT Education Group staff who are at the age group of 6-11 years, in collaboration with KidoCode on Saturday, August 15, 2015. It was well attended with over 40 children and parents. It was a session of amusement and fun as the atmosphere was thick with love–love for Computer Science programming (full of logical thinking).
 
With the children’s hearts full of passion, the session kicked off with a presentation from Uncle Code (Mr Hossein Tohidi). Uncle Code started the session by showing video clips on “Hour of Code” and Thomas Suarez, a 12 years old boy who had developed mobile applications. He then talked about the importance of Computer Science for the children in the coming 10 years; as well as the impact of not having the knowledge of programming and how it would affect the whole nation. 

   
 
The children were very excited when Uncle Code introduced “Cup Stack” – a technique where children learnt the concept of computer programming without the use of computer. This enhanced the children’s analytical skills and logical thinking skills. Even the parents enjoyed playing this as well!
 
They also had fun playing with Angry Birds, using Blockly (a project of Google which is a client-side JavaScript library for creating visual block programming editors) in which they found ways to reach the enemies with the use of programming. With teamwork comes success! Each of them were able to learn the logic behind programming and at the same time enjoyed the company of their new-found friends. 

At the end, certificates were issued to all children who participated. He also shared his insights to overcome the common perception of parents in programming. Overall it was an awesome session for the parents and their children to get together and to attain new knowledge. Special thanks to the staff from School of Computing and Technology, Muhammad Ehsan Rana, Hema Latha Krishna Nair and Yogeswaran A/L Nathan for organising and facilitating the event. We look forward to our next KidoCode Hour of Code session with more children in the future!

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