Review of Imagine Cup 2009

So it has passed. On Monday, the 25th of May we (formally the team ByteWarrios, which nowadays consists of only three members) presented our solution in Software Design Category at NT Conference in Portorož, Slovenia.

5-member jury ranked us as the third group, which is exactly what we wanted, for this year :) :). Our intention was namely to meet with the standards of evaluation and to get more inside information about the process of the winner-selection. The award was XBox for each member of the group (the award for the second and first place was free-of-charge participation at NT Conference and for the winners also worldwide finals).

Watch out for us next year :)

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Štefanovi dnevi

V tednu od 23. do 28. marca potekajo na IJS že 17. dnevi Jožefa Štefana. To leto je še posebej zanimivo, saj mineva 60 let, odkar je bil inštitut ustanovljen.

Danes, 23. marca, sem se na IJS udeležila dveh predavanj, in sicer predavanja ROBOTIKA IN MEHATRONIKA – OD VESOLJA DO KIRURGIJE IN NAVIDEZNEGA SVETA (Prof. Gerd Hirzinger, direktor Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, DLR, German Aerospace Center, München, Nemčija) ter predavanja OD ZAMISLI DO IZDELKA – APPLYING DESIGN THINKING TO (ALMOST) EVERYTHING  (Prof. Bernard Roth, direktor Institute of Design, Stanford University, ZDA).

Več o predavateljih in programu dostopno na IJS.

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Cisco Expo 2009

Danes, 17. marca, je minil prvi dan 8. Cisco Expo konference, ki je letos potekala na Brdu pri Kranju z razliko od prejšnjih let, ko je bil dogodek organiziran na Bledu. Vendar to ni bila edina novost. Sicer tradicionalna dvodnevna konferenca je letos v klasični obliki potekala le en dan. Jutri pa je organizirana celodnevna virtualna spletna konferenca z uporabo WebEx rešitve.

Konferenco smo pričeli ob 9.00 z uvodnim predavanjem Z inovacijami v prihodnost Antona Petriča, direktorja Cisco Slovenija in njegovo gostjo Tatjano Fink, direktorico Trimo d.d. Njunemu predavanju je sledilo plenarno predavanje z naslovom Kakšen je vaš recept za uspeh? Andiyija Neuherza, direktorja sistemskih inženirjev v CE regij.  Ob 11.20 smo začeli z izbirnimi predavanji. Novost: letos smo imeli možnost izbirati kar med petimi vzporednimi predavanji (pretekla leta večinoma med tremi). Mednje so spadale poslovne prezentacije, prezentacije tehnologij in rešitev, poslovno-tehnična predavanja in predavanja pokroviteljev. V preddverju glavne dvorane smo si med odmori in v času kosila lahko ogledali razstavne prostore sponzorjev (Avtenta.si, IBM, HP, Panduit, Nil, WMWare, S&T, Inženiring Comtron, Finance, Tehnokratis, SeeBusiness) in Cisco Networking Academy.

Danes sem se udeležila naslednjih izbirnih predavanj:

  • Novosti ISR usmerjevalnikov
  • Novosti s področja brezžičnih LAN omrežij
  • Usmerjevalniška platforma ASR 1000
  • Od preproste povezljivosti do upravljalnih storitev
  • WMWare infrastruktura
  • Rešitve zunanjih brezžičnih lokalnih omrežij

Več o poteku konference, govornikih in vsebini predavanj na Cisco Expo 2009 strani.

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Imagine Cup 2009

We have decided to join the Imagine Cup euphoria by registering as a Team ByteWarriors and compete in the software design category.

Untill the end of the competition no in-side details will be available, as the project content is confidental. However, if you are interested in the Imagine Cup, have a look at its home page.

ByteWarriors

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STF, zadnji del

Swiss Talent Forum se je zaključil včeraj, 29. januarja, z novinarsko konferenco. Večino dopoldneva smo preživeli z moderatorjem in svetovalcem pri pripravi predstavitve Daniel Niethom v delovnih sobah kongresnega centra Seepark, kjer smo usklajevali zadnje podrobnosti predloga akcijskega plana. Medijskemu dogodku je sledilo predavanje podpredsednika IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) in nato slovo. Vračanje v Slovenijo je potekalo brez večjih zapletov in posebnosti, vlak iz Thuna, Berna do Zuricha in nato letalo do Brnika.

Če torej sklenem: STF pomeni izjemno pomembno izkušnjo in priložnost za seznanitev in srečanje z mladimi z znanstvenega področja s cele Evrope. Dodatna vrednost celotnega dogodka zagotovo pomeni izredna organiziranost Švicarjev (dosleden urnik, sinhronizacija z iPhoni, izvrsten ambient) in seveda precizno izbrani govorci, ki se jih je v preteklih štirih dneh zvrstilo preko 30. Ti so bili uveljavljeni mednarodni znanstevniki, gospodarstveniki (nekaj znanih imen sem predstavila že v prejšnjih objavah). Vsekakor dogodek vreden udeležbe.

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STF, Third Part

Today was the third and last day of Syntegration. During discussions we developed recommendations and action plan based on the ideas of the prevous day. We of course also had some presentations. First key-note speaker was prof. dr. Lino Guzella, professor of thermotronic systems at the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering of ETH Zurich. He held speech about reneweble energy sources and importance of technology and science. In the afternoon sessions we listened to the lecture of dr. Heinz Wanner, who studied geography climatology and mathematics at the Bern University and worked at the Colorado State University in USA, he also worked as a deputy director of the Experiment at Unesco. Lastly, there was Carolina Mueller-Moehl, president of the Mueller-Moehl Holding AG and member of the board of directors of the Nestle. She held speech about educational systems and their possible improvements. As we will need to present our results to the media and endavour for their implementation, we have to prepare ourselves for the speech. Luckily, we have help. The organizators have provided us with the professional trainer for the presentations, which will help us to make the conference success. Today we already had one lecture and tomorrow there will be another three hours of lecturing and support. Just for a conclusion – What are factors for success of the presentation:

  • body appearance
  • amazing title
  • famous last words …
  • visualization
  • dramaturgy
  • content (obviously)
  • K.I.S.S. (Keep It Short and Simple)
  • etc.
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STF, Second Part

We did not get out of the stoneage because we ran out of stone. By Bertrand Piccard.

So, today we continued with the Syntegration process. As yesterday we had to analyze present state, today we had to focus on ideal solutions and tomorrow there will be action recommendations. It was very interesting, an enormous pool of ideas, dreams and visions. What I would especially like to emphasize today, are the keynote speeches. In the morning we have listened dr. Philipp Hildebrand, vicepresident of the Swiss National Bank. He spoke about the financial and economic crisis, possible solutions, needed changes and adoption of new methods in business. What amazed me even more, was the speech of dr. Bertrand Piccard, balloonist, scientist and adventurer, he announced a project for a solar-powered, long-range, one-seated glider named Solar Impulse. The project is dubbed “a great human adventure”. He held speech about the importance of science and greatest achievements, visions, impossible ideas, which were realized (eg. muscular airplane etc., it is all about thinking out-of-the-box). After the whole day of work we are now departuring for a Fondue dinner to the lake of Thun.

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STF, First Impressions

So, here it is. Swiss Talent Forum. It started yesterday, when I arrived to Zurich airport and then continued my way to Thun by train. We are staying in a nice ambient of the four-star hotel, where everyone is taking care for us. Until now, we have listened numeros interesting key speeches (eg. CEO of Siemens Siegfried Gerlach, RCEO of Swiss Railways Martin Butikofer, Tanja Frieden (Olympic medal winner of 2006), German sociologist and social psychologist prof. dr. Harald Welzer, CEO of Axpo Holding Heinz Karrer, ex-president of the Swiss Federation and under-secretary general of the UN Adolf Ogi etc. ).

Today was the first day of the Syntegration. The principle of it has been presented to us already yesterday. So, 126 of participants are divided into three streams, inside these streams then to twelve groups, each discussing one topic. Each participant is a team member in two groups, critic in two groups and observer in two groups. I am member of Science and Patenting Procedure and Business topics. Members of the team are responsible for the outputs, critic can contribute with their suggestions, but observers must be quiet during individual 50 min sessions of discussion, which is led by scientist. These meetings and discussions will repeat three times, and in the first meeting we had to formulate a definition of a topic, define the structure of the problem and analyze the status quo. Tomorrow there will be the day for presenting possible solutions, which could be applied to the problems exposed today. And in the final day we will have to come up with concrete recommendation. We have the market place of the ideas as well, where we present to each other the problems and solutions we encountered on during exploration of the topic. This principle of scientific method, namely the syntegration is organized by experts from St. Gallen Institute, each participant is a bond between he topics, in which he has the role of observer or critic and has to apply these ideas to his team members, where he takes active role (this is in accordance with the icosahedron structure of the Syntegration).

And, yes, we all got the iPhones with all necessary information about the program, such as keynote speakers, important messages, contacts of the organizators and participants, so we get all the details and updates by mail or SMSs, which makes organization easier and more efficient.

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Syntegration

In this post I will focus on Syntegration, a suite of powerful, science-based processes that optimize large group interaction. First of all, let me explain that syntegration is the principle of problem solving, which will be used at the Swiss Talent Forum. Swiss Talent Forum is a 4-day event organized by the Swiss Institute of Science, which wil be held in Thun, from 25th to 29th of January 2009. Since I will participate at this event, I decided to write something about it. More about this Forum will be written in later posts during the event itself, however I want to present to the reader basic principles of Syntegration which will be used to maximize the output of the process of the Energy Challenge at the Forum.

Syntegration is based on a reliable mathematical principle. Common features are:

  1. Teamwork
  2. Optimal Cross-linking and Cross-pollination: A group of, say, 30 people has a total of n (n-1), or 870, possible relationships, assuming that the relationship of A to B is in some way different from the relationship of B to A. These distinct relationships must be organized so that every person has a highly productive exchange with every other person. The design or architecture must leverage all of the different views, information, expertise, and experiences to produce the best possible solution.
  3. Effective Collaboration: Key people are expensive people whose time is scarce and must be spent effectively and efficiently.

So, what are the mathematical principles to ensure the highest level of Synergy?

Syntegration applies R. Buckminster Fuller’s architectonic principle of efficiency in the design of things.
Fuller is best known today for his geodesic domes, the lightest, most stable and most cost-efficient structures ever built. Even early in his career, he looked to nature for efficient construction solutions. Among other things, he discovered that nature never builds with right angles, instead preferring 60° angles. He transferred this principle to domes by using equilateral triangles. This method of construction achieves stability not by compression, as in traditional building, but by the distribution and concurrent application of tension and pressure. Fuller called this principle “Tensegrity”.

The energy efficiency of this revolutionary structural principle can be illustrated by comparing geodesic domes with traditional dome structures that are constrained by the fact that they can have a maximum diameter of 45 metres, after which the cupola collapses due to the increasing weight. Thus, the construction of Seville Cathedral, the second largest after St. Peter’s, was a five-generation long struggle against material. This maximum diameter does not apply to the 60° construction using equilateral triangles. Fuller was able to prove in practice that his domes actually gained in energy efficiency as they increased in size. The bigger they are, the more stable they are.

Other scientists have documented similar structures in micro-organisms, textiles, protein shells, or the C60 carbon molecule (Fullerene).

The following experiment illustrates this effect of syntegrity:

If four tennis balls are arranged in such a way that the individual balls have the smallest possible distance between them, the result is always a tetrahedron. A tetrahedron is a regular polyhedron with four equilateral triangles. This is a “minimum” structure. If, as a second experiment, you try to make four equilateral triangles using six matches, you will find that to do so you use a synergy effect. Three of the five regular solids consist of equilateral triangles: the tetrahedron with four triangles, the octahedron with eight triangles and the Icosahedron with twenty triangles. They also demonstrate the principle of minimum distance between vertices, with maximum synergy.

The Icosahedron is the model normally used for Syntegration.

Throughout a Syntegration, information is automatically distributed across all topics. Syntegration engineers the shortest gaps between all participants and ensures optimum cross-linking of knowledge. The symmetry of the structure results in optimum connectivity, with none of the participants marginalized.

The Icosahedron makes optimal use of the maximum possible number of contacts (n(n-1)), i.e. 870 for 30 people). It shortens the information distance between individual participants and – since it has no top or bottom – it has no hierarchy. Every participant has an equal opportunity to contribute his or her strengths, and to influence the outcome.

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SharePoint izobraževanje

Med 6. in 9. januarjem se v prostorih qSTC v Ljubljani izobražujem… 4-dnevna intenzivna delavnica poteka od 9. do 17. ure, vodi jo inštruktor znane belgijske organizacije U2U za izobraževanje (ime vam gotovo ni tuje, saj je na spletu dostopno ogromno njihovih gradiv in tutorialov, ki olajšajo razvoj na SharePointu). Izobraževanje je razdeljeno na posamezne sklope in module, ki jih predavatelj dopolnjuje s številnimi demo app, features itd., vsak modul pa se zaključi z laboratorijskimi vajami. Zelo pohvalna so odlično pripravljena gradiva in izbrane teme, ki dobro odsevajo pogoste težave v realnem razvoju programskih rešitev. Velja še omeniti, da se delavnica posveča posameznim temam na bolj naprednih področjih in je temeljno znanje predpogoj razumevanja. Če koga zanima več, si lahko ogleda stran tečaja s podrobnejšo vsebino posameznih sklopov, in sicer: Developing Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Solutions, Part 2: Advanced, Course USP7D.

Naj najpomembnejše izpostavim tukaj:

·         Extending the Site Provisioning Engine

·         Light-Up in SharePoint

·         Provisioning Site Pages

·         Application Pages

·         Provisioning Content Storage Infrastructure

·         Working with Lists and Document Libraries

·         User Administration and SharePoint Security

·         Branding SharePoint Sites and Portals

·         SharePoint Publishing Pages

·         Building Web Parts

·         Custom Job Definitions

·         The Business Data Catalog

·         MOSS 2007 Search

·         Building Custom Workflow Activities and Templates

·         Creating, Deploying and Upgrading SharePoint Solutions

·         Programming People Management

·         InfoPath Forms Services

·         Information Management Policies

·         Records Management

·         Excel Services, Reports and Dashboards

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