Valery Tan

I am more of a physics person and participating in this project allows me to apply my physics knowledge and learn more about the construction and engineering side of the water tower. I am fascinated by how the water is transported down from so high up as well and I would like to know why it is constructed this way. I also want to learn how the tower is constructed and how the water is stored. Plus, I would also like to be able to somehow improve my skills in perception in engineering science.

My key learning points from each session...

1. Plenary session by Prof Kenny Sieh
When the convergence of the oceanic crust (Indo-Australian plate) and the continental crust (Eurasian -or Sunda- plate), the denser oceanic crust would subduct into the mantle. The island near the subduction zone would sink, until the continental crust “pushes” back and the island would pop back up. Thus, corals can be used in this way to measure the uplift and subsidence. This is because corals can only live underwater and when they are exposed during low-tide, the decay of Uranium to Thorium would cause the bends in the corals to form, which allows them to determine the year or how long ago the earthquake and tsunami had happened. An easier way is to identify a pattern of which the earthquakes had occurred and thus be able to predict when the next earthquake may happen.

2. IT for Animation by Prof Seah Hock Soon
Before invention, always identify and analyze challenges to be able to provide an effective solution. Mathematics in movies consists of geometry, linear algebra, calculus (affects the lighting when using the special effects) and the law of physics (affects the special effects which consists of the four elements). The type of lighting affects the display of 3D objects. 2D movies are always more costly to produce than 3D movies.

3. Innovative breakthroughs in Nano-Science and Nano-Technology by Prof Ma Jan
Bombs and other explosives are usually small because when there is a smaller size for a fixed volume, there is a larger surface area for more reaction. Nano-particles for finger printing is a new method that mines information in fingerprints that may aid the police. Fingerprints could be used to show is the person has been taking drugs or handling explosives due to the molecules (including the DNA molecules) are left behind in the fingerprints.

New questions I have about the topics are...
  1. How accurate is this method of determining the days and years by using coral reefs?
  2. How do the artists ensure that their drawings are perfectly similar to each one before and after for the 2D animations?
  3. Are they all positive aspects by using Nano-technology? Is there very less negative aspects of which Nano-technology has?

1. Discuss how the project has deepened your understanding and broadened your awareness of the selected discipline.
The project has taught me how structures are planned and what engineers and building designers look out for when designing or constructing a building. Just like how the water tower prototype that we had to design had to carry as much load as it can, the designers and the engineers had to make sure that the building that they are constructing can withstand as much loadings as possible. It has also taught me about what might cause a building to fall, which is bending and buckling. It has helped me understand why and how safety exits are placed at certain places of the building.

2. Discuss what you understand now about this discipline that you were unaware of at the beginning.
At first, I thought that what designers had to do was to just make everything seems nice and cool, leaving the choice of materials and other whatnots to the engineers and construction company. Now I understand the process of planning that the designer and engineers have to do before actually constructing the building, such as making sure that the building would not bend or buckle with a little load more put on it.

3. Describe how you can connect what you have learned from doing this project to what you are learning at school.
What we had learnt for the past two to three days helped me understand more about pressure and how it plays a very important role when designing something.

4. Describe how you can apply what you have learned from doing this project.
The choice of materials and pressure that I have learnt could be put into good use when learning chemistry and physics this coming two terms.

5. At the end of the project, some new questions I have include...
How do designers make sure that their building designs would not collapse in real life when it is only an artist's impression?

6. My Aspirations...
I still have no idea what I want to do when I grow up but this experience in NTU has given me more foresight into what the expectations are if I want to become an engineer in the future.

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