Malaysians abroad: A professor’s cognitive journey

By Anita Matthews

Prof Yeap SCIENTIST Yeap Wai Kiang’s room at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) located in Penrose is trim and tidy. The lack of clutter belies the zeal and utter passion the Malaysian-born professor has dedicated in the pursuit of artificial intelligence - a subject that has consumed his entire career.

Yeap first discovered the realm of artificial intelligence (AI) as an undergraduate at the University of Essex in England. Back in 1975, AI was just emerging as a new field of study.

“I was fascinated by AI and was lucky as there was a group of people with a strong interest in the subject which led me to do research in the area,” recalled the former Anglo-Chinese School student from Kampar, Perak.
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It’s mother’s little helper

12:00AM, Thursday April 17, 2003

By ANITA MATTHEWS

With thousands of websites catering to mothers, what more can a newly launched mummy-type site offer to make a real difference?

Andrew Robinson (left) and Peter Evans, directors of Experteach and Ammas.com Ltd. Picture / Fotopress
Andrew Robinson (left) and Peter Evans, directors of Experteach and Ammas.com Ltd. Picture / Fotopress

Well, mums.co.nz reckons it will give mothers a chance to increase their knowledge and share expert advice that is rated and ranked by their peers.

Fashioned after India’s lifestyle site Ammas.com, whose growth was largely fuelled by volunteers, the Kiwi edition hopes to build a web community as large as its predecessor and reward mothers who have contributed to its growth.

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How e-junk poses global hazard

12:00AM Friday April 11, 2003

By ANITA MATTHEWS

Hazards from computer junk and other discarded electronic goods are of mounting concern globally and New Zealand has no national strategy to deal with the problem.

The deputy director at Auckland University’s International Centre for Sustainability Engineering and Research, Dr Carol Boyle, says that such a strategy is necessary to prevent the contamination of landfills.

“Although computers and other electronic goods are listed on the New Zealand Waste List, no measures have been put in place to identify how they are to be handled at the end of their useable life,” she said.
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Teen cellphone radiation risk

12:00AM Friday April 04, 2003

By ANITA MATTHEWS

Mobile phone manufacturers should take seriously a Swedish finding that their products are dangerous for teenagers and work on developing safer phones, says scientist Dr Neil Cherry.

Cherry, an associate professor in environmental health at Lincoln University, Christchurch, said there were more than 50 patents for devices or methods to make phones safer that were not being used by manufacturers.

“My estimate is that it is practical to reduce users’ exposure by 100 to 1000 times,” he said.

“The primary methods are to manufacture the handset within a ‘Faraday cage’ shield,” he said. Read more

Indian IT professionals suffer global backlash

12:00AM Tuesday April 01, 2003

By ANITA MATTHEWS

Indian IT professionals have been at the short end of the stick in recent weeks.

On March 9, the Malaysian police, apparently on a routine migrant raid, rounded up 191 IT professionals at a posh condominium in Kuala Lumpur.

The expatriates were allegedly handcuffed and detained, though they had legal work permits, for at least eight hours.

Most of the IT professionals held had been recruited from India to work at Malaysia’s high-tech hub, the Multimedia Super Corridor.

The rough treatment has prompted an exodus: “Some 40 of those who were raided have already left the country. A hundred more booked tickets to leave,” said software engineer Srinivasan Shanthi Muthu.

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