Research

The following are some of the thoughts that keep me awake at night. Not because I find it hard to sleep but because I sincerely believe they should be given attention. Some of these have potentials to change the world.

Computer Medical Peripherals

Recent medical breakthroughs have shown promises in tackling some of the world’s most intractable diseases. nevertheless many still die from easily preventable deaths and are mostly from the developing countries. The irony is that the new medical advances do not benefit majority of the global population who often lack access to basic medical services.

The ability to easily make diagnosis and have access to the latest information on medications and treatments is more important to doctors in developing countries than the latest medical toys.

However, while it take years and a mountain of cash to move new medical equipments to developing countries, computers, tablets and mobile phones take the leap in months. The question is why can’t we have medical devices that can be used as computer peripherals or as simple apps on phones and make them available to doctors in these countries? Why can’t peripherals be manufactured cheaply and be so common that it cost next to nothing? Why can’t the devices be open sourced? Why can’t these devices be easily upgradeable via software?

Obviously there are technological, financial, political and medical challenges ahead but I believe this is a direction to go.

Optical chips

Gordon Moore set his law some decades back and we have been at it ever since. Near collisions aside, it has been a constant speed-doubling price-halving experience every 18 months since. But like most players in the industry will tell you, we are on borrowed time.

There are advances in optical chips but an all out optical chip from bus to register to memory promises performances one can only be match by a trip on LSD. My interest lies in massive parallel photo-computing using wave multiplexing.

Genetic Algorithm

A fancy method of solving what we call NP-Hard problems. These are problems so hard (maybe not to Einstein) that we can’t use deterministic methods to solve them. For example, the classic Traveling Salesman Problem (TSB) is an NP-Hard problem. You can’t just use brute force to solve it.

I’m currently working on an optimization project which uses GA ( a 11998 solution space) and I intend to give it some twist. My supervisor has argued that GA is analogous to real life and may not be as random as we expect but my own opinion is if such random approach (GA) is actually very effective, modeling it to be as near as real life might be much more promising. So part of what I’m doing is to find out if total chaos can produce order.

Other interests

  • Renewable energy from deep geothermal sources
  • Lean/compact government
  • Performance management as a pillar of corporate governance