Can I Get Boys Who Code?

You have probably heard about this encouraging curriculum of getting the girls as young as a ‘kindy’ to be involved with the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or better known as STEM. It is a worldwide educational strategy towards instilling the young girls to appreciate the technical contents of their learning experience and simultaneously to close the gap between the two genders.

Recently, there is another exciting movement for the girls that should be given further incentives which is known as “Girls Who Code“. This movement was originally initiated by Reshma Saujani and currently there are a number of books have been published and about to be published under this motion.

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Quite exciting to learn about this. But, it’s irony enough that one day I had someone asking me this instead, “Don’t they have the books on Boys Who Code too?” Which have left me perplexed to answer. The question was not wrong. But there is no exact answer too to satisfy the question. Yup. It’s true that in the field of STEM, girls need more boost than their male counterparts. But, how convinced are we that the boys need less in this case?

With recent number of psychological studies on the learning difficulties among the millennials, challenged by the emergence of intelligent gadgets that becoming parts of our life; perhaps some people saw that both gender types of students need help and encouragement in their learning journey. When a person asked me on why they don’t have the books for the boys on how to code, I was just giving an easy answer out of that, “Normally, the boys got their natural interest in the studies of science and technology. Maybe that’s why we saw them less priority to create this kind of movement. Boys can automatically appreciate the nature contents of the science and technology subjects.” On contrary, I was not sure myself on why do we see them less important in this exercise.

Of course, I am in full support for the Girls Who Code. I even hope that I can practice this in Malaysia too. And even after this movement has started, the implementation on its activities might be promising to the communities of the developed nations, but the Third Countries are still wary of its importance. The traditions and cultural values among these countries are still substantial to them. It’s hard for them to embrace the paradigm shifts.

I have heard one of the teachers who is involved with the STEM educational committees in Malaysia saying that “… It’s really a hard work to practice this kind of curriculum in our country. So much work to be done, yet the pupils are not performing well to the level that they are expecting…” Yes, of course. I can relate that. And the teacher never mentioned it was either the boys or the girls who were having the troubles. Her emphasis was like both genders need help in STEM and not necessarily the girls.

On the other hand, I am really looking forward to the release to all of the 13 book series of the Girls Who Code. It is indeed an exciting movement that I took it here to pen it. Though the movement might be a jargon to the girls in this country, I hope one day the gradual change is for good and both genders will benefit from this kind of movement. Otherwise, the boys can still read the books on Girls Who Code. No limit to that.

ASEAN Qualification Framework: A Comparison

ASEAN is an Association of South East Asia Nations. It is made up of 11 countries namely, (1) Brunei 🇧🇳 , (2)  Cambodia 🇰🇭 , (3) Indonesia 🇮🇩 , (4) Laos 🇱🇦 , (5) Malaysia 🇲🇾 , (6) Myanmar 🇲🇲 , (7) Philippines 🇵🇭 , (8) Singapore 🇸🇬 , (9) Thailand 🇹🇭 , (10) Timor-Leste 🇹🇱 , and (11) Vietnam 🇻🇳 . Most of the times, these countries are regarded as the Third Countries or better known as Developing Countries.

These countries strive hard to move forward towards building developed nations. One of their most important agenda include improving the area of human capital development. Skillful workforce is one of their priorities towards ensuring the nations to achieve better future for the next generations.

For that matter, each ASEAN country has her own qualification framework as a pivot point for their human capital development. This is especially for preparing the people with the latest technology and temporary social progress.

Hence, the following tables and figures are illustrating on the summary of the qualification contents for each of the ASEAN countries.

1) Brunei 🇧🇳 

Table 1. Brunei Darussalam Qualifications Framework (BDQF).

2) Cambodia 🇰🇭 

Table 2. The Cambodia Qualification Framework (CQF).


3) Indonesia 🇮🇩 


Figure 1. The Indonesian Qualification Framework (IQF).

4) Laos 🇱🇦 

Table 3. Asian Development Bank Support to Technical and Vocational Education and Training Project in Laos.


5) Malaysia 🇲🇾 


Figure 2. Sector-wise breakdown of the Malaysia Qualification Framework (MQF).

6) Myanmar 🇲🇲 

Table 4. Descriptors for certificate levels under the Myanmar National Qualification Framework.


7) Philippines 🇵🇭 


Figure 3. The Philippines Qualification Framework.

8) Singapore 🇸🇬 


Figure 4. The Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Framework.

9) Thailand 🇹🇭 

Table 5. Levels within the National Qualification Framework of Thailand.


10) Vietnam 🇻🇳 

Table 6. Breakdown of Vietnam National Occupation Skills Levels.


(Credit to ASEAN Triangle Project. Report was prepared by Mr. David Lythe and ILO team. The document is downloadable at http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—asia/—ro-bangkok/—sro-bangkok/documents/publication/wcms_310231.pdf )

Other reference:

ANSSR: Enhancing the Quality and Relevance of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) for Current and Future Industry Needs-Phase 1 at http://publications.apec.org/publication-detail.php?pub_id=1543

Ten Best Infographics of Big Data – Descriptive, Predictive and Prescriptive Methods

For the past three (3) years of doing a research on Big Data, it was intriguing to find that there is no exact definition for this technology and there is no limit to its innovations. Therefore, I am gathering among the best infographics on describing what is the Big Data Analytics on this post of which I have found them useful to represent the values of this technology and its adaptation to the Information World.

 

The following ten (10) infographics were prepared to deliberate on the methodologies of big data analytics found by major inventors and innovators for the next design and development of machine languages and technologies which were proven practical in our industrial world. The infographics were created either by Data Science companies, scholars, engineers and scientists.

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The original resource locations of the graphics were included in the following listing.

  1. Big Data from Descriptive to Prescriptive by Gartner Analytics

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2. The Evolution of Big Data Analytics by AYATA

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3. Analytics Approaches Abound by Intel

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4. Emerging Trends in Data Analytics by Business Analytics Management (BAM!)

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5. Big Data Analytics by Jars Services

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6. The Analytics Value Chain by Andrew Stein

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7. Big  Data and Analytics, Other Perspectives by Andrew Stein

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8. Big Data Science for CODATA by Semantic Community

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9. Big Data Analytics from Descriptive to Preemptive Analytics by Kirk Borne on Twitter Media

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10. From Data Analytics to Deep Learning by ADATAO

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Credits to all the webpages and hyperlinks that I have referred to on this post. May you find this information as useful too.

The Stone Arch Bridge 🌷 of Minnesota 

The Stone Arch Bridge of Minnesota 

(When a picture worth a thousand words)
It was on a breezy spring day when we woke up and saw the sun lit up the morning sky and a shy ray greeted through our flat’s window. The weather in North Dakota is always unpredictable either you are new to the state or you have been living there since you were born. Even the April spring was still welcoming the snow blizzard and the cloudy cold windy days. As if you were getting all of the four seasons in a day, people of this state rarely took off their jackets.

It was a peaceful weekend as usual in Fargo. Bus services were less frequent than usual. No milkman was to be seen. School buses were at depot. School children woke up later than usual. There was no van from the senior care center to pick up their clients for some shopping or perhaps for medical treatment. Less cars on the road. The winter snow had gradually melted. The oldies had started to take a morning walk. Some neighbors were walking their dogs to the park. Some men started opening garages. After a long harsh winter it was time to check on the barbecue equipments. Perhaps driving the Ford Mustang or the old Cadillac with the windows down would be fun.

We decided to go to Minneapolis, Minnesota on that day. The city is about 3 and a half hours journey from Fargo. We made a stop at the Albertville, just at the outskirt of the city center. Window shopping was quite something but this area do have some good deals for clothes and stuff. It was midday in Albertville, so indulging some ice cream was just worth it. The drive from Fargo to Minneapolis was quite scenic. If you are lucky, you could see bison herds on the fields either side of the road. The states of North Dakota and Minnesota are on the area of Great Plain of North America. Part of the Prairie. They are rich of agricultural fields. Barns, crops, tractors and silos are common views. 

As we approached Minneapolis, the view has changed to some metropolitan of high rise buildings. There was Mall of America located in Bloomington. The train station at St. Paul is one of the major Amtrak interchange between the west and the east of the United States of America. Minneapolis is both old and new. Like Bloomington versus St. Paul. It is also called the Twin Cities.

It was night time as we settled at one of the suburb areas of Minneapolis. The city is also rich of cultural background. We chose to walk in to a Somali restaurant just next to Park Avenue and 31st street. Lamb Kabsah and a plateful of Chicken Kababs with Biryani rice was indeed a satisfaction to our tired souls. Finding diners like this in Fargo was quite hard but you can find several of them in this city. These middle eastern restaurants had easy supply for their meat and spices from the Holy Land market in the Central Avenue of the city.

Minnesota is called the ‘Land of 10,000 lakes’. After a good night rest at a lodge, we were ready for a good morning walk in Minneapolis. We took a stroll down the park at St Anthony Bridge. The bridge that crosses the Mississipi River from St Anthony Falls was quite a scene with serene breeze to enjoy on a good Sunday morning. The locals greeted hellos from up and down the stream. Children riding bikes and morning joggers are common sight in this area. There is a Historic Mill City museum nearby but it was close on that day. As we walked approaching the Stone Arch Bridge there were beautiful tulips next to the parking sites. Strong red tulips blooming proudly as if they were smiling to all the visitors who came by. This park was lit up with lights and loud music during the night before. Perhaps such sounds came from the nearby pubs and gay clubs but it has turned to be calmer and cool this morning. 

By midday, we were ready to go back to Fargo. We made several stops to iconic buildings in this city such as the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. The sculpture garden was indeed recommendable for family outings because of its large area and many small statues to admire especially on a sunny spring day. The park most probably thronged with people during the summer. As we were saying goodbye to the streets of Minneapolis, the journey back to Fargo was tiresome but had certainly left us with a thousand memory which was only able to be depicted in a single photo like this.

About Civilization

Civilization is not indicated by high rise buildings and skycrapers, or the installation of sophisticated electronic devices or fashion statements either male or female that are exposing the exploitation of body figure, or the use of beauty cosmetics and supplements claimed for health purposes without safety conformity.

Civilization is about ethical human capital development, that is able to progress and yield a noble lifestyle and credible racial enigma culturally, especially in the aspects of politic, socio-economy, technology, environment, and laws.

Civilization is a form of life which is able to define the social problem complication into simpler solution yet structured.



Civilization from the aspect of politic is about leadership by example. Either it is a top-bottom instruction or bottom-up transfer of knowledge, it should be of a congruent relationship. Credible leadership is a just administration and possess the elements of plan, do, check and act which is systematic and acknowledge the feedbacks on the effect of the implementation.

Civilization from the aspect of economy is about honest and trustworthy transactions. In each deal, there is balance in terms of household income and expenditures, family and community growth, and sustainable trade system either locally or internationally.

Civilization from the aspect of social is about etiquettes, virtues, and effective communication. To deliver effective communication is not only about the wisdom in elocution but also the listening skills. Etiquettes and virtues can be illustrated by the ability of anger management and control, understanding others’ difficulties when they are facing problems, observe the teaching tones when educating the young children, and avoiding every negative emotional consequences when interacting though we might be hurt by them.

Civilization from the aspect of technology is about appreciating the various design and innovation for life facilities. Technology inception is built upon man, machine and method. Civilised nation is about society that are knowledgeable to utilise the technology for life simplicity and not to depend totally on the technology to live. Civilised society knows that technology is contemporary and not a luxury to pride on. Civilised society also knows that if the technology fails, it does not mean that it is a failed technology, rather it is time for man to move on and change for something relevant.

Civilization from the aspect of environment is explicitly about the love for the nature. Being responsible for the cleanliness, sufficient use of minerals perhaps for the transportation and civil works purposes. Land utilisation for agricultural activities sustaining the food chain, shelter and protection, and health purposes either among the human beings or with other living things. Industrial efforts for the sake of basic necessities and life chain balance, and not the greediness of worldly materials.

Civilization from the aspect of laws is about reasonable justice in accordance to era needs, local geographical factor, governing adminstration and routine works which are proportionate with the life chain. Reasonable justice contains every element of politic, economy, social, technology and environment as mentioned in above paragraphs.

Therefore, the reality of a civilization is actually based on human development which should be built by plausible intelligence in the aspects of intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and physical.

Happy Labour Day, Malaysia. May 1, 2017.

Infographics on Information and Communications Technology Security

A quote from a TV Drama, CSI Cyber:

Avery Ryan: [voiceover during precredit opening sequence] My name is Avery Ryan. I was a victim of cybercrime. Like you, I posted on social media; checked my bank balance on; even kept the confidential files of my psychological practice on my computer. Then I was hacked. And as a result, one of my patients was murdered. My investigation into her death led me to the F.B.I., where I joined a team of cyberexperts, to wage a war against a new breed of criminal hiding on the deep web, infiltrating our daily lives in ways we never imagined. Faceless. Nameless. Lurking inside our devices. Just a keystroke away. It can happen to you…”

TV Drama series and movies depicting the cyber environments with strong script writing about the Information Technology always amaze me.

The following infographic is illustrating the definitions and components of Information Security, Computer Security, System Security, and Network Security.

Information Security concerns a broad aspect of protection in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

Computer security is sometimes referred to as cyber security. It is about the security within the range of computing technology.

System security is much specific within the range of the system it is processing.

Network security is about the connection of one terminal to another and how much protection that it should offer.

Information Security
References:

1. Wikipedia: Computer Security

2. William, S. (1999). Cryptography and network security: principles and practice. Prentice-Hall, Inc, 23-50.

3. Whitman, M. E., & Mattord, H. J. (2011). Principles of information security. Cengage Learning.