Nov 26, 2012

A quick update on the first iOS training course. We have decided to postpone it, and will run it probably around mid-February. Being new in Jakarta and Indonesia, I did not realize that it would take such a long time to overcome various frictions and get proper engagement for the course. So, at the time of writing, we have not collected enough sign-ins to make the course viable. As it is not our intent to run it at a loss, we have to move it forward.

The course material remains great, and we will take this opportunity to add to it. Particularly as this material will be part of the semester course we're preparing these days. We do also hope to propose it in the same setting and with the same content, but to be able to make it more affordable. This is one of the main comments that we have received, we are concious that this is a problem, and will address it the best we can.

To all the people who have expressed interest: Thank you! To everyone: if you want to receive news about this course or the center, you can email us at You can also follow us on twitter and Facebook

Nov 1, 2012

We do live in a connected world. Anyone seems to be conscious of it, even our children -- from the youngest age, but scientists. Over the past 10 years, we have witnessed a true revolution in terms of technology and use of mobile devices, thanks in part to advances in miniaturization, but also to extremely competitive and aggressive environments. I appears that Indonesia is lagging in all the domains covered by the Center. The first curriculum of Computer Science has started less than 10 years ago at University Indonesia. The country is lacking infrastructure and skills in terms of both micro and nanotechnology. While this could seem like a full stopper, some simple steps can be taken to move these fields forward, and indeed we have started on that path. Thus, the challenge will be to build a sustainable activity for both research and teaching in these areas, from scratch.

The opportunities are at the measure of the challenge. First, Indonesia’s economy is growing stably over the past 10 years, which makes it a country attractive for development and international investment. Such investment is facilitated by modern infrastructures, of which Education and Universities in particular are one of the pillars.

Second, the up-going mobile revolution raises opportunities for a proper network, say 4G-LTE, with high data rates, in excess of 20 times the current rates at minimum. It is easy to predict that the web, as it exists, will have disappeared within the next 5 years. In its place, we will have a catalog of apps, on the three main platforms (iOS, Android and Windows). I have long taken the view that only the former will succeed, as it is the only platform that generates money. However, it is not taught locally, and as a result most of the jobs it generates are being outsourced abroad. During the next two years, we are deeply going to change both the education in Computer Science, and the mentality of young Indonesians. It is believed here that by focusing on a pragmatic approach, learning to do one thing well -- coding -- and the methods to deliver good projects, students will be better served than by going through countless hours of theory that are outdated in two years and, ultimately, useless. At the same time, learning to code is good, but learning to be a self-starter and an entrepreneur is even better. Again, rather than a theoretical view, what better way to learn than by working on products?

Concerning micro and nanotechnology, being essentially pragmatic and realistic, we will not be able to manufacture micro and nanomachines or structures on site, but will benefit from being able to test them for further development. We should therefore concentrate on generating the ideas, getting them into shape, getting them manufactured outside and testing them in-house. The real opportunities do not stand in the making at this point, not when starting laboratories from scratch with limited resources. The real opportunities lie in integration. And therefore integration with mobile will be the common point of all the micro and nanotechnology activities.