Monthly Archives: March 2014

Leukemia : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Wailing of cicada filled the air,
The home seems dead despite its splendor.
Beauty of spring lost its flair,
Shadow of grief gripped young and elder.

The little boy charmed all by intelligence,
His hunger for knowledge was well known.
A disease harbored in his blood in silence
To summon all neighbors to mourn.

The father of the boy became speechless,
His dream for making him a prince has gone.
His happy  life has turned to a mess,
Memories of the sweet child prick as thorn.

An old man walked to the mourning father,
He touched him softly and uttered.
“God protects all creatures with love forever.
Please keep strength of mind and stay steadfast”

The broken person remained silent for a while,
Tears rolled down his cheeks like stream.
He remembered his son’s pain and smile,
His emotions burst out like scream.

The old man embraced the person with love,
They cried together praising the innocent boy.
The place was blessed by divine dove,
The person tossed the child’s clothing and toy.

Diseases like leukemia bring premature death.
People lament the loss and renew their faith.

Women in Science

The article entitled,”Women in Science” has been published unchanged  in this website from the website of UNESCO for further dissemination  as desired by Amy Otchet,Data Outreach, Advocacy and Publishing Unit,UNESCO Institute for Statistics.I hope this article will be  helpful to many policy makers,women groups,researchers and journalists in their respective areas of activities.The article was taken from the following link:

 

Women in Science

Explore the data for countries worldwide

 

Just 30% of the world’s researchers are women. While a growing number of women are enrolling in university, many opt out at the highest levels required for a research career. But a closer look at the data reveals some surprising exceptions. For example, in Bolivia, women account for 63% researchers, compared to France with a rate of 26% or Ethiopia at 8%.

 

Women in Science, a new interactive tool, presents the latest available data for countries at all stages of development. Produced by the UIS, the tool lets you explore and visualize gender gaps in the pipeline leading to a research career, from the decision to get a doctorate degree to the fields of research women pursue and the sectors in which they work.

UNESCO - Women In Science Interactive

 

In Sweden, for example, women form the majority (60%) of students enrolled in a Bachelor’s programme, but their numbers decline as they move up the education ladder, accounting for 49% of doctoral students and only 36% of researchers.  The data tool reveals this trend across every region, highlighting the conflict that many women face as they try to reconcile career ambitions with family-caring responsibilities.

 

Women researchers also tend to work in the academic and government sectors, while men dominate the private sector which offers better salaries and opportunities. This is the case even in countries with high shares of women researchers. In Argentina, for example, 52% of researchers are women. However, they account for only 29% of researchers employed in the private sector.  

 

Perhaps most importantly, the data tool shows just how important it is to encourage girls to pursue mathematics and science at a young age. In every region, women researchers remain the minority in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In the Republic of Korea, for example, only 17% of researchers are women and they account for just 9% of those working in the field of engineering and technology.

 

By highlighting trends in different regions and countries, this tool provides a unique view on International Women’s Day (8 March). It is particularly useful for those interested in a global perspective on the gender gap in research, especially in the STEM fields. Available in English, French and Spanish, it can be easily embedded on your website, blog or social media sites.

 

It should be noted that this tool presents internationally comparable data produced by the Institute. This means that the indicators can be accurately compared across countries with very different contexts for women in science. Yet, due to methodological differences, data are missing for countries such as the United States or Canada. In addition, data are also missing for some developing countries that do not have the resources to collect or report R&D data. The Institute seeks to work with all countries to improve the availability of accurate data that can be compared internationally.

 

 

Additional resources:

://www.uis.unesco.org/ScienceTechnology/Pages/women-in-science-leaky-pipeline-data-viz.aspx

 

 

 

Interview : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Sat in the waiting room again
I was blessed to be shortlisted
Dream for a job may not go in vain
Hope for honest living may not be terminated

A dozen candidates were already there
All of them were waiting eagerly like me
A smart man volunteered to share
His thoughts on how the interview might be

Another candidate ventured to bring some smile
He disliked grim faces of the job seekers
He was curious about features of my profile
He joked that help would come from leakers

A man spoke with frustration and disgust
He screamed,”Interviews are just eyewash”
He had no reason to have trust
As the agents chose persons by cash

The storm continued while candidates were summoned
Speculations were high on the conversation in the board
When one emerged from there he was critically questioned
He looked unhappy,exhausted and extremely bored

Suddenly,I was called for the interview
I entered the chamber muttering prayer
I tried to look at the members for a view
My heart sincerely sought divine care

A male member appeared very rude
He verified my certificates and testimonials
A female looked polite and good
She asked about my activities  and essentials

Experts from special disciplines
Examined my expertise and experience
They asked about my success stories
And means of achieving excellence

The marathon session was coming to close
When the lady asked my expected salary
“I will be happy with your  package”,said as my response
As the members hurried to make more query

The rude man insisted,’You must mention a figure”
I told,”I wish the employer will be transparent to the future employee”
He shouted,”You have no right to ask this as a worker”
I was alarmed by the thoughts of modern slavery

Noting such aggressive treatment of the agent
I was compelled to mention an amount
For my mere survival,I had to be patient
I was thus thrown to  a state of strange doubt

Glanced at the waiting room while leaving the place
Other candidates were waiting for their turn
I have to wait for an uncertain message
Interview is a crossroad between life and fun

 

Union Information and Service Centre (UISC):A Novel Digital Service of Bangladesh

Union Information and Service Centre (UISC) is a novel initiative of the Government of Bangladesh
for providing services to the peoples of grassroots level mainly  through digital devices.

UISCs began operations in 2009 in 30 Union Parishads (UP) through partnership between Local Government Division and a2i programme of the hon’ble Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh.The following content taken from the website of Prime Minister’s Office presents the various aspects of the
novel digital service of Bangladesh.The content has been presented below for dissemination to the readers of this website in home and abroad.
The content may also be viewed directly  at the following link:
http://a2i.pmo.gov.bd/content/union-information-and-service-centres-uisc

Union Information and Service Centres (UISC)

  • uiscUnion Information and Service Centres (UISC)
  • uisc serviceuisc service

What It Is

Union Information and Services Centres (UISC) are newly established one-stop service outlets operating at all 4,547 Union Parishads (UP, lowest tier of local government) of the country. Through use of ICT, UISC is able to bring various types of information related to government, livelihood and private services to the doorstep of citizens in rural areas. It ensures services providers and users to save time, cost and has made operations hassle free. Operating under the Public-Private-Peoples’ Partnership (PPPP) modality, these centres are run by local entrepreneurs, hosted by UPs and supported by central administration.

Why It Was Necessary

UISCs have enabled citizens to easily and cost effectively access livelihood information and services that affect their daily lives. Today, a farmer in a remote location can learn about appropriate fertilizer and pesticide use for his crops; a victim of domestic abuse can access information on legal resources; a villager can apply for land records, a migrant labourer can learn English using digital resources; and unbanked people can access banking services from UISC. All these are now possible from a UISC located typically within walking distance or a few kilometers from the citizen’s home.

Further implications of such services also include:

• long-standing demand for the right information at the right time at the right place is finally being ensured • the coverage of useful government and private services has been expanded beyond urban areas • financial transactions have become easier and cheaper through branchless banking. A large number of rural unbanked people are getting banking facilities.

How It Came About

UISCs began operations in 2009 in 30 Union Parishads (UP) through partnership between Local Government Division and a2i programme. The Quick Win initiative expanded rapidly culminating in a launch in all 4,501 UPs of the country on November 11, 2010 by the hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh and UNDP Administrator. Each UISC is operated by two young local entrepreneurs – a male and a female – under supervision of a local advisory headed by UP Chairman. The UP provides space and utility for the centre. Local Government Division coordinates with Cabinet Division and Bangladesh Computer Council to establish the basic ICT setup including computers, laptops, printers, multimedia projector, digital camera, webcam and solar panel. The entrepreneurs are free to install additional facilities to support business growth, at the same time, ensuring that the social sustainability of the centre is achieved by delivering government information and services.

KEY SERVICES

• Public exam results • Government forms download • Birth and death registration • Online university admission • Population census data

Entry

• VGD/VGF card database • Livelihood information • Employment information

Indian Visa Application

• Visa processing /visa form printing • E-mail and Internet browsing • Computer Training • Video conferencing • Mobile Banking • British Council’s English Learning • Photocopying/Scanning/

Photo/Mobile phone services

Among service partners are public and private banks (e.g. Dutch Bangla, Mercantile, Trust, bKash), life insurance companies (e.g. state-owned Jibon Bima), telecommunication companies (e.g. Robi, Banglalink) and non-govt. organizations (British Council, Ankur, Practical Action). Some of the partners also provide software & hardware troubleshooting support (e.g. Bangladesh Computer Council-BCC, Bangladesh Computer Samity-BCS, and Technology Today). Partnering with newer agencies help UISCs sustain economically enabling them to offer a wide variety of useful services. Government agencies also benefit from the UISC infrastructure and resources using them for data collection, identification of social safety net beneficiaries, and disbursement of allowances.

What Will be the Impact

• m-Banking (started in 1075 UISCs) will speed up financial transactions at all corners of the country, ensuring financial inclusion of the vast majority of the unbanked • Through UISCs, a large pool of skilled human resource will be developed specializing in Information Technology, English, Middle Eastern languages and other high-demand skills. • Women’s lives will be greatly improved owing to the availability of government services and livelihood information closer to their homes. • Greater participation of citizens will be ensured in local and national development as local government institutions and field admin become more service oriented • Public service delivery will gradually become more decentralized and accessible at Union, Upazilla and district levels with more and more government e-services being delivered through UISCs, • Free flow of information will eventually build a knowledge based society.

What Will Happen Next

• a2i will continue its efforts along with LGD to make UISCs a vital point of service delivery where a vast number of useful, localized and meaningful services will be available. • Various directorates/ministries will involve to ensure their e-Services through UISCs • Bangladesh Technical Education Board (BTEB) will provide certificates to the learners of UISC training centres. Each UISC will strive to be financially and socially sustainable.

– See more at: http://a2i.pmo.gov.bd/content/union-information-and-service-centres-uisc#sthash.jFbhD29z.dpuf

Computers Can Help Identify Diseased Cells Prof’s algorithm analyses cellular characteristics By Teresa Pitman

This article is taken from at Guelph,the University of Guelph online service for further dissemination.The article may be accessed at the following link:

http://atguelph.uoguelph.ca/2014/03/computers-can-help-identify-diseased-cells/

 

Computers Can Help Identify Diseased Cells

Prof’s algorithm analyses cellular characteristics

By Teresa Pitman
Thursday, March 6, 2014

Prof. April Khademi

Prof. April Khademi

A crucial step in diagnosing many diseases and cancers is the examination of suspected lesions in medical images by a radiologist or cells under a microscope by a pathologist. The problem is that even skilled physicians can make errors, sometimes diagnosing a disease or cancer that doesn’t exist, or missing one that is present – and both kinds of mistakes can have serious outcomes for patients.

But change is on the way. Biomedical engineering professor April Khademi is conducting research that makes big strides towards reducing those errors and providing consistently accurate diagnoses using algorithms in radiology and pathology images.

Until recently, pathologists used a microscope to look at cells, but new wholeslide scanners generate very high resolution images that allow them to see much more detail. “You can see the cells and the nuclei on the computer screen enlarged 20,000 times,” says Khademi, who joined U of G in January.

However, all that detail can be difficult to manage and evaluate – and that’s where Khademi’s work comes in. She has developed algorithms (mathematical formulas) that allow the computer to analyze the data contained in the image. It might, for example, assess the roundness of the cells’ nuclei, or count the number of cancerous cells in a particular area. “Algorithms can quantify the information in an objective way,” she explains. “The process will give the same answer every time.”

She adds, “This is a brand new field. I am trying to create mathematical tools that mimic human perception, but in a better way. For example, a pathologist might look at a piece of tissue and say it has a rough texture. The algorithm can determine that the tissue is 80-per-cent rough, or can assess the image of a cell nucleus and determine that it has a 0.4 amount of roundness where the pathologist might just be able to say it was not very round.” These calculations can provide a foundation for better diagnoses.

Khademi, who was born in Saskatchewan but grew up in Toronto, says her engineer father fostered a love of math in his daughter and sons, who are also engineers. “I could do logarithms when I was in Grade 1,” says Khademi.

She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering at Ryerson University, where she also met her future husband. She was awarded the Governor General’s Gold Medal for her research on computer-aided diagnosis of mammograms.

While completing her PhD at the University of Toronto, Khademi was awarded an NSERC Canada Graduate Student D3 grant (the highest level). Her studies there, done in collaboration with staff at Sunnybrook Hospital, developed algorithms to analyze the amount of white-matter lesions in a person’s brain.

“Almost everybody has some white-matter lesions in their brains,” she says. “These are areas where the tissue is not actually dead, but it is being starved of oxygen. We know that they can be a precursor to strokes and to dementia, but we don’t know much about how or why.” Her algorithms quantify the number and size of the lesions, providing objective data that can then be followed up over time to see which people have strokes or develop dementia. Those results may provide guidance for future treatment and more personalized medicine.

About 50,000 Canadians suffer new or recurrent strokes each year, which means on average a stroke occurs every 10 minutes in Canada. Stroke is the third highest cause of death behind heart disease and cancer, costing the Canadian economy roughly $3.6 billion a year in physician services, hospital costs, lost wages and decreased productivity.

Khademi hopes her research will lead to the development of new technological innovations that help reduce mortality rates, long-term disability and the economic burden associated with stroke. She is presently continuing this research and applying her algorithms to a large image database collected from patients across Canada.

During her PhD studies, she received additional awards: one was the L’Oreal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. “They flew me to Montreal for a big gala event,” Khademi recalls. But she was even more impressed by how she was treated when she twice won a Google Canada Anita Borg award. Those awards earned her a week in New York City and another week in San Francisco, where she had the opportunity to take part in presentations and be wooed by Google.

Two days after graduation, Khademi started working as an algorithm development specialist for GE Healthcare at the Pathology Innovation Centre of Excellence. Her work not only involved developing the algorithms that give meaning to digital images, but educating pathologists and others about the new technology.

Two years later, Khademi was hired by Pathcore, Inc., a Toronto-based digital pathology software company, where she focused on designing innovative products and algorithms as a senior scientist and product manager.

She was offered a position at U of G soon after. “I am honoured to continue my research in medical imaging technologies that I hope will transform the way medicine is practiced and improve the lives of patients with stroke and cancer,” she explains.

When she’s not working on ways to enhance medical technology, Khademi loves hot yoga and in-line skating; she also plays the flute. “I’m also very involved in volunteer work to promote math, science and engineering to girls and young women,” she says. “Did you know that only 10 per cent of the students in electrical engineering are women? I want to help change that.”

 

 

Misfortune : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

When misfortune follows misfortune like violent waves
I get frightened by the deadly surge
I look for shelters like covered caves
An unknown person inside me makes frantic urge
It seems that misfortune will never end
My mere existence will face painful doom
I passionately hope  for a benevolent friend
Who will take me to a safe home
Suddenly a strange voice starts to mutter
I stare around to see the person
Something seems to move and flutter
I feel that somebody delivers a sermonI get courage from the words of wisdom
Misfortune begets fortune and freedom

Mango Blossom : A Poem by Dr.Syed Md. Zainul Abedin

Mango blossom is the song of  spring
Festive fireworks of youth and beauty
Fragrance of romance tied with wedding ring
Dance of butterfly and honeybee
Mango blossom is like a miniature Christmas Tree
Blooms for a short time to charm all
Birds fly among them for food gathering spree
Happy insects fill the air with mating callMango blossom brings dream to the farmer
Good weather will prevail in this season
He hopes to have a good harvest this year
To pay his debt and achieve his mission

Mango blossom makes the children wonder
When the mango will reach proper size
To eat them with salt and chilly powder
Picking them in storm as the juvenile prize

Mango blossom predicts hail storm and nor-wester
Shabby homes may be blown away
Poor people express concern for losing their shelter
They seek divine favor for blissful day

Mango blossom is a great gift of nature
Dreams and hopes dominate forever