Smart device-based context and activity recognition

Updated March 2015
Interested to pursue a Master of Science by Research degree (
validated by Lancaster University), or PhD degree at Sunway University, investigating the below research topic? Email me at sianlunl-at-sunway.edu.my (replace -at- with @). 

With the rise of new technologies, particularly mobile devices, wearables and almost-ubiquitous connectivity, we are now swamp with exciting techniques that aim to help improve and automate many tasks in our everyday living. One particular area that looks into ways to enable machines to understand situations, needs and human better is context-awareness. Since the introduction of Ubiquitous Computing (or Pervasive Computing), researchers have been investigating various approaches that put computers into the background. As Mark Weiser proposed, the best technologies are those who stays in the background.

This is where acquisition of implicit information may contribute well - imagine the different devices around us, may it be computers in a room, or the smartphone you are carrying to even little sensors placed "everywhere" - they provide all sort of information in almost real time. By applying some clever mechanism, or what we technically call algorithms, we build systems that will make sense out of these seemingly "senseless" bulks of information. This is where context acquisition can play an important role. Starting from a few years back, this field of study has a new sexy name - big data. Though big data covers a much larger scope, but the gist of the approaches is still the same - how to make sense out of no(n)-sense.

Talk at Star Education Fair 2015

the crowd at Star Education Fair

I was privileged to be invited to give a talk at the Star Education Fair 2015 yesterday, titled "Speaking in Code: Career in Coding and Programming". It was a good session with almost a few hundred students and parents listening to us. Together with me was Gurpardeep (APU) and Chin Ike (KDU), covering topics from general career prospect of IT/Computing jobs, atttributes/attitude of a good computing graduate to interests upcoming career path - Game Development.

Indoor positioning and navigation

Today, indoor positioning, along with indoor navigation, is currently no longer impossible. Nevertheless, it is still an interesting and growing research area. I particularly am interested to explore various techniques that enable unsupervised approach to learn and build patterns, commonly known as fingerprints, that may lead to usable, or better still precise indoor positioning. Once we can successfully position a person in an indoor environment, more advanced services can be realised. One of them will be indoor navigation. Again, there are various techniques to enable navigation for indoor purposes too.

Pledge or not?

Came across this today:

truly a good movement I must say - I have observed so many people struggling and giving up on coding, because the learning just does not make sense. I have asked around and I think no one knows the $1000 answer that 100% uplift the burden any budding coder has.

restarting wahlau.org...

It has been really long. perhaps 4-5 years since I last "actively" blogged. Not having the time is half truth. It was during the peak time of everything - phd, geek-life, research/work, family. Lots of ups and downs, but I am nevertheless grateful.

Fast forward to today - seeing things are somehow settled (and I promise you work is still piling up!) and I often think ~ "hmm, when will I ever resumed what I used to enjoy doing...". I realised thinking will not change things. Asked a question in FB, had some exchanged with students and decision was made...

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