Archive for the 'Teaching' Category

Invitation to Interlinks 4.0 and Launching of the Ateneo Innovation Center


originally posted in

Hello from the Ateneo Innovation Center,

On March 14, we are holding Interlinks 4.0, where the Ateneo Science and Engineering students will present their recent Research results. Undergrad students and MS Students in fields of Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering, Physics, and Health Science will present poster papers on their research. They will explain the many applications of their work to forming new high technology companies in the Philippines.

We are also launching the Ateneo Innovation Center, where we will be doing multi-disciplinary research in fields of interest to industry like new energy approaches – energy from algae, wireless logistics for supply chain management, wireless sensor systems for disaster monitoring., digital medical databases for patient monitoring, environmental cleanup using seaweed, new herbal medicines, and embedded software for gaming. Interlinks is the Ateneo’s focused effort to link Faculty driven research with industry’s need for leading edge technology and highly trained professionals.

We have invited Jim Paredes, Mon Isberto, Harvey Keh, and Paco Sandejas to speak in the why Not Forum style. They will give us short provocative talks on “How R&D and Technology is Critical to Success in their Fields”.

Of course the stars of Interlinks 4.0 are the Ateneo students and their contributions to Faculty driven Research. Many of these theses are highly innovative, so we are inviting many high technology companies and investment organizations to attend.

Please help us spread the word, by using your resources to advertise Interlinks 4.0.

Gregory Tangonan, PhD (goriot[at]mac[dot]com)
Ateneo Innovation Center


Research Interests

PhD Comics has posted a good webcomic about research:

In the ECCE department, we call this faculty-driven research!  How did you get your research topic?

Since we are nearing campus recruitment in Ateneo, I would like to encourage incoming freshmen college students to join the department.  Get your feet wet working on cutting-edge technologies the continuously strives to solve the complex problems of the world today! For admission information, please visit the AdMU admissions office (OAA).

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Villagers rely on rain gauges

20080123 philippine satellite imagery

Weather satellite imagery from PAGASA

This was posted in regions section a week ago:

At least 13 digital rain gauges have been installed in seven towns and two cities of the province, and 12 more are coming, courtesy of the Social Action Center of the Archdiocese of Legazpi.

Cedric Daep, executive officer of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council, said early warning devices would also be given to communities so that information could be relayed quickly to the residents.

Disaster officials have been trained to interpret data from the wired rain gauges, which cost almost P7,000 each and are placed in municipal halls. The gauges can detect possible landslides, lahar and flooding through a criteria carefully devised by the PDCC.
When the device records rainfall of 1 millimeter per minute, mudflows from Mayon Volcano are likely to occur, Daep said. A 7.2 mm-per-hour rainfall could mean heavy flooding, especially in low-lying areas

Indeed it is more cost effective to deploy an array of sensors across an specific area rather than buying multi-million dollar equipment like weather radars. But in order to obtain useful information in a timely manner, the network for these gauges should be properly designed. There have been a lot of research on deploying highly resilient networks for rain conditions. I am currently involved in the Rain research group of the ECCE department. Aside from studying how rain affects the signals and performance of the rain sensor, our group proposed to use the network itself as the sensor.  We are also researching on innovating data gathering methodologies such as using digital recorders (acoustic sensors) as rain observation equipment.

Related articles:

Ateneo ECCE website is now a blog!

The department website is now revamped. Aside from using the TWiki system to manage its content, the BlogPlugin application is installed to facilitate posts. This will help a lot in exposing the department to the public. Featured posts are from Dr. Greg Tangonan and his Innovation and Technology class.

Make sure to save your bookmarks to . we also have an RSS feed link for easy content syndication into your news readers.

My CodeInvaders strategy

There has been a few requests in my previous entry for the implementing my strategy.  It was a very fulfilling experience that someone has need for my some of my work even though it was a simple demo for my AJSS computer programming workshop class.  The code can be downloaded from here.

The context of the requests was that some of them were coaches for the National Infocomm competition in Singapore. One of their categories is the Virtual X Game 2007.  Here is a short description of the event:

Organised by NTU School of Computer Engineering, virtualXgame (VXG) uses a battling game application (Eclipse IDE), where you command a group of virtual combatants by programming them with the best mix of characteristics and strategies. Your combatants will engage in a series if battles, and compete for virtual supremacy with other commanders’ troops.

Part of the National Infocomm Competition, VXG is well into its 2nd year of excitement. Take part in VXG and discover another side of programming, which is not always just coding. VXG challenges your strategic skills, teamwork, and fighting spirit to bring the game to the next level. Plus, over S$12,000 worth of prizes to be won if you emerge victorious!

Date of Competition: 3 November 2007, Saturday
Venue: Nanyang Technological University.

The competition uses the CodeInvaders Eclipse plugin as described in their download instructions.  The coaches were trying to implement their own strategies and want to use my strategy as a base.

A Google search for “codeinvaders strategy” shows my blog post as a top 3 entry (Yey!).  Good luck to the participants of the competition!

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Lecture: Biomedical applications using the grid

For my CE21 B students:  Those who were not able to attend the lecture may find the lecture slides on the course website. montagnat-grid.pdf

Title:  Biomedical applications using the grid
Speaker:  Johan Montagnat, Ph.D


With the generalization of digital imaging in medicine and the emergence of ever growing medical archives, efficient tools for retrieving clinically relevant data are needed. Medical images are usually indexed with medical records (patient information, acquisition parameters, etc.) but for applications such as epidemiology or diagnostic assistance, images also need to be identified from their content. Content-based image retrieval in medical databases is challenging both in terms of computing power (size of image databases, complexity of algorithms) and in terms of performance of image content analysis algorithms (difficulty to identify relevant features in medical images).
Our research project is addressing the problem of content-based medical image retrieval in large databases. We are exploiting grids to tackle the computational requirement of this problem. We developed strategies to optimize the load distribution over the very large scale EGEE (Enabling Grids for E-sciencE) grid infrastructure, taking into account its properties and load. We have explored several
strategies to identify relevant images. Texture features extracted using Gabor filters proved to be an efficient and relevant mean of indexing medical databases. The texture feature could be correlated to image modality, tissues, and subtle changes such as myocardium tissues variation using the cardiac cycle.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Johan Montagnat has obtained his PhD in Computer Science (with highest honors) from the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis (France). He is currently a research scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), working in the fields of medical image processing and grid computing. Dr. Montagnat is a co-principal investigator of the ONCO-MEDIA project (, an international research collaboration on biomedical applications of grid computing, wherein Ateneo de Manila University is one of the partner institutions.

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Audio amplifier goodness

For the third and fourth activity in my TCOM 121.2 Telecommunications laboratory class, I asked the students to prepare a 200 gain (46 dB) audio amplifier using the LM386 with a bandwidth of 20-20kHz.

I required the students to perform simulations by creating a SPICE netlist. The learning curve required is very steep to meet a 1-2 week deadline for performing the activity. I pointed them to the sci.electronics.cad Usenet newsgroup to search from the SPICE .subckt model since the IC cannot be found by default in the library components of MultiSim or Electronics Workbench. There were sample demonstrations on how to generate the netlist and use the model file using LTSpice in the laboratory. My classes’ were very resourceful. To accomodate the steep learning curve, they were able to find an LTSpice symbol associated with the LM386 subckt model and was able to generate simulations using the conventional schematic capture method.

They implemented their audio amplifier circuits on a standard issued prototyping breadboard. Some were able to get gains of up to 190+ but others are still struggling to exceed a 3dB gain (hence the lab extension). After reaching the 43-46 dB gain milestone, they celebrated their accomplishment by playing with the circuit. Most of the students plugged the output of the amplifier to a speaker. Thus sounds were produced based on the frequency input in the function generator. One of my students, Dale Dy played a rendition of “Happy Birthday” using various frequencies from our signal generator and his groups’ LM386 Audio Amplifier:

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Allan M. Espinosa

Currently based in Tokyo, Japan
DevOps Engineer at Rakuten, Inc.