Happy 92nd Birthday to “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

Wednesday, 27 March, 2013

 

eps02 with Prof. Kelly Gotlieb, Father of Computing in Canada

Happy 92nd Birthday to Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. I am happy to be able to reach Kelly today to wish him happy birthday, good health and all the best!

In recent weeks, I had the honour and pleasure to interview Kelly extensive twice, once via video using Google+ Hangout On Air, another time using Skype audio. Have a watch & listen. Enjoy. Happy 92nd birthday Kelly!

eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb (Ref original article)

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing (Ref original article)

2018 April 19th update: I’m very sad to report the passing of Prof. Kelly Gotlieb on October 16th, 2016 at the age of 95. Have a read of these insightful obits:

  1.  “Kelly Gotlieb was the father of Canadian computing”. The Globe and Mail
  2. “In Memoriam: The “Father of Computing in Canada” Calvin C. Gotlieb”. University of Toronto Computer Science
  3. “In Memoriam: Calvin Carl “kelly” Gotlieb 1921-2016″. Communications of the ACM

This excerpt from the G&M obit really touched me and warmed my heart,

“Kelly and Phyllis Gotlieb had one of the great love affairs. In a 2015 interview, six years after his wife’s death, Dr. Gotlieb said of their relationship: “A scientist who loves poetry and a poet who loves science … It doesn’t get any better than that.” Dr. Gotlieb spent his professional life on the frontier of techno-scientific knowledge, while his wife Phyllis (née Bloom) was an award-winning writer of poetry and speculative fiction who pondered how discoveries such as those of her husband might affect the mind, soul and society of humankind. In their breadth, depth and passion of interests, they were a two-person university.

One of her books of verse was a compilation of love poems sent to her husband over more than 60 years of marriage. The publication of Phyllis Loves Kelly [downloadable via this U of T library page] marked their diamond wedding anniversary in June, 2009; six weeks later she died suddenly at the age of 83. His epitaph to her was: She Graced This World/And Imagined Others. Her tribute to him lies in her final volume of poetry, where she compares herself to the famous fictional cat created by American humourist Don Marquis:

        If like a tom and tab
we sometimes hiss and scratch and jab
I’m still from here to Heaven or Hell
your favourite
                 Mehitabel


U of Toronto University Professor Emeritus Stephen A. Cook won NSERC $1 million Herzberg Medal – with interview by Kempton

Wednesday, 27 February, 2013

20130227 Professor Cook interview pix

Congratulations to University of Toronto Computer Science professor Stephen Cook, best known for formulating the P v. NP problem, for winning the $1M 2012 Gerhard Herzberg medal (also via CBC News)!

After all these years, I still remember the thrill in taking my first year UT Comp. Sci class in 1987 with prof. Cook! And it remains an honour (and bragging right) to have taken the famous third year CSC364 Computability and Complexity class with prof. Cook and seeing him proved to us 3-satisfiability and taught us P v. NP, etc. I am truly excited for prof. Cook!

Check out my 15 minutes interview with Prof. Cook this morning: Interview with Dr. Stephen A. Cook, 2012 Winner of NSERC’s $1m Herzberg Medal

By the way, as prof. cook mentioned in the interview, he came to the idea of the NP complete problem about 6 months after he came to Toronto in 1970. If you read the detailed & insightful oral history interview with Stephen Cook (courtesy of University of Minnesota), you will realize professor Cook could have easily stayed at UC Berkeley (if they had not denied him tenure) instead of joining us at University of Toronto! Lucky us!

Last week, I asked prof. Kelly Gotlieb “Father of Computing in Canada” for his thoughts about some giants in computer science, here is what Kelly has to say about Steve (video clip).

Here is “NSERC Presents 2 Minutes With Stephen Cook

Here is an excerpt from a great Q&A from U of Toronto.

What drew you to this field – and to this particular focus?
I enrolled as a mathematics graduate student at Harvard in 1961, thinking I’d concentrate in algebra. Computer Science did not yet exist as a discipline. After taking a course in `logic and computation’ from Hao Wang, my future advisor, I switched fields. My PhD thesis was inspired by a question posed by a pioneer in the field named Alan Cobham: Is multiplication (of large numbers) intrinsically harder than addition? Part of the challenge was to formulate this as a precise mathematical question.

Why U of T?
I joined the faculty of the computer science department at U of T in 1970. This was one of the world’s first CS departments, and Tom Hull, the department chair, had a powerful vision for its future. He already had recruited some aspiring young faculty, including my close colleague Allan Borodin, who continues to be a pillar of the department. It helped that Toronto is a good sailing venue on Lake Ontario, and sailing was (and is) a major hobby for my wife and me.

What advice would you give to a student just starting out in this field?
You’ve made a good choice. The possibilities are boundless.

Via this UT page, see more media coverage about the 2012 Herzberg Prize at these links below:

“- Globe & Mail

– Canada.com

– Calgary Herald

– CBC News


eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

Wednesday, 20 February, 2013

 

eps02 with Prof. Kelly Gotlieb, Father of Computing in Canada

This is the second (eps 02) of a series of extensive chats with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto. In this video episode (as oppose to audio recording only in episode #1), we further discussed Google Driverless Cars and Google Glasses in a bit more details, and a few other topics. (I will try to provide a time code key when I have time later or if someone can help me with providing a time code key to the interview.)

eps02 chat with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof. Kelly Gotlieb

P.S. Incidentally, I am happy to claim credit for suggesting Kelly to setup a Google+ account and then also helped him to setup his computer this morning so that we were able to conduct a successful Live Broadcast using the Google+ Hangout On Air technologies using its YouTube engine! It puts a smile on my face in helping the man who helped bought the second electronic computer (a Ferranti machine for $300,000) in the world in 1951 to use Google’s cutting edge technologies to broadcast live from his and my home!

2018 April 19th update: I’m very sad to report the passing of Prof. Kelly Gotlieb on October 16th, 2016 at the age of 95. Have a read of these insightful obits:

  1.  “Kelly Gotlieb was the father of Canadian computing”. The Globe and Mail
  2. “In Memoriam: The “Father of Computing in Canada” Calvin C. Gotlieb”. University of Toronto Computer Science
  3. “In Memoriam: Calvin Carl “kelly” Gotlieb 1921-2016″. Communications of the ACM

This excerpt from the G&M obit really touched me and warmed my heart,

“Kelly and Phyllis Gotlieb had one of the great love affairs. In a 2015 interview, six years after his wife’s death, Dr. Gotlieb said of their relationship: “A scientist who loves poetry and a poet who loves science … It doesn’t get any better than that.” Dr. Gotlieb spent his professional life on the frontier of techno-scientific knowledge, while his wife Phyllis (née Bloom) was an award-winning writer of poetry and speculative fiction who pondered how discoveries such as those of her husband might affect the mind, soul and society of humankind. In their breadth, depth and passion of interests, they were a two-person university.

One of her books of verse was a compilation of love poems sent to her husband over more than 60 years of marriage. The publication of Phyllis Loves Kelly [downloadable via this U of T library page] marked their diamond wedding anniversary in June, 2009; six weeks later she died suddenly at the age of 83. His epitaph to her was: She Graced This World/And Imagined Others. Her tribute to him lies in her final volume of poetry, where she compares herself to the famous fictional cat created by American humourist Don Marquis:

        If like a tom and tab
we sometimes hiss and scratch and jab
I’m still from here to Heaven or Hell
your favourite
                 Mehitabel


Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

Wednesday, 13 February, 2013

 

20130212 Father of Computing Kelly interview - pix

Interview with “Father of Computing in Canada” Prof Gotlieb re Google Car, Google Glasses, Alan Turing

This is an extensive interview with Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb, (Wikipedia) “Father of Computing in Canada”, Department of Computer Science, University of Toronto, Feb 2013 interviewed by Independent reporter Kempton Lam
KL: Kempton Lam
KG: Professor Emeritus C.C. Kelly Gotlieb
Table of content (with time codes):
0:00 KL: Introducing Professor Emeritus C.C. (Kelly) Gotlieb, “Father of Computing in Canada”, University of Toronto
0:29 KL: My question about Google Driverless Cars. Three US states already has law permitting testing of Google Driverless Cars. Talking about California governor signed the bill, “SB-1298 Vehicles: autonomous vehicles: safety and performance requirements” into law.
2:07 KL: Bill SB-1298 allows Google to test the Google Driverless Car provided Google pays a $5 million insurance, and provided there is a driver in the car.
2:21 KG: “That’s what I expected.”
2:35 KL: My concerns were concerns raised by Kelly in an earlier speech of his.
2:47 KG: listing some of the concerns he has with concepts like Google Driverless Cars. “United States is a very litigious society.”
3:12 KG: Google Driverless Car gets into an accident, whose to blame? And who can you sue? The person who wrote the program? Google who authorize the car? Car manufacture? The person who is in the car? Or all of the above? […] Lots of questions to be asked when failure happen. Read the rest of this entry »


Falling in love with Bear 71 in its world & Interview with co-creator Leanne Allison

Wednesday, 16 January, 2013

bear 71 - interactive doc from NFB

I just watched & experienced my first ever award-winning first-person-documentary! It got me to play along and fall in love with Bear 71! The online experience/first-person-documentary is FREE thanks to National Film Board of Canada. And today, after a year long global competition, Bear 71 was selected as Site of The Year Winner amongst 12 Site of The Month finalists by 58 international judges in 2 rounds of voting! To see how amazing this honour is, you should know that the Site of The Month finalists were in turn selected from 365 Site of The Day Winners!

I will watch & play with Bear 71 again for sure. (update: 3 times so far) Let me give you the permission to explore and to click and look at different things during the 20 minutes experience because there are endless ways and many interesting hidden surprise for people to “first-person” interact and discover within the documentary. I was imagining/hoping there was a “right” way to interact with the film but there isn’t one. At key moments, the gentle hands of the creators of the experiences will bring you right along into some memorable video that will hopefully stay with you. For me, the memorable experiences will stay with me and has reaffirm and be more aware of the beautiful environment we (and the animals) experience even things are changing rapidly (often in not so positive ways for the animals). Lets hope shows like Bear 71 will help us want to make our world a better place not only for us humans, but also for bears like Bear 71 and other wild animals before things are too late.

Bear 71 (Trailer without the fun of interactive hangout)

Jan 19th update: Here is my extensive video interview with co-creator Leanne Allison where we talk about the one million plus photos Leanne got to pick and choose to use. The raw & candid video footage of a variety of wild animals captured motion-triggered cameras. And down to a discussion of how best to protect bears from trains in high-speed. Leanne and I also got to chat about the awesome documentary Being Caribou (2004) which you can watch for free online.

Here are some selected praises from the 58 international judges which I whole heartedly agree with.

Tom Daly, The Coca-Cola Company:

“The team behind ‘Bear 71’ put interactive story telling at the new edge of how we should imagine things.”

Julie Campagna, Adobe:

“Innovative and memorable, yet disturbing.”

Steve Lemarquand, Resn:

“I felt emotionally compelled to trek the virtual landscape for Bear 71.”

Mathias Appelblad, BBDO:

“A beautiful experience that pulls you right in. A great example of how technology and interaction can tell a story in an innovative, engaging and emotional way.”

Wesley Ter Haar, MediaMonks:

A site that is steadfast, almost stubbornly interactive. It interweaves narrative with data in a way that creates something uniquely digital, while also managing to resonate far beyond the experience itself. I catch myself thinking of Bear 71 in the same way I do about books or movies that have made a lasting impression, it is proof that our industry can create compelling, emotive work and will be the standard-bearer (pun not intended) for years to come.”

Eric Jordan, 2Advanced Studios:

Bear 71 is masterful blending of documentary-style video and information graphics, which combine together to make the site deeply engaging and informative.”


Interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Neurochip co-lead researcher

Friday, 17 August, 2012

Interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Neurochip co-lead researcher

Earlier this month I had a fascinating interview with Dr. Naweed Syed, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, head of University of Calgary Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. Dr. Syed is one of the lead researchers behind neurochip − “a microchip with the ability to monitor several functions of the brain.Neurochip is “a novel lab-on-a-chip technology that, through an ultra-sensitive component built directly on the microchip, also enables direct imaging of activity in brain cells.”

In one fascinating part of the interview, Dr. Syed talked about Parkinson’s patients who have really bad tremors and don’t respond to drugs anymore. Currently, surgeons insert a deep brain stimulation electrode to allow the patients to stimulate the electrode themselves which release dopamine to stop the tremors. Unfortunately, the electrode can continue to stimulate the brain cells beyond the limit. Resulting in what is known as excitotoxicity. (Too much dopamine constantly being produced and brain cells being over excited.) In essence, nobody is there to tell the electrode when the stimulation is enough and can be stopped to avoid damage because there is no loop going back to tell it. Dr. Syed suggests implanting a two-way link where machines (capacitors and transistors) and the brain cells can talk to each other to better control the stimulation loop and avoid/reduce the problem of excitotoxicity.

Have a watch of my extensive interview with Dr. Syed to hear of his explanations and the background info in his own words for the latest advancement in research in neurochip.

As an alumnus of University of Calgary, it makes me really proud to see cool research done in Calgary, Alberta. At the same time, near the end of the interview, I asked Dr. Syed about the challenges of getting the required funding for the research program to succeed and to keep doing cutting edge researches right here in Calgary. Given the achievements his team has made so far, I would hate to see any of these world class scientists leaving Canada to go to United States/China, etc because our three level of governments and private industry partners are not putting in the needed funding to keep doing these ground-breaking researches that can lead to better medical devices, better drugs, etc right in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

On a personal note, a very close friend has Parkinson’s and I hope the device Dr. Syed talked about can be developed, tested, and approved soon so that my friend and other Parkinson’s patients can benefit.

News references:

University of Calgary, UToday “New advances for neurochip

CTV News (with video), “U of C researchers achieve major milestone

Calgary Herald, “New microchip helps take detailed images of brain – University of Calgary researchers achieve new milestone


Jeff Chiba Stearns “Mixed Match” doc interview – mixed/multiethnic people’s additional challenges when dealing with life threatening blood diseases such as leukemia

Thursday, 5 April, 2012

Mixed Match - pix 01 - Maya Family and Rosanna

I first interviewed the award-winning filmmaker Jeff Chiba Stearns when he came to Calgary with his last film in 2010. Today, I had the pleasure to interview Jeff again to talk about his latest documentary Mixed Match, mixed/multiethnic people’s additional challenges when dealing with life threatening blood diseases such as leukemia, and how can we help.

Here is my video interview with Jeff Chiba Stearns, director of Mixed Match.

Because of the under representation of mixed/multiethnic/ethic people in the national bone marrow registries, please join the registry in Canada (OneMatch Stem Cell and Marrow Network) or United States (Be The Match Registry).

Mixed Match - pix 05 - One_Match_Drive

Mixed Match - pix 06 - Jeff_joining_registry

Have a read of the myths & facts about Bone Marrow Donation to dispel myths like

“Donating is painful and involves a long recovery.”

“All bone marrow donations involve surgery.”

To raise the needed funds to complete the film, Jeff has a crowdfunding page for Mixed Match on indiegogo. So far $5,340 has been raised towards his $25,000 funding goal. Please consider helping him finish Mixed Match by donating before April 27, 2012.

Mixed Match - pix 04 - Valerie_Sun_Interview2

Mixed Match - pix 02 - Maga_Hospital_Still1

Mixed Match - pix 07 - Krissy with Jeff and Athena

More photos here.


Interview with Maya Posch, an intersex person, re Netherlands court’s decision to let her officially change her gender to female

Friday, 30 March, 2012

Interview with Maya Posch, an intersex person, re Netherlands court’s decision to let her officially change her gender to female

Here is my video Interview with Maya Posch, an intersex person, re court’s decision to change her gender to female.

See Maya’s original news announcement. Check out more Google+ posts from Maya.


Interview with Mohamed Mansour – Creator of “Facebook Friend Exporter” & “My Hangouts for Google Plus”, and Google Chromium committer

Tuesday, 23 August, 2011

Mohamed Mansour Technical Software interview

Mohamed Mansour is a Canadian Software Engineer and the creator of the cool Google+ extensions “Facebook Friend Exporter“, “My Hangouts for Google Plus“, “Hangout Auto Retry Try Again” and “Extended Share for Google Plus“. Mohamed is also a contributor (actually a committer) of Google Chrome‘s open source project Chromium.

Few days ago, I had the pleasure of conducting a technical interview with Mohamed to talk about his various software work and a little bit about himself. Have a watch of the following video clips. I hope you will enjoy them as much as I was in conducting the interview.

Mohamed Mansour Technical Interview (Chromium, Chrome vs. Firefox …) 01/03

– How did Mohamed get start working on Chromium (Google Chrome’s open source project)?

– Why did Mohamed choose to work on Chrome instead of Firefox?

– Mohamed talked about his experiences of putting in his first patch on the Chromium.

– At university, how did Mohamed switch from chemical engineering to electrical engineering, and finally settling on software engineering?

– Why did Mohamed decide to take the path of putting in so much time in open-source software work, instead of like other talented software engineers spending time to make the next new new product and make a ton of money?

– And other discussions.

Mohamed Mansour Technical Interview (Facebook Friend Exporter…) 02/03

– “Facebook Friend Exporter“, Mohamed talks about the development history and the road blocks Facebook put up.

– “Extended Share for Google Plus” (a tool that share things to Facebook, Twitter, etc)

– “Hangout Auto Retry Try Again

– And other discussions.

Mohamed Mansour Technical Interview (Google+ Hangout, My Hangouts for G+…) 03/03

– Technical discussion about Google+ Hangout. Video data usage, etc.

– Talk about the useful extension, “My Hangouts for Google Plus

– Mohamed’s path to become a committer of Chromium (Google Chrome‘s open source project).

– Lines of code Mohamed authored for project Chromium. Here are some stats of Mohamed’s Chromium (Google Chrome) contribution and Chromium Tools (Google Chrome) contribution.

– And other discussions.


Ariel Garten, CEO InteraXon, interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Sunday, 19 June, 2011

Ariel Garten - CEO of InteraXon

I had a very enjoyable time attending Ariel Garten’s (CEO of InteraXon creator of the Muse headbandNextMedia Keynote address: Thought Controlled Computing @ Banff World Media Festival 2011. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ariel. Here is the interview video.

The following are a few highlights of my video interview with Ariel.

* 0:00 In your presentation, some ideas are very cutting-edge and quite “out-there”. When you meet corporate clients, how do you engage them and bring them down to earth?

* 1:03 Talking about the chewing gum example (the “chew off”) discussed in your presentation, can you tell us more and which brand it was? What does InteraXon actually measure? [Kempton’s note: The chewing gum campaign went live on June 16th. At press time, I haven’t heard any updates from InteraXon.]

* 2:20 So does the software system work by basing on its previous training of brainwave signals?

* 2:48 How accurate is the software? Lets take heart rate as an example because it is easy to know what is right.

* 3:16 You mentioned the system has limitations, can you elaborate on the kind of limitations please? [Kempton: Here are some reading about Alpha (relax “awake but relaxed”) and Beta (focus “alert and attentive”) brain waves. And via Wikipedia, Alpha and Beta.]

* 3:48 Ariel talks about the reliability in using Alpha and Beta brain waves, especially for new users.

* 4:05 What other signals can your system use?

* 4:25 Am I using the right analogy to compare the “training” your system undergoes to the “training” speech recognition system needed in the past?

* 4:52 Someone asked Ariel about the possibility of using brainwaves for security authentication purposes. How unique are brainwaves? Can it be done now? If not now, how may it work in the future? Read the rest of this entry »


Ariel Garten – CEO of InteraXon interview @ Banff World Media Festival 2011

Monday, 13 June, 2011

Ariel Garten - CEO of InteraXon

I had a very enjoyable time attending Ariel Garten’s (CEO of InteraXon creator of the Muse headbandNextMedia Keynote address: Thought Controlled Computing @ Banff World Media Festival 2011. Afterwards, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ariel.

It will take me some time to write the article and process & upload the video after Banff. Stay tune.

June 19 update: Done! Check out my article and video interview with Ariel.


Award winning 5468796 Architecture Inc (The Cube, Sunspot, and other projects) – Interview with Sasa Radulovic & Johanna Hurme

Sunday, 24 October, 2010

Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme (co-owners of 5468796 Architecture Inc)

Since I bought a copy of “I. M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture“ by chance twenty years ago, I have been fascinated by beautiful buildings and the architects themselves. Last week I had the great pleasure to interview Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme, award winning principal architects and co-owners of Winnipeg-based 5468796 Architecture Inc, to talk about their firm, The Cube, and other exciting projects.

Branding of 5468796 Architecture Inc

5468796 Architecture barcode5468796 Architecture contact list

What does the “5468796” stand for in the name 5468796 Architecture Inc? Why not use the traditional branding convention and brand the firm by the names of the principals and founders? Have a watch of the cool explanations in my interview with Sasa and Johanna. It shows their careful thinking from day one “to challenge convention at all scales, [starting] from branding“.

The Cube (Winnipeg Old Market Square Stage) (Project 0134 | Stage)

5468796 Architecture Inc. - The Cube - pix 1

Here is an excerpt from the project description (emphasis added), “Whether functioning as a neighbourhood park or as a hub for the entire city during summer festivals, Old Market Square has undeniable significance for the health and vitality of the Exchange District. Following the establishment of a Master Plan for OMS by landscape architects Scatliff+Miller+Murray Inc., a new stage was the logical next step in the park’s redevelopment. Through an open competition, the city asked for a design that met the functional requirements for a stage. Our winning submission proposed to do more; we recognized that the stage only functions as such for a very limited time, and questioned what it could be the rest of the year.

The Cube was opened in June 2010 for the festivals season when it was only about 85% completed and before 5468796 Architecture had chances to fine tune the building. So I think many early critiques of the design are not fair. The final winning idea for The Cube was actually one of three ideas submitted by 5468796 Architecture and was deemed the best.

You see, the Cube is not just a stage, it can also function as an exhibition space for video artists where video images can be projected on the skin of The Cube. And different themed colour lighting can be projected on different days (for example, orange on Halloween, green on St. Patrick’s day, etc).

See more info about The Cube in this and next interview video clip. More photos of The Cube here, here, and here.

Interview with Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme – part 1/3

A lesser known fact about The Cube is its smaller second stage on the “second level” inside The Cube. This second stage can be used for smaller and more intimate performance (seating ~25?). In the following video, you can see Sasa shows you the second stage in a model.

For the remaining time in my interview with Sasa and Johanna, I picked the following projects and got them to say a few words and share their key inspirations.

Sunspot (Project 0155, Client: The Forks)

5468796 Architecture Sunspot pix 1

Here is an excerpt from the project description (emphasis added), “The Sunspot hangs from the Forks’ Historic Rail Bridge, hovering just three feet above the frozen river. Composed of a structural frame coated in a skin of ice and coloured water, the interior is rendered with a vibrant and warm glow that evokes Tarsia’s painting plates. A large diameter opening at the bottom of the sphere allows skaters to enter and experience the transformed sky. The bottom ring provides a rope-wrapped bench to rest on, while the structure offers shelter from the wind.

More photo here.

Welcome Place (Project 0027, User Group: MIIC, Client hold zone)

5468796 Architecture Welcome Place pix 1

Here is an excerpt from the project description (emphasis added), “The design focuses on the significance of prospect and refuge for residents and patrons of Welcome Place – who are just beginning to make a place for themselves in Canada – through the integration and overlap of public and private space. The private spaces are defined by a random patterning of windows that form a uniquely textured facade with multiple views to the exterior. Walls have thickness so these views feel less expansive and more protective. The public realm begins with a sunken courtyard outside the main doors, forming an exterior ‘room’ for community functions. Within the building, public spaces are located at the building’s edges, permeating through the facade to engage the streetscape below.

For this project, I asked Sasa about his special connection to MIIC‘s Welcome Place, which aims to help immigrants and refugees newly arrived in Canada. You can also read more in the article “Designing for desperate needs“.

More photo here.

Interview with Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme – part 2/3

BGBX (Project 0022, client: CSB Corp.)

5468796 Architecture BGBX pix 1

Here is an excerpt from the project description (emphasis added), “The project begins as a white corrugated metal box, a blank slate which is then strategically sliced at six points to reveal unexpected glimpses of lush, green foliage at the block’s centre. The landscaped courtyard cuts away at the box from the inside out to create a dynamic, multi-facetted courtyard facade.

The design seeks innovation at all levels, including its building systems. Hollowcore concrete slabs are used as air plenums, eliminating the need for ductwork. Abundant vegetation in the courtyard acts as lungs for the entire block, providing fresh air for residents. Gray water cisterns collect run-off from the roofs while permeable surfacing and bioswales in the courtyard filter runoff water into the soil.

More photos here.

Bohemier Residence (Project 0007, private residence)

5468796 Architecture Bohemier Residence pix 1

Here is an excerpt from the project description, “The essence of the old house, not its actual presence, becomes the centre of the new residence, as the original foundation is preserved as a sunken courtyard. It turns the former spatial arrangement inside out: house to courtyard, yard to house, solid to void, void to solid. This shift allows the ghost of the old house to remain. The courtyard expands the visual space beyond the distinct rooms and creates a nexus around which circulation spirals in three dimensions.”

More photos here, here, here.

big brother | little sister (Project 0000, client: Sasa | Johanna)

5468796 Architecture big brother little sister pix 2

Here is an excerpt from the project description, “The 1800 sq ft & 1100 sq ft dwellings were designed and constructed as a pair from their inception to completion. They share a conceptual approach and attitude to detailing, while exhibiting unique qualities and personalities responding to the residents’ priorities.

[…] Each condominium flows freely around the enclosed functions organized at their centres, leaving the exterior walls free of joining partitions. Zones within are separated for visual privacy by procession sequences from one scale to another.

The Winnipeg Free Press 2006 article “Cutting-edge” has more details about “big brother | little sister” where Sasa and Johanna are the architects and clients. (note: They still live in “big brother | little sister”.)

More photos here, here.

Emerging Architecture Award

Finally, I asked Sasa and Johanna a few questions about winning the Emerging Architecture Award. The readers of this article may wonder how big a deal is this? Well, let me quote Winnipeg Free Press’ article “Maligned Cube wins international award” (emphasis added),

So how big a deal is it to win an Emerging Architecture Award? Very big, according to Manitoba Association of Architects president Art Martin.

Martin said the EAs, which were founded in 1999, are considered one of the world’s most popular and prestigious awards for young architects. He said this year’s competition attracted about 300 entries worldwide.

“For a Manitoba firm to get this award is really something. All (Manitoba) architects can share in that pride.”

I love great architectural works, so it was a great pleasure for me to talk to Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme, two internationally recognized emerging architects. It will not surprise me if I see them creating more beautiful, fascinating and functionally cutting-edge buildings in the years to come. In time, I am sure I will see some of their works in Calgary, across Canada, and around the world.

By the way, at the end of part 3 of the interview clip, I have included pictures of the projects I highlighted above and I hope you will enjoy them. Visit 5468796 Architecture Inc for other projects that I didn’t get around to feature.

Interview with Sasa Radulovic and Johanna Hurme – part 3/3

P.S. More news links, photos, video in my previous article “Congrats 5468796 Architecture: Emerging Architecture Award (The Cube in Winnipeg’s Old Market Square)

P.P.S. Feel free to check out my other articles about architecture and architects in Bird’s Nest: Herzog & de Meuron in China – Filmmaker chat“, “Frank Gehry (Live from the NYPL)” and mentioning my other favourite architects like Douglas CardinalFrank GehrySantiago Calatrava (his stunning Turning Torso) in “American Institute of Architects & Google Earth“.


Netflix Prize – The Ensemble interview @ Kempton’s Virtual Cafe

Saturday, 1 August, 2009

July-26-Netflix Prize Final Winning Leader BoardFew nights ago, I had the great pleasure to chat with four members of The Ensemble team, one of the two teams that beat the 10% improvement goal set by the Netflix Prize – million dollar challenge.

To make the Skype audio interview more enjoyable to you, I’ve edited the interview for length and also eliminated some dead air, silence and noise. (For example, I was a bit confused about the Prize solution submission process and got a nice explanation that I ended up removing for length reason.)

Here is the chat (in mp3 or streaming audio) with The Ensemble team’s Lester MackeyJoe SillCes Bertino, and Bo Yang in their own voices and words.

  • introducing themselves
  • talking about what they’ve contributed to “The Ensemble” solution
  • the computation resources used in achieving the results
  • how are the results from different team members “combined”?
  • talking about how the last 30 days of the final competition was like?
  • And how did the cooperation from various teams and people happen?
  • How did they create a cooperation agreement in the final days?
  • What was the process for Grand Prize Team and Vandelay Industries in their decisions to split the prize money amongst the team members?
  • Given that the “BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos” team has been contacted by Netlflix to check their code and documentations, so BPC‘s likeliness of winning is pretty high, how do the The Ensemble team members see their experiences in the Netflix Prize competition?

I personally think both BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos and The Ensemble are developing and creating some cutting edge technologies. While the participants may not fully realize it yet, but their efforts are now part of some ground breaking computer science history!

Once the prize award/money has been settled, I hope both teams will consider writing up technical papers to share the insights they gained. And may be even share their software code under a suitable GNU General Public License or something like that.

Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed the interview as much as I in conducting it. And I want to thank LesterJoeCes, and Bo again for a wonderful chat.

P.S. Here is Lester writing about the “Final Submission Countdown“. And here is a link to a New York Times article, “Netflix Competitors Learn the Power of Teamwork“ plus an interesting post “What The Netflix Prize Tells Us About Innovation, Collaboration, Info Sharing And Game Theory“.


Interviewing Oscar Winner Chris Landreth to chat about “The Spine”

Wednesday, 29 July, 2009

I had a nice in-depth chat with Oscar winning animator Chris Landreth (2004 Ryan, full film on NFB) about his new film “The Spine” yesterday.

I will post my video chat with Chris once I finish processing the video plus research & write the blog entry. Stay tune.

Check out Chris’ blog here.


Making a splash at Bowness Park

Monday, 4 August, 2008
Rooster tail after a Supervee 27 brushless boat

Rooster tail after a Supervee 27 Brushless boat

My better half and I went off to some canoeing at the beautiful Bowness Park and luckily saw Phil Donnelly having some serious fun with his Supervee 27 Brushless remote control racing boat. So I took out my digital camera and did a little interview and Phil gave me a demo (see Google video). The footage are really spectacular. Real cool. (Spoiler alert: Even the crashes look spectacular.) Enjoy.

Phil Donnelly showing his Supervee 27 Brushless at Bowness Park, Calgary, Canada

P.S. Phil has done a few upgrades to the boat as well. By the way, if you like to check out the gears (remote control boats, cars, etc.), Phil asked me to mention he gets his stuff from HobbyGuys. (Hmmm, this sounds like a HobbyGuys’ ad. (smile) Phil, I hope HG gives you a discount or something next time you shop there. (big smile))

P.P.S. Aren’t the crashes spectacular? And the boat at top speed was just beautiful! According to Phil, they have races every Sunday at 9am-ish. Phil, do you know where can people find more info about these races? Is a web page about the Bowness races or something?


U of Calgary 2008 Solar Challenge (video)

Monday, 4 August, 2008

Please take a look of what I previously posted (including photos) about the University of Calgary solar car team in this blog entry here.

I hope you enjoy and learn something from the following interview video clip about what happened to the tail of the solar car, the solar cell, the inspiration of the shape of the car, the racing convoy, etc. I hope you have some fun and learn something from it.

See more general coverage of the solar challenge with video here.


U of Michigan 2008 Solar Challenge (video)

Monday, 4 August, 2008

June 24, 2011 Update: Happy Retirement!!! U of Michigan’s Continuum’s New Home in Retirement

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michigan arrives by DArcy Norman

Michigan team crossing finish line (photo by D'Arcy Norman)

Please take a look of what I previously posted (including photos) about the University of Michigan solar car team in this blog entry here.

Thanks to the excellent suggestions of two Michigan families (the Cramers and another family which unfortunately I forgot their last name), I asked for and was granted public interviews (I believe these interviews were the only ones done by the media) with Chito Garcia (long time advisor and mentor) and Chuck Hutchins (long time sponsor of the team, see Chuck’s MDSI bio here). After talking to the families and then to Chito and Chuck, I truly believe Chito’s and Chuck’s long-term involvement in the solar car challenge have definitely played a very important role in the success of the team.

As it was said in this blog entry by the Michigan team as an example, “Chito Garcia, our long time advisor and mentor, has developed many of these Australian relationships over his 15 years of racing with the Team.” Quoting from the sponsors page, “Accompanying the Team on every race since the running of Maize and Blue in 1993, Chuck [Hutchins] has maintained cultural and technical continuity […] Chuck’s experience as an engineer (BSE MEAM ’57) and as an entrepreneur (co-founder of Manufacturing Data Systems Inc.) have proved priceless in the development of our 2007 vehicle, Continuum.”

I hope you enjoy and learn something from the following video. I certainly learned a lot from the Michigan team and families and thanks for being very friendly and nice.

See more general coverage of the solar challenge with video here.


Chatting with Dave Irvine-Halliday – Founder of Light Up The World

Friday, 1 August, 2008
Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World Foundation

Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World

There are only a handful of people that I admire whole-heartedly and Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World, is definitely one of them. You may have read from my previous blog entry that I first read about Dave and Light Up The World when he won the 2002 Saatchi & Saatchi Innovation Award and I’ve wanted to interview Dave since then. Here is my chat with Dave,

Ultimately, illuminating lives are what Light Up The World striving to achieve. Light Up The World put “Let there be light” into practice and reality. Quoting their website,

Through generous support from interested individuals, corporations, host country organizations, international foundations and industrial partners, LUTW has lit up more than 14,000 homes in 42 different countries throughout the developing world from Afghanistan to Zambia. (read more…)

I will try to help LUTW. And you can too!. Please check out their site Light Up The World and see how you can help. Together we can change the world.


Dave Irvine-Halliday – Founder of Light Up The World

Tuesday, 22 July, 2008
Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World Foundation

Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World

I have been a long time admirer of Dr. Dave Irvine-Halliday, founder of Light Up The World, since I read that Dave won the 2002 Saatchi & Saatchi Innovation Award. (A news that I read from my blog friend Kevin Roberts.) And right then, I tried to interview Dave. So you can say that I have been trying to meet and interview Dave for quite some time now. (smile)

Today, I am real happy to say that I finally met and had a great chat with Dave. I will be posting my interview with him when I have finished processing the audio and video interviews. Stay tune.

P.S. Dave and I also talked about microcredit and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus (2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner). And he told me he really admires Muhammad. And I told Dave that I admire him in the same way that he admires Muhammad. Once you understand what Dave has achieved and trying to do with the Light Up The World Foundation, you will understand more.


nextMEDIA 2008 – Idée’s Leila Boujnane (Founder & CEO) and Paul Bloore (Founder, CTO & Inventor)

Monday, 23 June, 2008

nextMEDIA icon.

I was thrilled to meet Idée inc‘s Leila Boujnane and Paul Bloore and had a chance to interview them. You see, I actually first blogged about their cool technologies in Apr 2007. I highly recommend you take a few minutes to check out a few really cool demos at their site.

Without further adieu, here is my interview with Leila Boujnane (Idee’s Founder & CEO) .

Here is my interview with Paul Bloore (Idee’s Founder, CTO & Inventor). Paul has worked on the underlying technologies for years and is one really insightful inventor and businessman.

I am definitely going to pay close attention on the latest development at Idée inc. It is amazing to note that, “Idée’s visual search solutions are the foundation for some of the world’s leading imaging firms, including Adobe Systems Inc., and the most widely adopted solutions in the stock image industry.” They even have Idée Labs for their new new stuff (like Google Labs).


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