Some of the world's rarest books and documents
are stored in the Vatican Library. However, every year only 2000
scholars are allowed to access the 150,000 manuscripts and nearly
two million books!
To bring this store house of knowledge to
a wider audience (and to you as well) the Vatican Library has
teamed up with the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro
and IBM, to create a database, so that images and manuscripts
can be displayed on computer screens internationally. The Images
could be stored on CD-ROM or distributed across networks. So,
now you can stay at home and get your PhD.
HAD ANY FUZZY IDEAS?
"Fuzzy Logic" came, as you might
expect (?), from the University of California in the 1960s. Dr
Lotfi Zadeh, an electrical engineer, observed that a lot of the
words we use are like mathematical concepts. The words "many"
and "few" are like numbers. "Frequently"
and "rarely" are like probabilities. And "Very"
and "somewhat" are like multiplication or division.
Dr Zadeh thought that these words were like mathematical concepts,
but not quite, because they were "fuzzy". So he came
up with the theory of "fuzzy logic". We won't go into
the details of the theory now, but Dr Michio Sugeno of Tokyo University
of Technology has been able to mimic "fuzzy logic".
He has made a remote controlled helicopter that responds to
the human voice! He is able to "tell" his helicopter
to move "somewhat" to the left and "sort of"
You'll be surprised to know that your 1990s
heating/cooling system may be controlled by fuzzy logic control
units. It works out what you "feel" is a "pleasant"
room temperature! An ancient Greek philosopher, Zeno, asked, "If
you remove the grains from a pile of sand one at a time, at what
point does it cease to be a pile?" What is your fuzzy answer
An operator in an office in Perth, Western
Australia, studies a monitor, and with a couple of key strokes
on a computer, adjusts the temperature and humidity in an office
building. The interesting thing is that the office building is
in Singapore, one of 50 in that city, the conditions for which
are controlled from Perth! EMS Control Systems, an Australian
company is finding a ready market for such systems in Asian cities.
Mohan Bhagwandas, Australia