Sharing on Artificial Intelligence for Education with High School Teachers

I was honoured to be asked to share my views on the application of artificial intelligence in education. It was Pak Tomas, the headmaster of SMP 10 Yogyakarta (junior high school), who came up with the idea. I was invited to share with teachers on the utilization of artificial intelligence in teaching.

It was an exciting yet challenging experience. First, teaching teachers was not easy. Second, it was not something falling within my expertise. It was not maritime boundaries, nor geospatial aspects of the law of the sea. I had to talk about something that I have been using but I am by no means an expert. It was fun though.

Apart from the fact how the teachers were excited when I shared with them the use of ChatGPT, for example, I discovered something even more important. Even though the school is located in Yogyakarta, the same city with UGM, the university where I am teaching, those teachers did not see themselves to have good access to researchers and professors at UGM.

My coming to the school was not only about sharing knowledge. It was about breaking the wall between the school and UGM. I understood better their view and situation. By interacting closely with the teachers, I managed to understand a number of issues regarding the root of problems I have been facing in dealing with my students. It is good to understand the education practice of schools where my university students come from.

I really hope more professors  in UGM and other universities spare their busy time to share with elementary and high school teachers. We need to narrow the gap between us.

Teaching at UNY from the Airport

On 17 April 2023,  I was invited by my colleague at the State University fo Yogyakarta (UNY) to speak at a seminar/workshop. It was about international collaboration. The content is something that I have been familiar with for the last couple of years. I said yes even though it was not easy. I arrived from Singapore and I was still at the airport by the time I was scheduled to speak.

My flight was delayed for more than 30 minutes and it was too late for my session. The organiser was nice enough to move my session to a later schedule with a hope that I would be able to make it. I did, in fact, but it was not from a proper place. I could not reach a more representative spot at the airport until my schedule was on, so I sat down on the floor and performed.

It was an important session, attended by leaders and management of UNY. I show the room and it was a seminar with big audiences. I better be good. I started by showing the audience a picture of me sitting down on the floor while giving a lecture. I think it worked for an intermezzo. The lecture went well.

A Lecture at CIL, National University of Singapore

I gave a lecture at the Center for International Law (CIL), National University of Singapore on 14 April 2023. It was a closed-door lecture for the topic was reasonable sensitive. I talked about maritime boundary delimitation in the South China Sea, especially regarding the one recently agreed upon by Indonesia and Vietnam.

Prof. Bob Beckman was there during the lecture attended by people from the Attorney General and the Marine and Port Authority. We had an intimate and engaging conversation about issues around the South China Sea. I also learned a lot from the interaction.

GeoSharing: Disseminating Geospatial Expertise and Research

The first program I am running as the new head of the Master of Geomatic Engineering is GeoSharing. The program provides students to share their ideas and curiosity regarding geospatial issues, research and application. One student is asked to prepare a presentation and other would comment and ask questions. That way, a good discussion can take place. This is my way to help students enhance their scientific capacity.

On the first episode of GeoSharing, the presentation was made by Calvin Wijaya, a master student, who was in the preparation of his final thesis examination. Calvin presented at GeoSharing as a ‘rehearsal’ for his thesis defense examination.  In addition, we also learned how to present scientific contents in a friendly manner, in such a ways that the laymen would also understand. That is not easy but possible.

In his thesis, Calvin explores the application of machine learning for automatic object recognition in terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) application.  Geospatial professionals generally understand the application of TLS in capturing objects in 3D manner. TLS can capture objects in such a way that the objects are geometrically accurate. However, recognising the description and character of the objects is a different thing. The main question is how to implement machine learning to automatically recognise  objects(name, type) captured using TLS.  I can imagine that the research can be widely applicable in the future.

Most important thing is that students learned how to create friendly environment for research and scientific activities. See you in the next GeoSharing.

Giving a Lecture on Maritime Boundaries in Southeast Asia at UNDIP

I started April 2023 with an exciting journey to Semarang, Central Java. I was invited to give a lecture at the Department of International Relation of Universitas Diponegoro. Why would a surveyor/engineer like me be invited to lecture future political scientists? Because maritime boundary is an important issue that those future diplomats, students of the International Relation of UNDIP, need to understand and I happen to focus my research and studies on the issue.

The lecture went well. I started the lecture in a fancy theatre hall. Everyone was excited until an accident took place. There was an electricity outage  and we have to wait a couple of minutes until we moved to another room. It was so exciting that the students enjoyed my class during even the waiting period. The theatre was dark  but it did not prevent them from asking quality questions. I really enjoyed the conversation.

In the new room, we also had fun and students were active in asking good questions. It was unfortunate that we run out of time so I need to stop. I had to return to Jogja for I would have a gathering with some students

A New Chapter of Life: Head of Study Program of Master of Geomatic Engineering

I have taken a bold decision to end my term as the Head of the Office of International Affairs (OIA) of Universitas Gadjah Mada. Since  1 April 2023 I am no longer the head of OIA after serving at the position for almost nine years. I served four rectors, three vice rectors and four different directors. What a journey.

Upon returning to the department of Geodetic Engineering, I am appointed as the Head of the Master Program in Geomatic Engineering. This is a new world for me but I am sure, this can also be super exciting. The program has been there for more than 20 years and has around 40 students at one time.  I am continuing the role of Ibu Yeni, my senior, who is now appointed as the head of the doctor study program. She has done great during her term and I will need to fill a big shoes. I will do my best.

Ibu Yeni, my predecessor, and me

I tried to act swiftly. On the first week, I invited some students for a discussion to hear what they have to say. My first priority is to learn as much as possible s so I can work and serve as effective as I can. We decided to run some programs to help students gain more advantage during their study. The first program is GeoSharing where student can share their ideas on geospatial research and application in a friendly environment. The second one is InSharing (Instagram/Inspirative Sharing) where we will have an Instagram Live, conversing with prominent figure to talks about geospatial issues.

I am sure will be an exciting journey. As exciting as how I will make it to be.