Saturday, April 20, 2013

Preparing for The FINAL Final Exam

It’s almost the end of my undergraduate study. What’s the remaining will be the FINAL final exam, the real FINAL of my undergraduate study in NTU, which will end on 10th of May. Woohoo! Now, all my lessons are over, and the only thing I need to do is to study for three papers 3 weeks later.

I just ended my final class on Friday, the only Physics module I took in this semester, Quantum Electronics (QE), which is about the optical physics. I like optics. In fact, I love optics. I planned to take this course since 2 years ago.

This QE is very theoretical, compared to other applied physics modules. Perhaps, the professor is a theoretical physicist. Most of what he taught us are the derivations, starting from Maxwell equation, to the wave equation, to the rate equation applied in two level LASER system, to the theory of LASER based on the equations which include the consideration of optical pumping, active media, homogenous and non-homogenous broadening, and population inversion. These are optics, cool stuff indeed.

What I learn from this QE is in fact not just purely knowing how to derive the equation, but to understand the capability of how Physics quantified a system and transform this real thing into equations. Maxwell equations are too great, it was most general equation for optical physics. We started everything from there. But, to really understand how we get Maxwell equations, it’s too far beyond my reach. But I know that, it’s not necessary as I am not going into very theoretical, I am just applying of what I have learnt, instead of developing something from nothing. Learning physics is cool, it trained my analytic skill, to analyse something very critically, deeply inside, and quantified it. Number is strong, it’s a ‘convincing agent’, and physics is using the number and theories to prove the world it is how it is.

Besides QE, another two courses I took were Product Innovation and Management, and Integrated Supply Chain. This two course are from minor of System Management, engineering school. Getting into NTU is not easy, and it’s not cheap. If I live my Uni life by only learning Physics without others, it will be a waste for me. Therefore, I broaden my knowledge area to engineering and management as well.

Product Innovation and Management, talking about how to be innovative, and why innovative is important in this technological era. Not only about how to be innovative, but also how to manage the innovation. This is very interesting course. An innovative product might not be successful. We need to know how to sells our idea, commercialise it, manage it, and protect it. The case study that I have just done was talking about how Microsoft develop the Xbox. Xbox is innovative, although it might not be the first game console in the market. We have Sony PlayStation, Nintendo and Sega. But, Xbox still manage to fight for a certain market share. Why? Not because it’s just innovative, or new, but it has a good management. Management of the cost, marketing and advertising strategy, development, supply chain, and transforming the ideas to money.

When we touched on supply chain, it is linked to my another course, Integrated Supply Chain. This is a very good complement for the course I just described. We played a demonstration game during the course. We are to manage the inventory of a factory, trying to minimize all the possible cost, including the inventory holding cost, ordering cost, and the opportunity cost of losing the bank interest by saving money in the bank. Besides, we are taught about the importance of product design as well. Time postponement might help to bring down the inventory cost, and the safety stock, by re-design the product such that it can be customize to fit customer’s need as late as possible, to a point where the demand is unpredictable. The illustrations and examples are clear enough, showing us a very good picture of how importance it is to have a good management in supply chain.

Those are practical and useful, if I am assigned to the management job, or I have a company consists of a production line. Or, even retail shops can implement this management skill too.

Well, writing this helps a lot in my revision. Haha! Get back to study first. Ciao~

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