Home / 2016 / Science Fortnightly: UNSW’s 2015-in-Review

Science Fortnightly: UNSW’s 2015-in-Review

Currently Aiming to finish your Final Thesis Report? Or perhaps you are just starting at UNSW as a first year? Either way, you have a long year ahead of you! Here’s a bit of motivation before the semester starts. Let us review some of UNSW accomplishments from 2015 as we head out for a new semester in 2016.

Depressed or Not? Ask your mobile!

Welcome to the ‘Mobile mood App ‘. How does it work? Simple. The app recognizes patterns of our social network usage and whenever we start to defer from the regular patterns, it raises the alarm for potential depression. Mobile Mood App can recognize whether you are depressed even before you make the connection  yourself.

Depression is five times higher among Uni students than any other population group
Depression is five times higher among Uni students than any other population group

The research is conducted by the Black Dog Institute in partnership with Amazon and CSIRO. The app is programmed to recognize how we socialize, the number of times we go in and out of Facebook, number of Twitter posts a day, who are the other users we engage with in our day to day. All this information is first collected and is then ‘de-identified’ making the data anonymous. The app then detects and reports potential decline in mental stability. The app can recognize our depression long before physical and behavioral changes, like eating disorders, hair loss etc.

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Australia Topples Germany

UNSW's Robocup Champions for the second year running!
UNSW’s Robocup Champions for the second year running!

In a tense match against Germany, sUNSWift was successful in collecting their second ‘Robocup World Soccer Championship’. With 2015 gone, Will we emerge Champions again at the Robocup 2016 to be held at Leipzig, Germany? Will our long time rivals, Germany, emerge an even bigger challenge on their home turf? We will keep our fingers crossed!

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The Terminator Comes Alive!

Recall the Terminator? They were strong enough to withstand machine guns and regenerates due to their liquid metal like constituents. Last Year UNSW researchers were successful in creating such a material. This ‘futuristic alloy’ is known as ‘metallic glass’. It has a super combination of super strength and ultra flexibility.

Terminator a reality?
Terminator a reality?

Unlike the many pre-existing metallic glass, this material is easier and cheaper to use. Which means no longer will metallic glass usage be limited to high end products like golf clubs and iPhones; they can be made used over many more day to day electronic and telecommunication devices as well.

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Memory ink

An on-going project to create a transparent computer led to the discovery of ‘Memory Ink’. It is a one-of-a-kind high performance memory. Printable electronics maybe as common as the smartphones with the application of ‘Memory Ink’ underway.

Credits to Myles Gough

The material is made of a rare earth metal that comprises of cubes that are up to 10 nano-meters thick. Once and inkjet printer deposits the cubes on a conductive surface, current is supplied. This leads to the cubes interchanging between its’ resistive state and conductive state. This interchanging process is key in encoding Digital information , a series of ones and zeroes, on the ink.

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3000km Solar Challenge

Credits to Wilson Da Silva

sUNSWift eVe holds the world record for the fastest electric car. It is a sports car that was built and run by UNSW Engineering students. Having celebrated its 20th Birthday in August 2015,  sUNSWift once again made us proud placing 4th at the World Solar Car Challenge held in Adelaide. The race was over a 3022 km distance and was run solely using the power of the sun.

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Possible Aliens?

UNSW researchers found a potential habitable planet outside of our solar system. The researchers have high hopes for this planet. It is said to have characteristics that support the existence of a rocky terrain at the surface of the planet along with the possibility of retaining liquid water. These two characteristics together maybe the epitome of possible life.

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The accomplishments below are only a few of last year. The many research, discoveries and accomplishments of UNSW Science & Technology can be heartily considered innumerable. However, a few are listed below. Each accomplishment is the products of strenuous hard work which shows exactly what UNSW students, professors and researchers are capable of!




About Dinushi Mudalige

Hey! I am a first year at UNSW and will write to Blitz about everything and anything related to Science!

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