IELTS

We have already known TOEFL as Test of English as Foreign Language, but now The International English language Testing System is a standard of English as well. Instead of listening, structure and reading comprehension, IELTS devide the test into: Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking. From zero to nine, the score of IELTS is average of that test sessions. For example, I’ve got 6.0 band (overall) that consist scores of Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking: 5.5, 6.0, 6.0, and 6.0 consecutively.

The range between each band is only 0.5, so we never heard IELTS score 5.25. IELTS gave a name for each band 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as:

          0. : Did not attempt the test
  1. : Non User
  2. : Intermittent User
  3. : Extremely Limited User
  4. : Limited User
  5. : Modest User
  6. : Competent User
  7. : Good User
  8. : Very Good User
  9. : Expert User

The band 5.5 is called Nearly Competent User with word “Nearly”. If you want to study abroad, you must take IELTS Academic Test instead of General Test. For the social studies e.g. Law, Language, Nursery, Medical, Farmacy, and so on, you must reach band 7.0 in most universites, but for engineering sometimes band 5.5 is allowed, but becareful, the administrator also see the band for each sesion test. It is save if you got writing and speaking sessions at least 6.0 because some universities, e.g. University of Technology Sydney, gave the requirements IELTS band 5.5 but score for Writing and Speaking no less then 6.0.

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Competitive Research Grant Presentation

Dikti does not support the Young Lecturer Research grant anymore, but it still supports the Competitive research grant. It is difficult to get this grant because we have to present our research proposal first. On 5 December 2011, I presented my research proposal at Educational University of Indonesia (UPI) Bandung. My Research Proposal has a title “The evaluation and optimation of gas station building in Bekasi by using genetic algorithm”.


There were two group who would present the proposal: Main group and Guiding group. My university was member of guiding group that must be guided by other universities. Our group consists of 17 universities. Every leader of research presented for about 10 minutes before asked more about her/his research proposal by the interviewer, Mr Anton and Mrs Nenden.


After waiting for about 45 minutes, I presented my research proposal in front of other participants. I must reduced my power point because every presenter only needed 10 minutes. I must waited two other speakers before asked with so many questions. The first interviewer asked me whether my proposal was for competitive or fundamental grant. I was very surprised when listened that question. Fortunately, after little explanation about the content of my research proposal, he said that it was only wrong title, not wrong proposal. The second interviewer, Mrs Nenden, only asked simple and easy question about what research that I have done. I explained about my last research such as attendance system, engineering calculation, and so on. When all participants finished, I was disappointed because my watch showed that I miss my train to Yogyakarta, but I was very happy when my wife phoned me and said if our tickets were bought back by our national train department.

Interested again in Pencils

After filling a portofolio form of lecturer certification, I feel free now. I took a trip around Yogyakarta, and after buying a lot of book at gramedia Yogyakarta, I try to enhance my writing skill in in English. It is about pencil, the oldest tool for modern writing. You have used it when studying at elementary school.

In nineteen century, the philosophers  David Henry Thoreou developed pencil by his family manufacture. He separate pencil according to hardness and carbon contain in number 2, 3, 4, and so on. But the production stopped when England had found a big graphite resources which is a main component of pencils.

One advantage in using pencil is we can erase if we have an error on our writing. Of course we can use eraser for pen, but it leaves a stain in the paper, and sometime can break the paper. The pencil is appropriate for children who learn writing. It also has no dangerous liquid in ink as a mixture.

Now I always use pencil when taking an IELTS course at PPB UGM Yogyakarta. I do not know why I love pencil now. When I write something using a pencil, I can express my emotion and of course I use it for TOEFL and IELTS exam.

About Rp. 1 Billion/Person for Ph.D Dikti Scholarship

On 6-7th October 2011 some university in Australia gave presentation about their university at language education center of gadjah mada university (PPB UGM). The university are Curtin, Sidney, Adelaide and many more. After they had presented, the Dikti staff, Mrs Merry, gave an explanation about the scholarship. She explained why Dikti, the government institution which has a highest authority of high education, give 1,000 place for scholarship to study in Australia.

The English course at PPB UGM now is for second time (Batch – 2). From this course Dikti hope all of participants pass the IELTS score above 6.0, because some university require IELTS score 7.0. Fortunately, some subject (it my subject :)), only require minimum IELTS scor 6.0 and Mrs Merry, as an agent for scholarship in Australia, give dispensation if some one who participate in this course have IELTS score only 5.5, but he/she have to attand to 10 weeks IELTS course held by INSEARCH. Fortunately it’s free. At the end of speaking Mrs merry said that if you have finished your study by Dikti scholarship, you must go back to Indonesia, because one person for Ph.D degree, our government needs Rp. 1 Billion.

Checking Your Writing

Writing something in your blog will make your writing ability improve. For someone, writing is a difficult thing. How to make our writing easy to understand, interresting, coheren and grammatically right is the reason for someone to avoid writing. I thinks we must try to write somethings about everything for example, your own idea about hot news, your teaching’s modul or just write about your expression.

In order our writing skill improve, of course we must check our writing. In UK or USA, may be you must pay someone to check your writing, but I suggest you to check your writing by using information technology. You must be know google (www.translate.google.com), the famous sites, that can be help you correcting the wrong words. If you want to check your writing for errors or plagiarism, you should use another site for example http://www.grammarly.com

This site is very interesting for me as an IT lecturer because it include some soft computing algorithms. They can know weather our spelling, punctuation, style are good enough. It also know if our writing is a plagiarism. Here is the answer about my last writing, what a bad result !

Artificial Neural Network Tutorial for Matlab (Presentation)

Artificial Neural Network (ANN) is my favorit algoritm because it use analogy of biological neural system. It is very interesting, neurons and axons convert to algorithm of transfer function and weight that can be adjust by activity called “learning”. When doing learning, ANN use some iteration to match the target with the input by changing it weight and some correction number, called bias.

Classification, Pattern Matching, signature identification, and other similar usage usually use ANN with some modification on input data and target. Because ANN has an ability to store memory on it neurons, some vendor use it for Pattern Matching application. There are some problem when using ANN, because when training, a lot of memory must be available if you don’t want your system being “hang”. The learning algorithm usually use the famous one, called backpropagation (from John Hopfield invention). But some research add other soft computing algorithms to enhanced the speed of learning and accuracy.

The language for creating ANN may be C++, Java or the easiest one, Matlab. I use Matlab for most of my application. Of course there is a classic problem by using Matlab, the lisence. But some language, for example, Octave, Scilab, etc, are open source and free for download. And the most important is the same syntax with Matlab. Of course we must build our function of ANN in open source language, because a lot of function (called M-file) does not available. If you want to know more about ANN with Matlab you can see www.mathworks.com or other millist, for example www.techsource.com.sg and free for sign up. This is a presentation form of explanation about ANN using Matlab you can download from techsource. Please find by your self in www.google.com.


Ok .. if you could not find, this is the link for download from my own storage: http://www.ziddu.com/download/16472066/neuralnetworkinmatlabtutorialpresentation.rar.html

Security vs Educating User

Security is main concern for microsoft coorporation. Since windows Xp sp 2, it included firewalls on its product, even though in sp 1 windows had used firewalls even must be set manually. After launch windows 7, microsoft introduce anti virus which have a life time lisence. But microsoft sometimes could not educate user well, for example in windows 7 there is suggestion when entering the hot spot area to push the button on the router. Can you imagine if your staff do this at your office?