University of Alberta

Dr. Gordon Gow is Associate Professor in Communication and Technology, University of Alberta delivered a speech “Stewarding Technology for Inclusive Innovation,” at the SSHRC Success Stories 2014 event
Date: October 15, 2012 Time: 09:00 AM – 1:00 PM Location: Inservice Training Institute, Gannoruwa, Peradeniya The Department of Agriculture, in conjunction with LIRNEasia, University of Peradeniya Faculty of Agriculture, University of Alberta, and University of Guelph will be hosting a workshop on the use of low cost information and communication technology (ICT) for individuals working across the agricultural sector. The workshop will provide an introduction and basic training on the use of free and open source software to enable community groups and individuals to set up very easily and then use the simple but powerful tools for communication, information collection, knowledge sharing, data visualization, and interactive mapping. The workshop will cover three basic platforms: • FrontlineSMS (text messaging and radio interface) • Ushahidi (interactive mapping) • Freedom Fone (interactive voice response) There is no cost to attend the workshop but seating is limited. Please register your interest in participating through LIRNEasia by contacting : nuwan [at] lirneasia [dot] net Click to download the workshop announcement
I just received my copy of the book: Biosruveillance methods and case studies edited by Taha Kass-Hout and Xiaohui Zhang. I first met Taha in cyberspace when he was with InSTEDD, we had started a Google group: Biosurveillance, which we use as a knowledge-base. Their approach to disease surveillance was through “event-based surveillance” and our approach was through “indicator-based surveillance” but both converging at finding signals for timely public health alerts that would advocate early control measures. We had contributed three chapters in the context of the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program pilot (RTBP) – Chapter 9: “The role of Data Aggregation in Public Health and Food Safety Surveillance” – Artur Dubrawski Chapter 13: “User Requirements towards a Real-Time Biosurveillance Program” – Nuwan Waidyanatha and Suma Prashant Chapter 14: “Using Common Alerting Protocol to Support a Real-Time Biosurveillance Program in India and Sri Lanka” – Gordon A. Gow and Nuwan Waidyanatha.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s show – The National “Lifelines” – did a news program on the Real-Time Biosurveillance Program carried out in India and Sri Lanka; watch the clip here.
Dr. Gordon Gow presented the working paper titled; The future of community-based hazard information systems: Insights from the Internet sharing economy. Dr. Gow who was previously at the LSE is now an Associate Professor at University of Alberta. The presentation began by looking at situations where systems/programmes are developed but only to fall to disuse.
Exactly seven years from yesterday (still today to some), early in the morning on September 11, 2001, nineteen hijackers took control of four commercial airliners en route to San Francisco and Los Angeles from Boston, Newark, and Washington, D.C. The hijackers flew two of the airliners, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center. Another group of hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon. A fourth flight, United Airlines Flight 93, whose ultimate target was either the United States Capitol or White House, crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Gordon Gow, a lead researcher in the Last-Mile Hazard Warning System (LM-HWS) Pilot (HazInfo project), presented the paper titled – “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Sri Lanka: Performance of Alerting and Notification in a Last-Mile Message Relay” at the 1st Wireless Rural and Emergency Communications (WRECOM) Conference in Rome, Italy, Oct 01-02. One of Gordon Gow’s key contributions to the HazInfo project was the Common Alerting Protocol Profile for Sri Lanka, which was a hard case as far as integrating the multi-language scenario as it is the case in Sri Lanka. The CAP Profile for Sri Lanka was designed for disseminations in Sinhala, Tamil, and English languages. Such a complex profile of CAP was field tested in Sri Lanka’s HazInfo project. This was the first time a Multilanguage profile was field tested in the World.
The HazInfo paper titled “Last-Mile Hazard Warning in Sri Lanka: Performance of WorldSpace Satellite Radios for Emergency Alerts”, coauthored by Srinivasan Rangarajan, PhD (Senior Vice President Engineering, WorldSpace), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Simon Fraser University), Gordon Gow, PhD (Assistant Professor, University of Alberta), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, LIRNEasia) was accepted for oral/poster presentation at the Wireless Personal Multimedia Communications (WPMC) at The Birla Science and Technology Center in the heart of Jaipur, India, December 03 – 06, 2007. WorldSpace, a lead technology partner in the HazInfo research project, field tested 16 Addressable Radios for Emergency Alerts (AREAs) in the Sarvodaya Communities and 34 AREAs in the Sarvodaya District Centers. Although the AREA solutions lacked bi-directional communication and seemed the least effective, the AREA solution proved to be the most reliable that worked with utmost certainty and greatest efficiency even when GSM and CDMA cells were deactivated for over 2 months, at the beginning of this year, during military operations in the conflict prone North-East regions of Sri Lanka. The HazInfo research introduced a concept called “complementary redundancy”, where coupling the AREA addressable/broadcast technology with a GSM mobile phone or CDMA nomadic phone improves the overall performance (reliability and effectiveness) […]
Paper titled “Community-based Hazard Warnings in Rural Sri Lanka: Performance of a Last-Mile Message Relay”, authors – Gordon Gow (Associate Professor, Faculty of Extensions, University of Alberta, Canada), Peter Anderson (Associate Professor, Department of Telematics, Simon Fraser University, Canada), and Nuwan Waidyanatha (Project Manager, Last-Mile Hazard Warning Systems, LIRNEasia, Sri Lanka), will be presented at the 1st Wireless Rural Emergency Communication Conference. The WRECOM 2007 Conference is jointly organized by the University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, the IEEE Communications Society and the Vehicular Technology/Communications Society joint Chapter Italy Section. The conference will take place in Rome, October 1-2, 2007. The HazInfo project realized that early warnings via Information Communication Technology (ICT) must be a point-to-multi-point application and is best accommodate by Wireless ICTs. The HazInfo pilot included outfitting and field-testing an initial 32 villages with various combinations of wireless communication equipment, which could provide features such as: early warning wake-up, addressability and provision of information in three languages (English, Sinhalese and Tamil).
Assume a scenario where among the chief complaint strings of two unrelated patients in the same District on the same date there was a mention of bloody stools in pediatric cases. The multiple mentions of “bloody stools” or “pediatric” might not be surprising, but the tying together of these two factors, given matching geographic locations and timings of reporting, is sufficiently rare that seeing only two such cases is of interest. This was precisely the evidence that was the first noticeable signal of the tragic Walkerton, Canada, waterborne bacterial gastroenteritis outbreak caused by contamination of tap water in May 2000. That weak signal was spotted by an astute physician, not by a surveillance system. Reliable automated detection of such signals in multivariate data requires new analytic approaches.
Nandan Jayasinghe — We will start the event by lighting the traditional oil lamp. Next is a 2 minute meditation. Nuwan Waidyanatha — Welcome all partners including, Dr. Gordon Gow (University of Alberta), Dr. Dileeka Dias (Director Dialog Communication Research Lab), Prof Rohan Samarajiva (Director LIRNEasia), Mr.