Graham Cottew’s career has seen him work in a wide range of disciplines and industries, but as Zendata takes his career into a new phase, he still sees himself principally as an applied mathematician.
“Mathematics allows you to model and explain events in the real world, from simple to highly complex, and subsequently to predict what will happen next.
“The interaction between science and nature is where Zendata works”, according to Cottew, “and as substantial computing power has become more and more affordable, we’re now able to build some very capable machines which can monitor many events and constantly readjust the settings of a machine to maintain optimum performance.”
“Computers can monitor a set of processes flawlessly, and thanks to recent advances such as neural networks and fuzzy logic, computers are now getting to the point where they can take on a character of their own, making decisions and value judgements more akin to those made by human beings.”
“Indeed, computers can now administer a set of rules well enough to approach and in many cases surpass that of a highly trained human being.”
“A perfect example of this type of process is in a state-of-the-art jet fighter plane. Humans don’t really fly these planes any longer, because they simply don’t have the ability – the movement of the ailerons,rudder and other surface controls are controlled by computer and the pilot really just chooses the direction via a joystick while the computer ensures that the pointy end is at the front! These planes are inherently unstable and would fall out of the sky if the computer ever failed. Essentially, they’re flown by computer and guided by humans.”
“Fuzzy logic is adaptive and hence it is very useful in many of the applications we need to develop. In our robotics work, for example, ” said Cottew, “we have used fuzzy logic to learn the behavioral characteristics of a piece of physical equipment, then adapt its control algorithms to suit that equipment as it ages and as its environment changes without human intervention.”
“Our real-time control software was developed with this in process in mind – not just to control the existing applications, such as our Automotive Quality Assurance System, but to allow engineers to quickly develop more advanced control processes.”
Graham completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics (Distinction) at Monash University in 1972, a Graduate Diploma of Meteorology in 1973 and a Graduate Diploma of Data Processing, also from Monash University in 1975.
Since that time Graham has specialised in implementing diverse applications of science and information technology in many industries. The nature of Graham’s work is such that in many cases it is subject to non-disclosure agreements and in some cases far more onerous conditions related to national security, and hence many areas of superbly implemented applied technology must be overlooked here. In general however, the only constant in Graham’s career has been the application of bleeding edge technologies to achieve extraordinary results.
By working through his own consultancy, Graham has had the opportunity to work in a variety of fields as the client listing below clearly demonstrates. An articulate communicator, Graham has written and conducted workshops and seminars on a variety of technology-related subjects, and is an occasional columnist in the computer press.
Membership of Professional Bodies
- Member of Australian Computer Society
- Fellow of Royal Meteorological Society
- Member of Wireless Institute of Australia
- Australian Telecommunications User Group
- Telecommunication Society of Australia
- IEEE Software Engineering Group