Science for the Children of the Nation
Hendra Gunawan (56), Professor of Mathematics at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), educates the nation\'s children through a blog that contains information.
Hendra Gunawan (56), Professor of Mathematics at the Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), educates the nation\'s children through a blog that contains information. He inspires Indonesian children to love science and technology by building reasoning and creative abilities.
Hendra has been productive in producing international scientific publications, writing books related to mathematics, and sharing knowledge and inspiration by utilizing the digital world. The figure who studies pure mathematics has an international reputation with various achievements.
As a scientist, Hendra has an interest in Fourier analytical research and functional analysis. His productivity as a mathematical scientist can be seen from his scientific work in 1992-2020. In 2020, there were four publications related to Fourier\'s analysis out of a total of 48 publications since 1992. There were also 42 scientific papers on functional analysis from 2000.
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On December 28, 2020, Hendra announced his latest book, Topics in Fourier Analysis and Functional Analysis. His productivity is proven by receiving the Habibie Award in 2016 for the Basic Science category.
The findings have the potential to be applied to data processing looking for similarities, as does the Google search engine when someone searches for images with certain keywords.
One of Hendra\'s publications contains research results that revise the Risteski and Trencevski\'s formula related to the concept of angles between two sub-spaces. The findings have the potential to be applied to data processing looking for similarities, as does the Google search engine when someone searches for images with certain keywords.
"I like pure mathematics. For me, the pure one is a real brain game. There are problems, but no object. [You] cannot use computer assistance. [It] really tests the mental, ideas. It takes imagination, so it\'s like playing,” said Hendra who was contacted in Bandung at the end of December 2019.
Being a Professor of Mathematics since 2006, Hendra has consistently conducted research. He said his motivation was no longer to pursue lecturer cumulative credit score (KUM) or points. There is another motivation, namely for the development of science itself. Another thing is for the future generations to not only know Pythagoras, but also develop new theories.
For a long time now, Hendra has focused on various policies, from basic education to higher education. He was invited as an expert in a number of Education and Cultural Ministry programs. Hendra was surprised by the condition of education, especially parts where they were still minimal in honing students\' rational and creative abilities. He was among those who criticized the 2013 Curriculum.
"Children need nutritious knowledge. I don\'t think about Mathematics, but science (IPA), which are also close to Mathematics. The goal is primarily to hone a culture of reasoning,” said Hendra.
In 2013, Hendra realized that his efforts were in vain. "The change in education has not yet happened. Finally, I decided I had to “go down the mountain” to do something more tangible,” said Hendra.
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Initially, Hendra was involved with a number of ITB scientists who presented the issue of reasoned culture in education. He and his colleagues had the thought of continuing to create a virtual school. However, the idea did not work because it was not easy to run it while being a lecturer.
After chatting with the SOS Children\'s Villages director Gregorius Hadiyanto Nitihardjo, he received input to create a blog that answers questions from children\'s curiosity, about anything. The idea opened Hendra\'s mind. Learn from the needs of children who want to know many things.
Then, he invited experts or scientists from various fields to answer children\'s questions through the anakbertanya.com blog. This blog answers children\'s curiosity.
The content of the blog starts with answering children\'s questions from SOS Children\'s Villages. He invites acquaintances, scientists, experts, or practitioners to answer the children\'s questions.
From there, Hendra saw a variety of children\'s curiosity. The children\'s questions were then categorized into four topics, namely nature and life, earth and environment, social and economic issues, and human work and action. A collection of writings on the blog is also organized into a book.
The blog readership ranges from 2,000-3,000 per day. In 2014, Hendra visited a school in Bandung during the commemoration of National Education Day which was attended by 100 children. Then the idea emerged to create an event for children that invited various communities so that they could ask anything.
Then in 2015, the idea emerged to hold the Children Asking Festival. This festival takes place every year in Bandung, but in 2020 it was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The event is expected to answer children\'s curiosity about science and technology. The festival presents nutritious creativity from various communities that can inspire children.
The first time it was held, it was attended by around 1,800 children plus their companions.
At that time, the festival held in Sabuga was attended by around 30 communities. There is a mini cinema, a paper airplane making competition, and archery. The first time it was held, it was attended by around 1,800 children plus their companions. Now, the number can reach 5,000 visitors every year.
"Every year, I seem to be able to confirm that the children need this event. Parents realize this is something they don\'t get at school. Children can forget their gadgets and do activities all day long, "said Hendra.
Hendra also created other blogs, namely bermatematika.net, indonesia2045.com, and bersains.wordpress.com to share his knowledge with the public. He is optimistic that the decision to "go down the mountain" as a scientist will bring good results. This effort was carried out as a campaign to popularize science. "Has it been bearing fruit? Not yet. But, I still continue, [I] must not get tired and stop," said Hendra.
Place, DOB: December 29, 1964
- Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from ITB (1987)
- Doctor of Mathematics from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (1987)
- Professor of Mathematics at ITB
- Head of Internal Audit Unit at ITB
- Member of the Indonesian Academy of Scientists - Editorial Member of East Asian Journal on Applied Mathematics
- Habibie Award for Basic Science category from the Science and Technology Human Resources Foundation (Yayasan SDM Iptek)
- The Indonesian Communications Award for Public Communications in the Education Sector from the Communications and Information Ministry (2016)
- Ganesa Wira Utama award from the ITB rector (2014)
- Universitas Indonesia Mathematics and Science Faculty (MIPA UI) Columbia Award for The Most Contributive Mathematician (2011)
- Australian Alumni Award for Excellence in Education from Australia Education International (2009) Among others.
(This article was translated by Stella Kusumawardhani)