NUS students win 2nd place at CHI 2010

Four undergraduates from the National University of Singapore (NUS), Ms Vu Giang Thanh, Mr Muhammad Shafi B Rafie, Mr Muhammad Farkhan B Salleh, and Ms Tan Xiu Fang have combined popular networking tools to create a fresh interactive experience that will enable a user to walk in another man’s shoes. This idea stood out amongst [ more than 90 entries from  16 countries] to clinch second place at the CHI2010 Student Design Competition held in Atlanta, Georgia in April 2010.

The prototype, Living Avatar’s Network (LAN), opens up a unique avenue where users can interact with each other in real-time while allowing one user to gain a first-hand experience of the other user’s actions. For example, the new system will allow a physically disabled user to experience an outdoor adventure in real-time such as trekking or even sky-diving in the comfort of the home. The user can also determine and give instructions to a Living Avatar to carry out a task.

The team of four students from the Communications and New Media (CNM) programme at the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences foresee that this platform can bridge more gaps of physical boundaries, such as distance between locals and tourists, physique between the young and old or even serve as a novel business solution by outsourcing an experience to a professional as a Living Avatar to carry out the task and stream it to the user via LAN .

With LAN, online users are now empowered to venture beyond the confines of a virtual environment. It is also designed for people to participate in interactive walks or other activities during which images, voice and personal experiences  are transmitted simultaneously and instantaneously between users. Mundane tasks such as supermarket shopping, catching a bus or even walking the dog, will be transformed to amusing, interactive activities as users share their actions, thoughts, memories and instructions via real-time mobile video.

Easily synchronised with existing technologies, the LAN  platform requires only four items – a laptop, web-cam, wireless internet connection and an account to a social networking site. (headset?)

CHI2010 Student Design Competition

Held from 10 to 15 April 2010, the competition is part of the prestigious international design conference – ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Participants in this year’s competition faced the challenge of designing an object, interface, system or service that would positively motivates people to take a walk. This is the first time that an NUS team has won in this seven-year old competition.

The students had originally designed LAN  for an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Programme on heritage and location based media, supervised by Assistant Professor Denise Kera  from the CNM programme, Dr Connor Graham, professional ethnographer of interactive media and independent researcher based in Singapore, and PhD student Ms Inosha Wickrama from the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering.

Random Blends, Student Multimedia Showcase

Random Blends 2010 is the second public exhibition of students’ work  by the Communications & New Media Programme. Held between 19 – 28 March, this multimedia exhibit comprised of photographs, children’s storybook art, videos, video games, machinimas and interactive stories created by students from various graduate and undergraduate design modules.

It was a student-initiated effort, from the production and reproduction of the works, to the curating and exhibit management. All students were participating in their first-ever exhibition.

View the photos of the exhibition

CNM Communication Management Students Present to Shell and UNIFEM

In January 2010, ten students from CNM’s NM3219, Writing for Communication Management in Semester 1 of 2009 presented the findings of their issues tracking and their public relations plan to their respective client-companies.
The students were delighted and excited to be able to present their proposals to the client-organisations in real-life. And worked assiduously at updating their research and recommendations.

On 6 January 2010, Kristine Aquino, Karin Lim, Eunice Tan, Gordon Tan and Jackson Wee went to Shell Singapore at UE Square to present their public relations proposal, “BE FREE” to Shell’s Corporate Communications Department. The experience provided the students frank insights into the complex workings of business, government and community, and helped them appreciate so much more the delicate boundary-spanning role of public relations professionals among all stakeholders. The management at Shell, on the other hand, had a better understanding of the work of CNM at NUS.

Then, on 23 January, Charmaine Tan, Liyana Soh, Normanisa Aziz, Quyen Pham and Loy Mee Mum presented their public relations plan to the management of UNIFEM (Singapore), the United Nations Development Fund for Women. Like the Shell team, the student-Unifem team’s plan was a culmination of six months of issues tracking and development of communication goals and strategy for their chosen company.

The feedback from UNIFEM was affirming. Ms Pia Bruce, General Manager of UNIFEM, was “very impressed with their performance and professionalism”. Indeed, Pia and executive committee member, Audrey Goh planned to present the team’s ideas and proposal at their next Strategy meeting. The 3219 UNIFEM team looks forward to future opportunities of building strong ties with UNIFEM Singapore.

Link for all photos taken on the morning of 23 January 2010:
(Kristine Aquino, Karin Lim, Eunice Tan, Gordon Tan and Jackson Wee of NM3219 Semester 1 AY 2009-10 reported on the Shell presentation)
(Charmaine Tan, Liyana Soh, Loy Mee Mum, Normanisa Aziz and Quyen Pham of NM3219 Semester 1 AY 2009-10 provided the story and photos on their presentation at UNIFEM Singapore)

Featured Ongoing Project: Designing Adaptive Team-mates for Games

Project: Designing Adaptive Team-mates for Games
MDA GAMBIT Grant, 2010-2011
Researcher(s): Kevin McGee
The goal of this project is to identify design knowledge for creating artificial team-mates that dynamically adapt to the needs and behaviors of players while cooperating to compete against adaptive AI opponents. Different phases of the research will explore the creation of partners for different genres of games; partners that cooperate in real-time with the player against one or more stationary and mobile opponents — and that do prediction, complex action-selection, and adaptation/learning.

Kevin McGee and Aswin Thomas Abraham. Real-time team-mate AI in Games: A Definition, Survey, & Critique. To appear in Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Foundations of Digital Games, 19-21 June, 2010. Monterey, California, USA, 2010.
Aswin Thomas Abraham and Kevin McGee. AI for Dynamic Team-mate Adaptation in Games. To appear in IEEE Symposium on Computational Intelligence and Games, Copenhagen, Denmark, 18-21, August, 2010.

2009 Presented Conference Papers, Graduate Students

Jodie LUU. (July 2009). What Choice for Nonprofit Organizations in Singapore? Paper presented From Social Butterfly to Urban Citizen: A HCSNet Workshop on Social and Mobile Technology to Support Civic Engagement at Queensland University of Technology.

Nekmat, E. (2009, July). Youth Internet literacy: The relevance of contextual knowledge and inter-personal influences in the search and evaluation of online information. The 4th Asian Graduate Forum on Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, Asia Research Institute, National University of Singapore.

Ganga SASIDHARAN. (August 2009). The View from within: Internal Publics and Corporate Social Responsibility. Paper to be presented to the Public Relations Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication at its annual convention in Boston, U.S.A.

Soon, C. & Cho, H. (2009). Politics online: Who’s in and who’s out in the network of bloggers, parties and political organizations. Full paper to be presented at AoIR Conference “Internet Research 10.0: Internet – Critical”, October 7-10, 2009, Milwaukee, U.S.A.

Soon, C. (2009). “Politicizing blogging: blogging networks as emerging social movements”. Panel paper to be presented at AoIR Conference “Internet Research 10.0: Internet – Critical”, October 7-10, 2009, Milwaukee, U.S.A.

Soon, C. (2009). “Blogging networks as an emerging social movement: Dynamics in online and offline networks, and implications for engendering change.” Proposal selected for pre-conference workshop at AoIR Conference “Internet Research 10.0: Internet – Critical”, October 7-10, 2009, Milwaukee, U.S.A.

Cheryll Ruth R. SORIANO. (October 2009). Understanding Democracy in Diversity: Online Deliberative Spaces and the Ethnoreligious Divide in the Philippines. Presented at the Living the Information Society: the Impact of ICTs on People, Work, and Communities in Asia Conference, Manila, October, 2009; Paper also accepted at the APSTN Network Conference, Brisbane, Australia

Margaret TAN. Promises and Threats: iN2015 Masterplan to Pervasive Computing in Singapore. Asia-Pacific Science, Technology and Society Network Conference. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 23-25 Nov. 2009.

ZHANG Lingzi. (August 2009). News Use and Social Use of the Internet: Testing a Substitution Model in Three Levels. Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). August 9 to 12, 2007, Washington, D.C.

2008 Presented Conference Papers, Graduate Students

BERRY, R., J. PRASAD, et al. 2008. Augmented Reality for Non-Programmers. ACM SIGGRAPH. Los Angeles, ACM SIGGRAPH. Late-breaking forum presentation. Presented August 2008.

Berry, R. 2008. Hyper-Augmented Reality: Looking at AR through some old postmodern goggles. In International Symposium on Electronic Art. Singapore: International Society for Electronic Art. Presented July 2008.

FENG Guangchao. An empirical study on the blocking mechanisms of China’s Internet censorship. Presented at the 2008 conference of International Communication Association (ICA). May 22, 2008. Montreal, Canada.

LAU T.Y., FENG Guangchao, Atkin DAVID and LIN Carolyn. Exploring the evolution of digital television in China: An interplay between economic and political interests. Presented at the 2008 conference of International Communication Association (ICA). May 22, 2008. Montreal, Canada.

LOW, A. (2008). The question concerning pedagogy in E-learning technology integration. Paper to be presented at the APRU/DLI 2008 conference, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan.

Lim, S. S. and Nekmat, E. (2008, July). The Implications of Multimodal Representation for Media Literacy. Fourth International Conference on Multimodality. Singapore.

Nekmat, E. and Lim, S. S. (2008, July). New Media and Youth: The Motivations And Gratifications Of Online Betting Amongst Youths. 17th Asian Media Information & Communication Centre Annual Conference on Changing Media, Changing Societies: Media and the Millennium Development Goals. Manila.

Nekmat, E. and Lim, S. S. (2008, June). Youth and Online Gambling: Uncovering the propensity for addiction through understanding the motivations and gratifications of online betting. International Research Development Centre Workshop on Internet Addiction Research in Asia. Manila.

Lim, S. S. and Nekmat, E. (2008, April). Learning Through Prosuming: Lessons from media literacies programs in Asia. Science, Technology & Society (STS) Cluster and Communications and New Media Programme, National University of Singapore International Workshop on ICTs and Development: Experiences from Asia. Singapore.

OU Meimin. (June 2008). Social networking sites: A Uses and Gratifications perspective. Paper presented at The Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) conference, Manila.

PAN B & CHO H. (2008). Understanding subgroiup identification, team identification, and intergroup relations in global virtual teams. Paper presentated at ICA 2008 Conference. May 22-26, 2008. Montreal, Canada.

Ganga SASIDHARAN. (July 2008). Corporate social responsibility and marketing: A cause lost in frame alignment? Paper presented at BledCom 2008, 15th Global Public Relations symposium at Lake Bled, Slovenia.

Soon, C. & Park, H.W. (2008). The emergence of e-research in Asia, its potential and the realities for the social sciences: case studies of Singapore and South Korea. Paper presented at Oxford eResearch Conference, September 11-13, 2008, Oxford,U.K.

Cheryll Ruth R. SORIANO. (December 2008). Philippine NGO Websites, Usage Patterns, and Implications to State-Civil Society Relations. Paper presented at the Communications Policy Research South Conference 3 Organized by LIRNEasia and Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing China.

Cheryll Ruth R. SORIANO. (April 2008).Pinoy NGOs and the Dynamics of Website Use. Paper presented at the Workshop on Information and Communications Technology & Development, National University of Singapore

Cheryll Ruth R. SORIANO. (July 2008).Universal Access, Telecenters, and the Question of Policy. Accepted at the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Policy and Regulation Session, Stockholm, Sweden.

2007 Presented Conference Papers, Graduate Students

Berry, R. 2007. Using a 3d Modelling Program as a Musical Controller. In International Computer Music Conference. Copenhagen: ICMA. Presented August 2007.

Berry, R., and L.P. Demers. 2007. The Earth From Orbit as a Musical Score. In Asian Space Conference (ASC 2007). singapore. Presented April 2007.

FENG Guangchao, LAI William. The dynamics of China’s Technical Internet Censorship System. Presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC). August 9 to 12, 2007, Washington, D.C.

Siti NURHARNANI, N. (July 2007) Sexual Health Information and elaboration likelihood model – A Pilot. Paper presented at Asian Media Iinformation and Communication 17th Conference, Manila, Philippines.

SOON, C. (2007). Exploring online political communities in Singapore: A hyperlink analysis approach. Paper presented at NUS-Yonsei University Joint Conference, January 31 – Feb 2, 2007, Singapore.

Peggy YUAN. (July 2007). Dynamics in the Online Game Industry of China: A Political Economic Analysis of Its Competitiveness. Paper presented at Annual conference 2008, International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) : Media and Global Divides In Stockholm, Sweden.

Previous – 2005 Presented Conference Papers, Graduate Students


SOON, C. and KLUVER, R. (2005). The Internet and online political communities in Singapore. Paper presented at the 55th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association, May 26 – 30, 2005, New York City, NY, USA.


LOW, A. (2004). A discussional framework for integrating technologies into teaching and learning. Paper presented at the ICET 2004 conference, Suntec City convention hall.

LOW, A. (2004). Implications on the learning value chain? Linking courseware authoring styles, the conceptions of learning-to-learn and the role of the teacher.” Paper presented at GCEET 2004 conference, Singapore Polytechnic.


KLUVER, R. & SOON, C. (June 2003). The Internet in Singapore: Boon, blessing or bane? Paper presented at the ASEAN Information Seminar Series: Social and Cultural Impact of the Internet at ASEAN, Singapore.