And off to Yale I go

Written by Lim Liu Xian

As luck (and hard work) would have it, I have been selected for the Yale Visiting International Student Programme (Y-VISP), a special exchange programme that allows me to spend a year at Yale – take classes, partake in the CCAs and live in one of its twelve residential colleges, just like a normal Yale student.

As a third year CNM student, I have a keen interest in media and its relation to politics and public policies. I am also interested in the  effects of media on societies, and vice versa. With an interest spanning across multiple disciplines such as media studies, political science and sociology, the rewards of a liberal arts education at Yale are simply mind-boggling. At Yale, I am free to choose from hundreds of classes from well over 75 majors – talk about an education buffet! Together with the U.S. Presidential Election happening over the same period, the spoils from this learning experience will be, I am sure, nothing short of fantastic.

Academics aside, I am also looking to learn how CCAs work and understand what campus spirit means at Yale. After all it is with these exchange programmes, not just Y-VISP, that students experience the differences between cultures and come back to NUS -and Singapore- enriched with a new knowledge of the world.

I will miss NUS, but I will be back. I will be back with knowledge to share and stories to tell. So keep a lookout for them!

Editor’s note: Liu Xian has overcome adversity with the sudden passing of her mother in her first year at NUS to be among a handful of international students selected for this prestigious internship, entailing a substantial scholarship from NUS for her year there. She serves as the Vice-President of the CNM Student Society and will certainly bring new perspectives from her Yale experience to the department.

User Experience Design students to participate in finals of prestigious design competition

Team Habitag from the NM4210 User Experience Design class has been selected for the finals of this year’s ACM SIG CHI Student Design Competition. The four-member team consists of Samuel Heng (CNM), Agatha Soh (CNM), Lim Teng Chek (SOC) and Kevin Lin (SOC). Their entry was selected from 60 submissions across 11 countries.
Team Habitag

Team Habitag presenting their poster

The theme of the competition is ‘Space, Place, Threshold: Considering the Experience of Home from Within and Without’. Team Habitag’s design targets couples who are yet to move into their marital homes. The students researched urban Asian couples, who confronted with expensive and a short supply of housing, end up waiting several years before moving into marital homes. So the team devised a private mobile application that sought to fill this gap in time by allowing couples to leave thoughts and notes in a virtual representation of their home. The tag feature supports a wide range of multimedia such as text, audio, video and doodles, permitting couples to build and store meaningful moments in their journey to a dream home.

The finals of the competition will take place in May 2012 in Austin, Texas. The ACM SIG CHI conference is the largest in the HCI field. Team Habitag will receive exposure at an international level with conference attendees representing major academic institutions as well as key industry players in the field of interaction design.

We wish Team Habitag the very best!

Making a Difference to the rural poor in India through Lend-A-Toilet Campaign

CNM third-year student Li Peixin, currently in Bangalore on the NUS Overseas College (NOC) internship with Milaap Social Venture, an online microlending company, has created a documentary entitled “The World’s Biggest Toilet” in conjunction with World Toilet Day on 19 November, and started a campaign to promote clean toilets in the villages of Musiri, Tamil Nadu, India.

Peixin interviewing Ilavarasi

Peixin interviewing Ilavarasi from Musiri, Tamil Nadu during a field trip to assess the impact of toilet loans on villagers' lives.

Ilavarasi, proud owner of a new toilet at home and no longer needing to defecate in the open at night.

Ilavarasi, proud owner of a new toilet at home through Lend-A-Toilet, and no longer needing to defecate in the open at night.

The online campaign at not only aims to raise funds for the villagers but more importantly, to build greater awareness of the importance of clean sanitation among people around the world who take this for granted. There are 2.6 billion people around the world today who still do not enjoy such comforts, and the World Toilet Organisation has pledged to match the funds raised through this campaign.

Lend-A-Toilet operates on a microlending principle so recipients of these new and clean toilets repay the loan slowly after their toilets are built. This money can then be generated to other households. Lenders, in the meanwhile, can choose to collect or recycle their loans.

Peixin’s campaign runs through 2 December 2011 and if you feel inspired, as she was, do lend her your support at

CNM students honed journalism skills at SEA Games

CNM’s writing students Cheong Wei Ming and Kelly Ng (also a double-degree student with CNM and the School of Business) were recently selected to cover the 2011 SEA Games in Indonesia for Team Singapore.

Based in Jakarta, Wei Ming focused on sports like badminton, table tennis and bowling. Meanwhile Kelly was in Palembang where she kept track of sports such as swimming, wakeboarding and gymnastics.

Kelly with local Palembangese students

Kelly with local Palembangese students

The duo are the second group of student journalists fielded by CNM. Before them, Jerome Seow had covered the 2009 SEA Games in Vientiane,Laos, and the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

New Blog for CNM’s Interactive Media Design

CNM’s Interactive Media Design course of study has a new website which describes teachers, modules, module offerings for the coming year, suggested study plan, and other useful information.

Students who are interested in this course of study (or interested in taking the modules offered) should check out the site — especially the pages about “Modules offered in AY2011-12” and “Suggested study plan.” These can help students plan ahead in terms of scheduling and pre-requisites.

There are also some exciting changes in the works — so students should keep an eye on those pages!

CNM Interactive Media Design:

CNM’s Muhammad Farkhan bin Salleh wins NUS Student Achievement Award

Fourth-year CNM major Muhammad Farkhan bin Salleh did CNM proud by clinching
one of the 11 individual awards at the NUS Student Achievement Awards (SAA)

This award is conferred to students who have made exceptional contribution
to the University beyond academic performance. Farkhan won in the Individual
Competitions category for his leadership in the Living Avatar’s Network
prototype that won second place in the student section of the prestigious
human-computer interaction conference, CHI 2010. Farkhan and his fellow CNM
groupmates were the only undergraduates to enter the finals of the CHI

The idea for the project was inspired by Farkhan’s experience while in
National Service five years ago when he met a former British World War II
veteran who revisited Nee Soon Camp (where Farkhan was based) and shared
with the young soldiers how he would save money slowly from his plumbing
jobs to travel back to places he held in his memory from World War II. This
got Farkhan thinking about using avatars to allow users an opportunity at
virtual travel.

CNM Assistant Professor Denisa Kera who helped supervised the project,
nominated Farkhan for the SAA, which were presented by NUS President
Professor Tan Chorh Chuan.

CNM students get together for MILK

In this season of giving, a group of CNM students are working for the first time with Gosh! Advertising in a pro bono video project for Mainly I Love Kids (MILK), a local charity supporting underprivileged children around the region.

Led by Gosh! Creative Director James Mortimer-Roberts and colleague Monique Ang, 8 CNM undergraduates will be spending their Saturdays in ideation, storyboarding, engaging MILK with their creative ideas and finally producing a corporate video of 5 minutes that MILK will present to current and prospective sponsors and partners in 2011.

Watch this space for more updates on the project.

Congratulations to CNM’s winning TAs and new Graduates

At the FASS annual Awards Ceremony on Friday 20 August 2010, four of CNM’s Teaching Assistants garnered the Best Teaching Assistant Awards, making CNM the only department in the faculty with four winners.

Two of our new honours graduates from the class of 2010 also received their awards from Dean Brenda Yeoh.

Congratulations to all! You have made CNM proud!

Best Teaching Assistants
1. Mr Aaron Ng
2. Mr Lin Jin
3. Ms Jodie Luu
4. Ms Ou Meimin

Best Honours Students
1. Ms Jemima Ooi Ai Ping, Best Honours student, NTUC Income Prize Award recipient, and also Best Well-Rounded Student
2. Mr Daniel Teo Hee Boon, Best Communication Management student, Hill & Knowlton Award recipient

The winning team from CNM

The winning team from CNM

NM2010: Principles of Fun. – New module? Nah… (I wish :D)

This was the theme of this year’s CNM Freshmen Social Camp held from 11th to 14th July. Led by the CNM society, fun and interesting activities were planned to get freshmen acquainted with the Communications and New Media (CNM) programme and usher them into the exciting university life.

The module-themed camp was carefully crafted by the planning committee for participating freshmen to understand the NUS modular system. The CNM Society Exco members, orientation team leaders and seniors who facilitated the camp played the roles of ‘Professors’, ‘Teaching assistants’ and ‘Seniors’. To take things one step further, even the camp activities were called as “Assignments” and contributed towards their group’s “CAP”. The much coveted “S/U option” cards were also given out for outstanding performance!

Furthermore, much of the unique and original programme revolved around the different aspects of CNM. There was the mini PR competition, Twitter challenge, digital logo design and photo hunt. To top things off, our distinguished guest, Mr Baey Yam Keng, Accounts Director (Hill & Knowlton); CNM Head Dr Millie and Tutor Chris shared their insights about PR and the programme on the whole while seniors shared their work and student exchange experiences.


But of course the camp was not all about CNM!

The groups had their fair share of fun in the sun during the awesome mass games at the Sports and Recreation Centre (SRC) and tasted the delicious food around school recommended by seniors during the “Scrabble-style” food hunt.

Outdoor Games at SRC

Indeed all good things must come to an end, but not before enjoying a nice evening of BBQ and interaction with some graduated seniors and teaching staff.

The night concluded with a graduation ceremony, congratulating all freshmen for completing their “first module in NUS”. Each received a parting souvenir – a mini hand-made grad mortar, while groups were presented prizes according to their final “CAP”.


All in all, it was not about the “CAP” as good times were had and friendships were forged (even some knowledge was gained!). These fond memories shared by everyone will be sure to follow us throughout university and beyond.

Average grade (NM2010): A

Group Photo


Yin Yue
Publicity Director, 6th Exco
CNM Society

Congratulations to the CNM Class of 2010!

CNM Class of 2010

CNM Class of 2010

Someone remarked that CNM had yet again dominated the phototaking at the UCC Courtyard this year — how could we not with our ever-growing class size?

As is with CNM tradition, the entire department (from current and past students, to teaching and administrative staff) showed up to rally behind the graduating class after their commencement ceremony on 13 July 2010. Armed with a plethora of DSLRs; tripods; iPhones; special lenses, there was no delusion that we were the CNM brigade.

This year we celebrate the graduation of 188 undergraduate and 2 graduate students.

Hip hip hooray, guys! We’ll see you soon at the Homecoming party on 24 July!