CS3216 AY2012/2013, Semester 1 Call for Registration

Dear Students

CS3216 AY2012/2013, Semester 1 Call for Registration

Have you ever:

Looked at the tedious tasks that you have to do, and wished there was a better way to do it?

Looked at the ills that plague society, and wished that you could do something about it?

Looked at the latest cool game on the latest cool social media site and said “I wish it did this and that?”

If you have, now is the chance for you to do something about it and make a difference!

CS3216 Software Development on Evolving Platforms is a cool, unconventional look at engineering software solutions on important, fast evolving environments like Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Apps. Throughout this course you will be strongly encouraged to think about what you really want to do with your life. Dream big, and more importantly, bring those dreams to life! Games, social collaborations, things to make life better for one and all – if you can imagine it, you will get more than a very decent crack at getting it done in this course.

Enrollment is open to students of all faculties and students will work in small inter-disciplinary teams to create their killer applications.  Programming experience for non-SoC students is not a pre-requisite (since work will be done in teams) and we have had students from Science, FASS, Business (including an MBA student) and Engineering in addition to SoC. Classes will be held on Monday evenings from 6.30 to 8.30 pm.

Assessment will be project-based and there will be no examination component. The course will begin with several lectures on the fundamentals of web development. Subsequently, students will work in teams to analyze and critique existing Facebook apps There will be two semi-structured assignments: one on Facebook and one HTML5. For the Final Project, students are free to propose anything they think is “cool” and they will not be limited to Facebook (though some form of network-based/web application is expected).  Students are also welcome and encouraged to use this opportunity to develop applications that have commercial potential or can be used as entries to Startup@Singapore.

Places for the course will be limited and some places will be reserved for non-SoC students.  Also, like in past years, the places will not be assigned by CORS bidding. Instead, interested students are to submit a personal statement (with their matriculation number clearly stated) to cs3216-staff@googlegroups.com  by 15 July 2012 5 pm. Students will be informed by 22 July 2012 if they are offered a place in the upcoming offering of the new course (and students will automatically be pre-registered for CS3216 on CORS if their bid to take the class is successful).

The personal statement should address the following questions:

§  Why do you want to take the module?

§  Describe your background and explain how do you think you can contribute to the diversity and vibrancy of the module and to the team projects.

§  EITHER (i) Describe a cool Facebook app that you *really* want to build. Explain why you think your app is really cool; OR (ii) Describe a business/project that you want to start. Explain how you think taking CS3216 will help you.

Students should probably throw in a resume or portfolio of sorts if they feel that it would be helpful in demonstrating that they have what it takes to succeed in this course. Students who want to be considered for the class as designers should most definitely submit a portfolio of their artistic works as well.

To learn more, check out the blogs from last year – http://cs3216.blogspot.com (check out sidebar),  Facebook Group and course feedbacks for the past two years – here and here.

This is your chance to let your imagination run wild and do something cool  Questions? Please send email to cs3216-staff@googlegroups.com.


Best regards,

Dr Colin Tan

CS3216 module coordinator

High Tea with the undergraduates from City University of Hong Kong

We were glad to host a tour around University Town for a group of Hong Kong students who were visiting Singapore for their Internship Programme. Together with Dr. Lim Boon Tiong from the Economics Department, our students warmly welcomed our guests and introduced them around the campus. Our foreign students were singing praises of the well-equipped buildings and facilities on the University compound. The tour was followed by a high tea reception where our local students had a chance to interact and mingle with our guests. Cultural exchanges took place as the students shared with one another about their personal lives. The session ended pleasantly with new friendships being forged.

Can Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) help with Singapore’s languishing fertility record?

Visiting Professor Eric Blyth addressed this question at a seminar in the Department of Social Work on 29 May 2012 that was attended by Department staff and research students, and professionals from local hospitals, the Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Community, Youth and Sports (MCYS) and the National Population and Talent Division. The discussion covered the extent, causes and consequences of nearly 40 years of below replacement fertility in Singapore, and the potential benefits of publicly funded fertility treatments and accessibility to elective oocyte cryopreservation. The latter, frequently described as ‘social egg freezing’ has been suggested as a means of protecting the fertility of young women against ageing and thus increasing their chances of successful conception if they later decide to embark on family-building.

The current ‘state of the art’ was discussed and participants agreed that while clinical expertise in Singapore enjoyed a high international reputation, although the twin and triplet rate following ART appears high by international comparison, essential support and intermediary provision such as  counselling was far less well developed or extensive as in some other countries. Government financial support for eligible couples undergoing ART appears to be meeting current demand although the MOH is reviewing whether extending the upper age limit, the number of funded treatment cycles or types of funded treatment might enhance both the aspirations of individual couples with fertility problems and the government’s desire to boost fertility rates. The experience ofIsrael’s generously-funded ART programme, that is generally perceived as a successful model of state funding that other countries might usefully emulate, was shared. Recent research has highlighted the significant psychosocial pressures to which women whose treatment is not successful are subjected to and identified the unintended negative consequences of unlimited state-funded provision.

As regards elective oocyte cryopreservation, its outcomes have been insufficiently evaluated to warrant making this available as a routine clinical service, despite the aggressive marketing and promotion of the service by American fertility clinics and ‘egg banks’. However, it was suggested that Singaporemight provide an optimum location to initiate a properly evaluated clinical trial. It was agreed that the overall impact of ART on population growth was inevitably likely to be modest but that it could form part of a wider programme to promote family-building that tackled the main disincentives and barriers to family-building in Singapore and ensured that young people grew up with accurate knowledge about conception, family planning and fertility decline as a natural element of the ageing process.

Eric Blyth is Professor of Social Work at the University of Huddersfield, England

A night of laughter

The Straits Times

(Life!, Page C2)

It was reported that Ms Munah Bagharib, an NUS undergraduate studying new media and theatre studies, will be rubbing shoulders with comedy stalwarts such as Gurmit Singh and Michelle Chong in the upcoming stand-up performance titled “Happy Ever Laughter”. The show will be performed at The Esplanade Theatre from 27 June to 8 July. Ms Bagharib is one half of the comedy duo “Munah and Hirzi” whose YouTube video sketches have received tens of thousands of views.

Click here to read the full article.

Starring: (back row from left) Hirzi Zulkiflie, Munah Bagharib, Chua Enlai, Siti Khalijah Zainal, Najip Ali, Judee Tan, (front row from left) Selena Tan, Moses Lim, Gurmit Singh, Michelle Chong, Kumar and Sebastian Tan
Starring: (back row from left) Hirzi Zulkiflie, Munah Bagharib, Chua Enlai, Siti Khalijah Zainal, Najip Ali, Judee Tan, (front row from left) Selena Tan, Moses Lim, Gurmit Singh, Michelle Chong, Kumar and Sebastian Tan

Dr. Stephen Lim and research student win Best Paper Award at international psychological sciences conference

Dr. Stephen Lim with ICPSB 2012 Chairperson.

Dr. Lim Wee Hun Stephen, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, and Mr. Lam Wing Mun, an undergraduate student researcher, have been honoured for their recent research. Among all research entries received at the International Conference on Psychological Sciences and Behaviors (ICPSB 2012) held on 2 and 3 June in Hong Kong, Dr. Lim received the Best Paper Certificate for having delivered outstanding basic research in vision science. This Award was announced at the Conference Dinner Banquet and conferred by the ICPSB 2012 Chairperson Professor Dimiter G. Velev, who described Dr. Lim as “the pride of [the] Conference”.

Dr. Stephen Lim and Mr. Lam Wing Mun


The winning work is entitled “Illusory Objects Produce Substitution Masking Effects”. Dr. Lim commented, “This work was pursued as Wing Mun’s Honours Thesis research. Our goal was to discover what ultimately constitutes a visual object, a long-standing question that continues to fascinate all vision scientists. This work is the first globally to demonstrate comparable functional properties between physical and illusory objects in a convincing way, using an object substitution masking paradigm. In simpler terms, imaginary distractors are as capable as real ones in disrupting our identification of important targets that appear before our eyes. We are delighted to have made a very major contribution to this area of research.”

One of Dr. Lim’s international research collaborators describes him as “both an outstanding researcher and a highly talented educator and research supervisor”. Dr. Lim earlier supervised undergraduate research projects that clinched the International European Conference on Cognitive Science Best Student Paper Award in 2011, as well as the Annual International Conference on Cognitive and Behavioral Psychology Best Research Paper Award in February this year. An avid researcher, Dr. Lim currently serves on the Editorial Boards of two international peer-reviewed journals.

Congratulations to Dr. Lim and Mr. Lam on their remarkable achievement!

Debate Champions Second Year Running

Alvin Tan and Rebecca Tan from the Department of Political Science recently participated in the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) International Humanitarian Law Debate 2012 organised by the Faculty of Law, Universiti Teknologi MARA in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in conjunction with the International Committee of Red Cross. This year, both students secured top honours for the Faculty and Department by winning the 2012 Championship.

After eight gruelling preliminary rounds, two NUS teams, Alvin and Rebecca were in the winning team,emerged as the top two teams of the tournament. This is an unprecedented feat in the history of the tournament. On top of emerging as the Champions of the tournament, Alvin was also the best speaker of the tournament for the second consecutive year running, which was no mean feat. Rebecca was named the 9th best speaker of the tournament, and the best speaker of the Grand Finals. This tournament was started in 2008 and since then, teams from NUS have won it three times out of five (2008, 2011 and 2012).For Alvin and Rebecca, their achievements this year are made extra special due to the clean sweep by NUS of all the major honours – Best Speaker of Tournament, Best Speaker of Finals and Champions.

Alvin feels the ICRC IHL Championship provided an excellent platform for reasoned discourse on the topic of international humanitarian law with other top young minds from the region, and was an opportunity that he could not afford to pass up. However, the primary reason for his participation in the tournament was to defend NUS’s title hold as Champions. NUS is unquestionably the debate powerhouse of Southeast Asia right now, and as a final year NUS student, this was his final opportunity to repay back to a university that offered him so much in the way of opportunities for learning and self actualization.

Rebecca, Kelvin and Alvin from NUS listening intently as their opponent makes his case
Rebecca, Kelvin and Alvin from NUS listening intently as their opponent makes his case The NUS team accepting their trophyThe NUS team accepting their trophy The NUS team accepting their trophy