|Name of Award||Name of Recipient||Programme|
Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal
|Sim Tong Gerald||Computer Science|
|Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal||Li Yuanming||Computer Engineering|
|Tata Consultancy Services Gold Medal||Kennard Chan Yanting||Computer Science|
|Hewlett-Packard Gold Medal||Lee Chong Yan||Business & Computing (Computer Science)|
|Information Technology Management Association Gold Medal cum Book Prize||Han Simeng||Computer Science|
|Defence Science & Technology Agency Gold Medal||Koh Chin Woon||Computer Engineering|
|Accenture Gold Medal – Book Prize (for students from Non-Graduating Year)||Cecelia Soh Yan Pei||Computer Engineering|
Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal*
IMDA Gold Medal
Winner: SIM TONG GERALD, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)
8:30am on a Monday morning, August 2017. That was when my friends and I had our first lecture in Nanyang Technological University (NTU). I remembered ourselves seated around the middle of LT2A, sharing about our long commute to this corner of Singapore to a place commonly dubbed “Pulau NTU”, or “NTU island” because of how far it was from our homes.
There were a mix of feelings that we could not put into words: Was it anxiety, excitement, nonchalance, or reluctance? It could be a mix of everything, but one thing for sure, we did not know what to expect.
Fast forward 4 years, and here I am wondering what happened to Time. I can vividly remember myself entertaining some children during “Kids’ World” organized by WSC’s Volunteer Movement back in year 1, going for exchange in Canada during the second semester of year 2, welcome incoming exchange students in year 3, and wrecking my brain over job interviews and my FYP in the final year.
Clockwise from top right: Exchange in Canada during second semester of year 2 and with incoming exchange students in year 3.
Looking back, the best part of my university life was the exchange opportunity I had to the University of Waterloo in Canada. I miss the times my housemates and I cooked into the wee hours of the morning, the many times I slipped and fell on the frozen pavement, our road trips on the weekends, my interactions with the local community. The list could go on and on.
But don’t get me wrong, my time in School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) was not a bed of roses. There were times where I burnt my sleep trying to figure out concepts that my brain simply could not comprehend, and there were other times where I just “could not school” for whatever reason I had at that time. Giving up was an option, but my friends did not let me.
Having a community is important, and I am glad that I found that in my friends, and some of the Professors that I have had the privilege of learning from. I would like to give a special shoutout to my FYP supervisor, Dr Smitha, for her guidance during the project’s duration, and for listening to my musings during our checkpoint sessions. Her active interest in the project definitely made my FYP a more enjoyable one, and one that I will never forget in the years to come.
To my friends, thank you for your help and companionship throughout all these years. University life would have been painfully uneventful without all of you, but I am not going to pen my wishes as though it is my final note to you. We are still going to remain as friends, and I will always look forward to our meetups and sharing.
To my juniors and incoming freshmen:
SCSE reinforced my foundations, and opened my eyes to different aspects of computing that I would not have known about had I chose not to pursue a university education. Granted, there are areas that can be improved, but that applies to a lot of things that we go through every day. Hand on heart, I believe that your time in SCSE will be meaningful for the interpersonal skills you develop, and the resourcefulness that you will cultivate alongside your technical prowess. Computing is not a field where learning stops, so take the time to pick up skills outside of the classroom, and network with people on LinkedIn or during industry sessions. It will pay dividends in the years to come. Also, take some time to hang out with friends; humans are social creatures, not robots.
Finally, be self-aware. In all that you do, think about three questions: “What am I doing or not understanding”, “Why am I doing it or why don’t I understand it”, and “How does it help me or the people around me and how can I address these challenges”. It helped my decision-making process, and I hope it can help you too.
Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal*
Winner: LI YUANMING, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering)
Years ago, I was a 17-year-old teenage on his way to a foreign school in a foreign country for the first time. But at the end of the journey, I am very grateful and honoured to be awarded the Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal at NTU.
I have participated in an intensive robotic competition, took a machine learning course during a Summer Study visit to University of California, Berkeley and joined two research projects with other senior researchers.
Along the way, my skills were further developed by applying technical knowledge learnt from the courses to practical cases. Additionally, the state-of-the-art research expanded my horizon. These hardships and pressures have shaped me into a person of thinking, perseverance and teamwork.
Clockwise: Working on school projects; Hiking with friends.
Indeed, life is unpredictable. I could never foresee that one of the smooth working motors would malfunction just two days before the Multi-Disciplinary Project (MDP) assessment. Nor could I foresee that the approaches that I have worked on for weeks during my FYP were proven wrong.
There were sleepless nights that made me questioned the degree of failure and if I should give up. Luckily, I did not and has chosen to challenge the obstacles heads on. These experiences brought me to where I am today.
I would like to express my gratitude to my mentor Zhang Huaizheng, my friends, staff from School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) and my family.
Congratulations to my fellow 2021 graduates! Welcome to the new stage of life!
To all my juniors, keep exploring and be involve in different activities and grab all opportunities. It will help to narrow down your target, sharpen your skills and build your personality.
Most importantly, you will meet many interesting people and realized who your true friends are. Often time, you may meet adversities tempting you to surrender but do not bow down to it; protect yourself and fight back. The lessons learnt will strengthen you for the eventual world of uncertainty.
I wish you all the best in your future!
Tata Consultancy Services Gold Medal
Winner: KENNARD CHAN YANTING, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)
In School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE), most of my interesting experiences revolve around our school projects and team members. There is no “I” in team. A successful project can only be accomplished when all the team members
are wholeheartedly invested in the project objectives. In one of these projects, I had the pleasure of working with Chen Zhiwei, Laurensia Anjani, Ang Shu Liang, and Leong Mei Han.
This particular project is very memorable because of the magical team dynamics that we had. We were able to take advantage of each other’s strengths and cover for individual’s weaknesses. The end result is an impeccable bus scheduling Android app that won effusive praise from our professor.
Besides creating a great app, we managed to forge a tight friendship with one another. I guess that is the beauty of SCSE, we learnt not only about the intricacies of computer science but also the importance of having a group of supportive friends.
Another great moment was of course the examination season. In SCSE, the examinations certainly were not easy. But it was also a period of time when we had the opportunity to revise and consolidate the complex concepts that our hardworking professors have taught us. It was during this time that we linked up each topic together and get a glimpse of the overall picture of a computer science field. Understanding what the module really meant was one of the most rewarding experiences that a computer science undergraduate can attained.
Every student who decides to enrol in a SCSE programme would naturally be strongly motivated. But it is not uncommon for SCSE students to have different motivations. For me, what really drives me is the immense potential of the computer science industry. Every day, computer science researchers are constantly developing new cutting-edge technologies that might very well change the world someday. Other than researchers, there are software engineers who lead and implement software projects that are pivotal for making our lives easier and more comfortable.
The Tata Consultancy Services Gold Medal recognises students that have excelled in software engineering, and I am naturally honoured to win it this year. Software engineering is a very important field in computer science, and software engineers are vital in ensuring that our experiences with software are seamless. Good software engineers understand that coding is just one of the processes in software development, and the planning process is equally important as well. I am glad to have worked with many exceptional software engineers during my time at NTU.
As a note of appreciation, I am forever grateful to my professors and friends for their support and help during my journey in NTU. My professors were always willing to listen to my questions in class or during office consultations. They were always supportive, and they made it a point to always encourage me to explore new and novel ideas on my own. Each student in SCSE was allocated a professor as mentor, and mine was Associate Professor Yeo Chai Kiat. Prof. Yeo has provided me with countless advices and guidance throughout my undergraduate days. She had always made me feel that she has strong confidence in my abilities and work. She was also pivotal in helping me mapped a clear career path for working towards my dreams. There were of course other professors who have helped me in my journey, and I have nothing but gratitude for their help.
With my best buddy Chen Zhiwei (left), was always around to support and encourage me.
My friends in SCSE have obviously been a huge part of my life in NTU, and they continue to help me develop as a person. During my toughest days, my friend, Chen Zhiwei, was always around to support and encourage me. I am grateful that in the face of adversity, Zhiwei had always stood in solidarity with me. He has been a massive influence in my growth as a computer scientist as well.
To all the SCSE freshmen, I hope you understand the honour and prestige of the SCSE programme and appreciate the friendships that you would inevitably forge in SCSE. I would always look back at my days in NTU fondly because of the tight friendships that I have made. One tip that I can offer you is to work hard and make NTU proud of what you are going to achieve in the near future.
To all my SCSE juniors, do continue to work hard and learn as much as you can in your short time in NTU. Computer science consists of a wide array of very different fields, and it is impossible for you to understand everything in depth. But learning the overall picture of all the different fields is very important for you to become a good computer scientist. The industry will help you to learn more about a specific field that you eventually pick to specialise in. But, with that being said, it is also beneficial if you could decide on your specialisation by your third year, so that you could select modules that belong to your preferred field.
To end off, I like to thank Tata Consultancy Services for this award, and I hope this award will continue to motivate budding software engineers to work even harder.
Hewlett-Packard Gold Medal
Winner: Lee Chong Yan (left), Double Degree in Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)
I am really honoured to receive the HP gold medal, though I did not really expect it.
The most memorable experience would be my Year 2 overseas internship at Seagate in United States. It was a trip which changed my perspectives on life and also the way I carry myself now.
It was a daunting experience initially but with an adventurous spirit, I embarked on. Staying with my host family, daily commute of 6 hours to and from office, hiking at rocky mountains, exploration of universities and bonding with my colleagues were experiences which I would never exchange for another.
During a road trip to San Francisco and Seattle after internships, before heading to summer exchange in Canada.
After the internship, I went for a road trip to San Francisco and Seattle before heading for my summer exchange in Canada. The learning culture at Queen’s University was vastly different from Nanyang Technological University (NTU). At Queen’s, experimental teaching was favoured, whereas NTU tends to lean towards theoretical teaching. Due to the different teaching method, it allows me the chance to participate in multiple road trips during my curriculum time.
There are simply so much to say about the overall exchange experience which can never be fully described in words, except that it was a really life-changing one.
So thank you School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) and NTU for giving us all these overseas exposure. To my friends who were there to share these moments together with me, it has been a true blessing and honour to know you and I hope our ties will never end. You know who you are.
To my FYP professor, Mr Oh Hong Lye, thank you for all the guidance and I believe with your passion in education, you would do wonders at SCSE.
To my juniors, life is really not about grades and achievements. I learnt it the hard way, over focusing on results for the first two years and then failing badly in my penultimate year internship interviews as I was not prepared for technical interviews.
Sometimes, we have to balance being academically smart and being industry-prepared. And of course in all these hustlings, do not forget about your friends as they will be the ones to stand by your side when things seem to fall apart.
Lastly, to my parents, thank you for being there during my lows and highs. You all have seen me at my worst and my best, I love you and I hope I did you all proud!
Lastly, happy graduation to the class of 2021!
Information Technology Management Association Gold Medal cum Book Prize
Winner: HAN SIMENG, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)
My freshman year was filled with two main struggles.
Firstly, before entering School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE), I have only used computers for writing of essays on Microsoft Word and searching of answers on Google. Therefore, I struggled a lot in my first year trying to understand what computer science was and how a computer works.
Secondly, university opens the door to an abundance of opportunities and challenges, I was confused about what lies ahead, what I want and how I am going to achieve it.
I managed to overcome the first struggle thanks to the course work design of SCSE, which comprised pretty much every aspect of computer science. For the second struggle, I realised that I am particularly thrilled about the process of reviewing previous literature, discovering new problems and finding solutions to them upon undertaking the Undergraduate Researching Project in Natural Language Processing. Thus, it steered me towards doing research work.
Although it had not always been smooth sailing, I was extremely fortunate to be guided by Prof Shafiq Rayhan Joty and received help from all members of NTU NLP group, who had shared their experiences and collaborated with me on several research projects and published papers in top-tier international conferences.
I am grateful to NTU School of Computer Science and Engineering for providing me with a high-quality education and abundance of opportunities for exploring my interests.
I would like to express an immense gratitude towards my supervisor for his continuous guidance, support and teaching in all aspects of research. The qualities he exhibits has spurred me to be a better researcher.
I would also like to thank my friends for not only supporting me in academic projects but also in making me a better person in general. Not forgetting my family for the emotional and mental support, standing by me in good and bad times of my research and university life.
Congratulations to the class of 2021, we did it!
To the freshmen and juniors: there are many paths that one can take and it is almost impossible to try all of them. Although it is almost impossible to find the global optimum of our life, one can always strive to find out the local optimum step by step.
Accenture Gold Medal – Book Prize
Winner: CECELIA SOH YAN PEI (CE, Year 3)
There were many exciting moments during my journey with School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE). An orientation was organised few weeks before the start of Year 1 semester. It was an excellent opportunity for us to make acquaintance of course mates and course seniors during the games planned. Initially, I was anxious and worried about surviving in an unfamiliar environment, but the orientation eliminated my concerns.
Completing the course to the maximum of my capability has always been my priority. However, group projects remained a big challenge for me as I have never had any experience doing group projects before. Nonetheless, the most memorable and enjoyable moments with SCSE actually came from doing said group projects with my teammates. And in doing so, I have learned a lot from them.
In my journey with SCSE, I would like to thank all course professors, tutors and lab supervisors. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to have a fruitful journey. I would also like to thank all my teammates for being there to complete the projects together.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my parents for the endless support and for being there during my ups and downs over the years.
Watch Medals & Awards video here:
School of Computer Science and Engineering is extremely proud of all our students’ achievements. We congratulate them on their graduation and wish them every success and excellence in pursuing their dreams and careers.
Congratulations to the Class of 2021.
*The gold medals were awarded to top NTU students who were first in general proficiency throughout their respective programmes of study and who have obtained First Class Honours.