FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College

 
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
Halcyon Takes

FLIGHT
Yale-NUS College Year in Review 2017
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
Contents

02                                                     38
PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                                    FLYING HIGH

04                                                     62
TAKING OFF                                             SPREADING WINGS

Vision
A community of learning,
Founded by two great universities,
In Asia, for the world.

Mission
Yale-NUS College, a residential college
located in Singapore, aims to redefine
liberal arts and science education for a
complex, interconnected world.

A community of learning                                In Asia
We are a diverse group of students, faculty,           Our location at the crossroads of Asia informs
staff, and supporters, dedicated to building           our pedagogy. Drawing on active modes of
a community in which living and learning are           learning associated with American liberal arts
intertwined and habits of creativity, curiosity, and   education, we introduce our students to the
critical thinking are encouraged. Our innovative       diverse intellectual traditions and cultures of
curriculum integrates knowledge from across            Asia and the world.
the disciplines and around the world.
                                                       For the world
Founded by two great universities                      We educate citizens of the world and uphold
An intimate liberal arts college, dedicated to         the principles of free exchange of ideas,
undergraduate education, Yale-NUS draws                pluralism, and respect for diversity. Our extra-
on the resources and traditions of two great           curricular and residential programmes support
universities. We pursue excellence through             student learning and encourage an ethic of
innovative teaching and research, and we               service. By our example, we seek to spur
provide global opportunities for our students.         innovation in higher education across the globe.
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
Yale-NUS College
at a glance

     800                 55                     3
    students            student             residential
                     organisations           colleges

             14                       1,022
            majors                   student rooms

       65                 7                63,000
   nationalities       science
                     laboratories         square metres
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
02                                                     YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

President’s
message
In 2017, the Yale-NUS
mascot, a kingfisher named
Halcyon, was officially
launched. Much like many
of our key milestones on
campus, the creation of the
mascot was a community
effort, with students,
staff and faculty working
collaboratively to design and
develop it. Halcyon embodies
the community ideals of
Yale-NUS – Creativity,
Curiosity and an Adventurous
Spirit; and shortly after its
launch on campus, our first
batch of Halcyons took flight,
metaphorically speaking,         and research, education,         Class of 2021, we continue
as they graduated from           finance, and technology and      to expand the diverse and
Yale-NUS College.                startups. From this class,       global nature of our student
                                 we also had our first Rhodes     body, which now stands at
The graduates hailing from       Scholar Nicholas Carverhill      over 800 students.
the Class of 2017 are a          and Schwarzman Scholar
special group. Representing      Mollie Saltskog. I am proud      The process of renewal
some 20 nationalities, the       of the achievements of our       applies not just to our
students are diverse in          pioneer batch and hope this      students, but also to the
terms of backgrounds and         will spur the current and        College leadership as we
remarkable in terms of           future batches of Yale-NUS       seek to redefine liberal arts
achievements. They hold          students on.                     and science education for
multifarious viewpoints, but                                      this century. In 2017, we
have one thing in common         As our first batch of students   bade a fond farewell to our
– a pioneering spirit and a      left the nest, we welcomed       founding president, Professor
desire to make a difference.     our fifth class in 2017. With    Pericles Lewis, who returned
Within a few months of           250 students hailing from 45     to Yale University after
graduation, over 90 percent      countries, the Class of 2021     completing his five-year
of our inaugural cohort          is our largest intake to date.   term. Professor Lewis had
secured jobs, fellowships or     Singaporeans continued to        been instrumental in leading
university places to pursue      make up the largest pool of      the College to a remarkable
graduate studies. The            students. For the first time,    number of milestones since
graduates who received job       students from Uzbekistan,        his appointment in 2012. I
offers moved into a variety      Cambodia and Paraguay            am grateful to him for laying
of sectors, such as the public   were also represented,           such strong foundations for
service, consulting, science     amongst others. With the         the College. As I take up the
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                             03

mantle to lead Yale-NUS in its     our vision to be a community       community will enable
next phase of development          of learning. Students and          future generations of needy
and growth, a key theme of         faculty will give feedback         Yale-NUS students to fully
my presidency is to nurture        to SJ on its smart facilities      benefit from their time spent
an ethos of service in our         management solutions,              at the College, without having
students. Our College must         and faculty will contribute        to worry about financial
be a place that prepares its       their research expertise to        obligations.
graduates for active roles         translate research findings
in civic life. It is also an       into real world technology         As the College grows, we
institution where curricula        solutions for meaningful           will see more batches of
and courses challenge their        outcomes. In the year              Yale-NUS graduates spread
imagination and develop their      ahead, we will also continue       their wings as they embark
civic competencies, while          to evolve our curriculum           on challenges in various
co-curricular activities offer     through partnerships with          fields, in different corners
opportunities to engage in         Duke-NUS Medical School            of the world. Their time as
public work. This remains          and the National University        Yale-NUS undergraduates
a key part of our mission.         of Singapore (NUS) School          might have ended but we
From the many outreach             of Computing to meet the           are confident the connection
activities that students, staff    needs of our students and          with the College will not.
and faculty organise and           build connections between          In the year ahead, we will
participate in annually, I am      the study of science, social       continue to strengthen our
confident that this ethos of       sciences and humanities, with      connections with our alumni
service will find a permanent      training in professional fields.   – via networking events,
place in the Yale-NUS DNA.                                            career and graduate school
                                   Looking back on the year           advising, and continued
We must also build into our        just past, I am particularly       access to campus facilities
belief system a commitment         grateful to our friends and        and resources – so our
to innovation and the spirit to    stakeholders who have              graduates know that
find new ways of doing things      supported us over the years.       Yale-NUS is a place they can
better. This must permeate         On behalf of the College,          always call home.
all aspects of life at Yale-NUS,   I thank all our donors and
including the curriculum,          friends of the College, as         As we continue to press
research and student               well as staff and faculty          on, we look forward to your
experience. Embodying how          for their generous gifts. In       support in helping us take
our campus lives up to its         2017, 91 percent of students       Yale-NUS to greater heights.
mission as a community of          from the Class of 2017
learning, we have partnered        participated in their Senior
with Surbana Jurong (SJ) to        Class Gift campaign. This is
prototype a new generation         a high benchmark which I           Professor Tan Tai Yong
of smart city technologies         hope all succeeding classes        President
at the Yale-NUS College            will try to achieve and even       Yale-NUS College
campus. This partnership is        outdo. The generosity of our
an exciting one that reflects      well-wishers and the College
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
TAKING
  OFF
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  2017 was a milestone year for Yale-NUS.
  We celebrated the graduation of the
  College’s inaugural class of students in
  May, as they spread their wings and took
  off on exciting new journeys. The year also
  marked several achievements by students
  and faculty, ranging from sports awards to
  groundbreaking research, as well as the
  unveiling of the College’s ceremonial mace.
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017   5

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FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
06                                                        YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Yale-NUS’ inaugural class graduates

 Minister Ong Ye Kung (right), speaking at the Yale-NUS College Graduation Ceremony 2017.

Graduation marks not only an end, but also a beginning. Among the
inaugural class of Yale-NUS College students, many embarked on
careers in the private sector or in public service. Some also took up
prestigious fellowships, while others chose to further their education
in graduate schools globally. The journey of our pioneer cohort was
celebrated at Yale-NUS' inaugural Graduation Ceremony on 29 May 2017.

In total, 119 graduates were      founding of the College.           and Second Minister for
presented to Dr Tony              Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister           Defence, graced the event
Tan Keng Yam, then-               for Education (Higher              and gave a speech to the
President of the Republic of      Education and Skills)              graduating cohort.
Singapore and Chancellor
of the National University        “Your graduation marks the coming of age of
of Singapore (NUS) at the         the College, as it does the turning of a chapter
ceremony.
                                  in your lives. Keep your sense of adventure,
                                  fearlessness and perhaps even some of that
The graduation speaker was
Professor Richard C Levin,
                                  youthful foolishness. Live life passionately, and
Chief Executive Officer of        be ready to make a difference. Leave that distinct
Coursera and President            Yale-NUS mark wherever you might venture.”
Emeritus of Yale University,      - Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and
who played a key role in the      Skills) and Second Minister for Defence
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                            07

At the ceremony, Founding         with their families, staff and
President of Yale-NUS             faculty on 28 May 2017,
College, Professor Pericles       forging final memories on
Lewis addressed the class         campus before they headed
and shared, “As the pioneer       out to new pathways
cohort of Yale-NUS College,       outside of college.
the intrepid students of
the Class of 2017 have            Graduates donned a                The College mascot,
chosen to be the trailblazing     graduation gown that              Halcyon the Kingfisher,
participants in shaping our       included a sash designed by       was officially launched
community of learning             Natalie Tan (Class of 2017).      in February 2017. The
as we seek to redefine            The orange adornment              name Halcyon was
liberal arts and science          featured a batik-inspired print   derived from Greek
education. I am confident         of the College’s mascot, the      mythology and is
that Yale-NUS graduands           kingfisher. The elements          usually identified with
will be differentiated by their   and colours of the gown           a generic grouping
creativity, communication         incorporated elements from        of various kingfisher
skills and problem-solving        NUS and Yale University in        breeds. Chosen as
acumen, enabling them to          their hood and sash colours       a representation
navigate today’s diverse          respectively. In addition,        of the ideals of the
and challenging work              the use of the hood and           Yale-NUS community
environment.”                     sash reflected the gowning        – Youthfulness,
                                  practices at both institutions.   Creativity, Curiosity and
The graduates also took part                                        an Adventurous Spirit
in a Class Day celebration                                          – these kingfishers can
                                                                    also be found nesting in
                                                                    Singapore, even though
                                                                    they are considered
                                                                    rare in Asia. Halcyon
                                                                    reflects Yale-NUS
                                                                    College’s location and
                                                                    its commitment to
                                                                    develop a community
                                                                    of learning that is based
                                                                    in Asia, for the world.
FLIGHT Halcyon Takes - Yale-NUS College
08                                                    YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Leaving the nest: the inaugural batch
of Kingfishers and their next steps

Living the corporate life       machine learning and data        experiences had prepared
                                science tools to streamline      her for the modern corporate
Upon graduation, Chua Yao       user experience.                 workforce, and broadened
Hui (Class of 2017) joined                                       her perspectives for a career
local start-up Carousell,       May Tay (Class of 2017)          with a global focus.
known for its popular           entered the world of fashion
mobile classifieds app, as      through her employment           Social impact careers
a Software Engineer on its      at Swedish clothing retailer
Core Marketplace team.          H&M’s Business Trainee           As a Psychology major, Daryl
Yao Hui, a Mathematical,        programme. Under this            Tan (Class of 2017) hoped to
Computational and Statistical   programme, she will rotate       understand the motivations
Sciences (MCS) major, was       to different offices within      behind volunteerism and
attracted by the company’s      the company, from the            philanthropy in order to
innovation, start-up culture,   global buying office in          encourage more of it in a
and social mission. He          Stockholm, Sweden, to a          meaningful way. A recipient
began putting his skills        production office in Asia and    of the Singapore Industry
to use by supporting            then a sales office in Europe.   Scholarship (SgIS) with the
Carousell’s company-            An Environmental Studies         National Council of Social
wide effort to incorporate      major, May felt her college      Service (NCSS), he joined
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                        09

social service organisation     major, Joyan is slated to         in a team that supports the
South Central Community         teach secondary-school            professional development of
(SCC) Family Service Centre     History and Social Studies        the arts sector, contributing
as a research assistant. In     upon completion of her one-       towards the formulation
his position, Daryl looks at    and-a-half-year stint at NIE.     of policies and strategies
how children from low-          She said her Yale-NUS             and the implementation of
income families are coping      education helped her to           programmes to strengthen
with school, and studies        learn to focus on doing           the professionalism of the
how transformational            what she enjoys, rather           sector. As a member of the
outcomes like housing or        than just pursuing grades         pioneer class, Hamid found
education may influence         — something she hopes to          that the painstaking process
a family's journey out          impart to her students in         of creating a community at
of poverty.                     the future.                       Yale-NUS College provided
                                                                  him with the skills necessary
Psychology major Ho Yan         Arts and Humanities major         to negotiate between often
Lin (Class of 2017) entered     Hamid Roslan (Class of            conflicting visions, which
the healthcare sector,          2017) started serving his         will allow him to contribute
joining the Institute of        scholarship bond with the         towards creating a local
Mental Health (IMH) as a        National Arts Council (NAC)       arts community that is as
Management Associate. Yan       upon graduation. He works         inclusive as possible.
Lin felt that her experience
working for the Yale-NUS
peer-counselling student
organisation, P.S. We Care,
provided her with valuable
lessons on how to appreciate
the joys of providing mental
health support and resources
to others.

Scholars in the public sector

Joyan Tan (Class of 2017), a
scholar with the Ministry of
Education, taught at Hua Yi
Secondary School for a few
months before continuing
her studies at the National
Institute of Education (NIE)
for a Postgraduate Diploma       Joyan Tan (Class of 2017). Image provided by Joyan Tan.
in Education. A History
10                                                         YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Fellowships                        Princeton in Asia (PiA), a       in Cognitive Psychology
                                   well-established organisation    and Neuroscience at Yale
Literature major Isa Ho            that offers fellowships and      University after graduation.
(Class of 2017) was accepted       internships with Asian host      Joan started conducting
into the New York University       organisations in areas such      research as early as her first
(NYU) Shanghai Writing             as education, public health,     year in Yale-NUS – a rare
and Speaking Fellowship            environmental sustainability,    opportunity for students
programme. Working                 and economic development.        in many undergraduate
out of the NYU Shanghai            Though based in Yangon,          institutions – which prepared
Academic Resource Center,          Tara will be travelling          her for the research-heavy
she conducts one-on-one            throughout Myanmar               demands of a PhD. She also
writing consultations and          to provide professional          discovered her passion for
delivers workshops that            development in English to        teaching through conducting
help students improve their        rural-based staff of Proximity   ballroom dancing classes for
academic skills in close           Designs, a social enterprise     her classmates at Yale-NUS
reading, public speaking and       that offers affordable,          College.
time management. Over              innovative technology to
the span of the ten-month-         improve rural farmers’           For Rohan Naidu (Class of
long fellowship, Isa plans to      agricultural practice.           2017), his decision to pursue
work on her own novel and                                           a PhD in Astronomy could
refine her personal long-term      Graduate schools and             be traced to a class taken at
aspirations.                       beyond                           Yale-NUS College. A Physical
                                                                    Sciences major, Rohan
Tara Dear (Class of 2017)          Psychology major Joan            was inspired by Professor
started a year-long work stint     Ongchoco (Class of 2017)         Charles Bailyn, the College’s
in Myanmar as a Fellow with        began pursuing a PhD             inaugural Dean of Faculty,
                                                                    after attending his seminar on
                                                                    black holes. Rohan started his
                                                                    PhD programme at Harvard
                                                                    University after graduation,
                                                                    and was credited as first
                                                                    author in a paper published in
                                                                    The Astrophysical Journal in
                                                                    September 2017.

                                                                    Clarissa Leong (Class
                                                                    of 2017) is pursuing a
                                                                    Master degree in Public
                                                                    Administration at Columbia
                                                                    University in New York. An
                                                                    Urban Studies major and a
 Tara Dear (Class of 2017). Image provided by Tara Dear.            recipient of the Singapore
                                                                    Government Scholarship
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                                 11

(Open) from the Public             Developer at SAP Software        his Yale-NUS education
Service Commission,                Solutions Asia, Sean is          for building his ability to be
Clarissa expressed interest        involved in researching and      adaptable and flexible, and
in enacting positive change        developing machine learning      preparing him to work and
in Singapore through               software. He also founded        assimilate into diverse and
policymaking. She chose to         Code Gakko, a start-up that      dynamic environments.
pursue a graduate degree           provides affordable computer
in public policy with the          programming education to         After interning with
aim of developing a more           students in Singapore and        leading financial services
specialised set of skills to       Manila.                          company Credit Suisse in
be better equipped to enter                                         her last summer in College,
Singapore’s civil service.         Upon graduation, Manas           Economics major Erika
                                   Punhani (Class of 2017)          Terrones-Shibuya (Class of
Global talents, local              joined leading global            2017) was offered a full-time
residents                          management consulting            position as an Equities Sales
                                   firm Oliver Wyman as a           Analyst in the Investment
Mathematical, Computational        consultant in its Singapore      Banking Global Markets
and Statistical Sciences major     office. Manas, who majored       division, covering regional
Sean Saito (Class of 2017)         in Economics, applies his        Asia while being based in
was one of many international      analytical skills to interview   Singapore. Erika felt that
alumni who have based              clients and experts, gather      the College’s Common
themselves in Singapore            and analyse data, and            Curriculum honed her ability
after graduation. Employed         conduct relevant research        to examine issues from a
as a Machine Learning              for the firm. Manas credited     multidisciplinary perspective.

 Sean Saito (Class of 2017). Image provided by Sean Saito.
12                                             YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

     Voices of the
     Class of 2017

                                                 “Being part of the
                                                first class of Yale-NUS
                                              brought out the do-er in
     “Yale-NUS College        me, as I had the opportunity to found
     has exposed me to        clubs, pioneer initiatives and actively
     people who do not        support the ongoing project of Yale-NUS.
     only offer criticisms,   My life really transformed as a result, and
     but try to suggest       I continue to seek challenges and ways to
     changes and build        reinvent myself for the better.”
     the solutions.”          - May Tay
     - Ho Yan Lin

                      “When I was thinking about what role I could
                        play in the social services with a degree
                         in Psychology from a liberal arts college,
                         my main interest was to do research in
                         the behavioural sciences to understand
                        how to develop and improve policies that
                       encourage volunteerism and philanthropy in a
                     meaningful way.”
                     - Daryl Tan
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                           13

Research opportunities for
pioneer graduates
A unique aspect of the              experiences that began in       Mathematical, Computational
Yale-NUS curriculum is the          summer of her first year        and Statistical Sciences
capstone project, a year-           when she was awarded a          major Dylan Ho (Class of
long, self-directed project         Social Impact Fellowship by     2017) decided to embark on
within their major, which all       the Centre for International    a unique and creative project
students undertake with the         & Professional Experience       for his capstone. Called
guidance of Yale-NUS faculty        (CIPE) to teach photography     ‘Yale-NUS GO’, Dylan’s
and other subject matter            at a children’s home in         project drew inspiration from
experts in their final year of      Hanoi, Vietnam.                 the augmented reality game
study. Through working on                                           Pokemon GO.
their capstones, students           “There were many questions
hone the disciplinary and           I had left unresolved upon      “My capstone was a little
intellectual skills necessary       leaving Hanoi, after teaching   ambitious, and quite different
to dive deep into a specific        photography there for two       from others. While many
area of interest and engage         months. How does memory         seniors wrote papers or did
with research in their              work? How do I remember         research and investigations,
discipline. The pioneer batch       a place? Do I have a right      I created a new augmented
of Yale-NUS students, who           to claim some sort of           reality game for Yale-NUS
graduated in May 2017,              belonging, as a foreigner,      students to play within the
undertook many unique               to a city I feel an affinity    Yale-NUS campus…
capstone projects.                  with? I also constantly         One thing I wanted
                                    wonder what had become of       Yale-NUS GO to be able
An Arts and Humanities              the children I worked with –    to do was for students to
major, Aleithia Low (Class          if they have learnt enough to   go on adventures with
of 2017) decided to use             move beyond the village and     friends to foster a greater
her capstone project to             lead a self-sufficient life,”   sense of community on
reflect on her international        Aleithia reflected.             campus.”

  Aleithia Low (Class of 2017). Image provided by Aleithia Low.
14                                                         YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Anthropology major Maggie            20,000 pieces of bio-data      employers, and agents, my
Schumann (Class of 2017)             found that many domestic       capstone explains why many
studied the implementation           workers, particularly first-   domestic workers do not
of Singapore’s 2012                  timers from Indonesia and      request or obtain a weekly
regulation of rest days for          Myanmar, did not utilise the   day off and concludes by
migrant domestic workers             weekly rest days.              suggesting changes to
for her capstone. According                                         the regulation so that all
to Maggie’s research,                “Through a total of 40         domestic workers have
previous quantitative                qualitative interviews         meaningful access to a
research that examined over          with domestic workers,         weekly day off.”

Concurrent degree programmes

On top of their capstone             programmes at the Lee          of Public Health. These
projects, some students              Kuan Yew School of Public      five-year programmes are
continued their independent          Policy, Yale School of         designed for students who
research goals by pursuing           Forestry and Environmental     wish to pursue careers in
concurrent degree                    Studies, and Yale School       public policy, environmental

     Chua Wan Ping and Xie Yihao (Class of 2017).
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                    15

studies or public health, and   different professors were      look at data, my background
each programme provides         all inspiring and exposed      in qualitative research
students with accelerated       to me how multifaceted         highlighted to me the
graduate training in these      environmental issues are.”     significance of looking at
fields of academic and                                         the data in different
professional interest.          Benjamin Leong, who            contexts.”
                                majored in Philosophy,
Environmental Studies major     Politics and Economics,
Chua Wan Ping (Class of         was one of the students
2017) was selected as one       in the inaugural class for
of the first two students       the Concurrent Degree
to attend the Concurrent        Programme with Lee Kuan
Degree Programme (CDP)          Yew School of Public Policy
with Yale School of Forestry    (LKY School).
and Environmental Studies
(Yale F&ES).                    “I was interested in a
                                career in the civil service
“As my career goals started     and had taken up an
becoming more solidified,       internship at a government
it seemed like the CDP          ministry. Policymaking was
would fit well in giving me     also an area of personal
the skills that are relevant    interest for me…One
to my career plans. It would    benefit from this course
also give me an international   is a better understanding
perspective on sustainability   of government operations
issues through my               and what possibilities there
connections with professors     are for individuals and for
and classmates there.”          future change,” Benjamin
                                explained.
Environmental Studies
major Xie Yihao                 Another student in the
(Class of 2017) is also         CDP with LKY School was
attending the Yale F&ES         Li Nanlan, who majored
CDP. “Introduction to           in History. “My training in
Environmental Studies was       history prompted me to
one of the best courses I       think more about how one
have taken and was what         policy decision may impact
really drew me into the         individual lives in many
major. The subsequent           different ways. While
courses that I took from        policy analysis tends to
16                                                      YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Institutional milestones

The year marked several institutional firsts for Yale-NUS as we unveiled
the College mace, welcomed our new president and senior faculty, and
bade a fond farewell to our founding president.

The Yale-NUS College ceremonial mace
The Yale-NUS College            Born out of a partnership
ceremonial mace was             between Yale University
unveiled in November 2017.      and the National University
Like Yale-NUS’ distinctive      of Singapore, Yale-NUS              1
melding of the best of          brings together established
East and West, the mace         liberal arts traditions of the
incorporates both Western       West and the intellectual
and Asian elements.             and cultural traditions of
Designed in Singapore by art    Asia, to form a unique
consultancy Asian Palette       model of liberal arts and
Pte Ltd, the woodwork was       science education. Like the
carried out by Al Ik Kan        distinctive Yale-NUS
Designs, a woodcrafting         curriculum, the mace                2
business in Georgia, USA.       incorporates both Western
                                and Asian elements,
The Yale-NUS College mace       combining facets of each
drew its inspiration from the   to form a connected and
Yale-NUS mascot, Halcyon        unified whole.
the Kingfisher, and the three                                       3
wood species representing
the Yale-NUS residential          1. Halcyon the Kingfisher
                                     represented in abstract
colleges – Cendana, Elm              bronze sculpture.
and Saga. The residential         2. Metalwork inspired
colleges bear the names of           by batik floral motifs
                                     and the intricate wood
trees significant to Asia and        carvings of Asia.              4
the United States. Saga and       3. Saga.
Cendana are native to Asia,       4. Cendana.
while New Haven is popularly      5. Elm.
known as the ‘Elm City’.
                                                                    5
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                              17

New President for Yale-NUS College fosters
senior leadership renewal
On 1 July 2017, Professor
Tan Tai Yong took office as
Yale-NUS College’s new
President, following an
extensive global search.
Prior to the appointment,
Professor Tan served as the
College’s Executive Vice
President (Academic Affairs)
since 2014, overseeing the
academic and co-curricular
aspects of the Yale-NUS
liberal arts experience. Under
his leadership, the Yale-NUS
faculty has nearly doubled in
size, comprising outstanding
teachers who are also
respected researchers in         “I have long held the conviction that the best
their fields.                    way to prepare students for a rapidly changing
                                 workplace and an increasingly complex world
Professor Tan took over          is to develop in them the capacity for reason,
from Founding President          reflection and independent critical thinking.
Professor Pericles Lewis,
                                 And, in an interconnected world, the ability
who completed his five-
                                 to appreciate differences through greater
year presidency term and
returned to Yale University
                                 understanding of diversity is a particularly
to serve as Vice President       critical attribute.”
for Global Strategy and          - Professor Tan Tai Yong, President
Deputy Provost for
International Affairs.           After earning a First Class           Provost (Student Life).
                                 Honours degree from the               During those years, he was
Deeply involved in Yale-NUS      NUS and a PhD in History              one of the key architects of
College since its founding       from Cambridge University,            academic and student life
days, Professor Tan served       Professor Tan has made                programmes at University
as the co-chair of the joint     important contributions to            Town. A noted historian of
Yale University and National     research and scholarship.             South and Southeast Asian
University of Singapore          Over his two decades of               history, Professor Tan was
(NUS) committee that             administrative service at             the founding Director of
hired the inaugural faculty      NUS, he served in leadership          the NUS Institute of South
members in the humanities        roles such as the Dean                Asian Studies and served
and helped shape the             of the Faculty of Arts &              as a Nominated Member of
common curriculum in 2011.       Social Sciences and Vice              Parliament in 2014.
18                                                      YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Thank you Founding President

Founding President              “Our faculty and staff have been instrumental
Professor Pericles Lewis        in establishing a broad range of subjects and
took office at Yale-NUS in      high quality international learning
2012 and began realising
                                programmes… Coupled with the residential
the College’s vision of
                                programme, I am also proud that this led to
building a community of
learning. During his term of
                                a mindset of continuous learning beyond the
office, the College recruited   classroom walls. This model has established
over 100 faculty from           a good reputation worldwide and garnered
leading global colleges and     much attention from prospective employers.”
universities; designed an       - Professor Pericles Lewis, Founding President
international curriculum that
has received widespread
attention and interest; and     Professor Lewis returned            Vice President for Global
enrolled four classes of        to Yale University in New           Strategy and Deputy Provost
students. In June 2017,         Haven, USA, to serve as             for International Affairs.
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                                 19

New faculty take the helm leading
Yale-NUS’ development
The process of leadership            take it to new heights,               A new Dean of Faculty
renewal has continued,               bringing with them fresh              was appointed on 1 June
with talented senior faculty         perspectives from their               2017. Professor of Social
joining the College to               diverse expertise.                    Sciences (Economics)
                                                                           Joanne Roberts took over
                                                                           from renowned chemist
                                                                           and Professor of Science,
                                                                           Steven Bernasek, who
                                                                           went on to take a larger
                                                                           role within the College as
                                                                           Executive Vice President
                                                                           (Academic Affairs). Since
                                                                           joining Yale-NUS in July
                                                                           2015, Professor Bernasek
                                                                           has been involved in the
                                                                           planning and annual review
                                                                           of the Science Division and
                                                                           the review of the Common
                                                                           Curriculum.

                                                                           An esteemed public
                                                                           economist, Professor
 Professor Steven Bernasek, Executive Vice President (Academic Affairs).   Roberts was previously
                                                                           Associate Dean of Faculty
                                                                           (Faculty Development) at
                                                                           Yale-NUS before moving
                                                                           on to her new role.
                                                                           Before joining Yale-NUS
                                                                           College, she taught at the
                                                                           University of Toronto and
                                                                           the University of Calgary.
                                                                           Professor Roberts has
                                                                           served as a member of the
                                                                           executive of the Canadian
                                                                           Economic Association,
                                                                           President of the Canadian
                                                                           Economics Women’s
                                                                           Network, and a co-editor
                                                                           of the Canadian Journal of
                                                                           Economics.
  Professor Joanne Roberts, Dean of Faculty.
20                                                              YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

 From left: Professor Stephen Pointing, Director of Science Division; Professor John Driffill, Director of
 Social Sciences Division.

Following the promotion of            also been Specialist Advisor           Professor Pointing shared
Executive Vice President              to the House of Lords Select           that the strong heritage
Bernasek and Dean Roberts,            Committee on the European              of the College’s founding
two professors were                   Union, Subcommittee A on               universities, Singapore’s
appointed Directors for the           Economic Affairs, for inquiries        strong commitment to
Science and Social Sciences           into the Euro and the Stability        science and technology,
Divisions.                            and Growth Pact.                       and its vibrant multicultural
                                                                             society were compelling
Professor Stephen                     Professor Pointing                     factors for his move to
Pointing, an environmental            specialises in the                     Singapore and Yale-NUS.
scientist, was appointed              application of microbiology
as the Divisional Director            to environmental issues,               Both Divisional Directors
of Science, while Visiting            and served as Director of              work closely with each other
Professor John Driffill took          the Institute for Applied              and Professor Rajeev Patke,
up the baton from Professor           Ecology at the Auckland                Director of Humanities
Jane M Jacobs to helm the             University of Technology.              Division. The interdisciplinary
Social Sciences Division.             He was the winner of a                 nature of the Yale-NUS
                                      Teaching Excellence Award              curriculum provides multiple
Prior to joining Yale-NUS in          and an Outstanding Service             opportunities for the three
2016, Professor Driffill was          Award from the University              divisions to work in synergy.
the Head of Department of             of Hong Kong, where he
Economics, Mathematics and            was previously an associate
Statistics at Birkbeck College,       professor in the School of
University of London. He has          Biological Sciences.
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                              21

Welcoming the Class of 2021

On 11 August 2017, the
Yale-NUS College community
welcomed 250 new students
into the Class of 2021, marking
the College’s largest intake
to date. Representing 45
nationalities, including students
from our usual mainstays
like India and the United
States, and for the first time,
countries like Uzbekistan and
Paraguay, the Class of 2021
was the College’s largest and
most diverse intake to date.

The students were formally          “Your views will take shape and they will be
welcomed to campus at the           tested, as they should be, in the cut and thrust
annual First Year Assembly,         of seminar debates, over the course of reading
the culmination of a two-
                                    and studying, during conversations with your
week orientation programme
                                    lecturers, your peers and friends.”
designed to allow first-year
students to explore Singapore       - Professor Tan Tai Yong, President
22                                                            YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

and learn more about the            the event as the Guest-               (Academic Year 2016/2017)
College and its close-knit          of-Honour. The Assembly               Saza Faradilla (Class of 2018),
community. This year’s              was also attended by the              nominated faculty speaker
orientation programme               College’s administration and          Associate Professor Andrew
was themed ‘Take Flight’,           faculty, as well as family            M Bailey, and Dean of
representing the College’s          and friends of the incoming           Students Christopher Bridges.
readiness to soar to greater        students.
heights after marking                                                     In his concluding remarks
the milestone of its first          The Class of 2021 was treated         Dean Bridges had these warm
graduating class.                   to the warm speeches of               words of assurance for the
                                    Yale-NUS College President            first-years, “Remember that
Then-President of the               Tan Tai Yong, then-Director           although it is your journey, all
National University of              of Admissions & Financial             of us in this room are with you.
Singapore (NUS) Professor           Aid Laura Severin, President          I look forward to sharing your
Tan Chorh Chuan graced              of the Student Government             good company along the way.”

     CLASS OF 2021 SIBLINGS ON CAMPUS

     For some students, their
     peers are not their only
     family on campus; their
     siblings are too. Hailing
     from the Class of 2021,
     Boden Franklin is the
     brother of Anne Caroline
     (Kei) Franklin (Class of
     2017). Boden and his
     family lived in Senegal,          Boden Franklin (Class of 2021, left) with his sister Kei (Class
                                       of 2017, right). Image provided by Robbie Short.
     West Africa for many
     years, an experience which
     inculcated in him the strong   participate in experiential           liberal arts curriculum was
     value of cross-cultural        learning that engages with            the most relevant to her
     experiences to widen one’s     alternative world views.              passion and curiosity in
     horizons. Motivated by                                               pursuing a deeper and
     Kei’s experiences at the       Nyang Bing Pei (Class of              broader understanding
     College, Boden enrolled at     2021), the sister of Nyang Bing       of international relations.
     Yale-NUS so that he could      Lin (Class of 2018), was also         She was drawn to the
     move out of his cultural       influenced by her older sister’s      open conversations and
     and social comfort zones,      positive experience at the            discussion-based learning
     experience non-western         College. An avid follower of          that Yale-NUS encourages,
     and non-American-              world affairs, Bing Pei found that    as well as the exposure to
     centric perspectives, and      the College’s interdisciplinary       diverse backgrounds.
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                                  23

Celebrating achievements

Yale-NUS College students have been making waves with their various
achievements – from wining prestigious scholarships and participating in
challenging competitions around the world, to presenting at international
conferences.

Yale-NUS’ first Rhodes Scholar
In November 2017,                       founding President of the        oriented education. I am
Nicholas Carverhill (Class              Yale-NUS College Debate          proud to represent Yale-NUS
of 2017) was named a                    Society, which allowed him       College, and the many other
2018 Rhodes Scholar. The                to spend considerable time       communities that have
Rhodes Scholarship is a                 supporting and working           made it possible to receive
postgraduate award given to             with debate initiatives and      this scholarship – it is the
exceptional students from               programmes in about a dozen      investment that others have
around the world to study               countries.                       made in me that truly made
at the University of Oxford,                                             it possible.”
with the aim of nurturing               On receiving the Rhodes
public-spirited leaders of the          Scholarship, Nicholas said,      He intends to pursue a
future. An Urban Studies                “I am immensely grateful         Master of Philosophy in
major, Nicholas managed an              for the opportunity to further   Development Studies at
undergraduate global affairs            my studies in a programme        Oxford, which he feels will
online publication, and was the         dedicated to service-            give him the methodological
                                                                         and theoretical dexterity to
                                                                         work in collaboration with
                                                                         different communities.

                                                                         Nicholas was also a fellow
                                                                         in the World Innovation
                                                                         Summit for Education (WISE)
                                                                         programme, a programme
                                                                         that encourages stakeholders
                                                                         in education to explore and
                                                                         share ideas, and contribute
                                                                         towards creative action in
                                                                         education today. In September
                                                                         2017, Nicholas, together with
  Image provided by Nicholas Carverhill.                                 Sebastian Cortes (Class of
                                                                         2018) and Charlotte Evans,
“After my fieldwork experiences from courses                             Programme Manager, Centre
taken at Yale-NUS, I feel called to work with                            for International & Professional
vulnerable communities on issues related to                              Experience (CIPE), received
urban politics.”                                                         places in the prestigious
- Nicholas Carverhill (Class of 2017)                                    programme.
24                                                           YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

APRU – NYT Asia-Pacific Case Competition
2017
Over the summer of 2017,             Stephanie Chee (Class of            Stephanie addressed her
five Yale-NUS students               2019) clinched the first            policy to Australia’s Minister
clinched honours in the              runner-up position in the solo      for the Environment and
inaugural Association of             category, while the group           Energy, and highlighted the
Pacific Rim Universities             consisting of Feroz Khan,           impact of climate change
– New York Times                     Kaushik Swaminathan, Peter          on its coral reefs and the
(APRU-NYT) Asia-Pacific              Lewis (all from Class of            prospect of climate refugees
Case Competition 2017.               2018) and Guadalupe Lazaro          fleeing from other island
Students from 12 nations             (Class of 2020) clinched a          nations into Australia.
and territories, and 31              top 10 position in the group        Feroz, Kaushik, Peter and
universities participated in         segment. Participants were          Guadalupe’s essay discussed
the competition, which was           tasked to assume the role           the impact of Singapore’s
judged by senior university          of a policy advisor to a            food system on the climate
leaders from member                  respected political leader,         and the oceans, as well as
universities of APRU and             and submit a brief policy on        Singapore’s vulnerability
staff from The New York              the complexities of climate         to future climate-induced
Times.                               change, focusing on the             shocks to its food system.
                                     future of the Pacific Ocean.

     From left: Peter Lewis, Kaushik Swaminathan, Stephanie Chee, President Tan Tai Yong, Guadalupe
     Lazaro and Feroz Khan.
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                             25

Google Techmaker Scholarship awarded to
Yale-NUS student
In July 2017, Chandler Beyer
(Class of 2020) was selected
as one of 90 students from
the Asia-Pacific region to
be conferred the Google
Women Techmakers
Scholarship. A group of
female undergraduate and
graduate students were
chosen from a strong pool of
applicants. The scholarships
were awarded based on the
strength of each candidate's
impact on diversity, their
                                Chandler Beyer (Class of 2020) at the Google Women Techmakers
leadership abilities and        retreat. Image provided by Google.
academic background.

As part of the scholarship,    where she connected with          and participated in a
Chandler attended a week-      fellow scholars, networked        number of social events and
long retreat in Seoul, Korea   with Google employees             workshops.

Yale-NUS student wins bronze and gold
medals at SEA Games debut
Benedict Chan (Class of
2021) won the bronze and
gold medals in the Doubles
and Men’s Team events
respectively at the 29th
Southeast Asian (SEA)
Games in Kuala Lumpur,
which was held from 19 to
30 August 2017. This was
Benedict’s debut in squash
for Team Singapore. He          Benedict Chan (Class of 2021) competing at the 29th SEA Games.
picked up the sport when he     Image provided by Benedict Chan.
was just 13.
                               overcome their Filipino rivals    in squash for Singapore –
On 29 August 2017, he and      in a closely fought encounter     the first in 22 years.
his teammates managed to       to win a historic gold medal
26                                                            YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Yale-NUS students recognised for
contributions to pro bono projects

     Image provided by The Military Justice Project.

Students in the Double                 Bachelor of Laws (with          pro bono legal services,
Degree Programme (DDP)                 Honours) degree from the        Daniel was given the Special
in Law and Liberal Arts                Faculty of Law, National        Recognition Award while
read law at the Faculty of             University of Singapore         Amelia received the Pro
Law at NUS and liberal                 (NUS).                          Bono Leadership Award.
arts at Yale-NUS College
at the same time. This                 In 2017, Daniel Ng (Class       Upon matriculation at
programme provides an                  of 2018) and Amelia             university, Daniel joined the
interdisciplinary legal                Chew (Class of 2017)            Military Justice Project, an
education in a residential,            received awards from the        initiative at the NUS Faculty
liberal arts setting, and              NUS Faculty of Law for          of Law that aims to provide
students graduate with both            their work in pro bono          accessible legal assistance to
a Bachelor of Arts (with               projects. To recognise their    servicemen in the Singapore
Honours) degree from                   commitment and passion          Armed Forces. He also
Yale-NUS College and a                 towards providing quality       started the Military Justice
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                                    27

Project – National Police          legal education workshops           accessibility of law-related
Cadet Corps (NPCC) Basic           called ‘Law & You’ for foreign      resources. Cephas Tan
Criminal Law Programme to          domestic workers. The               (Class of 2018), worked with
educate secondary school           aim was to empower them             Koh Wei Jie (Class of 2017)
NPCC cadets on military law        with an understanding of            to develop Uppercase, an
in an engaging manner.             their rights and of the law in      innovative platform which
                                   Singapore.                          increased the accessibility of
Amelia, who served as                                                  parliamentary debates and
Publicity Co-Head of the NUS       Besides community                   speeches.
Pro Bono Group, worked             service, some students also
with the team to organise          looked into improving the

   Melody Lau (Class of 2018, right) at the 2017 Asia Cup International Moot Court Competition. Image
   provided by NUS Law Mooting and Debating Club.

   In August 2017, DDP student Melody Lau (Class of 2018) and her team emerged
   champions of the 2017 Asia Cup International Moot Court Competition held in Tokyo,
   Japan. Melody and her teammate Joel Sherard from NUS Law were named joint Best
   Oralists for the competition.

   The competition was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan as well as
   the Japanese Society of International Law.
28                                                        YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Presentations at international conferences

Yale-NUS students have
had the opportunity to work
closely with professors
and peers on important
research projects, and make
academic contributions in
areas as varied as Singapore
history to safety and digital
security technology. The
students presented their
own research in international
academic arenas, which
broadened their perspectives
in their field of interest.
This exposure also provided
hands-on experience
in presenting research
                                   Yale-NUS students at Oxford University. Image provided by Karen Ho.
arguments to an academic
audience and connected
them with like-minded peers
in academia.                     project titled ‘Another              symposium was a great way
                                 Singaporean Song: Xinyao             to deepen her understanding
Three Yale-NUS students          and National Identity in             on various histories and
– Karen Ho (Class of 2017),      Singapore’. It looked at             debates in Singapore.
Min Lim (Class of 2018) and      how the music movement
Ng Qi Siang (Class of 2019)      dialogued with the                   Qi Siang presented on the
– presented their research       government’s attempts to             de-emphasis of colonial
on Singapore history at a        impose a national narrative,         violence in Singapore’s
symposium organised by           and how Xinyao (a genre              history textbooks, a topic
Trinity College at Oxford        of songs that is unique to           that he first developed an
University in February           Singapore), in response,             interest in during his Modern
2017. Titled ‘Conversations      influenced and articulated           Social Thought class, which
in Singapore History’, the       the people’s conception of           is part of the Common
one-day symposium aimed          national identity.                   Curriculum.
to bring together different
academic disciplines to          Min’s presentation
present diverse perspectives     focused on the defensive
on the history of the country.   structures of 14th century
                                 Temasik, which is the
Karen, a History major,          earliest-recorded name for
presented on her capstone        Singapore. She said that the
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                          29

Yale-NUS faculty

In 2017, Yale-NUS faculty continued to reach new heights not only in
research and teaching, but also in their contributions to the College’s
innovative curriculum, co-curricular programmes and residential life.

The faculty at Yale-NUS, unlike at many higher educational
institutions, is not organised into traditional academic departments.
To promote interaction between faculty members of different
disciplines and to encourage a multidisciplinary approach to teaching,
faculty work in three interdisciplinary divisions, namely, Humanities,
Science and Social Sciences.

Pursuing excellence in research and scholarship
Research is one of the key
pillars of Yale-NUS College.
Yale-NUS faculty members
actively contribute to the
academic advancements
in their fields through
publishing to share their
knowledge and research
with the world, in line with
the College’s mission of
reinventing liberal arts and
science education for a
complex, interconnected
world. The books by the
Yale-NUS faculty members
also demonstrated the
multidisciplinary research     for Neurotechnology              Yale University Press and
that they engaged in.          (SINAPSE) and the US             Princeton University Press,
                               Air Force Research               among others.
In Academic Year               Laboratories.
2016/2017, faculty members                                      Faculty members also work
received external grant        They have published in top       closely with students to
funding from organisations     journals, and as well as books   generate quality research,
such as Singapore’s Ministry   with top academic presses        giving our undergraduates a
of Education, Ministry of      such as Columbia University      head start in graduate-level
Defence, Singapore Institute   Press, Palgrave Macmillan,       research.
30                                                   YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Our students, with guidance    for ignoring philosophy         relevant to the challenges
from faculty, published and    in the East Asian, South        faced by liberal democratic
presented their work in the    Asian, African, Islamic         states today.
area of species succession     and Indigenous American
in secondary forests at the    traditions, and called for      Two literature professors
54th Annual Meeting of         educational institutions        published their first
the Association of Tropical    to live up to their             books in 2017: Associate
Biology and Conservation       cosmopolitan ideals.            Professor of Humanities
in Yucatan, Mexico, in July                                    Geoffrey Baker published
2017 and in the area of        Associate Professor of Social   The Aesthetics of Clarity
‘innovation mindset’ at the    Sciences (Sociology and         and Confusion: Literature
Singapore Conference on        Public Policy) Anju Mary        and Engagement since
Applied Psychology in June     Paul published Multinational    Nietzsche and the Naturalists
2017. Papers co-written by     Maids: Stepwise Migration       (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017)
faculty and students were      in a Global Labour Market       while Assistant Professor
published in peer-reviewed     (Cambridge University           of Humanities Andrew
journals such as the Journal   Press, 2017), based on her      Hui published The Poetics
of Developmental Biology       rigorous study of more than     of Ruins in Renaissance
and Physical Review B.         1,200 subjects’ migration       Literature (Fordham
                               trajectories to reveal how      University Press, 2017).
Professor of Social            these migrants worked in a      Assoc Prof Baker’s book
Sciences (Urban Studies)       series of overseas countries    traced the ongoing debate
Chua Beng Huat’s book          to improve their lives. Assoc   between literary realism
Liberalism Disavowed:          Prof Paul also published an     and experimentalism from
Communitarianism and State     edited volume of essays         the 19 th century through the
Capitalism in Singapore (NUS   written by her students on      20 th century, while
Press, 2017) examined the      spaces of globalisation in      Dr Hui’s book argued that
rejection of Western-style     Singapore entitled Local        the Renaissance was more
liberalism in Singapore and    Encounters in a Global City     appropriately a “Ruin-
the way the People’s Action    (Ethos Books, 2017).            naissance” – the birth of
Party forged an independent                                    the ruin as a category of
non-Western ideology.          Lecturer in Social Sciences     cultural discourse.
                               (Political Science) Benjamin
Kwan Im Thong Hood             Schupmann published
Cho Temple Professor           Carl Schmitt’s State and
Bryan Van Norden’s book        Constitutional Theory: A
Taking Back Philosophy:        Critical Analysis (Oxford
A Multicultural Manifesto      University Press, 2017),
(Columbia University Press,    in which he explored Carl
2017) argued that Western      Schmitt’s response to the
philosophy departments         Weimar crisis and showed
are indefensibly narrow        how Schmitt’s findings are
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                          31

Research Highlights

Alarm response found in       Schreckstoff – triggers fear in   discovery, scientists were
medaka fish                   fish by warning it of a nearby    unable to use non-invasive
                              danger. Dr Mathuru found          methods to study fishes
Assistant Professor of        that while the medaka fish        outside of the superorder
Science (Life Sciences)       also has an ‘alarm response’,     Ostariophysi that exhibited
Ajay Mathuru discovered       it reacts in a different          an alarm response.
that the medaka fish, a       way from the zebrafish
popular model animal for      – by playing dead. Since          The discovery also has
laboratory research, has      both species of fish are          implications for improving
an ‘alarm response’ to a      laboratory-friendly to raise      the understanding of fear
type of semiochemical         and possess characteristics       and panic in other animals,
(message-bearing chemicals    such as a translucent skin        including humans, since
that carry information from   and skull when young,             the organisation of fear
one animal to another)        researchers are able to study     circuitry could be similar.
released when a fish of       the activity of neurons in        Dr Mathuru’s research was
the same kind sustains a      their brains by non-invasive      published in late 2016 in
physical injury. Considered   methods of imaging and            Scientific Reports, an
an anti-predator mechanism,   compare their neural              online, open-access
this semiochemical –          responses. Prior to this          scientific journal.
32                                                     YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017

Deep-learning technology
removes rain streaks

Assistant Professor of
Science (Computer Science)
Robby Tan and his team
of researchers employed
a deep-learning method to
develop an algorithm that
detects and removes rain
streaks from video footage.
Using more than 10,000
images to ‘train’
the computer system,
Dr Tan’s algorithm allows
cameras used in technologies     remove the impediments          In July 2017, Dr Tan presented
such as driverless cars          caused by rain and other bad    his findings at the IEEE
and surveillance cameras         weather conditions such         Conference on Computer
to deliver clear images          as haze and fog, and found      Vision and Pattern Recognition
even during bad weather          that the results through        (CVPR), a leading conference
conditions. Dr Tan previously    deep-learning were the most     for cutting-edge research in
used various methods to          effective.                      computer vision.

Building social                  an effective buffer against     the research are particularly
communication skills in          the presumed language           relevant to families who live
shy children helps with          disadvantage. This suggests     in Singapore’s multilingual
peer likeability                 that parents should consider    environment, as the study
                                 placing more emphasis on        included local bilingual or
A study by Assistant             developing a shy child’s        trilingual preschoolers.
Professor of Social Sciences     social communication skills,
(Psychology) Cheung Hoi          instead of only looking to      Her paper was co-authored
Shan discovered that shy         expand their vocabulary.        with Associate Professor
children with low English                                        John Elliott from the
vocabulary skills could          The study involved 164 pre-     Department of Psychology
still be popular among           schoolers between 52 and        at the National University
their peers, if they have        79 months old in Singapore.     of Singapore’s Faculty of
high-functioning social          Dr Cheung also found that       Arts and Social Sciences. It
communication skills that        the more shy a child was, the   was published in the British
enable them to engage and        more pronounced the effect      Journal of Developmental
interact well with their peers   of social communications        Psychology.
in social settings, serving as   skills. The implications of
YALE-NUS COLLEGE YEAR IN REVIEW 2017                                                         33

Beetles’ bright colours used for camouflage instead of           colour patterns of live leaf
warning off predators                                            beetles in relation to their
                                                                 host plants, and spent 17
                                                                 months photographing 51
                                                                 species of live beetles in
                                                                 32 locations across four
                                                                 Australian states, in order
                                                                 to contextualise the colour
                                                                 patterns of beetles to their
                                                                 natural habitats. Her study
                                                                 concluded that there was
                                                                 a complex suite of factors
                                                                 driving natural selection,
                                                                 which affect the evolution of
                                                                 colouration in leaf beetles.

A study by Postdoctoral         the evolutionary relationship    Dr Tan collaborated with
Fellow Eunice Tan               between the different beetle     four other researchers and
discovered that the bright      species, Dr Tan discovered       the study was published as
colour patterns of beetles      that different species of        an open-access article in
were not a warning signal       beetles had colour patterns      the peer-reviewed journal
to predators as previously      similar to those of their host   Frontiers in Ecology and
believed, but actually a form   plants.                          Evolution.
of camouflage, turning an
old assumption on its head.     Dr Tan was the first
After taking into account       ecologist to examine the

   Assistant Professor Nozomi Naoi receives
   Takehisa Yumeji Award
   On 4 March 2017,             for her contributions to         The exhibition showcased
   Assistant Professor of       Yumeji studies in English        the Yumeji collection of
   Humanities (Art History)     language scholarship. She        Nihon no Hanga museum in
   and Georgette Chen           received the award with her      Amsterdam owned by Elise
   Fellow Nozomi Naoi           co-author, Sabine Schenk,        Wessels. The accompanying
   was recognised by the        for curating an exhibition       exhibition catalogue marked
   Takehisa Yumeji Studies      ‘Takehisa Yumeji: Artist of      the first English-language
   Association (Takehisa        Romance and Nostalgia’ held      scholarship dedicated to
   Yumeji Gakkai) in Japan      in Amsterdam in 2015.            Yumeji and his body of works.
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