Computing Is Hot Again


So apparently Computing is the in-thing again, according to a Straits Times article this week. We are attracting better students who prefer to choose us over other options. I suppose this is also helped in part by the high rankings earned by both the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the School of Computing. NUS is ranked first in the 2014 QS University…

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From Junk to Beauty


In another week, this junkyard of trash is supposed to turn into a float. No, not gold or other riches, I’m afraid. This is part of the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) rag and flag events. The float is the rag part of it. That rag is an understatement of the beauty of the floats and performances that will be…

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Installing Solaris 11 via Automated Install


Just like I’ve been a long time Linux user, I’ve also used Solaris for a long time. Not the whole time throughout, no doubt. But I did have SunOS on what I could call my personal workstation back in the mid 1990s. That was SunOS 4. It was also known as Solaris 1.x back then, thanks to Sun Microsystems’ rebranding…

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Using a Mac in NUS

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Another oft asked question is about using a Mac in school. Specifically, in NUS, since that’s where I work. This post is a lot more focused on users in NUS, although I’m sure several points are going to be quite generic and be quite applicable to other university students. Or possibly even be general enough to be a useful insight…

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Choosing A MacBook for NUS Students


I get asked pretty often about which MacBook I’ll recommend. It’s difficult to give a good detailed verbal answer when I’m asked this question in person. So here’s a much more long-winded answer for anyone who cares to listen to my opinion on this topic. It’s pretty clear to me which MacBook is the right one to get, but it…

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The Helping Alvin Get Into School Saga Continues


You thought that would be it. An appeal for support to help him get into school. Then it got exposed by the Sunday Times article yesterday that Alvin Wang, the person seeking support for his appeal to get into NUS, actually did get into NUS. In fact, he was offered a place in the School of Computing’s Information Systems course….

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Why Does Alvin Need School?

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This morning, you might have found yourself waking up to all the buzz about helping Alvin to get into school. School, here, being the School of Computing at NUS. Oh yes, that’s where I work, hence it caught my attention, a lot more than most other viral marketing campaigns might have. It got so much of my attention that I’m…

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The Day of No Rubbish Bins


It was Climate Action Day at NUS yesterday. This year, it’s also more commonly known as the Day of No Rubbish Bins. That’s because the organizers, for the strangest and most inane reasons, felt that rubbish bins have something to do with climate. The action this year was to remove all (or most) rubbish bins around campus, and this is…

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Scaling Out CodeCrunch


I recently found myself leading an application system project: CodeCrunch. This is an online system for automated assessment of programming tasks. It is designed to help students learn computer programming by providing a web-based system to retrieve programming tasks, submit program solutions, perform automatic assessment, and obtain feedback of testing results. CodeCrunch originally began as a student Final Year Project, until…

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Computer Science Noobs


Sometimes I feel very worried about the computing students we’re getting in my school. Yet at the same time I’m amazed at how we could achieve the top spot in Asia and 12th position worldwide in the Computer Science and Information Systems Rankings 2011 (2011 QS World University Rankings). Some of the users, both students and even some staff, that…

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