Lunch with Prof Khoo

I had really a good discussion with Professor Khoo, Siau Cheng over lunch time in the Spinelli Coffee at the University Hall of National University of Singapore last Friday. He is very kind to treat me lunch. (Thank you Prof Khoo!)

We had a not-that-brief discussion (Prof Khoo: commentary sessions) over a few issues pertaining to the university and the School of Computing. And of course, we had our favorite topic: Computing Club, which I had certain experience in while I was a junior. As a graduating senior, I feel I have more thoughts about the school and the university.

Prof Khoo made some very interesting comments, some of which got me really upset while others excited. Let me share with you here:

  1. “school does not encourage entrepreneurship now, [but] university does” – when talking about how the school is involved in building a culture of entrepreneurship
  2. “university just changed their mind set, allowing students to take leave for as long as they need for justified reasons” – when talking about the policy of allowing the students
  3. “the workload in SoC is heavy, it’s not that heavy actually”
  4. “comparing to poly[technics], we need the student to acquire the skills that poly[technics] graduates cannot get, like calculus”
  5. “dean doesn’t approve it” – when talking about aligning some of the curriculum towards the industry standard
  6. “adopting new technology is the at least came to the mind of the professors”
  7. “[school] is operating on tight budget, business school is richer”
  8. “the next step [of the school] is to set up a job placement center”
  9. “the population in Soc is large, larger than [law and] bizad, but not as large as science which can make a difference”
  10. “no certification course [in school]”
  11. “we have been trying hard to set up a software development center with Sun Microsystems, but dean doesn’t approve
  12. “we have to bend the rules a bit [in university], and we spent great efforts running the UDL
  13. Honors’ Year student ran away”

As an adviser for computing club for the first year and vice dean of school of computing. He did cough a lot of blood, trying his best efforts to cater the need of the students. He opened up a SoC forum on IVLE, negotiated for an SAP certification course.

Some observations I made over the time about the student population in SoC:

  1. Students are more interested in academic related areas, which can be easily seen through the packed classroom of SCJP workshop (man, that’s really a lot of people)
  2. The workload is getting lighter and lighter as time goes by, module code first digit++
  3. The students going into different streams hardly see each other due to each other’s specializations

I had some wild ideas of my own as well:

  1. Collaborating* with Science Club, Bizad Club, De Club, Arts Club, Engin Club, etc. to host the world cafe for the students interested in doing meaningful things (startup, NGO, campaign …) together.
  2. Gather the graduating students from different streams in one place to allow creativity and cooperation to take root in people’s life.

*this is more of the things that should be done computing club, which I will discuss in other posts.

By the way, Prof Khoo is a spinelli lover. How do I know that? Because the card he used to pay for the meals were only issued to the first 100 people who topped up their value storage card with 100 S$. (Only coffeholics do that :p, but I was late in action). And surprisingly, he

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