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Convocation 2019 – Medals & Awards

Published on: 12-Sep-2019

Name of AwardName of RecipientProgramme
Lee Kuan Yew Gold MedalLie Thomas AlisonComputer Engineering
Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal
Hewlett-Packard Gold Medal
IMDA Gold Medal
Yew Shao JieComputer Science
Tata Consultancy Services Gold MedalSoh See Kiat DesmondBusiness & Computing (Computer Science)
Defence Science and Technology Agency Gold MedalDinh Ngoc HaiComputer Engineering
Information Technology Management Association Gold Medal cum Book PrizeJoshi Chaitanya KrishnaComputer Science

Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal

This year, the gold medals were awarded to 37 top NTU students who were first in general proficiency throughout their respective programmes of study and who have obtained First Class Honours.

Winner: LIE THOMAS ALISON, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering)

It was 2015 when I embarked on my learning journey with NTU. I remember being anxious about moving into a new environment. As the only student from my high school to continue my studies in NTU, I left my friends and family to venture out into the unknown (in my perspective, at least). Since then four years have passed by like a fleeting dream. Gone is the nervousness I felt while taking my first examination, the dilemma about which extracurricular club to join, or the dreadful panic I felt when boarding the wrong bus which took me to the outskirts instead of looping around campus.

Instead, those feelings have been replaced with gratefulness and nostalgia. For one, I am extremely grateful to have met so many wonderful friends and professors.

My life as a student in NTU was marked by a lot of sleepless nights, stress from difficult projects, and my less-than-average ability to connect with people as an introvert. However, at the end of the day, those challenges did turn into joyful memories. I still remember that at our most sleep-deprived state, my friends and I would talk and motivate one another. In the midst of stress, we would sing "abbreviated" songs or watch funny movies together. We looked out for each other. And when I failed to reach out to them, they reached out to me instead.

I am also very grateful that I was able to graduate with the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal award.

I would like to extend my sincerest gratitude to my friends and family for supporting me when I needed them the most. I am thankful for the professors and staff who gave me their precious time to guide and clarify my doubts, especially my FYP supervisor Prof Oh Hong Lye. I am thankful to my roommate Yehezkiel Soeryanto for the food he cooked and the games we played together. He really made my day!

I am also thankful to my friend Andre Hartanto for all those funny moments we shared. I am grateful to my friend and URECA partner Shelina Lusandro for all the memories, good and bad, that we shared throughout the duration of the study. I am also grateful to Christantia Wirawan with whom I shared “the impossible to forget” tourist moments during our graduation trip and summer exchange. Last, but not least, I am thankful to Jesus Christ for leading me through it all.

My advice to my juniors and freshmen is to learn how to manage your time carefully. Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to choose only 2 out of sleep, social life, and good grades. It is possible to get a decent amount of sleep while maintaining a reasonable social life and good enough grades. Indeed it will be hectic and at certain times you do have to choose only 2 (for example, sacrificing sleep or social life during the examination but it is certainly possible if you do everything in moderation. List your priorities and act accordingly. Reflect periodically on this list of priorities and your progress and tweak the list as required. Even when you have achieved your top priority, take care not to disregard other priorities on the list. Achieving good grades is excellent, but what good will it do if you have no friends to share your happiness with?

And for my fellow 2019 graduates, cheers and I hope that you will have a blessed journey ahead!

Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal
Hewlett Packard Gold Medal
IMDA Gold Medal
Winner: YEW SHAO JIE, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)

My journey with SCSE has provided me with many memorable memories and essential takeaways.

It was a challenging journey that I had embarked on and I was able to overcome the difficulties I faced with support from my peers and friends who travelled this road with me.

One of my most unforgettable memories is that of working on the Multi-Disciplinary Project (MDP), a group-based design and development project. MDP requires the development and coordination of multiple software and hardware components. I recall clearly the amount of effort we put in after class to discuss the project, right from designing solutions, debugging problems and eventually completing it. This experience taught me to value mutual respect, support and team-work.

Another takeaway from this journey is the hands-on experience in technology and the knowledge that I gained from my professors. Although technology is constantly evolving, the fundamentals I learnt will still be relevant and important to us as we explore further in the future. In addition, the school also helped me develop my interpersonal skills and other soft skills through workshops and classes over the years.

Lastly, to all the juniors and freshmen, it is important to set goals. Take time to reflect on and to choose what heights you want to reach in life. In knowing what you want to achieve, you will know where to focus your time and energies. Finally, I sincerely wish that all of you may succeed in your goals and have a wonderful time in NTU.

Watch Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal Awards Video here: -


Tata Consultancy Services Gold Medal

Winner: SOH SEE KIAT DESMOND, Double Degree in Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)

Being enrolled into the Business & Computing (BCG) program at NTU was definitely the start of a challenging but rewarding journey. I am honoured and grateful for having been awarded the Tata Consultancy Services Gold Medal and would like to thank my parents, professors and peers for helping me throughout my academic journey.

Having come from an academic background with minimal exposure to programming, I am grateful to the well-structured and comprehensive BCG program designed by NTU which provided me with the fundamentals needed to jump start my career in Singapore’s technology industry. The program equipped me with the skills necessary to create technological solutions that could deliver value in many different aspects. Through perseverance, determination and guidance from my professors, I became more proficient in programming and am currently working as a Software Engineer.

Some of the most engaging modules I have taken include software engineering, data structures & algorithm and the various business technology modules such as analytics. The BCG’s course offerings are designed to allow students to appreciate how business & technology integrate with one another. Therefore, regardless of whether your task involves development or formulating a business idea, you are always forced to consider both domains, which inevitably helps you develop more effective solutions for your problems.

In conclusion, I have grown a lot throughout my 4 years in NTU. The experience has moulded me into a better individual capable of independent learning and critical thinking. There will definitely be many struggles throughout your 4 years but my advice to incoming freshmen would be to focus on improving each day and to never give up. Always strive for greater heights and never doubt yourself. You are your only competition.

To the class of 2019, all the very best for your future!

Defence Science and Technology Agency Gold Medal

Winner: DINH NGOC HAI, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Engineering)

"My most unforgettable memories during my study at NTU revolve around my exchange semester in Germany. I hadn’t planned to spend a semester overseas. However, I noted that a lot of my peers, including some of my friends, had applied for the GEM Explorer. This prompted me to apply and I found myself selected to go to Munich, the busy capital of Bavaria. I had the wonderful opportunity to experience a vastly different culture, ranging from the interesting local cuisine to interacting with the locals. I grabbed the opportunity to travel to a few neighboring European countries too, and this expanded my knowledge besides enabling me to make new friends.

I am truly grateful for this unexpected yet incredible experience.

I would like to wish the incoming freshmen an excellent journey at NTU. My advice for you is to acquire as much hands-on experience from relevant part-time jobs and your internships. These experiences are invaluable and will help you not only to reinforce what you have learnt in class but also give you an edge in your future career."

Information Technology Management Association Gold Medal cum Book Prize

Winner: JOSHI CHAITANYA KRISHNA, Bachelor of Engineering (Computer Science)

My experience at SCSE and NTU has been a journey of personal growth and maturity. At every step of my journey, the SCSE/NTU community has offered me amazing opportunities to go beyond conventional classroom teaching: whether it was developing my technical skills through assignments and internships, or honing my social skills so I could be a leader through group projects and student clubs, or broadening my cultural horizons by making lifelong friends from all over the world, on campus and on exchange.

As an 18-year-old international student leaving home for the first time, it was initially very easy to remain within my comfort zone of friends from the same nationality. Opening up to people from different backgrounds and beliefs is always overwhelming because of the lack of familiarity. What made it easier was the realization that our anxieties as students are the same. As I learnt how to navigate the differences, I realized how rewarding it was to leave my comfort zone and get to know and learn from the diversity provided at NTU.

One of the most meaningful things I did at SCSE was to attend and organize hackathons: 24-hour programming events where developers collaborate on software or hardware prototypes (or hacks). These were a great place to learn new technical skills, meet the most passionate people I know, and form a likeminded community.

Besides the all-nighters I pulled with my teammates at hackathons around Singapore, one of the most memorable things I did was to organize NTU’s first annual hackathon, iNTUition. In my first year, I joined the team as a Publicity Director and learnt about hackathon organization and culture under exceptional leaders. By my 3rd year, as a regular at student hackathons in Singapore, I was also the Chairman of iNTUition and had the opportunity to lead a team of over 20. I feel proud to share that we were able to grow the hackathon from 70 participants in its first year to over 250 in its latest.

I also feel humbled and proud to be elected as the Valedictorian, to deliver the valedictory speech on behalf of my cohort on Convocation day.

In general, I am thankful to the entire SCSE staff and leadership for creating an enriching environment, and for providing me with opportunities to discover my individual sense of purpose and ambition. As I gravitated towards academic research, I was lucky to find mentors among the professors at SCSE, who really took the time to guide and nurture me. Professor Sinno: your Machine Learning course gave me a direction to pursue in university. Professor Cambria: you held my hand as I entered the research world for the first time. And Professor Bresson: in my final year, you became a mentor not just in research, but also in life.

Do not define success as ticking checkboxes like having a perfect GPA, getting your dream internship, or being Valedictorian. Define success as the mindset of not giving up when we encounter failures and setbacks. Throughout our 4 years, we all bombed an exam or two, or got rejected from dozens of internships, but the most important thing was to learn from those situations and improve ourselves.

Additionally, find a community of likeminded people. We are a diverse student body and I assure you that whatever you’re passionate about, it will be a thousand times more meaningful when you have people to share the journey with you. “If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Watch others University 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 2019.

Convocation 2019 – Valedictorian

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