Integrated Science Congress 2017
The Integrated Science Congress, organised annually by the Special Programme in Science (SPS) head mentors, was held on 18 November. The event marks the culmination of 1½ years of hard work by SPS sophomores, which started on their very first day in the programme when they were introduced to scientific methodology and literature. Subsequently, they were exposed to experiments on the hypotheses they proposed, based on literature reviews. Finally, they presented their findings at the Congress.
The Congress is therefore a major milestone for all SPS-ians, including the mentors who previously completed the project and are now imparting their knowledge by coaching their second-year juniors.
It is a challenging feat for sophomore students to be immersed in such intense research experiences. However, in the process, they help their supervisors to solve problems at the forefront of scientific discovery.
For instance, Year 2 Physics student CHIA Biing Han spent hours exploring and learning new concepts in image analysis. He found the experience educational and rewarding. He said, “Our efforts were not in vain. We were able to greatly optimise the process of fluorescent microscopy, and we also came up with new analytical approaches to decouple adhesion and proliferation. Most importantly, I better understood how physics and mathematics, as well as computer science, are useful and applicable everywhere.”
LE Anh Phuong, Ph.D. student and SPS mentor, said, "SPS treated me well as a student and as a mentor. I am grateful for the opportunity to mentor talented and motivated SPS students. I get to practice my teaching skills and I also learn a lot from them. By befriending young undergraduates, I relive my undergraduate life, with all its fun and energy.”
This year's event drew 31 students, who made their presentations in 12 groups. They examined interesting research problems, ranging from simulating gravitational waves to synthesising new molecular structures and finding ways to cure cancer. For more information on the projects, please refer here.
The SPS programme was established in 1996 as the Faculty of Science’s premier academic programme to nurture aspiring scientists to meet the research and development (R&D) requirements of a new knowledge-based economy. SPS achieves this through its unique multidisciplinary approach, peer learning, wet laboratory research and mentorship.
SPS students Tuieng Renjie (3rd from left), Deborah Fong (5th from left) and Lang Si Min (6th from left) with their mentors Gabriel Kam (1st from left), Alvin Khng (2nd from left); and Le Anh Phuong (4th from left); and project supervisor Dr Yusuke Toyama
Second year students marked the event with a group photo.