Special Programme in Science (SPS)

SP3172 Integrated Science Congress 2017

The Special Programme in Science was established in 1996 as the Faculty of Science’s premier academic programme to nurture aspirant scientists toward the growing R&D demands of the 21st-century knowledge-based economy. SPS achieves this through its unique multidisciplinary approach, peer-learning, literature as well as wet-lab research, and mentorship.

The Integrated Science Congress, organized annually by the SPS head-mentors, with the support from Dean's Office Faculty of Science. It is a culmination of a 1.5-year long hardwork by the SPS sophomores, which started on their very first day in the Programme, when they were first introduced to scientific methodology and literature. Subsequently, they were experimenting on the very hypothesis they proposed, based on the literature review. And finally, they are now ready to present their findings in the Congress. Hence, the Congress, without doubt, serves as a major milestone for all SPSians to remember, even for the mentors who had long completed the project and now mentoring their second-year juniors to complete the project.

"SPS has treated me well as a student, and also treated me well as a mentor. I am extremely lucky for having a chance to mentor talented, motivated and kind students in SPS where I can, not only practice my teaching skills, but also learn a lot from them. "Interestingly", getting to know and befriend young undergraduates makes me feel like I lived my undergraduate life once again, with all the fun, energy and goofiness."
- Le Anh Phuong, PhD candidate, SPS mentor

It was definitely not an easy feat for these sophomore students to expose themselves to such intense research experience, often helping their supervisors solving problems at the front of scientific discovery. Take, for instance, the experience of Biing Han who had to spend hours exploring and learning new concepts in image analysis. Yet he does not live to regret this experience.

"Our fight wasn't for naught. We were able to greatly optimize the process of fluorescent microscopy, and we came up with new analysis approaches to decouple adhesion and proliferation. But most importantly, it made me understand the fact that physics and math (and computer science, actually) is really useful EVERYWHERE."
- Chia Biing Hann, 2nd-year Physics student, SPS student

Photo 1: SPS students: Tuieng Renjie (3rd from left), Deborah Fong (5th from left), and Lang Si Min (6th from left); with their SPS mentors: Gabriel Kam (1st from left), Alvin Khng (2nd from left), and Le Anh Phuong (4th from left); and project supervisor, Dr Yusuke Toyama, posing in front of their poster.

Photo 2: SPS 2nd-year students celebrating with a group photo at the end of the Congress.

This year's edition of Integrated Science Congress saw 31 students, presenting in 12 different groups, looking at interesting research problems ranging from simulating gravitational waves to synthesizing new molecular structure and finding ways to cure cancer. Further details with regards to the speakers, titles and abstracts of each project can be found here.