When Andrew Koh isn’t busy with uni work, he’s usually gaming and ‘building stuff’. If he had to eat one thing from an NUS canteen stall for the rest of his life it would be the wanton noodles from the Science canteen’s ‘popular noodle stall’. He also hates awkward silences and people finding out his worst fears. Andrew is currently in his third year of his Computer Science programme, focussing on software engineering.
|at the IFG Reversi semi-finals|
Describe your SoC experience.
I like helping others (those who need help), although it is quite tiring and taxing. To always reflect and improve yourself with each happening is most challenging, for it’s always easier to stay within my comfort zone. The most interesting thing is to meet new people, for you will always learn and hear new experiences, and wonder why they know the other people you know!
[I am currently working on the] Razer Nabu Challenge! It is an interesting addition to the current market of smart ware, with capabilities to gamify our environment! Life may never be the same again!
Previously I was the Alumni Relations Director, as part of the 16th Management Committee of the Students' Computing Club. It may not be very known as it is still a relatively new position in the committee. What I attempted to do besides continue the tradition of an SoC Graduation Night, was to spark off mentorship possibilities with our very own alumni (besides having our academic mentor), as our alumni are part of the reason why SoC is Number 1 in Asia. [I got to do everything], from meeting and knowing the pioneers who paved the way for future generations, and chances to learn and develop industry skills alongside with the academic theories.
So many [faculty and students have made impressions on me]! From the start the 3 professors were Prof Khoo Siau Cheng, Prof Tan Sun Teck, and Prof Aaron Tan. And a friend Ervin Kwan Fu Sheng. They kick-started my learning journey in NUS by inspiring programming I haven’t actually learnt (you know, from polytechnic, thinking that programming is chicken feet).
Thereafter, I had some “internal crisis”, or rather the “what the hell am I here for... etc.” – I was seeking to transfer to Information Systems instead, and thankfully I had so much help from the community in SoC. From informal and casual chats with some professors (the above mentioned) and some of the seniors, Prof Anand Ramchand, to consulting my academic mentor Prof Tan Chew Lim, I made my decision to stay in CS. Mr Desmond Teo (our SoC career guide) helped a lot with my decision by sharing insights to future careers that we might have.
[If there was one thing I would change about NUS, it would be] the paper chase! As much as I cannot deny that the degree can really help with opening many doors of opportunities, I believe that what makes us computing would be our craft, or the ability to handle code (like instead of just taking modules to graduate, hack, code, and try).
What is the funniest or craziest thing that you did or that has happened during your time here?
Craziest: I attempted to take a 5xxx module when I was year 2, and I'm pretty sure the prerequisites changed for it. Don't recommend for people not prepared for the change of pace in learning.
Funniest: Having to explain Halloween and Christmas, their interchangeability ever year. (25 Dec = 31 Oct)
What do you count as your most significant achievement to date?
I happened to be part of a research paper (IJSER 2011 if I remember correctly) of a type of Android Application, when it android was still new. It was my final year project in Ngee Ann Polytechnic and I thought it sounded interesting! I think it still does. It was not easy, and took a few months of trial and error to create a prototype, but I had a lot of help from an Ngee Ann alumnus who acted as an industry mentor and my partner, who built the hardware for the entire system while I built the android side.
What did you want to be when you were younger and is it still an interest of yours?
In the past I kept saying I want to sail the seven seas, and be a sailor. But that was because I needed an answer to answer all the pesky what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up type of questions... and no, it is no longer an interest of mine.
What is something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I started (with friend and strangers) a tech start-up after a hackathon!
What are your future plans?
To change the world. There's much to change, and I think I happen to be in the right place to do so (information & knowledge control).
Quick-Fire! Guilty pleasure?
Saying "chill" and "relax" to calm myself down.
Three ultimate dinner party guests?
Jesus Christ, Judas Iscariot, and any Atheist.