Tuesday, 16 June 2015


Ervin Kwan will be beginning his final semester studying Information Systems in August. He thinks that he probably has a lot in common with most people because he’s interested in most things and is always learning something new. He wishes that students here would be less competitive and just be friends. When he’s not busy, his favourite pastime is watching TED videos.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Hougang. I was from the neighbourhood Holy Innocents’ High School, from a normal technical stream, then was upgraded to the normal academic in later years. The thought of being in NUS one day never occurred to me at all. I had a thug’s life back then. 

Describe your SoC experience.
SoC has quite a few remarkable professors! In no particular order, I would like to shout out to Prof. Hahn Jungpil, Dr. Soo Yuen Jien and Mr. Aaron Tan. They taught the lectures that I seriously enjoyed. 
Apart from awesome professors, SoC gave me many peers, activities, air-conditioned study space, stress, bell-curve and free buffet (leeching from events). I do a lot of crazy things to my friends in SoC. Some of which are, giving flowers to the first 3 girls I meet in SoC during Valentine’s Day, telling my friends that assignment deadline was extended on April’s fool and performing magic tricks to random people. I have favourite buddies and we try to take every module together and we suffer and enjoy a lot. Beeyi, Terence and Myo! What would I do without you? 
In SoC, I enjoy sharing – I love to teach or help people who are in need. Being a CS1020 TA under Mr Aaron Tan for a semester was intriguing. I really hope I can inspire and motivate people to love computing one day. 
Apart from those who I have mentioned above, Ms. Toh and Ms. Quek (recently left) helped me so much in SoC admin matters. I demand that SoC increase their pay! How would SoC function without Ms. Toh man!? 

What did you want to be when you were younger? 
I wanna be everything! For every movie I watched, I became inspired. I feel like dancing after watching Step-Up the movie and I always have the urge to fight after watching Ip Man. 

I’m told that you’re one of the founders of NUS Magic. Tell me about this.
I started magic 7 years ago while reading books and finding resources from the Internet. Somewhere along the way, without knowing it, I became real good at it. The first external gig I performed at was introduced by my friend who had a carnival organized at a community club. While performing, people asked me for name cards and contact details because they were interested in “employing” me. I guess if the “product” is of high quality, it markets itself through word of mouth. 
NUS Magic was founded after I got a gig at an NUS event that staff and research assistants attended. It turned out that I was not the only magician there and realized that the others were also from NUS. We then discussed our passion and became determined to setup a club through OSA, despite the hassle of the process (just kidding). 
Performance itself now is like an exercise to me. The organization of content, speech, presentation and theatrics are all often thought about when I have the time. It helped me in my school’s presentation as well in teaching CS1020 as a TA. Therefore, if anyone is interested, come join us here at the NUS Magic club =D. 

What are your future plans?
As I am about to graduate soon, most of my thoughts are about my career. Have been doing internships to get a feel for what I may be interested in. Last summer, I was in IDA and this summer I am at Accenture. I guess there are so many things happening in my life all the time that I can’t plan extensively. It probably will be futile as life is so dynamic to me. 

Quick-Fire. Worst fear?
Water and betrayal

Three ultimate dinner party guests?
Iron-man, Sherlock Holmes and another Narcissist (Formula for a good comedy)

Singapore’s best kept secret?
******* **** *******

Tell us who we should we talk to next. Email tien@nus.edu.sg

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