Report by Archana Chari:
The last one month has been a hectic one with exams and submission of assignments, and the party was a welcome relief for all of us. The last ten months have been a whirlwind of time with most fun completing critical inquiry projects. A meeting without a discussion and a talk without a project deadline was a real refreshing change to all of us. The evening was a pleasant one as fellow classmates from the KM batch of 2010 – 2011 started coming in by 6.30 p.m. with wide smiles and beaming faces of relief. It was an evening of homecoming at the Yunnan Corner. Most of the batch was present, except a few who have taken off for an early vacation.
This batch of KM had a great level of camaraderie with the part-timers as well. We grouped together for projects and sat in discussions for many modules. The party had many part timers as well. Don Chai, the well-known networker of the group was greeting students, wishing them luck and all of us were taking photographs with him. As the group came along to pose for pictures and have conversations, it was clearly evident that barriers of nation, language were broken. The joy was common, and the exhilaration of having completed the course successfully led all of us to party the evening. The barbeque pit is a favourite spot among KM’ers. Ahamed Iqbal, from India mentioned – “this batch and the gathering is one of his best send-off’s ever” and is moving to India to pursue opportunities in the KM field.
It took some time for most of us to realize that this might as well be the last get-together of the KM batch. Most of our classmates have come back to school after a working stint and have thoroughly enjoyed the student life. Prachiti Parimal has come back to the M.Sc. KM programme, after a gap of over 5 years. She says ‘this has been a great year of learning, fun and new friends’. Some classmates had travel plans to explore parts of Asia. Jorge is planning to travel to India, and Joanne to Phuket. The class was quick to share photos over facebook, and tag friends on it.
In between all these talks, Dr Lee came over to us and we had a ‘ba’ of sorts over the pool table discussing on vacation plans, job opportunities and on the course. Full timers who are now on the threshold to search for new opportunities spoke on length with each other on the market, the possible work profiles and on the nature of working in Singapore. We have always enjoyed his classes and knew we were going to miss it all too soon. Dr Lee wished “luck and wellness to all” of us and told us to keep in touch with the school.
After a while, as we moved towards the buffet spread and pool table. We had fun teaching each other to pose with the pool, and to try dishes. The buffet meal had a good mix of vegetarian and meat dishes. We also had a traditional ice pudding with honey dew melons and a crispy potato with salmon on the main course. Most of us were new to pool and took turns to learn how to play it. Peng Li in all her poise remarks “ it is not so tough to play” and offered to teach novices like me as well.
The joy of capturing the moment made us all go around clicking with each other. It was an evening of smiles, clicks and paparazzi. The groups started clicking pictures with everyone around. We wanted to store these memories for a long time to come. A excited Santosh remarked that, “at one moment, most of us were posing for more than three cameras” The fun did not end with the party as some of us made it through for a bowling game and dessert to Jurong Point after the party. On the whole, the event was a great success forming friendship and connections to last for a long time to come. We wish the entire group of classmates good luck in their career and personal pursuits.
We welcome 2 new talented faculty members to the Division — Dr Natalie Pang and Dr Joanna Sin.
Dr. Natalie Pang
obtained her Ph.D. in Information Management from Monash University in 2009, where her research was also awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Doctoral thesis excellence and the Faculty of IT doctoral medal. Her research interests are mainly in information commons/common pool resources, digital heritage, records management, structuration theory and the philosophy of information. A graduate of Melbourne University and Nanyang Technological University, Natalie has served as a Research Associate of Museum Victoria (History and Technology), the Victorian Association of Tertiary Libraries, and Research Fellow of the Centre for Community Networking and Research (CCNR), Monash University. She will be teaching a new course on Storytelling in Organisations in Semester 2.
Dr Joanna Sin
holds a PhD and a Master’s degree in Library & Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison). Previously, she received her B. of Social Science degree from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, majoring in Geography and minoring in Anthropology. Her research interests include library services and uses, information behaviours, information organisation and retrieval, and information equity. She teaches in the information organisation area. Before joining NTU, Joanna was a visiting assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison. She also has experience working in technical and reference services in academic libraries. She will be teaching Information Organisation in Semester 1 and Cataloguing & Classification in Semester 2.
Convocation 2010 was held on 28th July. A total of 221 students graduated in the 2009-2010 academic year:
M. Applied Sci. 1
M.Sc. Information Studies 88
M.Sc. Information Systems 86
M.Sc. Knowledge Management 43
Special congratulations to the Gold Medal winners:
- Library Association Gold Medal (Information Studies): Fa’izah Binte Ahmad
- LexisNexis Gold Medal (Information Systems): Gaurav Gupta
- LexisNexis Gold Medal (Knowledge Management): Thara Ravindran Vallomparambath Panikkas
As well as to our PhD graduates:
Dr Chan Soon Keng
Dr Lee Shu Shing
Dr Wang Zhonghong
We wish graduates the very best in their career. Please keep in touch with your former classmates and with the school. And of course, don’t forget to make a contribution to the Wee Kim Wee Legacy Fund. 🙂
Congratulations to Dr Ou Shiyan on her appointment as Professor at Nanjing University, Dept of Information Management. Dr Ou obtained her PhD at NTU Wee Kim Wee School in 2006. Her thesis was on “Automatic Multidocument Summarization Using a Variable-Based Framework”. She then took a position as a post-doctoral research fellow at the U. of Wolverhampton, Computational Linguistics Research Group. She talks about her life after NTU:
Chris has asked me to write something for the DIS blog. I have delayed too much. 🙂 I will talk briefly about my life in Singapore and afterwards in the UK.
I am a former PhD student in DIS from 2001 to 2005 under the supervision of Dr. Chris Khoo. Chris is a very nice and patient supervisor, but also very strict with me. 🙂 During my study, other DIS faculty, Dr. Dion (my co-supervisor), Dr. Schubert, Dr. Yin Leng, Dr. Abdus, and Dr. Na, also gave me much help and encouragement.
After my PhD, I went to England and worked in the Computational Linguistics Research Group at the University of Wolverhampton, as a post-doctoral research fellow. Professor Ruslan Mitkov (http://pers-www.wlv.ac.uk/~le1825/) is the director of this group. Wolverhampton is a small city, located in the middle of England. It takes about 30 minutes by train or tram from Wolverhampton to Birmingham, the second biggest city in England. Wolverhampton has a famous football team in the English Premier League, called Wolves, which has a more than 100 year history. Britain is a very beautiful country, with lots of cultural heritage. I visited several nice cities and towns, such as London, Cambridge, Oxford, Bath, and Edinburg.
At the University of Wolverhampton, I mainly participated in an EU-funded project QALL-ME (http://qallme.fbk.eu/). The main goal of this project is to develop a multilingual and multimodal question-answering system with the help of semantic web technologies. This project has seven partners from four EU countries – Italy, Germany, Spain and UK. Every four months, we had a project meeting in the location of one of the partners. So I had the chance to visit some nice EU cities, such as Saarbrucken in Germany, Milan, Venice, and Trento in Italy.
In the EU, universities and research institutes have close relations. We often had visitors from France, Spain, Belgium and other countries, who presented their research and communicated with us. Some visitors are well-known in their fields, such as Eduard Hovy. When I read their papers as a PhD student, I did not imagine I would have the opportunity to meet them some day in person!
Currently I have completed my work in the UK and gone back to China. I have joined the Department of Information Management at Nanjing University (http://www.nju.edu.cn). I will introduce my life in China in a later post.
Hope all students and staff in the DIS have a wonderful New Year! I hope to visit you in Singapore again.
— Ou Shiyan
This year, International Night was expanded to an alumni reunion, and was held at the gorgeous ADM Auditorium (at the School of Art, Media & Design). The event, MCed by PhD student Kokil Jaidka, was attended about 250 students and alumni, and their family and friends.
More pictures at: http://islab2.sci.ntu.edu.sg/WSCI%20International%20Night/2009/
1. Candle Light Dance (Myanmar Traditional Dance)
Performers: Hnin Wityee (Info Sys), Thuzar (Info Sys), Myint Malar San (Info Sys), Nwe Ni Myint Oo (Info Sys), San San Win (Info Studies), Thinzar Myo Myint (Knowledge Management), Cho Mar Win (Digital Media Technology), Htay Htay Khaing (Info Sys), Su Myat Min (Info Sys), Lai Lai Khaing (Info Sys), Phyu Phyu Thae (Info Sys), Nang Theingi Win (Info Sys)
Watch it on YouTube!
2. Water Festival (Thingyan) Dance (with Song and Piano accompaniment)
Watch it on YouTube.
3. “U Shwe Yoe & Daw Moe” Dance (Myanmar Couple Dance)
Performers: Ye Lin Kyaw (Info Sys), Mya Mya Thin (Signal Processing)
Watch it on YouTube.
4. Songs of Our Town (Harmonica Demonstration with Piano) – Lim Ruey Shyong (Harmonica) & Soe Min Htut (Piano)
5. Jai Ho (Bollywood Dance) – Bijayinee Meher, Pattarin Kusolpalin, Rajesh Sharma, Chai Tze Wai and Marnat Myint Han
6. Popular Piano Music – Mira Tantri
7. Changquan Demonstration — Lim Ruey Shyong
8. Popular Violin Duets – Chris Khoo & Marina Tan (Development Office)
9. “Loi Krathong” Thai dance demonstration – Pattarin Kusolpalin & Faculty
Dr Higgins was on the DIS faculty from 1998 to 2001. She sends her greetings to her former students. This is what she has been doing since NTU:
Dr. Khoo has asked that I write about my experiences after leaving NTU as a Lecturer in 2001. It was wonderful teaching in Singapore. The most rewarding events were the relationships formed with students and fellow faculty. When I first arrived in Singapore in November of 1998, Dr. Abdus Chaudhry met me and my daughter at the Changi International airport. The transcontinental flight with my 18 month old daughter was quite challenging, so we slept for a few days after arriving. Fortunately, Dr. Chaudhry had supplied our newcomer’s campus apartment kitchen with fruit, cereal and yogurt, and we did not have to go out right away. On our first day at the new flat, Mark Hepworth and his wife Joan brought over a box of dishes which they had received upon arriving in Singapore, and it became my job to hand them to the next family. Eve enjoyed attending Dover Court and was particularly fond of her kindergarten teacher, Anne Marie Walker. Dr. Beth Logan and Dr. Tom Hart also came to teach in Singapore as visiting professors. They had been my Ph.D. professors at Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL. Dr. Edna Reid, who travels to Singapore quite frequently, has kept in contact with us, and she and her husband own a home in Tucson, AZ where my mother lives.
I left NTU to take a job at Charles Sturt University in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia. http://www.csu.edu.au/ and began teaching in the Library and Information Studies program. Classes are taught entirely online for the LIS program, and have been for over twenty years. I taught children’s librarianship and information management. Packages were mailed to students with their assignments and recommended textbook and bibliography.
I enjoyed learning about Australia with students, staff and faculty, and I worked with Professor Ross Harvey, who is currently a visiting professor at Simmons College in Boston, and Professor Gaynor Eyre, now Head of Department at Aberwstwyth University. Dr. Eyre is an expert on reading and literacy in early childhood. http://www.dil.aber.ac.uk/en/staff.asp?a-z=true.
Dr. Khoo gave my daughter Eve a large koala soft toy as a going away present for her trip to Australia. She still has this. On the CSU campus we could see kangaroos drinking from the ponds and hopping about like large deer, but few koalas, as they tend to live in the north of Australia where a specific kind of eucalyptus tree grows. Actually, koalas can be quite vicious in the wild, but at the zoo in Cairns one could have one’s photo taken with a tame koala.
One Spring an echidna burrowed under the LIS building on campus. Everyone stopped work to go outside and take photos of this mammal which looks like a porcupine. One of the faculty members took Eve to see a couple of recovering wombats kept by the park service. Wombats are also burrowers with large front claws. The name Wagga Wagga means “place of many crows”. In the Aboriginal language, no plurals exist, so a word is repeated for the plural form. My daughter loved the cold weather, the cows and sheep and “rugging up” as the Australians say. Dr. Harvey and Rachel Salmond made us welcome in Australia, and gave us a shiny black glass crow as a parting gift. Just as an aside, Charles Sturt University has its own wine vineyard and winery. Cheese and bottled wine are for sale in a shop on campus.
The Library and Information Management program at CSU is affiliated with Hong Kong University’s SPACE program. I taught a large cohort of Hong Kong students in the Master of Applied Science Library and Information Management program. There is also an Advanced Diploma in LIS and an Advanced Certificate in Archival Studies. At that time, distance learning was entirely text based. I also met program students face to face in Sydney, Canberra and Carnes on required study tours of the area libraries. The majority of students were working in public libraries. The multidisplinary opportunities for research in Australia were great. I never thought I would be able to research with Chemists, but I did. But to think back on my time at NTU, I was researching with Engineers, also a surprise.
At the University of Southern Mississippi, I teach entirely online. We use Wimba technology now, and Live Classroom, so I am able to speak with students whether in Mississippi, Utah or Japan using a headset. I can show appropriate YouTubes in the eboard, and students enjoy listening and speaking to one another. Students upload their photos to the discussion boards.
My daughter Eve and I live in a rural, suburban area of Mississippi between two large ponds. I feed the noisy ducks every morning, bass swim in the ponds, and deer are plentiful. If you like horses, there are many horse ranches nearby in Reese Creek. In the midst of all these pine trees, I missed the cactus of Arizona, so I started growing a cactus garden in containers on my back deck. I also grow tomatoes. The plants produced a bumper crop this year. I can buy those fragrant pink lilies that I used to buy in Singapore here in the small town of Petal.
I am a new grandmother and very excited about it. My granddaughter Abby Averitt was born December 11, 2009 in Dallas, Texas. Of course both her mother and I agree that she is very, very smart. My daughter Eve is 13. She enjoys soccer, art and language arts, Japanese manga, and of course, teenagers are constantly on the Internet.
It has been a pleasure to keep in touch with my former students in Singapore and I am always happy to hear of their successes.
Editor’s note: Dr Higgins can be reached at: mailto:Susan.E.Higgins[at]usm.edu
We will be officially opening the Graduate Student Lounge located at Level 2 of the WKWSCI building, right at the end of the corridor, tomorrow (3 Sep.) at 5pm. The lounge will be open to all graduate students and entrance is by the matric card. It will be a place for discussion in between classes, where you can bring your own coffee or tea sachets and make yourself a hot drink (hot water provided!). Or simply chill out there and make some music on the piano!
Two ground rules: No overnighters and do keep it clean and neat for other users!
Here are the details:
Date: 3 September 2009, Thursday
Time: 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Venue: Outside the Level 2 Graduate Lounge (WSCI Building, #02-22)
5:00 pm – Opening remarks by Chair,Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
5:15 pm – Food Galore…faculty and students interact over food and tea
6:30 pm – End of session
Dr Intan Azura, our first Singaporean PhD graduate, has returned from a 1-year stint in the Middle-East, to take up a position as Assistant Professor at NIE (National Institute of Education) in the Policy and Leadership Studies Academic Group. In the past year, she was an Assistant Professor of Educational Technology in the College of Arts and Social Sciences, Abu Dhabi University (ADU), United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Dr Intan obtained her PhD in early 2008, with her thesis on Information Literacy Education in the Context of Project Work: Application of Multiple Intelligences and Mediated Learning. She is also a graduate of the MSc Information Studies programme at DIS.
Reflecting on her 1-year stay in UAE:
My one-year stint in ADU was a very enriching experience filled with much excitement and numerous learning opportunities. Other than picking up some Arabic, familiarizing myself with the Arab culture, and exploring the deserts and far flung towns of Abu Dhabi, I had the good fortune to meet with VIPs from the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, as well as the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development. I was entrusted with developing the first Library and Information Science (LIS) Master’s Degree program in the UAE, and was consequently appointed the Director of the LIS program in ADU from December 2008 to June 2009. I was even given the ADU Faculty Service Award at the Annual Appreciation Lunch. It was an honor to receive the award from His Excellency Ali Saeed bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Chairman of Abu Dhabi University.
My colleagues in ADU were very warm, kind and hospitable. My students were always enthusiastic to learn and were game to try their hand at new things such as using blogs in our lessons. Although most of them were not really sure where Singapore is, it was the perfect opportunity for me to share with them what Singapore has to offer – modern amenities, world class education, and a rich mix of races and culture, among others. Several of my students had expressed keen interest to come to Singapore to do their postgraduate degrees!
Abu Dhabi is fast developing into a modern, cosmopolitan city. The Abu Dhabi 2030 Plan is testament to the government’s desire to build and move the emirate in that direction. With plans to develop more public libraries and museums in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, I dare say that opportunities in the area of Library and Information Science are set to increase. As Singaporeans have proven and made a name for themselves in Abu Dhabi in many sectors such as education, banking, real estate and business, it is anticipated that Singaporeans can also contribute tremendously in the area of LIS in Abu Dhabi. So go forth and venture into the UAE!
Intan can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org