A Match Made in Computer Heaven

Meet SITizen Ng Cheuk Fung from Computing Science, a joint degree programme by SIT and the University of Glasgow.

Meet SITizen Ng Cheuk Fung from Computing Science, a joint degree programme by SIT and the University of Glasgow.

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As a child, Ng Cheuk Fung could always be found in front of the computer. Besides playing games, he was also eager to help his parents with online tasks, such as searching for information, or navigating complicated application forms.

His interest in computers led him to pursue a diploma in business information systems in a polytechnic where he was exposed to coding, and learnt about the technicalities and concepts behind computing.

When the time came to enrol in a university, it was only natural for him to set his sights on the Computing Science degree programme jointly offered by the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) and the University of Glasgow. He had found his calling.

Turning Disappointment into Motivation

It was a decision made after intensive research and scouring through endless potential courses. But his enthusiasm was met with rejection, when he was initially not selected to join the degree programme.

Cheuk Fung was disappointed but unfazed. He penned an appeal letter urging the university to give him a chance, and was elated when the acceptance letter finally came. The opportunity to join SIT did not come easy, and he was spurred on to work even harder.

“What sets SIT apart from other universities is its applied learning focus that enables students to work on industry-focused projects. The university also offers a holistic education system,” said Cheuk Fung, currently a third-year student.

While the degree programme has allowed him to hone his coding skills, he is also making the best out of his campus life by participating in various activities. When friends roped him in to join SIT Geeks – a student club for those interested in computer programming and coding – and learn about the latest trends, he relished the chance to attend workshops and industry meet-ups with world-class tech names such as Google and Mozilla.

Nurturing the Growth Mindset

Early this year, he and three friends teamed up to join the GUTS Hackathon 2021 challenge and emerged as champions. Participants had to devise an innovative solution that would bridge the loss of social interaction between people due to COVID-19.

He also worked on a virtual reality (VR) project to create a virtual twin of a bioreactor, one which students could use when they were not able to work on the actual machine. He implemented gamification elements in the VR bioreactor to enhance the students’ learning experience.

Cheuk Fung’s experiences prepared him well for the Integrated Work Study Programme (IWSP), a distinctive feature of SIT, where students get the opportunity to undertake paid employment in companies relevant to their degree programmes.

Currently based at JTC’s Smart District Division for his work attachment, Cheuk Fung is working to improve the user interface of the Open Digital Platform (ODP) – a unified operating system that allows multiple service providers in a district to interface with one another and integrate their datasets and operations. As the digital infrastructure for the Punggol Digital District, the ODP can be used by the public, companies and future students at SIT’s upcoming Punggol campus, to use collected data to test out new concepts of living, working and delivering services.

The past three years have been a journey of self-discovery for him that has nurtured a growth mindset. “I enjoy these projects because it is a chance to put into practice what I have learnt. What’s important is to keep growing and not be stagnant. If you don’t try, there’s zero possibility of success. If you try, there’s always hope,” he said.