Wednesday 22 June 2016

Internship with DSO

Source: Internship with DSO - CN Yang Scholars's Club

With many university undergraduates sourcing for internships in various industries, we are privileged to have Lim Min, a third year Mathematical Sciences major, share with us her experiences in DSO.

DSO National Laboratories (DSO) is Singapore’s one and only national defence R&D organisation. It innovates technological solutions to create the critical edge in the Singapore Armed Forces’ combat capabilities.

With more than 1,300 research scientists and engineers working seamlessly across the domains of air, land, sea and cyberspace, DSO researches into emerging technologies, matures promising ones and integrates them into innovative system concepts to meet Singapore’s defence and security capabilities.

Without further ado, let us find out more about Lim Min’s internship with DSO.

  1. How did you first hear of DSO National Laboratories (DSO)?
While participating in activities of the CN Yang Scholars’ Club, I was approached by DSO Human Resources (HR) personnel who introduced me to the internship.
  1. Why did you decide to join DSO’s internship?
The DSO internship was compatible with my schedule and I could rank my interests, allowing for the internship to be catered to my preferences. They also allowed me to intern at the end of Year 1, and not many companies/organisations allow that.
  1. What were your roles as an intern? Did you join a lab? If so, how were the labs like?
I coded using C (programming). The aim of my internship was to build up a cryptographic library. My main task was to implement Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA), which is a cryptosystem, and elliptic curve Diffie-Hellman cryptographic functions. Throughout my internship, I learned many things like coding in C, safety measures to implement in codes, security standards, and different protocols.
  1. How different is an internship at DSO compared to research in school labs?
In DSO, there are fellow interns whom you can discuss your project with, as compared to the individual research I did in school. This made things more exciting and interesting.
  1. What were some highlights of your internship?
I was very well fed during my internship (laughs). But the main highlight would be learning more about mathematics and computing by talking to the supervisors and interns there. Some projects include automatic error detection for codes, noise reduction techniques for multiple purposes such as voice recording, underwater autonomous systems, Application Programme Interface (API) to track all registered ships, detection of hidden artillery etc. We were introduced to these systems and were also free to ask and find out more if we were interested in them.
  1. What was the biggest takeaway?
I learned a lot from my project in DSO. Some of these include knowledge on the Diffie-Hellman key exchange, elliptic curve, RSA, various fast multiplication/squaring algorithms, use of Wireshark, certificates and more. They proved useful in the later modules I took in NTU (e.g. MH4311 Cryptography) and for Cryptanalysis studied at University College London during the semester exchange.
  1. How are the skill sets learnt during your internship applicable to daily life?
I learnt how to interact with people of different ages and from different faculties and schools better. Since some of the interns were from overseas universities, I got to learn more about foreign cultures as well. This helps me in my daily interactions with people from diverse backgrounds.
  1. What was your first impression of the internship? How did you eventually feel about your experience?
Initially, I thought that it would be a boring and mundane job where I would barely learn anything as I had heard from friends participating in internships where you only “photocopy papers” and complete administrative work. I was pleasantly surprised that the internship turned out to be the opposite. Not only did I learn a lot from my project, there were various presentations in DSO that gave me insights into other projects as well.
  1. What was the most attractive feature of the DSO internship?
The intern pay is good (the best that I have come across so far) and the number of projects available is vast to cater to your interest.
  1. How has the internship influenced your attitude towards future career prospects?
I had always thought that working would be stressful and boring, but DSO has shown me otherwise. It made me feel that working in DSO is a possible career option for me when I graduate.
  1. How were your colleagues and supervisors? Was the focus more on independent or guided learning?
For me, it was more about independent learning. I’m not sure about my other fellow interns. From this independent learning, I got better at finding my own answers online (and not over-relying on others for help), which is especially important in Research and Development. But of course, my supervisor was there to ensure that I was on the right track through frequent updates, and help was readily available when I faced difficulties. They provided general directions to help me find answers and explained important concepts to me.
  1. Are there any advantages to being a CN Yang scholar while interning in DSO?
Everything was relatively equal amongst all interns.
  1. What attitudes would you advice others to adopt should they be interested in joining a similar internship?
Be independent and open-minded.
  1. Bonus Question: How would you rate your experience at DSO (Scale of 1 to 10)?
10. We were given a lot of space and time to explore our interests. DSO was also very flexible, from working hours to pursuing our interests in our projects.
Throughout the various presentations I had seen and the interactions I made with the people there, I have always felt that DSO is quite an exciting place to work in. The technology and software they have developed there are all very interesting. These include drones (sea/air), image analysis (to detect the distance of an object from the camera, or whether a person is sitting/standing, or to detect vehicles/persons from a video footage etc.), automatic code repairing and more. I was and still am extremely interested in these initiatives. Before my internship in DSO, I would have never considered the existence of such technology but now, my thoughts on the possibilities of technology have broadened.
Many of my fellow interns at that time have graduated, and are now currently working in DSO. Not only do you get to do interesting work, DSO also provides a good work-life balance. There are flexible working hours (you can come later and leave later), and there are also various events held for you to bond with fellow colleagues or your family. Sports Hour is also available for staff to utilise any day of the week. During this period, office hours end slightly earlier for you to play sports with your fellow colleagues. Also, during my time as an intern, there was a puzzle competition (which I took part in with other interns) among many events for National Day.

Saturday 18 June 2016

NUS/NTU/SMU Historical IGP/GES since 2008

Very good document maintained by marigoldhl!

Quite up-to-date:

It contains the following lists:
  • NUS/NTU/SMU Indicative Grade Profile (IGP)
  • NUS/NTU/SMU Graduate Employment Survey (GES) results 
  • Ranking of IGP by GCE 'A' Levels University Admission Score (UAS)/Polytechnic's Grade Point Average (GPA) 
  • Ranking of GES by Fulltime Employment, Mean Salary and Median Salary

Thursday 9 June 2016

IChO 2016 Singapore Team

The 48th IChO (International Chemistry Olympiad) will take place in Tbilisi, Georgia, from 23 July to 1 August 2016.

The following Year 6 (JC2) students are in the Singapore Team:
Glen Goh Wee Zhuan, NUS High
Nan Zhihan, NUS High
Matthew Wong Huai Zhe, RI
Wang Kaiying, RI

Wednesday 8 June 2016

Kukup Trip 6 to 7 June

Zumba workout

Picking marbles game
Celebrating birthday for June babies

Monday 6 June 2016

CGMO 2016 and CWMI 2016 Singapore Teams

The following girls will represent Singapore in the China Girls Mathematical Olympiad (CGMO), which will be held in Beijing No. 4 High School, China, from 10 to 15 August 2016:

Chen Xinyi, Year 2, RGS
Shi Ruixin, Year 3, RGS
Li Anqi, Year 4, RGS
Lim Li, Year 5, NUS High

The following students are selected for China Western Mathematical Invitational (CWMI) 2016, which will be held from 13 to 18 August:

Zhang Xiaorui, Year 3, NUS High
Gabriel Goh, Year 4, NUS High
Estelle Lee, Year 4, RGS
Lucas Boo, Year 1, RI
Cheng Puhua, Year 3, RI
Wang Jianzhi, Year 4, RI
Ng Yu Peng, Year 3, HCI
Goh Hong Pei, Year 5, HCI

Heartiest congratulations to one and all!

Wednesday 1 June 2016

SMO 2016 (Open Section) Answers

SMO 2016 Open Round 2 List

Cut off for Rd 2 ~13

SMO 2016 Open Questions

SMO 2016 (Open Section) Answers

1. 48
2. 6
3. 1007
4. 2145
5. 11
6. 1017
7. 9
8. 2018
9. 4032
10. 10
11. 4
12. 2
13. 946
14. 2017
15. 147
16. 4030
17. 71
18. 625
19. 48
20. 5
21. 48
22. 625
23. 100
24. 12
25. 25

For previous years' cut off points to special round, please refer to an old blog post here.