Some 43 years ago, NUS Computing began as a single department of Computer Science under the then Nanyang University’s Science faculty, the first of its kind. Fast-forward 23 years to 1998, the School of Computing was established and this year, it celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Over the 20 years, the School has gone from strength to strength, offering undergraduate and graduate degree programmes across the full spectrum of computing, including computer science and computer engineering, as well as specialisations in emerging areas of importance such as artificial intelligence, financial technology and blockchain. Together with internationally respected researchers and award-winning teachers, the School has continued to nurture talent and build itself into one of the highest ranking computing schools in Asia and the world — 10th in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018.
“Our students have flexibility in their studies, with no compromise on rigour. NUS Computing is tough but once you graduate, the whole world is yours,” said Dean Professor Mohan Kankanhalli, at a celebratory gala dinner held on 20 October.
Over the years, academic courses at NUS Computing have continued to develop and adapt to align with the needs of the industry and potential students. The School has expanded its curriculum to augment the range of specialisations available, started offering part-time options to cater to working professionals, as well as increased the intake of computing-related courses to meet the increasing demands of the IT industry. Additionally, the Advanced Computing for Executives centre was launched to equip business leaders with the technological know-how to address the current digital climate.
One of the aims of the School is to produce research that simultaneously has international recognition and impact on national priorities, shared Prof Kankanhalli. A recent development is the establishment of the CRYSTAL (Cryptocurrency Strategy, Techniques, and Algorithms) Centre, which aims to be at the forefront of blockchain research globally.
NUS Computing students and staff have also gone on to make great strides in the entrepreneurship arena, incepting a large number of start-ups and spin-offs that have achieved great success. Some areas they have tackled include blockchain, car rentals and volunteerism management.
In celebration of its 20th anniversary this year, the School organised a slew of events including the gala dinner, as well as a homecoming fun fair, a charity run and a distinguished speaker series, bringing together their alumni, students and staff to reconnect and build new bonds.
In a finale to their anniversary activities, NUS Computing will be launching a Computing History Museum in early November. This museum will showcase the evolution of NUS Computing and technology over the years accompanied by displays such as old computing equipment and materials, as well as a mural with NUS Computing’s milestones.
The School hopes that in time, this display will evolve into a permanent feature that will allow the NUS community, as well as guests and visitors to gain a sense of the history of computing and of the School.