The Lee Kuan Yew Award for Mathematics and Science for polytechnics is awarded to the top technology or computer science graduates in each of the polytechnics. This Award is funded by an honorarium that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew received from an overseas speaking engagement. The Award was first presented at the 1993 Temasek Polytechnic graduation ceremony.
School of Applied Science
Author J K Rowling said, “I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a book.” How true this turned out to be in the life of Balakumaran s/o Nadarajan! The first book he ever read changed his life completely.
Notorious for skipping school and getting into trouble for fights and petty mischief in his primary and lower secondary years, the former Compassvale Secondary School student chanced upon a volume of The Teachings of Buddha in his home when he was in Secondary 3. In his own words, what he read felt like “the biggest slap on my face”. He realised the folly of his ways and this marked the turning point when he decided that he wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of those around him – he was determined to become a doctor.
From then on, despite being in the Normal stream, Bala never let anything stand in the way of his goal. He worked tenaciously and attained 10 points for his O-level examinations allowing him to study Biomedical Science at TP – a move which has since opened many new doors for him.
At TP, Bala was ready for, and rose to every challenge. In his second year, he undertook a Differential Research Project which not only honed his technical and analytical skills, but also heightened his desire to work on research projects that have translational values. He was also awarded the Lee Foundation Scholarship in this year.
In his final year, Bala was awarded the A*STAR Science Award which gave him the opportunity to complete a 20-week internship under Associate Professor Too Heng- Phon of the Biochemistry Department at the National University of Singapore. During this internship, he worked on his Major Project which saw him successfully engineer a bacterial strain as an alternative method of producing the raw materials that would go into the production of anti-malaria tablets. This breakthrough research has resulted in faster and cheaper production of the tablets. His presentation of this project at the Young Scientist Symposium 2013 earned him the top Distinction Prize.
Bala’s desire to give back to society was also apparent outside the classroom. As a member and later president of the Applied Science Studies Club, he was involved in activities like home makeover projects for the less privileged, blood and food donation drives, health mapping exercises, and peer tutoring. He also served as a logistics coordinator for a community project at an elephant nature park in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Bala graduates with an excellent cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.97 and is hoping to eventually study medicine.
Whatever the future holds, one thing is certain – there’s no stopping Bala from achieving his dreams!
School of Engineering
Jeremy Jee is a remarkable young man who knows what he wants. The O-level 7-pointer from Temasek Secondary School enjoys problem-solving, is very hands-on and has a strong interest in software. It was therefore an easy decision for him to enrol into TP’s Info-Communications course. His parents, a businessman and a homemaker, encouraged their only child to take the polytechnic route as he would have an additional year to hone his skills and gain practical experience via participation in competitions and events.
A highly disciplined and responsible individual who has an unquenchable thirst to learn and acquire new skills, Jeremy scored 27 Distinctions and 3 A’s in his three years at TP. He graduates top of his cohort, earning the course gold medal, with a perfect cumulative Grade Point Average of 4.0. He also achieved distinctions in all four cross-disciplinary subjects under the Diploma Plus Programme which he undertook.
So it is indeed difficult to believe that this high achiever underwent the trauma of being bullied in his lower secondary school years and then struggled with his studies in Secondary 3 and 4.
One of Jeremy’s biggest achievements even before coming into TP was his losing 20kg through a change in his lifestyle. Very much in character of this young man, he realised he had a problem, analysed the situation, tested the best way to solve it and made it work! This same formula, tenacity and determination prevailed in everything Jeremy undertook at TP.
And he undertook a lot! He was president of his diploma club, iHub, and then its assistant honorary treasurer. He was also project leader and student facilitator for the School’s overseas community project in Vietnam in 2012. Jeremy was also an active participant in campus-wide events like the Open House, CCN Day and National Day celebrations. For his outstanding academic achievements, he was awarded the Motorola Foundation Scholarship in his second year. He was also given the opportunity to undergo the Student Leadership Programme.
Jeremy also excelled in competitions. He represented TP in the WorldSkills Singapore competition and was awarded the Medallion of Excellence. In another competition, the CISCO Netriders Challenge Singapore 2012, Jeremy led his project team to win the second prize.
Confident and possessing strong leadership qualities, Jeremy is well-liked by his lecturers and peers. Always ready to help his friends, it is no surprise that Jeremy was looked upon as a role model by his peers.
True to his parents’ wishes, Jeremy spent his three years in TP not just getting an academic education, but also embracing every opportunity that came his way to hone his skills, equip himself
with technical knowledge, participate in competitions, take on leadership roles and avail himself to every opportunity that came his way.
Jeremy is looking forward to pursuing a double degree at either the National University of Singapore or the Nanyang Technological University, after he completes his National Service.
School of Informatics & IT
Without a single day of tuition when he was in Punggol Secondary School, Tan Wang Leng aced his O-level examinations and scored an aggregate of 7 points. The only child of a store inspector at ST Aerospace and a homemaker, the avid computer gamer was so curious about how games are written and the programming behind it that he enrolled into TP’s Game & Entertainment Technology course through the Direct Polytechnic Admissions exercise. “I knew my interest was in IT, so there was no point in going to a JC,” says the young man who describes himself as extremely practical and logical.
In addition to the 20 distinctions, 9 A’s and the outstanding cumulative Grade Point Average of 3.94 he amassed, Wang Leng also did brilliantly in the four additional subjects he took under the Diploma Plus Programme and three online courses by Stanford University professors on Coursera. It is no wonder that he is described by his lecturers as self-driven, highly motivated, exceptionally focused and keen to learn.
At TP, he participated in countless competitions. He represented Singapore in Salt Lake City and San Diego in the Worldwide Competition on Microsoft (MS) Office, after emerging as national champion in the Microsoft Office Academic Skills Challenge in MS Excel.
Last year, he represented TP at the WorldSkills Singapore Competition and emerged Gold Medallist in the IT Software Solutions for Business category. This has earned him a spot in Team Singapore which will compete at the international WorldSkills competition in Germany in July 2013. With a heart for serving others, he volunteered his time with charitable organisations and the less fortunate.
He improved the administrative processes at Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities and trained their staff to use Microsoft technologies more confidently; he also developed a prototype of an Inventory Management System for the St John’s Home for the Elderly. In 2011, he was part of an Overseas Community Project trip to Hainan where he helped improve the facilities of the schools they visited.
Wang Leng also co-founded and served as vice-president of the Microsoft Interest Group
in TP and saw to some 500 students participating in its activities. He also co-founded the Game & Entertainment Technology Special Interest Group in 2011.
A young man with a gentle and confident demeanour, Wang Leng has an infectious smile. A reflective thinker, he enjoys puzzles and solving problems. He has the ability to remain calm and think logically under stress – a boon for competitions!
Wang Leng is now focused on preparing for the WorldSkills competition in Germany. We wish him the very best!