Month: September 2013

Performance and Interaction Ideas

This week we have to generate some ideas to be implemented in our project next week. The requirements for the ideas are that it has to be interactive, a performance, workable, and creative. We tried some interactive examples such as object tracking and play music according to the movement of the tracked object.

Some of my initial ideas were:

  1. When a certain key sequence is pressed, a music note / message is played. I tried this last week but it did not work quite well.
  2. To refine the idea above, I will assign some music notes to a set of keys on the keyboard. In addition to that, using webcam to detect the colour of shirt that the person is wearing, the music notes being played will be different. For example, when a person wearing red presses the keyboard, the music played will be of that of a piano. If another person with blue shirt is playing the keyboard, the music will be of that of a cello.
  3. With that, I had another idea of setting up a space with different colour panels. When a person walks around in that space with a webcam, it will detect the colors of the panel and different music/sound will be played.
  4. As i have not figure out how to recognize the colours, I may want to just stick to a particular colour so that only those wearing a certain colour can play the musical keyboard.

Next week, I will try out either idea 2 or 4.

MITx course enrolled: 3.086x Innovation and Commercialization

I am super excited about this new course offered by MITx which started this week. It is a 13 weeks course about Innovation which covers the following topics:

  • An Introduction to Innovation
  • Technology
  • Market Application
  • Implementation
  • The Generic Nature of Innovation
  • Reducing Uncertainty & Iteration
  • Incremental and Fundamental Innovation
  • Apple, Google, Facebook
  • Fundamental Innovation: X-Ray
  • Fundamental Innovation: Printing
  • Fundamental Innovation: Strained Silicon
  • Intellectual Property
  • Teams and Organization & the Modern American Innovation System

Don’t know how long can i sustain for this course (as I have 19+10 AUs from my university course), but definitely I will strive to benefit most out of this. 🙂


Interview Tips

This week’s lesson topic : Interview

Introduction to different types of interview:

  • conventional/traditional interviews
  • Non-conventional interviews

– group /round table (most probably for observing how you behave in a group)

– situational/behavioral/stress interview (to see how you can adapt to certain situation)

– phone/video (to see how you react spontaneously)

– series (please show consistency in your answers for each round)

– assessment centers (a few round of tests for you to go through)

Everyone can be equally good in terms of academic performance but what makes you better is your attitude.

First 30 seconds of impression is the most important because interviewers may have already decide whether to take you in or not. There are a few factors that will determine the first impression on you.

  1. Grooming – how tidy you are and suitability of your attire
  2. Punctuality – slightly earlier but not too early
  3. Courtesy – Be polite and greet properly
  4. Body language – Watch your behavior and sitting posture

Some interview questions discussed in class:

1. Are you nervous?

Admit it but show confidence. “Yes, indeed I am a bit nervous. I am serious about this job and therefore I want to perform my best today. I do not want to let you down and disappoint myself.”

2. Why should we hire you? Introduce yourself. What is your value to our company?

Don’t start off by telling your name… Give your selling points instead. Mention those included in your CV but be prepared to answer questions / give examples relevant to each point.

3. You are one of the worst applicants on our list. Why should we hire you?

Sound pretty negative huh. Don’t give answer like “I don’t know, but why are you calling me for interview then??” or deny it “No please, i’m not the worst!”. Instead, admit that you may be slightly worse than others but justify why they should give you a chance. “Well I believe that all of us have our own strengths and weaknesses. I am sure there is something in me that will be valuable to your company.” Then be prepared to explain your strengths and how do you see them relevant to the job.

4. Useful things that you have learned in university

Make it as relevant to the job requirements as possible – technical skills, communication skills, time management, project management, etc.

5. Most difficult decision that you have made in life

Talk about some mature decision. Perhaps course selection, scholarship offer, JC or Poly. (**Note to myself – EEE or REP) Or it can be whether to further my study or to work for experience. “blah blah… I am very happy with my decision.”

6. What is your weakness?

Choose something that you can package it as strength. E.g. overly goal-driven that you would persist in completing a task.

7. A university subject/mod that you dislike.

Don’t blame your interest but admit that it is not your strength. E.g, for an engineer – you dislike humanity courses because it is not your strength and that is why you are an engineer. 😉

8. Why do you do so badly in certain modules?

Take ownership of that and don’t blame your professor or course structure or anything else. “Yes, I feel disappointed with myself. I wish I could have done better. I have misunderstood certain concepts and blah blah. But I have learned a valuable lesson.”

9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Talk about your improvements and don’t specifically mention the position/department that you think you will be at. They decide for you, not you asking for it at this moment. “I see myself to be more confident in this that this area and climbing up the ladder or whatsoever.”

10. Hypothetical questions

Don’t give a direct answer but show your thinking process.

Technical questions

Show how you analyze the questions and know how and where to find the answers.

Unethical questions?

To see how you behave when a wrong button is pressed. Don’t break down but protect yourself as well. Most importantly, be confident.


At the end of the interview, ask some intelligent questions. “Could you please describe the ideal candidate for this position?” “What do you think a day of engineer in XX company will be like?”

If there is nothing to ask, thank them. “Initially I had some doubts but throughout the interview session, you have cleared my doubts and questions. Thank you for clarifying everything.”

Talking about expected salary. Don’t give a definite value. Ask them instead. “Can you please share with me how do you remunerate a person with my level of experience and background?” If he/she refuses to say, then you should state your views. “According to my research, blah blah, the pay for blah blah is about S$xxxx. Do you consider it as too high or too low?”


Credit: Thank you Ms Li Shu Yun, our Professional Communication Instructor.




“Have great hopes and dare to go all out for them. Have great dreams and dare to live them. Have tremendous expectations and believe in them” – Norman Vincent Peale

This few weeks we have been learning about believing in ourselves and take actions to realize the dreams. It is about self-help movement. The phrase is clear enough; if we do not help ourselves, who will?

It should start with a practical imagination and believe in it. It comes with a mindset of optimism accompany with actions and hardwork. It is a spiral process that grows outwards. I agree that if we stop believing, we are already losing out.

On myself, I have many beliefs and expectations that I set for myself but what I lack is the consistent motivations that could keep my beliefs. I feel that my motivations very much come from the external sources and my expectations may be too much at a time. Therefore, after identifying this pearl, I should restart the cycle of “mechanism of beliefs as self-fulling prophecies”. This time round, I will set lower and achievable expectations, give myself enough motivations and draw some from others, view my performance, and interpret it optimistically then review my expectations again. All I need now is “optimism, passion, hardwork”.

Resume and Cover Letter

I have finally done my resume and cover letter for HW0310 after 2 days of struggle in writing an appealing resume. Phew.

Thank you for an extremely helpful senior who guided me through the process of writing a good resume. B)

Here are something to share: (trust me, they sound easy but when you start writing it, you will go blank, for a moment at least)

1. Find your dream job but be realistic. Find a company who welcomes many fresh graduates.

2. Read the advertisement and analyze the job scope (read between the lines). Identify certain keywords (mostly verbs and nouns) and write down adjectives / actions relevant to each one of them. Our instructor highlighted that we should “build our career on our strength”. If we have the traits (adjectives) matching the keywords, we are good to apply for the position.

Some examples mentioned in the class:

Keyword: explore // Traits: creative, innovative

look after// responsible, meticulous, attention to details

source for // resourceful, networking, negotiation skills

research collaborations // make profit, practical

3. Get all the names right! Especially the company’s name, position and your institution and course name.

4. Be specific and realistic of your career goal.

5. Don’t be too colourful

6. Include only relevant experiences and projects – qualifications that fit the job and the company

lynn johnston comic about interview and resume

Good resume provides accurate details about what you’ve done, rather than exaggerate

As for Application Letter, be persuasive. Show your passion and enthusiasm. Always refer back to the advertisement.

The structure is usually in this format: (Prospecting Letter)

1. Attention-Getter – show your intention and introduce yourself

2. Details – present your most relevant experiences

3. Details – present your soft skills

4. Request for Action – highlight most relevant skills again and leave your contact

Some useful links for Resume Writing:

1 Resume Dictionary

2. Categorized Action Verbs

3. More action verbs (PDF file)

4. Somemore!

Happy writing resume! Next article I will be updating on Interview. 🙂

R-Pi Blog suspended

I was happily and highly motivated to update my Raspberry Pi and project blog just now when it suddenly got suspended for an unknown reason. Well, it states that the site violates the terms of services. But which terms that I violate???????? 😦 So sad!

I hope WP will release the suspension soon. 😡 ohhh please! it’s a nice blog that i wanna make for my FYP. 😦


Arts in Me

I was excited when i signed up for a course called “Performance and Interaction” as my elective course. The impression that it left in my head was that I am going to learn performance! I am going to have a lot of audience interaction and such.

The first two lessons were cancelled and I guess many people will drop it after realizing that the fact isn’t the same as their imagination. I do not deny that I was quite shocked to attend the first lesson last week. But I am very impressed by our instructor, Mr. Dirk Johan Stromberg, an improviser, composer and music technologist. (Wow, never in my life that I could imagine meeting a musician in real life huh?)

So i had a better understanding of the course after the first lesson. Performance is not about just you and the stage but it involves all the preparation work to bring out a majestic show. While interaction is not about how the crowd cheers at you but it is about how you let the audience feel your art pieces.

I have always love art and consider myself as an artistic person. Not because I could sing well or play any musical instruments or a great painter, but i feel a sense of arts in my soul. I have been searching for it and struggling through depression by arts.

I want to better express myself and to find a true identity of myself, through arts. It does not confine in just my drawing or painting or a compose of tunes, but it is alive in my daily life. There are characters that I would like to portray. I want others to feel its existence. I performed without realizing it, in melancholy.

8 years since then, I have grown up and the arts in me are fading away. I would not do it the same way again but I will definitely give it a new life.

Startathon – First in Singapore

Oh yay, i survived through the 26 hours Startathon. In fact, it was more than 26 hours of staying awake but almost 40 hours. I stayed awake all thanks to my teammate’s lameness, and I kept on laughing till the end. 😉 Laughter is more useful than Red Bull (oh yes, we didn’t consume a single drop!). Not a sweet tooth and I wish there is something salty among the snacks they offered. :/ I should eat some fruits but I didn’t [Regret max].

Cool. So we manage to form a team of 7 people, mostly engineer. We are honoured to have met a Executive MBA student and he is really playing a good role of “Devil’s Advocate” by scrutinizing our ideas and taught us a lot. Half-way through, we couldn’t get started with any idea and some of us left. Raspberry Pi didn’t work out well and I’m so demotivated.

I’m glad that there was someone so persistent in the team and motivated us through. It is a trait that I should learn huh. Also, I’m thankful for a kind senior who “feel so bad” if he leaves us. HAHAHA and I’m so thankful for another lame to the max senior who kept me awake by their lameness the whole night. Thankful for his brother because I found a programmer (and i remembered I have not been doing anything about our mobile app business for these few months!). Thankful for the hardware genius who drew out such a nice piece of design and I feel so bad if we don’t present it. Thankful for the 55 minutes phone call from the Business guy who taught me how to do the business canvas and make me feel confident about it. Last but not least, I’m thankful for someone who fetched me to the venue and back to hall, all the way from the other side of the Singapore.

I feel sorry for not achieving anything big out of this event but I’m still glad for joining it. Met awesome people (not many but yeah, better than none). See how a pitching should be done. All you need is just a great passion and a grand idea. It may not be working but yeah, just show something will do. Meh.

At last, we get started with the initial Pill Dispenser idea. There is another team doing the exact same idea. Oh well and they got into final because they showed a nice window app (which may not be working? just an idea?) Nevertheless, our team did good!

But the food was goooood la (Best achievement of the event).

Okay, I shall get started with my homework. Feel a bit dizzy still.