Photo credits from: Zig Ziglar @ Flickr

Congratulations to all of the 147 Orbitee teams for completing the programme!  You’re the big winners in forming your own projects and navigating through all the summer hazards to finish your projects.  No doubt that you had wanted to call it quits at some point and wanted to have someone to help guide you a bit more closely.  But you persevered, insisted that you would stay the course, and won the battle against yourself.  You realised the only barrier to your progress was yourself and the fuel was your self-ignited passion.  You return from your summer journey changed, more confident of your own abilities and clear about how you can find your path forward in any technical scenario.

Splashdown featured a number of ways that you can take your work in Orbital forward, which both SoC (through our Entrepreneurship office) and the University (NUS Enterprise, especially NUS Overseas Colleges) have paved for you.  Do weigh these opportunities and assess whether they are appropriate for you.

And now for the formal awards:

  • For Vostok:
    Congratulations to Kabir Khandpur and Gupta Varun of Blue Circle Co. (Winners); Loh Zi Bin Robin and Huang Jifen of O(my god) (Honorable Mention)

    For Project Gemini:
    Congratulations to Jaipal Singh Khaira and Wu Tingfeng of RainyWhether (Winners); Kwok Jun Kiat and Tan Jun Kiat of JFK (Honorable Mention)

    For Apollo 11:
    Congratulations to Ng Yong Sheng and Chan Yu Feng of No Break, No Brake  (Winners); Ngin Yun Chuan and Conan Kian Jia Ren of DARTHWHALE (Honorable Mention)

    and for Best Advisers:
    Bay Chuan Wei, Candiie and Harish Venkatesan (both advisers to eight teams)

Although you are the stars of Orbital (yes, you are!), there’s a whole host of SoC 24 advisers, 20+ industrial and alumni mentors, staff, building facilities, A/V, alumni, senior students and student groups and the tireless admin staff from the Undergraduate Office and Corporate Relations that make this happen.  This programme does not happen anywhere else in the whole currently, so be proud that you are here in NUS SoC.  Go SoC!

– Orbital Staff

 

As part of Splashdown (coming soon, 24 Aug, Wednesday 18:00-21:00), you’ll all will be reviewing and seeing your peers’ projects in person at the event.  To facilitate this final part, you’ll need to create a A1-sized poster for the event, detailing the highlights about your Orbital experience that you like to share with your buddies and industrial guests.

The details for the poster session are on the Splashdown page, but we’ve repeated it here for your convenience!

Splashdown is structured as two back-to-back poster sessions with a final oral session and awards session; see the schedule below.  Orbital teams will be assigned to one of two sessions to present their work.  During each of the two poster sessions, each team will be presenting their work via a A1 sized poster that they will have to prepare and print (pre-paid for you at SoC Technical Services).

SPLASHDOWN SCHEDULE (Draft)
18:00-18:55 Poster Session 1
18:55-19:05 Changeover
19:05-20:00 Poster Session 2
20:00-20:30 Invited Talks 

  • NUS Overseas Colleges
  • SoC Enterpreneurship
20:30-21:00 Awards Ceremony and Group Phototaking

Splashdown will also feature peer voting for best projects.  During the poster sessions, take note of which other teams you think did the best projects and vote for their project electronically using your smart phone or tablet. We’ll tally your votes and announce the winner at the end of Splashdown at the awards ceremony.  Guests (first years, and seniors) are also welcomed to attend and will need to register for the event to be given voting privileges; see the Splashdown page soon, when that information is updated.  Google SG has kindly sponsored some prizes for the very best projects, as voted by all of you and our observers.

Below you can find the current (6 Aug) mapping from team names to poster sessions / locations.  These are subject to change, but basically each EG is assigned to one session and co-located to be near each other.

Screen Shot 2016-08-05 at 12.04.11 PM

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I figure out my project ID?
A: It’s your poster session (1 or 2), followed by your poster board’s location.  For example, Copyleft’s project ID is 103 (Session 1, Location 03); O.W.L. is 232 (Session 2, Location 32).  Project IDs are three digits, with your poster board location’s number padded to two digits.

Q: What should the contents of the poster be about?
A: Great question! It’s up to you. Probably you want to differentiate your project from others, so if you are doing a Python/GAE project for example, most of the cohort will already be familiar with (some of) the technical aspects. You could discuss the motivation, testing, the documentation and libraries used.  If you have the application on a smartphone, laptop or tablet, you may also want to demo your working application (hiding the bugs, of course).

Remember that Google SG is giving away prizes to best project, where you (and us) have voting privileges to help determine the winners, so whatever you want to do to curry favor with your peers is a-ok (within NUS policy, of course). You’ll find that marketing is a very big key for technology acceptance in the real world, anyways.  You can check out similar poster sessions at the STePS events, done by your seniors:

http://isteps.comp.nus.edu.sg/event/8th-steps/media
http://isteps.comp.nus.edu.sg/event/7th-steps/media

for ideas on content.

Q: How large should our posters be?
A: Your poster should be A1 sized (841 x 594 mm).

Q: Should I mount my poster in portrait or landscape format?
A: Both are possible. The poster board mounts are 1x1m.

Q: What will the presentation stations for each project consist of?
A: We will be able to guarantee each project a side of a posterboard, large enough to mount an A1 sized poster on. Most projects will have to share a grey 1 m console table with another project, as space and the availability of console tables makes them limited resources.  The facilities team may also instead provision a blue student examination table to each project, at their discretion.  Power outlets will generally not be available, so as such, please come with any electronic devices (phone, laptop) charged if possible and be courteous and relinquish your power supply to other teams who need to recharge their depleted power. You can see a picture of some of the setups for a similar event a few years here.

Q: When do we have to be there to set up?
A: Presenters in the first session can set up their posters as soon as the space is open.    Presenters for the second session set up when the first session takes down at the in-between session break.  Please take down your posters and clear your station after your poster session.  Note that you may have provide your own mounting tape and pins for the posterboard.  Please do dispose/recycle posters properly.

Q: Do we have to do on-site registration? If so, when should I do it?
A: Only external guests should come to the registration desk (near the entrance of SR1) during registration 17:30 to 18:00 to pick up your Voter ID for the evening. You’ll need to keep track of what 3 projects you think are the best to vote on, so that’s why you need your Voter ID.  Project team members should receive a voter ID by email from Min.  Members of your project team can take turns going to the other projects to grade and see what else is out there that’s cool and worth knowing about.

Q: When can we print our posters?
A: Anytime between now (6 Aug) and 24 August.  Be aware it takes time for the posters to print and that each team is only sponsored 1 A1 sized poster, to be printed at Technical Services in COM 1 Level 1 (if you need to re-print, you’ll have to pay on your own).  We strongly encourage you to print early, no later than the 22nd, due to potential queues during the 23th.

Q: Is it possible to release the voter IDs in advance so as to include the ID into the poster design?
A: The voter IDs are what you use for voting for best projects. The project ID is the number that uniquely identifies your project number. They will be posted on the poster board itself so that everyone can identify projects uniformly, in the same manner.

However, if you wish to still repeat the project ID on your poster you’re welcomed to. The Splashdown page will soon list the project ID. Basically it corresponds to the position of the poster board where you’ll be presenting, prefixed by a ‘1’ or ‘2’ for which poster session you’ll be in (see earlier question and answer in FAQ).

Q: Must the contents on A1 poster be printed or can we draw/paste stuff on it?  Can we just take a blank piece of A1 paper from the technical services without printing?
A: Anything goes!  You can do whatever you want with your one piece of A1 quota (sponsored by Google!). Be creative! It’ll be attached to a poster board so it shouldn’t be too heavy or break the center of gravity with the poster on the other side (there’s another team presenting on the back).
If you want to just take a single sheet without printing, our advice is to buy your own sheet of A1 paper, so that if you want to print color things to paste to the sheet, you can still print a A1 sized paper to cut out/collage/etc. for later.

The A1 sized paper offer is for Splashdown only and will not be available to you (even if you don’t use it) after 24 August, Wednesday.  Theoretically you can use the A1 for anything you want if you don’t use it for Orbital (e.g., printing K-pop boy/girl band poster for your dorm room), but we’ll have to the accounts after 24 August, Monday, so print soon. Though tech services might be wondering how it’s related…

Q: Will our posters be vetted first before printing?
A: Thanks for your question! No, we do not intend to vet your posters. We trust that you will exercise prudence in printing content on your posters. They will be viewable by the general public — so please do not put anything controversial on the posters (profanity, personal information, etc.).  If in doubt, feel free to ask us directly via email.

Q: What prizes will be awarded during Splashdown?
A: Actually, you’ve already won the best prize of all — self-confidence and the ability to find and use technical information on the web to accomplish tasks.  But since you asked: Google has sponsored prizes for the top three teams.  Min has checked them out and they are ** n i c e **.  Up your game and work on your soft skills to best promote your project to your peers and to the invitees that will attend the Splashdown event.

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.00.57 amFinally, you’ve made it!  Your summer choose-your-own-adventure is coming to an end!  We’ll be seeing you soon landside at SR1 and SR1 Lobby next Wednesday with your A1 poster in tow.  Mission Control reports the all-clear for your reentry back to NUS, Singapore!  We’ll have a final, three-hour evening session, where all of you are required to participate (this is the very last milestone), in the form of a final Splashdown showcase!

Splashdown is structured as two back-to-back poster sessions with a final oral session and awards section; see the schedule below.  Orbital teams are assigned to one of two sessions to present their work.  During each of the two poster sessions, each team will be presenting their work via a A1 sized poster that you will have to prepare and print (but we will pre-pay for you at SoC Technical Services).

SPLASHDOWN SCHEDULE (Draft)
18:00-18:55 Poster Session 1
18:55-19:05 Changeover
19:05-20:00 Poster Session 2
20:00-20:30 Invited Talks 
20:30-21:00 Awards Ceremony

Splashdown will also feature peer voting for best projects.  During the poster sessions, take note of which other teams you think did the best projects and vote for their project electronically using your smart phone or tablet. We’ll tally your votes and announce the winner at the end of Splashdown at the awards ceremony.  Guests (first years, and seniors) are also welcomed to attend and will need to register for the event to be given voting privileges; see the Splashdown page soon, when that information is updated.  Google has kindly sponsored some prizes for the very best projects, as voted by all of you and our observers

Details for Splashdown (such as the final schedule and team allocations) are still ongoing, but you can check on the latest details on the Splashdown page on the Orbital site (http://orbital.comp.nus.edu.sg/?page_id=854).

For those who cannot attend due to conflicts, you must let the instruction staff know ahead of time via emailBoth team members must attend the event.  Post-event application for leniency will not be permitted.

 

Photo credits: Shareski @ Flickr

Yeah, so you missed part of Liftoff.  You’re partner had to cover for you (we heard a lot of partner trashing during Ignition…).  Or you wanted to be in both the T1 and T2 tracks at the same time.  Or perhaps you really really liked it (thanks!)

In any case, we have the solution for you.  We have recorded some of the Orbital sessions on to YouTube for your ease of reference and need for webcast.

Just follow the link to bit.ly/nusorbital2015vids, or go to the Liftoff webpage to find it.  Videos are in reverse chronological order on the playlist.

Other sessions may have notes posted to our Slack team.

Dear students:

We’re almost at the end of Orbital!  We hope your summer self-study journey has been productive and that you have learned and broadened your horizons significantly on the topic of your choice.  Now that you’ve finished the final official Project README, video and log, it’s time to wrap up by evaluating your peers, and preparing for Splashdown on 22 Aug (Friday).

We’ll be posting a separate announcement about Splashdown later next week but for now, let’s concentrate on the evaluation of peer feedback.  This is the (very quick 1 question) evaluation that you do to assess how useful your peers have been in their feedback and critique of your project.  You’ll need to evaluate your peers as well as your adviser on this.  Details about this process are available on Post @1273 in Piazza and also as an 11-minute video recording on YouTube.

A quick note:  Those of you trying for higher levels of achievement may plan to get a lot more done on your project between now and Splashdown to meet that level of achievements’ criteria.  That’s fine — your peers will evaluate you on what you’ve done up to Evaluation 3, but you can petition (by writing to your adviser or to us (Min and Wee Sun) directly) to have your project re-reviewed for the higher level of achievement.  Make sure to do this by Splashdown (22 Aug) as that is the hard deadline for determining level of achievements, and we are likely to need to see your project’s outcome during the showcase to assess your final achievement level.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-01 at 3.18.38 pmThe Orbital briefing was held on Monday 31 Mar 2014, at 18:00-19:00 (sorry if there was some confusion in our announcement of the timing… my bad).

The slides of the presentation are available here: http://bit.ly/1dMDrZM and the video (audio may / may not be audible, weak laptop mic) is here: http://youtu.be/mLapjT9f-GE (don’t worry the video is not actually an hour long; please scrub it to find the parts that you’re interested in, see the first slides for the narration of the briefing of the video).

If you weren’t convinced to sign up before, then you can do it now (yes, you; yes, right now!) : http://bit.ly/1d6zlZR

If you have continued questions about Orbital, please raise them on the Orbital Piazza Forum.

See you again soon at Liftoff (12 and 14 May)!

 

Photo Credits: US NASA

It has been a bug-blasting, hacking-all-around, action-packed summer thriller for all of you in Orbital!  Mission Control reports the all-clear for your reentry back to NUS, Singapore!  We’ll have a final, three-hour evening session, where all of you are required to participate (this *is* the very last milestone), in the form of a final Splashdown showcase!

Splashdown is structured as two poster sessions with following oral sessions after each poster session to serve as a transition period; see schedule below.  Orbital teams will be assigned to one of two sessions to present their work.  During each of the two poster sessions, each team will be presenting their work via a A1 sized poster that you will have to prepare and print (but we will pre-pay for you at SoC Technical Services).

SPLASHDOWN SCHEDULE (Draft)
17:30-18:00 Registration
18:00-18:40 Poster Session 1
18:40-19:20 Invited Talks Session 1
19:20-20:00 Poster Session 2
20:00-20:20 Invited Talks Session 2
20:20-21:00 Awards Ceremony

Splashdown will also feature peer voting for best projects.  During the poster sessions, take note of which other teams you think did the best projects and vote for their project electronically using your smart phone or tablet. We’ll tally your votes and announce the winner at the end of Splashdown at the awards ceremony.  Google has kindly sponsored some prizes for the very best projects, as voted by all of you and observers (SoC, project mentors and industry invitees).

Details for Splashdown (such as the final schedule and team allocations) are still ongoing, but you can check on the latest details on the Splashdown page on the Orbital site (http://orbital.comp.nus.edu.sg/?page_id=348).

For those who cannot attend due to conflicts, you must let the instruction staff know ahead of time via emailBoth team members must attend the event.  Post-event application for leniency will not be permitted.

 

Orbital will feature three levels of achievement that student teams self-select.  Prospective teams need to indicate their preferred level of achievement when they express their interest in the programme. The level for each team will be finalized shortly after the workshop/hackathon session, and students will be notified of the outcome.

gagarin50_insignia_vostokВосто́к (Vostok) (Easy/Beginner) – Attend at least 12 hours of workshops, complete a basic web application (following the Python + Google App Engine, or Javascript + Express, as outlined by our programme). Complete the weekly check-ins and monthly peer-grading exercises.  Participate in the end of summer showcase.  Must score a minimum of 2 stars on feedback given to other teams and on own peer-graded project.  Must show evidence of development progress in all three months of the programme.

(Восто́к was name of the series of spaceflight program started by the Soviet Union which was the first to successfully launch a human, Yuri Gagarin, into space, and return him safely to Earth).

200px-GeminiPatchProject Gemini (Intermediate) – Completes the milestones for Vostok, and extends it further, completing at least 4 additional extension milestones.  Possible extensions include but are not limited to: social integration, mobile client, iterative usability testing, application-specific feature extensions, multiple / administrative frontends, downloading of user data.  Must be active on either Slack or the Mission Control sessions.  Must score a minimum of 2 stars on feedback given to other teams. Must score a minimum of 3 stars on own peer-graded project.

(Gemini was the second manned spacecraft programme by the USA.  It launched ten missions between 1965-1966.  Neil Armstrong cut his chops in Project Gemini before returning in the USA’s Project Apollo series of missions.)

201px-Apollo_11_insigniaApollo 11 (Difficult/Advanced) – Custom project defined by either the student team or the mentoring staff.  Must fulfill requirements of Project Gemini while extending further.  Strong evidence of project management, data security, user testing and/or source code control.  Must render assistance to other teams, by participating on Slack and in the Mission Control (Where possible) sessions.  Must score a minimum of 3 stars on feedback given to other teams  Must score a minimum of 4 stars on own peer-graded project.

(Apollo 11 was the first mission by the US NASA agency to land a human on the moon, and safely return him to Earth.  The distinction of being the first men on the moon belongs to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin.)

The selection of the difficulty level is binding in the case of teams opting to do Apollo 11 or Project Gemini with external mentorship; i.e., student teams that elect to do A11 or PG and but do not complete the necessary achievements as judged by the mentoring staff may be deemed to have failed the course.  This because mentorship involves industry professionals and/or student mentors (i.e., costs manpower to run).  Both A11 and PG level passes allow the team to bypass Round 1 interviews for the NUS Overseas Programme, as a recognition of the skills achieved by the team.

We do encourage inspired students to try for this highest level of achievement, as this will enhance their programming capabilities and inspire a higher level of confidence.  Students who complete Apollo 11 or Project Gemini may opt to continue this line of development in future coursework in the School’s set of Entrepreneurship modules.

Important Revisions

2016 – Added PG as eligible for mentorship.  2015 – Added NOC credits for PG and above.

(Insignia: courtesy Wikipedia)