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

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.52.30 am

This is it!  Wednesday’s the big event — Splashdown — the capstone to your project!

Splashdown is separated into poster sessions, held back to back, in SR1 (Seminar Room 1) and lobby.  Roughly half of the teams will be presenting in the first session and half in the second session.  When your team is not presenting, it’s your chance, privilege and responsibility to go scout out the other projects and talk with your peers about their experience.  After all, you’d like to share (complain?) about how much time you wasted trying to figure out that small bug that was actually absurdly simple, so perhaps you’d like to hear your peers other stories?

We hope you have had an epiphany during your summer self-study and found Computing really the right choice for you and your life path.  Perhaps you’re really fired up about your project and want to know more about how to take it further, or have an even better idea for your next project? During Splashdown, there will be a few short talks by NUS Overseas Colleges, and the Entrepreneurship unit of our school, that are on relevant “where to go from here, life after Orbital” topics.  Oh, yeah – did we mention there are like a ton of ongoing hackathons that you could also participate in?

Some tips for a good re-entry and Splashdown (your results may vary):

– Make sure you eat a good evening meal and have a water bottle for drinking.  It gets noisy and chaotic with 200+ people all talking in one place!

– Do print out your posters early.  It will be busy and you should try to get your posters done early.  If you do them today, you can drop them off at the “poster locker” in the Undergraduate Office (COM1 #02-19).  Ask Ms Rachel Lim, or Mrs Kwek to help you place the posters in the right area for pickup.  We will deliver all of the posters we receive to SR1 on Wednesday afternoon around 17:30 (yes, the whole 30m away from the UG office — you’re welcome!)

– Do check the layout of the session right before Splashdown.  We are still shifting poster slots around due to last-minute changes.  Consult the printed posters as they will be the definitive version — we may not have time to update the website on Wednesday.

– Make sure to practice your pitch and presentation, even having a way to show your off your products — small leaflets or QR codes with reminders (with project IDs) can be helpful.  Also, no one looked bad by dressing up a bit for these types of events (we will be taking pictures!  Hope you’ll put your selfies on Facebook and link them back to the Splashdown FB page — we have one, didn’t you know?).  There will be some first year students coming to Splashdown (Aaron advertised it to CS1231), so you can also chat with them to tell them about your lessons learned — and tell them to take Orbital

– You will be receiving your voter ID tomorrow either by email (most likely) or at the registration desk.  You will need to take note of this for tomorrow’s best project voting.  Keep an eye out for it.  You will need your smartphone (or stop by the registration desk) to do the voting.  Please do it to keep our event lively!   Note down the projects you think are worthy of being crowned best of Vostok, Project Gemini or Apollo 11.  There will be public voting to determine the best project for each of the three levels of achievement.  Public voting is done by you, your peers, any guests (you can and should invite some friends to come boost for your project) and staff.  Staff and staff guests’ votes figure a bit more in the final tally, but much of the prize determination is done by all of you!  So get ready to sell your project to guests — it’s also a chance for you to make good on your communication skills (after all it’s got a bit in common with a job interview).  We’ll be sending you a voter ID on the day of Splashdown so that you can weigh in on which teams projects are the best in class.  Google Singapore will be supplying the prizes and is subsidizing the poster printing, so please go thank them when you see them in person at Splashdown!

– Do reciprocate that effort — take the session you’re not in to look around and to see what your other teams have been able to do.  Say “Hi” to your peer teams that you may have only known virtually and give them a boost too for this final run.

– By default, your name, level of achievement, and project team and the link for your final project video will be captured and made public on the Skylab web app, but if you don’t want it to be captured up there, please send Min (‘knmnyn’ on Slack) a DM; we’ll be happy to take it down.  If you have a LinkedIn or other social media account and would like to be endorsed for specific skills — by default it would be Google App Engine and Python — also send an invitation to us so that we can eventually (in a few weeks after Splashdown) do this for you.

That is all.  Houston, out.

Photo credit: Jake Christensen

Next Wednesday afternoon will be the one and only pre-Liftoff briefing about Orbital, for all prospective students.  We hope to get you fired up about the upcoming summer programme and look forward to your questions, concerns and general discussion.

See you!

Edit – The briefing is over.  Did you miss it?  There’s a recording of it now on YouTube.  You can also jump to a particular part of the briefing.

24:44 Details on Mentorship
29:42 Quick overview on Registration
31:13 NOC Introduction by Josephine
40:01 Li Mingyang on NCSV
48:53 Choo Yan Sheng on NCNY

 

Photo credits: Andy Mangold @ Flickr

Attention all teams!  It’s only about 1 month to Splashdown! Aside from getting your project all together, you’ll have to showcase it as well.  That got you nervous?

Well, don’t worry.  The famous Dr Damith of our own SoC will be giving his popular lecture on design, which can help you improve your Orbital project’s UI and the crucial Splashdown presentation.  Ace your poster presentation by attending his lecture in person during Mission Control #9 this week on Wednesday, right here in our own SoC SR3!

Presenter: Dr Damith Rajapakse
Venue: SoC SR3
Time: 18:00-20:00
Date: 15 Jul 2015

Photo Credits: Philipp Pohle @ Flickr
Photo Credits: Philipp Pohle @ Flickr

Dear all:

Your second Orbital hurdle is here!  Please make sure to put up your project’ revised README and log into Skylab (see Slack later for details on what to put, no later than 29 Jun 11:59pm SGT, but preferably as soon as possible).

Thanks to the groups who have at least put in a preliminary or final project README and log into their EG group.  Note that you need to inform your EG adviser in advance of the deadline if for some reason you cannot make the deadline.  You must inform your advisers in advance, or lateness may count against your eligibility for getting credit for Orbital.

In the following week, you’ll also need to do the peer evaluations of your three peer teams in your evaluation group. These evaluations are due in Skylab no later than 6 Jul 11:59pm (exactly 1 week later).

Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 7.48.56 am
Photo Credits: James M @ Flickr

Dear all:

Your first Orbital hurdle is here!  Please make sure to put up your project’s README and log into Skylab no later than 1 Jun 2015 11:59pm SGT, but preferably as soon as possible).   N.B. – The Skylab link is available from the main Orbital website in the left nav menu. A template README and Project Log will be posted in Slack, and you should view the 2015 peer evaluation process video on YouTube if you haven’t already.  This evaluation

Note that since Skylab is in beta and the registration information for Orbital is still not finalized, there will be problems with many team’s registration.  Please be patient and try your best to report problems to our FYP developer through the github Issues link here:

https://github.com/nusskylab/nusskylab/issues

In the next week, you’ll also need to do the peer evaluations of your three peer teams in your evaluation group to be listed in Skylab. These evaluations are due to be submitting in Skylab no later than 8 Jun 2015 11:59pm (exactly 1 week later).

Stay in touch with your advisor and ask if you need help on Slack!

Dear all, we’re excited to share with you that Amazon has awarded our course with credits for trying and using Amazon’s famous Elastic Computing Cloud (EC2).  Teams angling for a taste of EC2 will be assigned an account for US$100 for their work on their Orbital summer project.

Stay tuned for more details around the Liftoff workshop.  Looking forward to the exciting summer again!  We’re very excited to be supported by AWS in Education Grant award.

NUS Overseas Colleges

Breaking News!  Gean shared with us at the briefing that NOC is prepared to let all Orbital students who achieve Project Gemini and above a straight exemption to Round 2 (final) selection interviews for the NOC programme.  Get your leg up on your application for this flagship NUS programme by participating in Orbital this summer!

This just in: NUS Overseas Colleges, the hallmark NUS programme that supercharges exchange programmes and local industrial experiences is in cahoots with SoC’s Orbital programme.  This means a big break for those of you angling for NOC.

NOC is a year-long overseas attachment at a global city that pairs you with a paid internship at start-up to learn firsthand the wide range of responsibilities needed, as well as giving you academic and entrepreneurial acumen as a student attached to a prestigious university.  In the two cities where Orbital students are often attached, that is NYU Poly for New York City and Stanford for Silicon Valley.  Such an experience will set you apart from many peers at other institutions but also from other peers within NUS and even SoC.

NOC Head of Marketing and Selection Processes Gean Chu will be coming to the Orbital briefing on the 11th to describe the pathways forward after Orbital.  She will give you the lowdown on NOC and describe why your Orbital summer gives you the leg-up on the application process for NOC.

Image Credits: Taiwanese American . Org

Orbital registrations today put us over 100 students interested in the programme.  We are well on our way to another record-breaking year of student participation in Orbital.

Why not you too?  Drag your friends, buddies and peers to get your summer supercharged?  Register now!


http://goo.gl/forms/5IU2EiGhoH

 
P.S. – Don’t forget that for Orbital, there will be a mandatory 2-day workshop, Liftoff, that you must attend on the 11-12th of May at SoC, as communicated to you in the roadshows.  This is the Monday and Tuesday directly after final exams for Sem 2.  You are advised to extend your stay in your hall/hostel for a few days after exams are over to accommodate this requirement.

Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 11.52.30 am
Photo Credits: Jay Williams @ Flickr

This is it!  Tomorrow’s the big event — Splashdown — the capstone to your project!

Some tips:

– Make sure you eat a good meal tomorrow and have a water bottle for drinking.  It gets noisy with 200+ people all talking in one classroom!

– Do print out your posters early.  It will be busy tomorrow and you should try to get your posters done early.  If you do them today, you can drop them off at the “poster locker” in the Undergraduate Office (COM1 #02-19).  Ask Ms Mah Chain Yee, or Ms Nur Arifah to help you place the posters in the right area for pickup tomorrow.

– Make sure to practice your pitch and presentation, even having a way to show your off your products — small leaflets or QR codes with reminders (with project IDs) can be helpful.  Also, no one looked bad by dressing up a bit for these types of events (we will be taking pictures!  Hope you’ll put your selfies on Facebook and link them back to the Splashdown FB page — we have one, didn’t you know?).  There will be some first year students coming to Splashdown, so you can also chat with them to tell them about your lessons learned.

– You will be receiving your voter ID tomorrow either by email (most likely) or at the registration desk.  You will need to take note of this for tomorrow’s best project voting.  Keep an eye out for it.  You will need your smartphone (or stop by the registration desk) to do the voting.  Please do it to keep our event lively!   Note down the projects you think are worthy of being crowned best of Vostok, Project Gemini or Apollo 11.

– Do reciprocate that effort — take the session you’re not in to look around and to see what your other teams have been able to do.  Say “Hi” to your peer teams that you may have only known virtually and give them a boost too for this final run.

– We will be starting an alumni of Orbital page soon, and if you want your name to be captured on there (with your level of achievement), please send Min and Wee Sun a private note by Piazza or by email <kanmy@comp.nus.edu.sg>, <leews@comp.nus.edu.sg>.  If you have a LinkedIn or other social media account and would like to be endorsed for specific skills — by default it would be Google App Engine and Python — also send an invitation to us so that we can eventually (in a few weeks after Splashdown) do this for you.

That is all.  Houston, out.