Posted on January 21, 2014 by orbital

Orbital is the School of Computing’s self-driven programming summer experience.  It is designed to give first-year students the opportunity to 1) self-learn and 2) build something useful.  Officially, it is a 4 modular credit (MC) module – CP2106: Independent Software Development Project – that is taken over the summer and graded on a Completed Satisfactorily/Completed Unsatisfactorily (CS/CU) basis.

Unlike the School’s traditional modules which emphasize academic learning, this module leverages the growing opportunity that computing students at all levels have in building useful applications.  This skill does not normally come by formal training, but rather requires time, experience, trial-and-error to hone.  Information foraging for technical details on the Web can be difficult, but we feel that through a combination of self- and peer-help, students will be able to put together useful systems and generate confidence in being able to go beyond the basics, and seek solutions on their own.  In fact, computing is the only discipline whose output can scale dramatically; a single person’s work can affect millions of lives, everyday.

Our School does not teach programming prowess as formal coursework, as it is not academic in nature.  Orbital is one mode where young energetic students can fill this gap by their own initiative.  Read more about the Orbital programme’s structure in pages tagged with ‘orbital‘.

[Summary: Fill in your particulars @ https://forms.gle/DFLaXAzBL8M3sqLC6 and pick a slot for the (online) interview @ https://doodle.com/poll/mef59sk639k5rpw2 if you want to interview for 2022 Orbital staff (adviser / senior adviser / mentor / tutor / developer).]
I hope that you have been enjoying your vacation so far.
We are currently recruiting advisers, senior advisers, tutors and developers for Orbital 2022.
(For those of you who have not heard of or participated in Orbital, it is the School of Computing’s 1st year summer self-directed, independent work course. This programme gives students the opportunity to pick up software development skills on their own, using sources on the web. For more information, please refer to the official website for Orbital: https://orbital.comp.nus.edu.sg/.)
The job scopes of the positions are as follows:
Adviser: You will be the peer evaluator, project manager and cheerleader for ~6 (beginner / intermediate) teams taking Orbital. This means that you are to evaluate the progress of a few Orbital teams every month and guide those teams through the project. You don’t need to be tech-savvy — as long as you are willing to give feedback to the teams and help them along, you will have a good time with them.
Busy period: May to Aug (especially close to the monthly milestone evaluations)
Senior adviser: If you are experienced and willing to take care of up to ~15 (advanced / extreme) teams, you could apply for the senior adviser role instead and get paid at the part-time TA rate (which is roughly 3 times higher than the student helper rate).
Mentor: If you are experienced but only have time to guide 1~2 (extreme) teams without any admin / evaluation duties, you could apply for the mentor role instead. This is a non-paid position.
Tutor: You will be the instructor for Mission Control. This means you are in charge of conducting technical workshops (e.g., introductory mobile app / web app development) and project consultations for the students. If you wanted to level up on your teaching skills, this is your opportunity. You don’t have to be an expert to teach — anyone can do it if they’re committed, and you can always answer the tough questions offline.
Busy period: Apr to Jun (especially close to the Mission Control sessions)
Developer: You will be in charge of developing and maintaining Skylab (i.e., the official portal for Orbital). This will be a good chance for you to get firsthand experience on improving a web application for the benefit of all future Orbital students. Experience in ruby on rails and nginx is preferred but not required. You can always pick up the necessary skills as you work on the system.
Busy period: Late Feb to early Jun (especially before the major events / milestones)
If you want to apply for any of these positions, please fill in your particulars @ https://forms.gle/DFLaXAzBL8M3sqLC6 and pick a slot for the (online) interview @ https://doodle.com/poll/mef59sk639k5rpw2.
Note that the slots are 2 hours long to simplify the sign up process. You will be notified about the exact 20-minute slot (within the 2-hour slot) for the interview and the Zoom meeting link one day before the interview.
If you are interested but unable to make it for the slots given in the Doodle form, please contact me by email (zhaojin@comp.nus.edu.sg) to arrange for an interview separately.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Congratulations to all of the 405 teams for completing the programme! You’re the big winners in forming your own projects and navigating through the difficult times 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 (e.g., our Entrepreneurship office and Centre for Future-ready Graduates), and the University (e.g., NUS Enterprise, especially NUS Overseas Colleges) have paved for you. In addition, you might also want to follow up with PayPal, which has shared about the internship opportunities they offer. Do weigh these opportunities and assess whether they are appropriate for you.
Congratulations also goes to the following individuals and teams for winning the awards at Splashdown!
Best adviser:
– Christopher Goh Zhen Fung
– Suther David Samuel
CCSGP Project:
– (Top Project) NUSGrabYourOwnFood: Zechary Au Jun Wen + Loh Jia Ming, Rayner
– (Runner Up) NUS Meet: Tan Jun Rong, Benjamin + Rohit Rajesh Bhat
– (Commendation) StudyGoWhere: Fong Mun Kit, Wilbur + Hoon Darren
Honorable Mention:
– OrbiTinder: Roopa Niedu + Dominic Lim Kai Jun
– EduSearch: Lin Xingchen + Wang Ruofan
– Not a Simulation: Chong Kok Leong + Bryan Wee Shun Yi
Judge’s Choice:
– Frank’s Adventure: Sie Jie Xiang + Heng Guo Jun
– Xiaoming eats yanyan: Cheah Yan (Xie Yan) + Cheong Yee Ming
– NUSGrabYourOwnFood: Zechary Au Jun Wen + Loh Jia Ming, Rayner
Please feel free to check out their project posters / videos in the Splashdown video @ https://bit.ly/orbital21-sd-video and in the Gallery https://bit.ly/orbital-gallery.
Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our 50+ advisers, 25+ industrial and alumni mentors, staff, alumni, senior students and student groups and the tireless admin staff from the Undergraduate Office, Technical Services 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!
It is really amazing how time flies by so quickly!
A total of 405 teams have completed their Orbital project since our last update.
Their projects are now showcased at our project gallery @ https://bit.ly/orbital-gallery!
In addition, tonight is the closing event of Orbital 2021 and it will take place as a video premiere at 7pm on Youtube @
Please feel free to catch the premiere or check out the video at your convenience!
We had our opening event Lift-off and two Mission Control sessions in the past two weeks.
Now all our 422 teams are already heading towards their first Milestone submission. 😊
We will be consolidating and releasing the project posters / videos soon!
The briefing slides for Orbital 2021 are now available at https://bit.ly/orbital21-briefing.
There will be an online Q&A session via Zoom on 10 Mar (Wed) at 4pm @ https://bit.ly/orbital21-briefing-qa. Please feel free to join the session if you have any questions.
In addition, one important clarification about the application process is as follows:
If you are also applying for an internship for the summer, you will need to get the approval from your internship company and submit a document proof to us later.
If you do not manage to get the approval or submit the proof, your team will be removed from the programme.
(Do take note that the expected workload for Orbital is 140 hours per student over the summer.)
Have a nice weekend!
Updates:
We had about 160 participants for the Q&A session on 10 March. Thanks a lot for the questions and I hope that now you have a better understanding of the programme. 😊
The application for Orbital 2021 can be submitted via https://bit.ly/orbital21-apply.
Do take note that the application process is NOT first-come-first-served and the deadline is 17 March (Wednesday), 6pm.
Have a nice day!
The updated programme timeline and the details of the application process are as follows:

1. Programme timeline
– (mandatory) Liftoff (10-17 May): project idea formulation + planning
– (mandatory) Milestones 1/2/3 (31 May/28 Jun/26 Jul): project status update.
– (mandatory) Splashdown (25 Aug): poster presentation + awards ceremony
– (optional) Mission Control (15/22/29 May + 5/12 Jun): workshops on technical / software engineering topics + project consultations
Due to the COVID-19 situation, all the events will be online so you do not need to be physically in Singapore for the programme.
(Note: If the situation has improved sufficiently in the second half
of the year, Splashdown might be held as a physical event.)
Nevertheless, some form of online submissions will be required for all the mandatory events so please make sure that you have proper internet access for the submissions.
2. Application process
Tentatively, the application for Orbital 2021 will be open on 10 Mar with an (online) information session on the same day. The application will be closed on 17 Mar and the successful applicants will be notified by email by mid Apr.
During the application period, you will need to complete an online application form and upload a project proposal. A sample proposal can be found at http://bit.ly/orbital21-proposal.
Please watch out for our email / Facebook announcements for more updates.
For more information about the programme, please check out the following links:
[Summary: Fill in your particulars @ https://forms.gle/LLshXeyPTkYaC5PB8 and pick a slot for the (online) interview @ https://doodle.com/poll/4s9tx8b49mxcfem8 if you want to interview for 2021 Orbital staff (advisers / senior advisers / tutors / developers) next week.]
I hope that you have been enjoying your vacation so far.
We are currently recruiting advisers, senior advisers, tutors and developers for the Orbital programme this year.
(For those of you who have not heard of or participated in Orbital, it is the School of Computing’s 1st year summer self-directed, independent work course. This programme gives students the opportunity to pick up software development skills on their own, using sources on the web. For more information, please refer to the official website for Orbital: https://orbital.comp.nus.edu.sg/.)
The job scopes of the three positions are as follows:
– Advisers act as peer assessors and cheerleaders for teams taking Orbital. This means that you are to evaluate the progress of a few Orbital teams every month and guide those teams through the project. You don’t need to be tech-savvy — as long as you are willing to give feedback to the teams and help them along, you will have a good time with them.
Busy period: May to Aug (especially close to the monthly milestone evaluations)
– Senior advisers: If you are experienced and willing to take care of more teams, you could apply for the senior adviser instead and get paid at the part-time TA rate (which is roughly 3 times higher than the student helper rate).
– Tutors act as the instructor for Liftoff and Mission Control workshops. This means you are in charge of teaching technical topics (e.g., introductory mobile app / web app development) to the students. If you wanted to level up on public speaking and technical tutorials, this is your opportunity. You don’t have to be an expert to teach — anyone can do it if they’re committed, and you can always answer the tough questions offline.
Busy period: May to Jun (especially during the Liftoff and Mission Control workshops)
– Developers are in charge of developing and maintaining Skylab (i.e., the official portal for Orbital). This will be a good chance for you to get firsthand experience on improving a web application for the benefit of all future Orbital students. Experience in ruby on rails and nginx is preferred but not required. You can always pick up the necessary skills as you work on the system.
Busy period: Late Feb to early Jun (especially before the major events / milestones)
If you want to apply for any of these positions, please fill in your particulars @ https://forms.gle/LLshXeyPTkYaC5PB8 and pick a slot for your online interview @ https://doodle.com/poll/4s9tx8b49mxcfem8.
Note that the slots are 2 hours long to simplify the sign up process. You will be notified about the exact 20-minute slot (within the 2-hour slot) for the interview and the Zoom meeting link one day before the interview.
If you are interested but unable to make it for the slots given in the Doodle form, please contact me by email (zhaojin@comp.nus.edu.sg) to arrange for an interview separately.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Congratulations to all of the 383 teams for completing the programme! You’re the big winners in forming your own projects and navigating through the difficult times 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 (e.g., our Entrepreneurship office and Centre for Future-ready Graduates), and the University (e.g., NUS Enterprise, especially NUS Overseas Colleges) have paved for you. In addition, you might also want to follow up with PayPal, which has shared about the internship opportunities they offer. Do weigh these opportunities and assess whether they are appropriate for you.
And now for the formal awards:
For the Honorable Mention awards: Congratulations to
– Tolentino Abner Jr Morales and Theodore Pinto of GingerBreadMen (Apollo 11);
– Liao Xing Peng and Tan Rui En, Joshua
of SendIt (Artemis);
– Petrick Jerico Gustendi and Joe Teddy Yosua Sanjaya of VIGINTI (Artemis);
For the Judge’s Choice awards: Congratulations to
– Le Hue Man and Maxx Chan Yuhang of Elsewhere (Artemis);
– Cai Jia Lin and Liu Chuyue of MalaRamen (Artemis);
– Goh Jun Wei and Wong Jun Long of The Free Market (Artemis);
and for Best Advisers: Congratulations to
– Neo Kai Jun and Sun Bangjie.
Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our 50+ advisers, 25+ industrial and alumni mentors, staff, alumni, senior students and student groups and the tireless admin staff from the Undergraduate Office, Technical Services 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!
Since our last update, a total of 383 teams have completed their Orbital journey and their project posters and videos are now available at https://nusskylab-dev.comp.nus.edu.sg/pub…/public_projects.
Please feel free to check out their projects now and catch the online video premiere (featuring messages from our collaborators and award announcements) on 26 August (Wednesday) at 19:00-20:00.
Updates:
– Due to some technical reasons, the premiere will start at 7:15pm instead.
– The video will be available for replay later so no worries if you are unable to catch the premiere.
– The video link to Splashdown is as follows: http://bit.ly/orbital20-splashdown-v2.
Have a nice evening!