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GLP – The Sun Sets

14 Aug

by Terence Chew

The sun sets beautifully as the day comes to an end, a scenic view for appreciating the fruitful day that went by. Similarly, as GLP drew to a close, here’s to consolidating some of our experiences and growth that were wrapped up in our last week.

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Growth as friends: bonded through experiences, collaborations and challenges.

Despite many, many competitions posted to us, we never failed to help each other out and to seek opportunities for collaboration. It is indeed rare to be part of such a diverse group that truly looks out for one another; better united than divided.

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Growth as game designers: game design, user experience, understanding and applying game mechanics and dynamics. Also not to mention, Starcraft.

We thought fun games were easy to make. Yet, what we thought was fun may not have ended up being fun when others play it. Through trial testing each other’s games, we certainly learned much from them and from our insightful instructor, Philip Tan.

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Growth as sketchers: learning to draw without holding back

Thanks to plenty of encouragement from our instructor Sam Magee, many of us learned to draw more boldly and to use our hands to convey what we see – 3D to 2D. From pencil to charcoal to ink, from the dome exterior to the dome interior to the panoramic sketch of Charles River, we grew comfortable and confident in drawing.

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Growth as independent individuals: living abroad for 10 weeks

Cravings for Asian cuisine, handling household chores, long distance Skype calls and sending postcards are just some of the things that remind us of home. We are learning so much and having so much fun but our hearts still yearns for home. Great living and learning experience.

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Growth in ceramics: learning the delicate skills behind ceramics and some life skills

Ceramics taught us more than its techniques. We learned patience from failures. We learned to take control gracefully when things go out of hand. We learned to feel.  We learned so much from the master potter Jay, he’s really the best – his ever-so-graceful demos and sincere attention gave us dramatic improvement in ceramics. It was all ~ good good ~

I will certainly miss…

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… waking up to the wonderful view of the Charles River right in front of me.

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… the feeling that you can create anything, here at MIT

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… the extensive libraries

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… the seafood

… the endless possibilities

The list goes on…

Also, we must thank…

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… our meticulously caring and helpful MIT hosts! Also, our heartfelt gratitude to everyone both at SUTD and MIT, for making this experience possible for the 28 of us. We have truly learned so much, some inspiring experiences, some life-changing even. The experience has definitely enriched us.

But alas, it’s time to return home!

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Top 10 Things to do on a Weekend in Boston

12 Aug

by Edward Tiong

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Greyhound down to New York City Don’t worry if you get there late, Times Square doesnt close till past 2am.

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Make your way to Wrentham Premier Outlets You’re going to save a whole lot of money with all the crazy sales! That’s right, but you’ll probably spend more than what you’ll save.

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Skydive with MIT Skydiving Club Some got a taste of heaven, some got a taste of their vomit. Every experience is different.

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Hike the White Mountains with MITOC Do the challenging route, It’ll be a hell of an experience, but hey, no pain no gain.

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Visit Slocum’s Farm Slocum is actually an MIT professor, not a place or company or tourist spot. An eye-opening experience living with a family that is self-sustainable. Well almost.

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Kayak the Charles River This actually only takes a morning, you can spend the rest of the weekend at CambridgeSide Galleria, Neptune Oyster, Muddy Charles, Museum of Science…

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Shop Online You’ll be surprised how addictive this can be with Free Shipping, promo codes, free gifts, summer sale.. The satisfying part is when you receive your package at the front desk – feels like Christmas all-year-round.

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Ride 6 Flags The fastest legal way to get HIGH and low.. The thrill is 6 Escape Theme Parks and 2 USS packed in one day. Not for the faint-hearted.

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Self-Hackathon Coop yourself up in your dorm and hack away the weekend. You might just create your own startup in 54 hours.

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Sleep Its been a rough week.

Last Week of GLP

11 Aug

by Olivia Seow

Everything’s drawing to a close. Go-Karts have been raced (gold kart got first place — by the margins of human error (0.01s)!) and ceramics glazed.

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More than anything. I’m really thankful to have been given this opportunity. The folk at SUTD (upper management & GLP in-charges, etc), Jon, Kate, and Varsha have put in so much effort into making this a worthwhile experience. Even though we’re the guinea pigs of this exchange program, I’d say it was a good run 🙂

Juniors, if you ever have the chance to meet the following people, give them lots of love ‘cause they are AWESOME!

Charles G – he was in charge of the go-kart challenge. He knows all the nuts and bolts about making absolutely anything and is really generous with his skills and knowledge. I am super inspired by him.

Dara – she’s really passionate about education, and she’s the to-go person if you’re interested in engaging others to dream big and change the world through technology & design.

Jay – MASTER POTTER >> changes lumps of clay into beautiful works of art. He’s a super cool dude with a spark of energy about him! He was also really supportive of my project (the Easy Ring), and helped me model the rings — hoorah!

Jennifer – our writing instructor; this lady knows her stuff. She was genuinely interested in guiding us, helping us mould our writing to become pieces we can be proud of 🙂 Do look for her if you want any extra help with your own writing too, you’ll be amazed at how she can open your eyes to your own writing.

Certainly, the list does not end here. At Global Leadership Programme (GLP), we were lucky to meet so many great people who were generous, insightful, mind-blowingly intelligent yet humble and down-to-earth, whether they be art maestros or start-up wizards. My heart is so full from the brilliance of these folk, and I’m personally compelled to learn, see, and do more!

GLP – Lobsters, lobsters, lobsters

6 Aug

Even before leaving Singapore, news of the great fresh Boston seafood lobsters reached my ears and my taste buds yearned to experience the freshness of steamed live lobsters.

The search began after arriving at our hotel after touchdown and it did not take long before the search was over.

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We found this nearby in a supermarket and although the lobsters were not from Boston itself, it was nonetheless alluring. The smaller lobsters cost 9.99USD/pound (which is really cheap by the way). Thus, I bought my virgin steamed lobster at this supermarket and brought it back to the hotel to feast with my roommates.

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After watching a few videos on how to crack open a lobster’s shell with one’s bare hands, we soon began tearing our lobsters apart voraciously. As the meat entered my mouth, my sense of taste burst into euphoria as I tasted Boston’s steamed lobsters for the first time. With every bite of lobster meat, I was launched into a sense of serenity and satiation, thoroughly enjoying the sweet and succulent lobster.

Even we were not to be eluded from the jumbo lobster. Given the grand occasion of Olivia’s birthday (or perfect excuse), we took the chance to feast upon the largest lobster found in the store, a twelve pound crustacean !

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Credits to Edward for buying the lobster!

Before I noticed anything else, a pile of empty lobster shells laid before me. Alas, good times don’t last forever, just long enough to keep you yearning for more.

GLP – The Calm after the Storm

6 Aug

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The calm after the storm.

It was pouring cats and dogs for a couple of days here in Boston and the overall mood of the place was simply gloomy, sulky, cold and wet. Even in Maseeh (our dormitory), there was no comfort from the cold as the AC/heater was turned on to a temperature which to me and many Singaporeans was too cold for comfort, and the overall temperature of Boston was at 18 degrees Celsius, however, getting wet and blown around by the wind was too much to handle.

Just a little context, this is week 8/10 and with most lessons drawing to a close, there were naturally many deadlines to be met. Firstly, K-12 presentation (creating an Outreach Programme for SUTD) was just submitted on Wednesday (we had a Skype presentation with SUTD staff and a report handed in). In addition, our EV was due for race inspection on Friday, the very day that I am writing about now. On this very day, our EVs had to be ready for a rolling frame test, which meant that it was to be able to move with someone pushing it and a driver on it, turn around corners (manoeuvrability test), have a firm frame (rigidity and completeness of frame), proper braking system (duh!) and a mounted motor (whoops!). These were the few variables that teams needed to meet to be able to compete in the race next week. Just taking these into account, imagine the flurry of activity in the workshop during the week. Teams staying up late and working overnight, rushing orders and designs (sounds very familiar to 3.007), prototyping and running around.

As the clock ticked closer and closer to 7pm, many teams were already rolling their cars around and frame testing it, while some, already resigned to fate, continued rushing till the very last minute. My team was one of the latter, although with at least a proper frame, managed to scrape through the test. After staying through a couple of sleepless nights, the rush was finally over, for now.

That was the storm.

As the title suggests, it is the calm after the storm, and right now it is Sunday, two days past our rolling frame test, and it is not only calm, it has been one hell of a roller coaster ride.

On Saturday, our entire jean gang took the Boston Harbour Cruise over to Provincetown. A quaint little town which the first settlers from England landed on the New World. I will not head into the details of history, all I will say is that all of us had much fun and at least one awesome meal (thank you SUTD!)

So now I will let the photos speak for themselves! (; 

Enjoy!

 

Ferry Services which brought us over to P town!

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Seagull just chilling

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View of Boston from the boat!

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Notice the rainbow created from the back wash of the craft!

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Some more rainbows from the bow of the craft

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Titanic (brokeback mountain style!)

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Out of the boat experience!

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Profile picture worthy shots of 5 muscular men standing at the bow. #Likkaboss!

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Our first glimpse of land in an hour and a half, hello Ptown!

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City hall of Ptown

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Inside city hall

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Ptown Theatre, although I have a feeling it was meant to be there…

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Kayaking!

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Commercial Street, the longest street in Ptown.

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One of the many houses with a wooden exterior, literally.

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A nice driveway and an awesome house!

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Looks like a padi field? It is a padi field. hahaha

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The heroes who trekked across Ptown in search of a lighthouse.

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Taking a break by the breakwater and dipping his legs into the frostic Atlantic Ocean

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Surprise!

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The beloved lighthouse. Looks great!

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Walking back to visit the Pilgrim Monument!

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Doorway to the insanely high tower.

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A picture from the top of the tower.Image

View from the top of the tower.

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Picture of stuffed animals taken from the Antarctic expedition

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More animals

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And more animals

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The Mayflower, the vessel the British first used on their voyage to the New Worlds.

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Public library of Ptown!

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Awesome view of the Boston harbour at night.

 

And to end it all off, looking forward to skydiving tomorrow! (;

GLP – The Dexter Annals

28 Jul

By Dexter Chew Xuan Han

Psst! It’s been about a month now; I’m here reporting what had happened the last week.

Wo, you can’t imagine how the week’s like. Seems like no one had share with you about our New York trip huh? Let me summarize in a sentence: It was a vibrant, bustling, talented and uniquely different city.  Let the pictures do the talking. I must say, we see a lot, played a lot and burnt a lot of holes in our pockets. Hmm… What can I say, YOLO! (Self-consoling mechanism)

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Okay, back to last week. We started our week with a lazy start as some of us arrived back from New York City at about 2am in the morning. Despite the fatigue, I look forward to ceramics lesson. It’s our third lesson on ceramics in Cambridge. It was really interesting is that in all lessons, our mentor would usually teach us new knowledge like adding handles and doing trimming, most of us are still working on our first techniques that were throwing and centering of the clay itself. We learnt about glazing today, something related to having a thin layer of glass over your clay that makes that “cling cling” sound when you tap on some ceramics. Basically, it protects the clay and gives it the colour. Something interesting about color mixing was that blue and yellow doesn’t really gives green. Probably, grey would turn out more appropriately. Why? These are colours from chemicals that will react with each other at high temperatures much like some Chemistry stuff.

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Hmm…Day 2. We had our electric vehicle production factory working (finally). Most of us start to feel the pinch and motivation on getting into the details of designing an electric vehicle. I believe everyone was especially productive today. Some of the interesting designs and prototypes could be seen already! Check them out! (These will go on for the next few days I guess, until then; we can only show you guys our design processes! Keep a look out for it!) Some of us ended our day with a cool night jog around Charles River. BEA-U-tiful!

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Ah yes, in Day 3, we went to a very interesting museum, Boston Museum of Science. I must say, it was an eye opener. Kate and Jon, our coordinators, had kindly provided us an opportunity to visit the museum for free as well as 2 selected documentaries! I must say, the IMAX theatre was really awesome. Loved the sound system. I’d be glad to share with you the experience, but no photos were allowed. Haha. One particular documentary was really interesting. The film was regarding planets and stars and as Edward nicely puts it, “Great show! First you see stars, then you enter the Black-hole and see its details. It was so life like. The next thing you knew, you hit the credits” (i.e. some of us slept).  Putting jokes aside, the entire experience was like a time-machine. We seem to be reliving our childhoods as we walk about the exhibits, touching and pushing buttons. For a moment, this reminds me of our 2.007 module. (Mm… let’s not go there in this post)

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Day 4 was cool, 4th of July! For those in Singapore, its America’s Independence Day! In Boston, we have the Boston Pops, one of the most amazing fireworks I’ve seen and it spans over the Charles River. The Prudential Building was literally glowing with a myriad of colors. Guess what, my room has the best view and Terence is camping there with his camera and his ‘special laptop’.  This brings me to Kate Perry’s ‘Fireworks’, now I know why the ‘4th of July’ phrase was inside. Ok, that was another random. Don’t judge. (Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGJuMBdaqIw)

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On Friday, we had our game design workshop where we are tasked to design board/card games. We were honored to be exposed to so many skills and methods of innovation. To me, I did not expect myself to create such games because these weren’t my cup of tea. However, I realize that there was so much joy in creating games for others, especially during our innovation process. All of us had fun poking fun of games that we design.  My team had a rather interesting name for our game, “CHUA SAI” (i.e. hokkien expression that is used when one is fitted in an uncomfortable and shocking situation). More details to be released later in the programme.

And YES! We ended our week with a trip to Wrentham! And some went to Maceys for shopping! Heard they had relatively cheap apparels over in those retail outlets. Fortunately, or unfortunately, for some of us we have other personal activities. For me and Jin Kai, we had solar vehicle meetings to attend. Hey, we do cool stuff too. Haha. We got to innovate on the ferring of MIT’s Solar EV Team’s solar car! Although most of the design were made by the coordinator, we exposed to interesting knowledge on carbon fiber application, molding and working about constraints in achieving the best out of the given materials and costs. The working styles of participating students in clubs were very similar to that in SUTD. One thing admirable was that the MIT Solar EV Team had most of their clubs’ budget outsourced and sponsored and they worked about these constraints with wits.

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Ok, it’s about 11am, Monday here. Time to throw some ceramics, see you again!

*Photos from Khor Zi Jian, Yiyang, Dexter Chew

GLP – Ordinary week with an extraordinary experience

25 Jul

By Yi Sheng

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In our architectural drawing class, all of us sketched a panoramic view of the scenery along Charles River, when viewed from Memorial Drive. It was a challenge indeed to combine together all our individual drawings, which are of different styles. We added a whole lot of interesting graphics to the final sketch, which comprises Godzilla, minions from Despicable Me and even a Pacific Rim robot. I realized that after the sketch was completed, it was a piece that conveyed so much vibrancy and movement, which were presented in a variety of styles. I really liked how we worked together to produce a single masterpiece.

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Want to take a look at the our masterpiece? Check it out at the SUTD Facebook page and give us your comments.

The E-Club session comprised two parts: a workshop on communication and a discussion on ethics and conflict. We really had fun during the workshop, where each of us expressed a statement in various tones of voice.

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I personally agreed to help as a “test subject” for Aarti’s research on whether sketching improves one’s ability to tackle design problems. During the 30-minute design challenge that I was tasked to complete, I was not allowed to sketch. This compelled me to visualise a few preliminary designs in my mind, from which I selected the final design. As the objective is to design a mechanism to vertically displace a ping pong ball as much as possible, I built a tower that has an axle on top.  The ping pong ball is then raised to a height of more than 40 centimetres by a simple pulley system that makes use of a 500g load. I had lots of fun, and this was far more valuable than the five-dollar Amazon Gift Voucher that I received.

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The Media Lab visit was indeed an eye-opener for most of us, as we get to see how designers who work there play with Lego and music instruments to create new and innovative products that have their unique relevance to our lives. For instance, the sensor attached to the basketball hoop that measures the amount of force exerted by the player during a dunk actually aroused the interest of the NBA. This technology has currently been used in some of the NBA games played. How fascinating!

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On the same day at night, we visited Rethink Robots, which has a famous product called Baxter, a robot of which arms have seven degrees of freedom of movement. This actually allows picking up objects to be easier and more efficient. We enjoyed testing the robot’s reaction to unexpected situations. There’s definitely a lot of high-level programming that went on in the development of Baxter’s “brain”!

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Terence, Dexter and I went to watch the MIT Summer Philharmonic Orchestra at the auditorium inside Kresge Building. They performed two pieces: Symphony No. 2 in B minor composed by Alexander Borodin and Symphony No. 9 in E minor, From the New World, Op. 95 composed by Antonin Dvorak.  The concert lasted for one hour, with George Ogata conducting the entire orchestra. I thoroughly enjoyed the two pieces, although I believe that the orchestra can improve on coming in together at significant moments of the pieces. That being said, I feel that it is really challenging to try to conduct a whole orchestra consisting of so many people.

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To supplement the learning that we have during ceramics lessons, Dexter, Jin Kai and I went to get our hands wet and dirty at the ceramics lab on Saturday. I managed to improve my skills slightly, in the area of centering my clay, although there is still much more room for improvement. Nonetheless, my interest in ceramics never seems to diminish; I will never give up in making more interesting pieces!

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