Tag Archives: Charles River

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.

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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GLP – Arrival in Boston and pre-Leadershape experience (03-06-2013)

8 Jun

On Sunday, 2 June 2013, at 6 in the morning, a group of students from the SUTD Global Leadership Programme boarded a flight headed halfway across the world.

The SUTD GLP Team

The SUTD GLP Team

After a day of flying, we arrived in Boston at 8pm (8am Singapore time). Fighting off the effects of jet lag, we were sent by bus to the Lenox Hotel, where we rested for the night. The next day, we travelled by subway across the Charles River to Cambridge, where we were given a brief tour of the MIT Campus.

The main MIT building. Regal and beautiful in stature, it's truly something to admire.

The main MIT building. Regal and beautiful in stature, it’s truly something to admire.

We visited many of MIT’s buildings during the orientation. We saw recruitment posters for all sorts of clubs as we passed through the infinite corridor. We got glimpses into the many laboratories around the campus, ranging from Engineering to Biomedical.

A quick introduction to 'hacking' in MIT.

A quick introduction to ‘hacking’ in MIT.

We also learned a great deal about the history of MIT’s ‘hacks’: the ingenious pranks pulled off by MIT students in the past. Hacks represent a quirky, amusing form of an engineering challenge – be they putting a police car on the top of the dome, or attaching furniture to ceilings to create ‘upside-down’ rooms. And yet, throughout the process, the students maintain a strict adherence to an ethical code, resulting in pranks both amusing and impressive.

The huge sports centre at W35. Yeah, all the buildings here are addressed by number.

The huge sports centre at W35. Yeah, all the buildings here are addressed by number.

We were then issued our MIT cards, which granted us access to their multitude of facilities. There were many beautiful libraries and impressive sports complexes which were now open to us, and we made note of their locations excitedly as we proceeded with our tour.

View of the Charles River from Cambridge. Excellent weather for running too.

View of the Charles River from Cambridge. Excellent weather for running too.

After the tour of the campus, some of us chose to walk back to the hotel, soaking up the sights and sounds of Boston along the way. The first step was to cross back over the Charles River, and thus we proceeded to the bridge.

You could certainly say these students left their mark on Boston.

You could certainly say these students left their mark on Boston.

As any visitor crossing the bridge would notice, there are evenly spaced markings left all along the walkway, measuring ‘100 Smoots’, ‘200 Smoots’ and so on. This relates to the rather interesting story of how a group of MIT students once decided to measure the length of the bridge in the height of their shortest member, Oliver R. Smoot. This quirky prank became well accepted by the public, and the markings are maintained each year.

The Boston Library. Might not look like much on the outside, but as the saying goes, one shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

The Boston Library. Might not look like much on the outside, but as the saying goes, one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

Exploring Boston, we stopped by the huge Boston Library. An old building with rich history, it still yet retains its historic function as a stockpile of information. People could be seen streaming in and out of the building on a Tuesday morning. Engraved along the other side of the building is ‘The Commonwealth requires the education of the people as the safeguard of Order and Liberty’, reminding visitors of the principles the nation was built on.

Beautiful paintings adorn marble walls within the library.

Beautiful paintings adorn marble walls within the library.

The lamps and tables here evoke the image of times long past, though musty tomes on desks have been replaced by laptops and iPads in recent years.

The lamps and tables here evoke the image of times long past, though musty tomes on desks have been replaced by laptops and iPads in recent years.

The interior of the building presents a vast and grand construction, reflecting both the history of the building and the solemnity of its purpose.

And it was thus after our brief initial exploration of Boston that we boarded a bus and left for Leadershape, a 6 day long programme held in Sharon.