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THE SOCIETY The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

MCI (P) 198/07/2015

LIVE SMART WORK SMART PLAY SMART 02 Artificial Intelligence in Our Daily Lives 04 Are Camera-As-Sensors Future Sensors? 06 Gameplay for Healthier Minds


02 2016

Contents Vision To be the leading infocomm and digital media professional society in Singapore





Splash Awards 2016 Calls for Entries


Leadership Addition Readies SCS for the Future


SCS Adds a New Student Chapter


SCS Confers 10 New Fellows


SCS Chapters Take on New Identities


Grow with SCS Tech Series


Highlights of SCS Bowling Tournament 2016


Mark Your Calendar for these Events

We are All Going to be Smart!


Artificial Intelligence in Our Daily Lives


Are Camera-As-Sensors Future Sensors?


Gameplay for Healthier Minds

Mission Lead the Way To lead and contribute to the vibrancy and growth of Singapore’s infocomm and digital media industry


Essential Qualities for a Smart Nation

10 Status Quo is Not for Technopreneurs


Eat Smart. Work Smart. Be Smart.

Add Value To add value to the infocomm and digital media professional’s career and personal development

Be the Voice

POWER BOOST 12 Smart Nation Project Managers are in Demand! 13

Our Social Network is Shaping Our Future Cities

To engage and be the voice of the infocomm and digital media community



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9:41 AM

Good News! We are All Going to be Smart


t is time for you to come to terms with the fact that being smart is no longer the prerogative of genetically smart people. For one, the whole Singapore will become smart by 2025 – according to the Infocomm Media Masterplan 2025. This vision is slowly but surely touching every aspect of our lives – live, work, play and, possibly even, eat. Each day, technology underpins our many activities – from the moment we wake up to our smartphone’s alarm to getting into the office with the help of our transport and navigation apps. More than that, we also work with one another using email and cloud applications, stay in touch with friends and families via social media platforms, track our physical health with our smart watch and play games on our smartphone. And just when we think this is the end of the technological evolution, the Internet of Things (IoT) comes along. Suddenly, every object can be made “smart”. From cameras that detect floods to cars that drive themselves and wearables that monitor our brain activities while at play, the list is growing; and our infocomm professionals are presented with many new, exciting opportunities. Question is, are we ready to take centre stage?

EDITOR Tan Teng Cheong CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Suryanti Yunita Anggrelly Kelly Choo Koo Sengmeng Vladyslav Koshelyev Dr Amit Satpathy Dr Simon See Jonathan Tay Ghim Chuan EDITORIAL SUPPORT Leong Hoi Lan Claudia Lim

ADVERTISING SALES & ADMIN Claudia Lim For ad sales enquiries, Tel: 6226 2567 ext 12 Email: claudia.lim@scs.org.sg Mailing Address 53 Neil Road Singapore 088891 EMAIL scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg EDITORIAL & DESIGN Lancer Design Pte Ltd

There is no doubt that the go-getter Marcus Cheng, President of the SCS IT Youth Council, is ready to pitch in his best; and Steve Leonard, Chief Executive Officer of SG-Innovate, will build companies who can bring us one step closer to the Smart Nation aspiration. But that’s not enough, we need everyone in the infocomm community to step up the game. Start somewhere. Try attending the SCS Tech series, joining a SCS Chapter, getting a SCS certification or reading The IT Society. Bottom line, we all have to get smart real quick, because the change momentum will only gain speed. Enjoy!

TAN TENG CHEONG Editor Fellow, SCS tengcheong.tan@scs.org.sg

P.S. OK, before I go, let me set my alarm for my 5pm meeting. (Just did that. Done. How did I do it? By telling my iPhone “Set meeting at five”.)

FEEDBACK We value your feedback on this magazine. Simply email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg with your comments to help us produce an even more interesting and relevant magazine for you in subsequent issues. You are welcome to submit articles for inclusion consideration. For advertising enquiries, please call 6226 2567 or email scs.secretariat@scs.org.sg. The IT Society is the official publication of the Singapore Computer Society. Any part of this publication may be reproduced as long as credit is given to the publisher, Singapore Computer Society. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.




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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

Are We Ready for Artificial Intelligence in Our Everyday Lives? Mankind has always been fascinated with creating intelligent machines that can think like us. And modern pop culture has expressed this idea for years in books and films – portraying artificial intelligence (AI) as part of our lives, with the capability to rival our ingenuity and morality, and even surpassing what we can ever hope to achieve. The question is, how removed are these science fiction plots from reality?

DR SIMON SEE Director, NVIDIA Technology Centre and Solution Architecture and Engineering, APJ

inference. For example, children only need to be shown a few pictures of cats and they will be able to identify the animal in future. In addition, researchers also propose that we understand new concepts by discerning how familiar parts work together as a whole. AI, or Machine Learning as it is technically known, works in a similar way as humans do. Instead of having a programmer manually entering new data and telling the programme what to do, the programme automatically improves its software from data received.

KOO SENGMENG Member, SCS Senior Solutions Architect, NVIDIA Technology Centre, APJ


ruth is, AI has been with us in our daily lives far longer than most of us have known. It exists as specialised software that helps pilots fly the planes, recommendation engine in Google and Amazon websites, email spam detector and, more recently, digital personal assistants – Siri and Google Now. WHAT EXACTLY IS AI? Since the beginning of time, human beings learnt from examples and by

WHAT IS NECESSARY TO MAKE AI WORK? For AI programmes to succeed, loads of data, high computational power with optimal programming architecture, and machine learning algorithms are necessary. Notably, the developments in each of these domains are improving at an unprecedented rate, providing an environment that is conducive to the growth of AI. Data Proliferation With 40% of the world’s population online and two billion smartphones in use, contents and data are created at a remarkable rate that is not known.

Computation Power Advancement Computational capacity of today’s processors continues to grow every day even as computers and storage costs become increasingly affordable each year. The famous Google Brain Experiment conducted by the Stanford AI Lab is a case in point. When it was first carried out in 2012, it required 1,000 central processing unit (CPU) servers with 16,000 CPU cores, and 600kW energy at a cost of US$5 million. Today, the same experiment can be replicated with a commercial off-the-shelf desktop machine – NVIDIA DIGITS DevBox – powered by graphics processing units (GPU) and loaded with intuitive-to-use DIGITS Deep Learning GPU Training System at a fraction of the US$5 million in 2012 – US$15,000. AI Algorithms Development In recent times, there has been significant development in machine learning systems. For one, the availability of open source comprehensive toolkits and frameworks from the likes of Google (Tensorflow), Microsoft (CNTK), Baidu (WarpCTC) and OpenAI (Gym) promise to accelerate the speed of innovation further.

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AI @ WORK IN THE BUSINESS LANDSCAPE Underpinning the ongoing development of AI, companies are establishing new ways of interacting with data that break through complex digital processes to reveal insights present in the mountain of data they owned. Below are some examples.

Videos Clarifai uses AI to detect people, objects and scenes in videos. This method is not only faster and more accurate than human eyes; details can also be identified and catalogued for targeted advertising. Closer to home, local company Visenze is developing AI that can identify macro and micro trends, and segmented behaviour patterns, to make more intelligent recommendations and predictions.

Images HealthMind, developed by a company in Silicon Valley – Metamind, combines natural language processing, computer vision and AI prediction algorithms to analyse medical scans of brains, eyes, and lungs to find tumours or lesions. This technology enables doctors to spend less time interpreting images and more time consulting with their patients. THE ERA OF AI IS ALREADY HERE Yes, AI no longer exists only in science fiction plots. As a matter of fact, AI today has the capacity to triumph our cognitive skills – as demonstrated by DeepMind’s AlphaGo winning against a human Go grandmaster in March 2016. The game received global media coverage and sparked huge public and private investments across the globe in AI because it represented a significant milestone, not just in the sense of technological progress since the famous Google Brain Experiment in 2012, but the potential impact AI has on our everyday lives. As sophisticated and useful AI continues to be developed, it is not implausible to see the day when autonomous work machines lessen human exposure to dull, dirty and dangerous work; selfdriving cars reduce the number of auto accidents worldwide to a statistical nil; and robotic surgeons save more lives. The possibilities are endless and exciting. Even the way we communicate with each other is set to change with the existence of intelligent personal assistants, decoding different languages real-time to facilitate multilingual conversations.

Documentation and Data Entry London-based startup, Arria, helps its customers to automatically generate reports ranging from healthcare to finance and oil and gas industries. Its natural language processing technology learns to write reports by scanning texts and determining relationships between concepts. The automation of these time-intensive documentation and data entry tasks frees up the knowledge workers’ time for higher value problem-solving tasks – increasing productivity by 25%.

Advertising New York-based SailThru helps marketers deploy more effective promotional emails by building customer profiles from email and web data analytics. Through predicting which individuals will make certain purchases when, the appropriate message is delivered at an opportune time. One of their customers, Clymb, saw a 12% increase in email revenue and an 8% increase in total email purchases within 90 days of using SailThru.

Process and Maintenance Sight Machine, an emerging leader in manufacturing analytics, helps engineers anticipate and prevent problems by analysing data for patterns. One of their clients was able to reduce downtime by 50% and increase performance by 25% within one month, for their robotics manufacturing line – far better than the 1% to 2% industry standard.



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The Future of Sensors: CameraAs-Sensors Conventional sensors have served our purposes well till now. But are they good enough for a Smart Nation where real-time data and solutions are essential?


n a Smart Nation, demand for realtime visual monitoring exponentially increases. The implication is: the Internet of Things (IoT) architecture, which enables connectivity between electronics, sensors and software, will play an increasingly important role to empower and enhance real-time monitoring of equipment and events.

be upgraded with connectivity modules to transmit real-time data. However, many deployed systems today are still fitted with older sensors because replacing the systems is costly and timeconsuming. Furthermore, owners are comfortable with the existing setups. Therefore, it is often an uphill task to justify the change to smart sensors.

While Gartner estimates that IoT product and service suppliers will create revenue exceeding US$300 billion in 2020, International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts that the IoT solutions worldwide market will grow from US$1.9 trillion in 2013 to US$7.1 trillion in 2020. In addition, Cisco has found that the number of connected sensors has increased from 500 million in 2003 to 25 billion in 2015; it further predicts that by 2020, there will be more than 50 billion connected sensors.

THE SOLUTION: CAMERA-ASSENSORS TECHNOLOGY Now there is an alternative. Instead of changing whole systems, CameraAs-Sensors Technology (CAST) can be leveraged by retrofitting older sensors with cameras. Optical Character Recognition technology or image/video analytics, coupled with an IoT framework for the cameras, allows information to be deciphered from older sensors. Better yet, CAST presents a cheaper alternative for existing sensor systems with no connectivity; its contactless nature also means that it will not interfere with existing operations.

With such numbers, it is not surprising that businesses and governments have made integrating IoT into their solutions their top priority. Of course, the promise of greater efficiency and more prompt solutions delivery also drives this development. THE REALITY: TRADITIONAL SENSORS VS SMART SENSORS Technology has enabled traditional sensors used for various applications to

OPPORTUNITIES FOR CAMERA-ASSENSORS TECHNOLOGY As the demand for different real-time visual monitoring applications increases, more cameras will be deployed at any particular location. This redundancy may potentially strain the communications

THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

DR AMIT SATPATHY Scientist, Institute for Infocomm Research

SURYANTI YUNITA ANGGRELLY Senior Research Engineer, Institute for Infocomm Research

network unnecessarily. Fortunately, continued advancement in programming and object/event detection means that one camera feed will be sufficient to perform many different types of analysis in the foreseeable future. Additionally, the overarching Smart Nation framework also enables the sharing of secured data which are protected and encrypted between different entities. Tangibly, the IoT framework for real-time visual monitoring brings many benefits to government agencies and companies. Besides requiring less manpower, they also enjoy cost savings from setting up and operating a control centre. These translate to an increased operational efficiency and improved productivity of operations staff. For example, in the case of the Silt Imagery Detection System, approximately 100,000 man-hours of construction contractors are saved each year. There are many innovation possibilities where CAST is concerned. One such innovation is the placement of the management service layer of a visual monitoring IoT architecture directly on the camera. As digital signal processing (DSP) boards become smaller and more powerful, one can expect analytics to be performed in the camera before being sent across the gateway and network to the upper layers.

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CAMERA-AS-SENSORS IN ACTION! One statutory board in Singapore who is no stranger to CAST is the Public Utilities Board (PUB). Apart from deploying CAST along canals, rivers, drains and roads to monitor flood possibilities, PUB also uses CAST to supervise silt discharges from construction sites into public waterways as part of their Earth Control Measures.



Unlike hydrostatic water level sensors which have to be regularly cleaned and maintained to prevent dirt and barnacles build-up from affecting detection accuracy, CAST can easily detect the visible colour markers or measurement staffs set up along drains, rivers or canals using image/video analytics to estimate the height of the water level. It can also effectively monitor road surfaces for floods around Singapore through leveraging image/video analytics for automated detection of events, and an IoT architecture.

Silt discharges affect the recreational use, flow capacity, aquatic life and aesthetics of drains, rivers and canals. As such, PUB requires contractors to set up Total Suspended Solids (TSS) systems with sensors to measure the concentration of silt in treated water. The data collected is sent to PUB via an IoT framework for follow-up.

Data is continuously pooled from the cameras and analysed by the image/video analytics software to determine if there is a flood. The results of the detection are then fed to an application layer and displayed on a Singapore map that shows the locations of all cameras. When a flood is detected, the location marker will change colour and flicker to attract the attention of the operations staff. The detected events can also be extracted and saved for reference.

As an additional measure to ensure the reliability of data, PUB requires contractors to install cameras at discharge points and provide a real-time link to the cameras for monitoring. CAST is then deployed to automate real-time detection of silt discharges. When a silt discharge is detected, the results are sent to the relevant stakeholders via emails so that immediate actions can be taken. This entire system is called the Silt Imagery Detection System (SIDS).




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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

The big idea

Neurotechnology + Games = Healthier Mind It’s been said that once the word neurotechnology or neuroscience pops up, most people go blank and react to it as if it’s an alien term. They do not make an effort to understand it and will usually dismiss it as beyond comprehension. In the words of Facebook relationship status: “It’s Complicated”. But what if neurotechnology is combined with the term gamification? Is it then easier to understand?

The good news is: it is not rocket science because it has got absolutely nothing to do with rockets. But the bad news is: it is neuroscience! Neurotechnology in the simplest term means any technology that can help in the understanding of the brain. Gamification on the other hand is making a process or scenario into a form of a game. Think Candy Crush. As you work your way through each level in the game, your brain is being analysed for optimisation and usage intensity. This changes the dynamics of

the game. It’s no longer just about achieving the highest scores, but also about how much of your brain is exercised during gameplay. Those results matter just as much as your game scores. OUR BEAUTIFUL MINDS Notably, there are five cognitive skills each of us possesses – memory, attention, decision-making, multitasking and spatial judgment. Left untrained, these functions which are pivotal for us to function well in our daily lives may deteriorate as we age and/or ignore signs of decline. On the

contrary, with regular, conscientious and appropriate brain exercises, these skills can be improved – leading to healthier minds. A GAMING REVOLUTION In the past, the idea of training our minds may seem like an impossible feat. Today, with the help of neurotechnology gadgets and applications, keeping our minds fit and strong has become as achievable as keeping our bodies healthy with physical exercises. Through analytics gathered from gaming activities, one can learn to engage their brain

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Examples of Brain Training Games KELLY CHOO Member, SCS Chief Marketing Officer, Neeuro

To qualify as “games”, the tacit implication is that they must be fun. By the same measure, in order to effectively train the brains, the applications must be able to strengthen our cognitive capabilities. Below are three games that check the requirements. Try them!

Sushi Recall

Dot Connect

Pyramid Solitaire

Patterned after the tried and tested n-back tasks, Sushi Recall requires player to remember the sequence of sushi plates and keep track of the ones that have gone missing.

In this game, the player needs to navigate and precisely connect the dots – similar to what one does with maps. Anyone who is keen to improve their sense of direction can definitely benefit from this one!

In this variant of the typical solitaire card game, one needs to strategise and pair cards that add up to 13 together while remembering cards which are faced down.

Benefits Memory: Attention: Spatial:

Benefits Spatial: Attention:

Benefits Decision Making: Memory: Attention:

productively so as to preserve or slow down the degeneration of their brain functions, which arises from ageing.

or improve concentration amidst the multitude of activities in our fastpaced lifestyle.

A healthy dose of personal interests in the subject of brain health as well as the enthusiasm to contribute positively to the advancement of the neurotechnology applications have inspired the founding of a local start-up company – Neeuro. Funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Technology Incubation Scheme, Neeuro aims to help people improve their brain health whether it is to remember names and places, delay memory loss

Neeuro’s innovative brain training wearable headband is loaded with neuroscience-designed games which allow users to monitor and analyse their brainwaves. From which, feedback will be provided to enable brain training. This headband pairs with complementary games to provide a measurable and fun experience for users.

JOURNEY TO HEALTHIER MINDS Everyone knows the importance of physical health. However, mental health is just as important, if not more. After all, total wellness requires a holistic approach, which includes eating well and resting well. Therefore, just like keeping a physical workout routine, a regime that positively stimulates our brains is essential. And one is never too young or too old to start. We just need to get started and keep it going – like how we keep other good habits in life.




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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

Realising the Smart Nation Vision:

The Essential Qualities


Chief Executive Officer, SG-Innovate Experience: Over 30 years with approximately 15 years living and working in Asia, 10 years in Europe and 5 years in the U.S Earliest Tech Experience: Motorola briefcase phone in 1984 Bedtime Reading: ‘The Victorian Internet’ by Tom Standage; ‘Jeeves series’ by P. G. Wodehouse Favourite Sport: Paddleboarding Family: Father of 3 children aged 24, 22 and 12 years old

Not too long ago self-drive vehicles and virtual medical consultations were impossible realities. Today, the technology to realise them is here. And if it is up to SG-Innovate, the pace of such technological development will only accelerate. Steve Leonard, Chief Executive Officer, SG-Innovate, shares his plans for SG-Innovate with The IT Society, who took the chance to also find out his take on the Smart Nation vision. Q: Question, S: Steve Q: How far away do you think Singapore is from becoming a Smart Nation? S: In many ways Singapore is well positioned to become a Smart Nation. Not only do we have a supportive government and a relatively strong technology infrastructure, we also have access to many intellectual muscles. For example, if you are thinking of research, we have capable researchers and academia at the universities and A*STAR. In addition, our vibrant industrial

sector and growing design community also mean that engineers of different specialisations and designers are readily available. Q: Does this then mean that the Smart Nation vision is an easy target? S: Well, while Singapore has the conditions to become a Smart Nation, a Smart Nation cannot be realised unless we can creatively bring all of these favourable forces together, let them work

in synergy with one another, and create disruptive solutions that solve real world problems. And an important part to the equation is a fundamental shift in mindsets. Today, finding solutions to problems requires a holistic approach and every stakeholder to pitch in. Having scientists to help us uncover new bodies of knowledge is only the first step. We need engineers to turn the ideas into products, product designers to perfect their form, and

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marketers to communicate the products’ attributes to the consumers. And last but not least, consumers need to embrace the products and see their value. Q: How does SG-Innovate contribute to the Smart Nation vision? S: SG-Innovate is still in its early days of founding but we are quite clear about our goal. We want to build companies that create economic value for Singapore. And to be precise, we don’t mean building companies that serve only the Singapore market; we are looking to build companies that provide solutions, which positively impact people around the world. Many countries confront same challenges to different extents – ageing population, overcrowded transportation, limited energy resources, etc. To solve these complex problems, it is clear that we


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need ideas that are bigger, bolder and braver than what are out there at the moment. We want to support these disruptive ideas regardless of their outcomes at SG-Innovate because even if the outcomes may be less than desirable, we would have learnt something in the process of trying to get there. That is valuable, and it may potentially pave the way for the next big discovery. Q: What are your personal hopes for SG-Innovate? S: I hope to make a dent in the world with the initiatives we support and the talents we nurture. Making a dent is an ambitious undertaking because I am not looking at just improving the status quo; I am looking for exponential advances that disrupt current behaviours and perspectives. However, for that to happen, we need to go beyond emphasising hard skills and knowledge to instil in our people 3Cs – courage, confidence and curiosity.


These qualities are pivotal to keep one exploring and persevering even when the going gets tough. Q: Do you think SG-Innovate has what it takes to succeed? S: Yes. I certainly think we are in a good position with SG-Innovate. Over the past few weeks, I met many people from the government, industry and institutions. They have brought many great ideas to the table, which we would eventually select the best few to work on. Generally, everyone is supportive and shares the excitement about various possibilities. Many domain experts and leaders have expressed interest to get involved. This implies that entrepreneurs can expect to meet investors and mentors who could offer support and advice through SG-Innovate. To a huge extent, this heartening response is also a reaffirmation of SG-Innovate’s relevance.

“We need courageous, confident and curious people with bigger, bolder and braver ideas to come on board SGInnovate and join us in realising our Smart Nation vision.” What is a quote you live by? If you are not in technology, you will be…

You love Singapore because… Everyone should consider a career in technology because… Who inspires you professionally?



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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016


Status Quo is Never Enough “I am always looking for the next higher mountain to climb because the higher I go, the more opportunities and possibilities I see. It’s exciting and I am totally up for it!”


President, SCS IT Youth Council Age: 35 Experience: 11 years Current: Chief Executive Officer, Acclivis Technologies and Solutions Earliest Tech Experience: 9 years old First Tech Gadget: IBM XT – a generation before Intel 286 Current Pet Topic: FinTech

What does it take for one to give up a highflying career with a big multinational company to start a company from scratch? Marcus Cheng, Chief Executive Officer, Acclivis, lets The IT Society in on his decision to go with the route less travelled.

AN AFFINITY WITH ALL THINGS TECH My love for technology traces back to… when I was nine years old. I had great fun attending computing enrichment classes. I owned my first computer at 10 and that’s also when I first tried my hands at coding using BASIC programming language. My love affair with technology continues… even during my ‘A’ Level. I was one of the lucky few to be able to take Computing as a subject. Then one thing led to another. We were in the thick of the dot-

com boom when it came time to select a University course. Naturally, I chose Computer Engineering. I stayed faithful to technology because… although the dot-com crisis struck before I could complete my degree, I was quietly confident that there is a future in technology. In fact, I was fascinated to see such quick developments within a short span of time and wanted to experience it for myself. Then I graduated and enjoyed a good run with IBM. That experience strengthened my resolve – I may quit my job, but I will not quit the industry.

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A CAREER THAT IS STILL UNFOLDING I left IBM because… despite many high points during my time there, I was starting to feel restless. As a person who is very forward-looking, I am constantly looking for my next goal post. And adrenaline rush aside, I was looking to commit myself to a cause that I am truly passionate about. I decided to take the plunge and start my own business because… standing at the crossroads and considering my position and experience, there were much at stake but also nothing much to lose. After all, I was fairly young at 29 with drive, passion, energy and, most importantly, opportunity. So, I just went for it. I am happy with my decision. The journey is not always smooth, but it has definitely been fulfilling. Besides being able to see the bigger picture, I have the power to bring my ideas to life. Of course, not all ideas bear fruits, but at least we

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can reinvest the lessons learnt on new ideas. That is a feat hard to accomplish anywhere else. A DESIGNATION THAT SAYS “BOSS” The changes that came along with the designation… go beyond relinquishing the IBM badge for a business card that nobody knows. It was a sobering experience. As a new kid on the block, there was neither track record nor reputation to fall back on. People peer harder at you. They not only size up your capabilities, but also evaluate you as a person. It means going back to ground zero to build your contacts and network anew. The first big break came when… we were awarded our first major project from Infocomm Development Authority. That was a turning point for us. Industry players and potential customers alike began to get interested in Acclivis and what we have to offer. Consequently, this growing interest also made it easier for us to attract talents to join the team.



It is not the ticket to a perfect life because… if you imagine being the boss means you have absolute control over everything, you’ll be disappointed to know that there are still shareholders to answer to. You are also under the watchful eyes of your staff who are looking to you for directions and inspiration. There is no defined job scope for a boss. You’ll have to do anything and everything and the list just keeps expanding as the company grows. It is a position that requires… strength, which comes along with mental clarity and a fit body. For me, working out is a good way to de-stress, so is catching up on my favourite shows – particularly basketball matches. The clockwork precision of the players, their immaculate teamwork and their sheer determination to turn a losing game around never cease to inspire me to do the same when confronting adversity.



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THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016


Smart Nation Project Managers

JONATHAN TAY GHIM CHUAN President, SCS Project Management Chapter

These are exciting times for professionals in the infocomm industry. Singapore’s aspiration to become a Smart Nation suggests abundant opportunities for IT professionals. Question is: are you ready to make the best of these opportunities?


ince the announcement of the Smart Nation vision in November 2014, Singapore has embarked on many projects – involving the trial of smart devices and applications – by harnessing infocomm technology, networks and data. SMART NATION PROJECT OPPORTUNITIES Smart Nation projects typically involve technologies like sensors, analytics and solutions to collect valuable data, conduct analysis and provide actionable insights. In most cases, they not only entail process re-engineering, but also the introduction of new and improved ones. One example is the introduction of smart technologies to our housing estates. A growing ageing population, shortage of healthcare resources and increasing numbers of chronic illness drive the need for home monitoring and tracking applications to facilitate early response and intervention when incidents happen. Another example is the Land Transport Authority’s use of sensors to collect data and employ data processing technologies to provide real-time transport and traffic information to road users. The end goal is to create a more seamless travelling experience. MANAGING SMART NATION PROJECTS Smart Nation project managers’ multidisciplinary portfolio typically requires them to verify security policies

and networking solutions; manage privacy challenges in data collection and processing; and keep abreast of evolving standards in emerging technologies that define seamless interoperability and connectivity of various Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices. In addition, Smart Nation projects usually also involve different agencies and multiple partners. It is therefore important for project managers to possess capabilities to work with different parties with varying priorities. As Lai Weng Yew, Vice President, Business Application Services, NCS aptly sums up, “Everything is generally more complex. And the importance of project management is naturally taken a few notches higher.” Good and well executed project management is vital to the success of Smart Nation projects. Project managers need to ensure good project governance throughout the project planning and implementation stages, have a clear understanding of the different roles and responsibilities among the different stakeholders, and follow a clear and transparent approval process. Weng Yew emphasised, “Smart Nation projects require a team effort as it is impossible to run these projects alone. Project managers will have to unite the team through various incentives and organise team players to handle different focus areas.”

YOU CAN BE A SMART NATION PROJECT MANAGER TOO! With opportunities to participate in the trial of new technology that supports better living, the role of a Smart Nation project manager can be very fulfilling. However, if you are interested to become a Smart Nation project manager, you are recommended to enrol in SCS’ IT Project Management Certification programme and become a certified IT Project Manager – a professional recognition for IT project managers. Be sure to also network with IT professionals from different industries at SCS’ events. Through these exchanges you will stay in the know about industry trends, as well as gain insights to various IT disciplines – an advantage for the aspiring Smart Nation project manager.

Lai Weng Yew is Vice President, Business Application Services with NCS. He is responsible for NCS’ Consulting, Application Development and Management, Custom Software Development, Business Process Outsourcing, Enterprise Analytics and Cloud Businesses. Possessing 25 years of experience in the consultancy and implementation of IT projects in both government and commercial sectors, Weng Yew is also involved in many Smart Initiatives that NCS undertakes in his current capacity.

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Social Networks Today = Cities Tomorrow? It is almost certain that cities will be very different 20 years from now. But how different? Take a close look at the present day social networks, and you could very well find the answer.


he legendary urban planner Jane Jacobs once wrote that cities are built by people for people1. Without the meaning people bring to places around us, buildings, highways and bridges would just be empty stone shells. OUR CITIES TODAY A modern metropolis is a complex social network of relationships, conversations and everyday interactions between people. This network defines the place and explains the city beyond its physical form. As British urban planner and geographer Prof Michael Batty observed: places are important only inasmuch as they enable communication between people. The modern urban science is increasingly shifting its focus from physical locations to the actual social networks they support2. By 2050, more than 70% of world population will live in cities, up from 3% in 18003. Such rapid urbanisation challenges planners to rethink everything they know

3 4 5 1 2

about infrastructure, connectivity and social issues. Concurrently, exponential advances in technology make it necessary for planners to keep up with emerging computing, transportation, telecommunications and medical trends. OUR SOCIAL NETWORKS TODAY Notably, advances in telecommunications and computer technology have enabled us to bring practically all of our social activities online, blurring the lines between digital and physical worlds. Modern digital services such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn have become accurate representations of every part of our social networks – from relationships and conversations to events, commerce and idea exchanges. As a matter of fact, our online social networks share many similarities with our cities. They present an accurate model of the city life that can inform urban design. The News Feed on Facebook could well be the downtown where everyone meets and catches up on the latest news and gossips, amidst the array of giant advertisement billboards, while Personal Profiles are cosy apartments that we return to relax and reflect about the day. As for the Groups, they are akin to neighbourhood communities spread across the city – each with its unique vibe, style and supporters. SOCIAL NETWORKS AND CITIES ARE CONVERGING At this stage, it is anybody’s guess how the city will look like in the future. Considering that physical urban megastructures develop


VLADYSLAV KOSHELYEV Member, SCS Client Solutions Manager, Facebook

over an extended period of time, it is tough to replicate agile planning and constant experimentation, which are fundamental to the success of digital companies. Luckily, the dynamism and flexibility of online social networks not only mirror urban interactions, but also offer planners an ideal platform for rigorous analysis and research. Convergence between urban development projects and online social networks is already apparent in recent urban development projects. The Urban Attitudes Lab in Tufts is analysing torrents of geotagged social data coming from digital media to contribute to the design patterns of communities and neighbourhoods in Massachusetts, U.S. In another instance, Honolulu, Hawaii, has redesigned some of its districts based entirely on interactions on social media platforms. By enabling hotspots around the area, Honolulu made the digital space indistinguishable from the physical location4. THE FUTURE OF CITIES Interactions on social media have gone beyond exchanges of information, and now influence urban, infrastructure and architectural design in important economic centres around the world. Singapore’s Smart Nation initiative is perhaps the most ambitious urban project by far. Through combining social media information streams with millions of data points from sensors, devices and geospatial analytics, Singapore is set to create a rich information model that guides the planning and design of the city5.

Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Vintage Books, 1961 Michael Batty, The new science of cities, MIT Press, 2013 Population Reference Bureau, http://www.prb.org/Publications/Lesson-Plans/HumanPopulation/Urbanization.aspx Timothy Schuler, Future of Urban Planning: A Hawaiian Neighborhood Born of Social Media, Autodesk, 2015 Peter Quek, Exploit Technology for Smart Urban Planning, Urban Redevelopment Authority Singapore, 2014

Invited Speaker: Mr. Cheng Tee Yeow

General Manager, Kinetics Integrated Services; SVP Marketing Defence, ST Kinetics

Speaker: Mr. Ong Whee Teck Course Leader of STMI; Partner of PwC SEAC (South East Asia Consulting)

Speaker: Mr. Teo Chin Seng Course Leader of STMI; Former Group CIO of National Health Group/ iHIS

29, 30, 31 August, 1 & 2 September 2016



THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

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SCS Honorary Advisory Council Features New Strengthened Line-up

CS has added two new members to its Honorary Advisory Council – Jacqueline Poh from Infocomm Development Authority and David Koh from Cyber Security Agency. Together, the members of the SCS Honorary Advisory Council will provide SCS with leadership and advice on broad directions and strategies.

Prof Christopher Chia Professor (Practice), National University of Singapore

Rosina Howe Group Director & Chief Innovation Officer, Land Transport Authority

David Koh Chief Executive, Cyber Security Agency

Steve Leonard Chief Executive Officer, SG-Innovate

Gabriel Lim Chief Executive Officer, Media Development Authority

Leslie Loh Founder, Red Dot Ventures

Ng Cher Pong Chief Executive, Workforce Development Agency

Jacqueline Poh Managing Director, Infocomm Development Authority

New Co-opted Members Add Diversity to SCS Leadership


he SCS Executive Council has co-opted members who will collectively lead SCS to achieve new milestones for the term 2016-2017. Selected chapters have also co-opted members to infuse expertise and experience diversity in their respective technology areas.

Co-opted Members of SCS Executive Council

Chak Kong Soon, FSCS Managing Partner, Stream Global

Peter Goh, FSCS, CITPM (Senior) Managing Director, Products ASEAN Lead Accenture

Haresh Khoobchandani, SMSCS General Manager, Microsoft Business Solutions Asia Pacific

Koh Kong Meng, SMSCS General Manager & Managing Director, HP Inc SEATH-K

Bruce Liang, SMSCS Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Health & MOH Holdings

Prof Miao Chun Yan, SMSCS Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University

Ong Chin Ann, SMSCS, CITPM Chief Information Officer, MINDEF

Harish Pillay, FSCS Global Head, Community Architecture & Leadership, Red Hat Asia Pacific

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Co-opted Members of SCS Chapters Business Analytics Chapter Executive Committee

Business Continuity Chapter Executive Committee

Cloud Computing Chapter Executive Committee

Vicky Abhishek, MSCS The Coca Cola Company

Samuel David, MSCS AVNET Technology Solutions

James Liu, MSCS Amazon Web Services

Syed Ismail, MSCS SAS Institute

Martin Garner, MSCS Sherwood GM

Project Management Chapter Executive Committee

Andy Ta, MSCS MOH Holdings

Steven Lee, MSCS IX Technology

Dr Adam Chee, MSCS BinaryHealthCare

Tan Kar Joo, FSCS Singapore Institute of Management

Janice Leong, MSCS KDI Asia

Quality Assurance Chapter Executive Committee

Un Wai Foon, MSCS Integrated Health Information Systems

Christopher Lim, SMSCS Raiffeissen Bank

Chong Fung Tshu, MSCS Integrated Health Information System

Sasanka Sahu, MSCS Acclivis Technologies and Solutions

Cheong Yin Yin, MSCS Integrated Health Information System

Serena Yong, MSCS Integrated Health Information Systems

Kulkarni Asawari Jaydeep, MSCS Integrated Health Information System

SCS has 20 Student Chapters Now! From left: Yeow Cheng Khim (Chief Executive Officer, TMC Academy), Jennifer Ong (Executive Director, SCS), Lum Seow Khun (Deputy Chairperson, SCS Student Chapter), Dr Chin Kon Yuen (Executive Chairman, TMC Academy), Ong Whee Teck (Vice President, SCS), Adrian Chye (Chairman, SCS Student Chapter).


n partnership with the TMC Academy, SCS launched a new Student Chapter on 19 April 2016. The inauguration followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between SCS Vice President Ong Whee Teck and Executive Chairman of TMC Academy Dr Chin Kon Yuen, and an exchange of plaques. Sharing about the Student Chapter membership was Lum Seow Khun, Deputy Chairperson of SCS Student Chapter, who provided an overview of SCS’ events and benefits entitlement. This was complemented by an inspirational talk on Infocomm Media career opportunities

by Adrian Chye, SCS Student Chapter Chairman, who is also General Manager of the Mediafreaks Group of companies. Gospodarikov Mikhail, TMC Student Chapter President enthused, “We are strongly passionate about developing our capabilities and contributing back to the community by promoting professionalism and best practices. And we are excited to see that the SCS’ framework enables us to do that.” Including this new Student Chapter, SCS now has 20 Student Chapters and over 23,000 student chapter members.



THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

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SCS Confers Fellowship on Outstanding Members


en outstanding individuals were recently bestowed the esteemed title of SCS Fellow. All long-time members of SCS, they have established a reputation of eminence and authority in the infocomm field, as well as made positive contributions to the infocomm community.

SCS President Howie Lau (third from the right) with the newly conferred fellows.

Our heartiest congratulations to our deserving SCS Fellows!

Ang Mui Kim Cluster Director, Infocomm Development Authority and Chief Information Officer, Ministry of Manpower

Paul Chan Chairman, SP Services

Chua Ah Leng Senior Vice President, CrimsonLogic

Dr Damien Joseph Associate Professor, Nanyang Technological University

Khoong Hock Yun Assistant Chief Executive and Chief Data Officer, Infocomm Development Authority

Leslie Loh Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Lithan Education

Daniel Tan Director, Interactive & Digital Media, Nanyang Polytechnic

Tan Eng Pheng Senior Director, Clusters Group, Infocomm Development Authority

Tan Kar Joo Programme Director, Singapore Institute of Management

Tang Wai Yee Assistant Commissioner, Infocomm Division, Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

AFTERTHOUGHT FROM OUR NEW SCS FELLOWS Thank you for conferring me as a SCS Fellow. SCS is what it is today, an established and closeknitted IT professional community, because of the many IT stalwarts that have contributed selflessly over the years. I was inspired by many of them and I am grateful to SCS for allowing me to do a small part to help start the IDM Chapter with like-minded infocomm and digital media professionals. I look forward to working with many more in SCS in years to come. – Daniel Tan

I have been a SCS member since joining the IT industry in the late 80s. Having personally benefitted from SCS’ CITPM and COMIT professional certification programmes, I am a strong believer in these certifications. Therefore, I continue to encourage my colleagues to get certified. Besides certifications, the many specialist chapters, covering a wide range of topics and domains, exemplify SCS’ vibrancy and continued relevance even as the business and technology landscapes evolve. I am proud to be a SCS Member, and, even more so, a SCS Fellow! – Tan Eng Pheng

The Magazine of the Singapore Computer Society

Big Data has a big impact on businesses and lives today. Encouraging collaborations and community participation, the Business Analytics (BA) Chapter shares knowledge, resources, and experiences so that members can support BA needs in Singapore. The Chapter also provides members with opportunities to learn the powers of BA, and how Big Data can advance businesses and industries.

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Business Continuity is increasingly becoming integral to business strategies. The Business Continuity (BC) Chapter promotes the learning of BC professional practices in Singapore and the region through building awareness for BC. Beyond sharing and exchanging ideas, the Chapter is recognised on a national level with its members providing feedback to the formalisation of Singapore national standards.

New Chapter Identities Pave the Way for the Future Spotting a consistent colour palette – blue, red and maroon, the new SCS Chapters’ logos embrace a cohesive branding while featuring distinctive graphics representative of the different communities of practice. The well-aligned identities position SCS members for collective domain knowledge growth, with like-minded professionals, in the fast evolving technological landscape.

Mobile and wireless technologies are now part and parcel of our lives. The Mobile & Wireless (MWL) Chapter enables members to bounce ideas, and share information and experiences at various networking and sharing sessions. Besides enhancing professional capabilities through regular attendance of workshops and seminars, entrepreneurship is promoted among members through events and workshops conducted by renowned speakers.

The Project Management (PM) Chapter is exclusively for professionals who have attained Certification in Outsourcing Management for IT (COMIT) or Certification in IT Project Management (CITPM). Boosting competency and professionalism in outsourcing and IT project management, Chapter members establish and promote relationships with other related bodies worldwide – widening their professional networks and shaping the IT industry landscape.



The cloud computing revolution is touching and transforming nearly every aspect of the ICM industry. At the Cloud Computing (CC) Chapter, cloud providers and consumers can glean insights from one another through knowledge-sharing and professional networking sessions. In addition, member organisations also get to grow through collaborating with various government agencies.

The Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Chapter aims to bring IDM practitioners together to interact, exchange ideas, and improve their professional standings. IDM practitioners are encouraged to leverage the IDM Chapter to improve their skills, stay abreast of latest IDM developments and expand their professional network. It also provides a platform for members seeking IDM project opportunities.

Quality in software requires the constant monitoring of software engineering processes and methods. Universal and generic, these quality assurance processes and methods are applied across many domains. The Quality Assurance (QA) Chapter engages members in learning various QA concepts. Members are also exposed to networking opportunities to exchange ideas, experiences, knowledge, and even advance their careers.



THE IT SOCIETY / Issue 02/2016

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Cloud Computing 101 Series

IDEAS Series

Acronym for Applying Supply Chain, Engaging New Technologies, the bi-monthly ASCENT series promotes knowledge sharing by industry adopters on successful use cases in Supply Chain Management (SCM). Brought to you by the SCS SCM Special Interest Group, participants can engage in interactive breakout discussions facilitated by speakers to explore potential emerging technology applications in the Supply Chain industry.

Cloud Computing 101 Series focuses on delivering cloud-related topics in bite sizes. Organised by the SCS Cloud Computing (CC) Chapter on a bi-monthly basis, topics for Cloud Computing 101 Series are derived from the Cloud Computing Body of Knowledge (BOK) developed jointly by Infocomm Development Authority and SCS.

Jointly organised by the SCS Business Analytics (BA) Chapter and Infocomm Development Authority, IDEAS is a bi-monthly tech series dedicated to growing the analytics community and seeding new and innovative ideas for Big Data, Analytics and Data Sciences.

SCS Tech Series:

Empowering Your Growth Everyone can do with a little inspiration sometimes. What better way to get inspired and stay in the know than to attend one of SCS Tech Series? With so many different subject matters available to cater to your professional development and/or personal interests, you are certain to find one that not only engages you, but also adds to your knowledge!

TecHour Series

TECH3 Forum

Youth Engagement Series

Driven by the SCS Technopreneurship (TNR) Special Interest Group in partnership with Action Community for Entrepreneurship and Stream Global, TecHour Series provides a platform for budding technopreneurs to share ideas, and connect with other technopreneurs every Wednesday over lunch hours.

Held annually, this power-packed forum features luminary speakers and examines hot topics revolving technology, talents and trends. Comprising plenary sessions, workshops and networking lunch, TECH3 Forum provides a dynamic learning and networking experience for participants to connect with leaders from different disciplines.

Youth Engagement Series – in short YES! – is organised by the SCS IT Youth Council (ITYC) to cater to youth professionals and students pursuing ICM interest. From interacting with who’s who of the industry to getting an advanced standing for their dream jobs, YES! gives aspiring youths a platform to gain insights from established ICM professionals.


Stay ahead in the world of business




Leader in practice, research and education in the areas of Financial Services Technology, Operations, Processes & Systems (TOPS), and Business, Consumer & Social Analytics. Three specialisation tracks with 4 to 6 months industry attachment opportunities for full time students.

Financial Services Track

An intensive programme to empower business IT professionals to lead and shape Technology & Operations in the Financial Services industry.

Analytics Track

Leading programme in Asia focusing on business, consumer and social analytics business applications, and providing valuable insights for professional to derive a competitive edge for their business.

Financial Services Analytics Track

Drawing from the best of both Financial Services and Analytics Track to equip and prepare graduates and professionals with the ability and intelligence to translate data into actionable insights that drive growth in the financial services industry.

www.smu.edu.sg/mitb mitb@smu.edu.sg (65) 6828 0939 / (65) 6808 5108

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Lanes Assassins were Killing it at SCS Bowling Tournament 2016


n 14 May 2016, over 100 SCS members and friends gathered at SAFRA Mount Faber for the annual SCS Bowling Tournament. The much-anticipated event saw the SCS members and their friends organised into teams of four to compete in three games each. Competition aside, the participants had an enjoyable time. Frequent peals of laughter rose above the sounds of colliding balls and pins. The atmosphere was highly charged on the fun and friendship meter. Eventually, many rounds later, Lanes Assassins emerged champion with a total team score of 2,460. Also claiming three of the four individual titles, the team’s Bernard Pong walked away with the High Game (Men) and High Series (Men).

SCS President Howie Lau (left) and the winning team, Lanes Assassins.

The annual event ended on a successful note, thanks to co-sponsorship from TreeBox Solutions Pte Ltd and support from the players.

One of our bowlers in action.

Team Category:

Winning Team:

Individuals Category:



Lanes Assassins

High Game (Ladies)

Celestine Chng

1st Runner-up

Happy Bowlers

High Game (Men)

Bernard Pong

2nd Runner-up

Moh-Ho Gung-Ho Team

High Series (Ladies)

Althea Dang

3rd Runner-up


High Series (Men)

Bernard Pong



15 JUL

Seminar with Site Visit to SG3 Data Centre

IDEAS Series: Marketing Analytics


20 JUL




Cloud Computing 101 Series: Which Cloud is Right for You?


YES!: Seminar cum Learning Journey at DigiSAFE Cyber Security Centre




20 ASCENT Series: A Smarter Supply Chain with Analytics




15 JUL

19-21 JUL

22 Chill Out Night

SCS Golf Day

Keys to Successful IT Project Implementation

Site Visit to SingPost

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FIELD REPORTS from the Helpless Desk

Eat Smart. Work Smart. Be Smart. By Franky Siow


ello, let me introduce myself. My name is Franky, and frankly, it sounds kiddy. I’m almost ashamed of it so I go by “Frank”. You can call me Frank. I work at a major IT vendor as a Service Desk Analyst and my job is to support (clueless) end users. Yes, I’m the HelpDesk guy. In my role, I get to see the best and the worst of human behaviour. Love-All-Serve-All is my mantra, but SeeAll-Tell-(Almost)-All is what I’ll do in this column. I’ll share observations, stories and certainly “field reports” from the trenches. Hopefully some will tickle you. But if they don’t, be gentle with me – I’m not paid for this! These days everyone is talking about “Smart Nation”. And being the simple

guy living a simple life, I can’t help but wish for three applications. “Lunch Where Today?” App It’s lunchtime. There are 25 different dining options nearby but you and your colleagues have no idea where to eat. Imagine having an app that scans the vicinity and ranks suggestions based on preset conditions – “fast”, “delicious” or “cheap”. Better yet, offer it as a freemium so that the developer can charge for the full version which decides your lunch company for you! Isn’t this some food for thought? “Mundane Tasks” Clone I must admit this is somewhat influenced by all the be-more-productive talk that’s been going around recently. What if we only need to attend meetings that are truly relevant, and for the others, our

clones are there on our behalf? A quick calculation shows that we can increase our productivity by at least 30%. We might just end up with so much time on our hands that we’ll be twiddling our thumbs! Sounds exciting right? “Didn’t Wash Hand” Alarm Simply put, this alarm lights up a big sign just outside the toilet, announcing “Didn’t Wash Hands!” whenever someone leaves the toilet without washing hands. This alarm is especially handy at coffee shops, hospitals and a whole bunch of other places to help call out Mr and Miss Unhygienic. Implementation should be easy too since there’ll be sensors everywhere. And no, I’m not joking. Check out this website (http://makezine.com/projects/didntwash-hands-alarm/) which even has instructions to build a DIY one!

Profile for SCS secretariat

SCS Magazine 2016 Issue 2  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2016 Issue 2

SCS Magazine 2016 Issue 2  

Singapore Computer Society Quarterly Magazine - 2016 Issue 2