Breadth of knowledge important: NTU provost

By Jovi Ho

PHOTO: WKWSCI

Students from the arts and humanities should understand developments in technology and how they will impact the workplace in the future, said NTU provost Professor Ling San.

He said effort should be put into understanding issues such as data science, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Agreeing on the importance of being a “well-rounded citizen” is NTU president Subra Suresh, who joined Prof Ling on a visit to the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) on May 4.

“If you have a scientific background, you want to have an appreciation for the arts. We require that students of engineering and science have exposure to literature and the arts, and the reverse is also true,” said Prof Suresh.

Prof Ling also spoke on the importance of “computational thinking” and why students from the arts and humanities should cultivate an appreciation for technology.

“(We are) not expecting everyone to become an expert, but you should understand what all these technologies are about… and how you can leverage all this to change how you live and work in the future,” said Prof Ling.

During their visit, Prof Suresh and Prof Ling were interviewed by students in a surprise recording of Spectrum TV, a student-run television programme broadcast over the campus cable network and streamed online.

The university leaders also toured the other schools within the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, namely the School of Art, Design and Media, the School of Humanities, and the School of Social Sciences.

“(Recording that episode) was great. It lives up to what I call ‘experiential learning’; immersing yourself in a realistic situation to apply what you have learnt,” said Prof Ling.

The former dean of NTU’s College of Science began his role as provost and vice-president for academics on Jan 1 this year, as part of the new university leadership under president Subra Suresh.