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Message from the Chair

Tan Choon Hong

The School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) is one of the three schools forming the College of Science at Nanyang Technological University. We consist of three divisions: Chemistry & Biological Chemistry, Mathematical Sciences, and Physics & Applied Physics.

As a School, our collective mission is to forge a world-class centre of scientific education and research. We aim to provide students with a future-oriented education, combining scientific knowledge with “soft skills” such as communication and critical thinking. In the coming decades, Singapore (and the rest of the world) will grapple with many weighty and complex issues, ranging from climate change to the economic transformations caused by technological progress. Our students must possess not only rock-solid technical expertise, but also the nimbleness of mind to explore brand-new fields.

Our undergraduate programmes are designed to be rigorous but flexible, with many excellent opportunities for one-on-one guidance and training from professors (including undergraduate research projects). Students also get the chance to collaborate on hands-on projects, developing practical solutions for real-world problems.

We work hard to ensure that our students have the best possible career opportunities. Survey data reveals that SPMS graduates have gone on to an incredible assortment of jobs, ranging from marquee employers like Citibank, Google, and GlaxoSmithKline to brand-new start-ups. We aim to ensure that from day one, our students start to pick up the hard and soft skills valued in the job market. This involves initiatives such as networking events with SPMS alumni, a cooperative education programme to let students undertake structured internships with participating companies, and more.

Our faculty members are world-renowned scientific experts, having won numerous national and international awards for their research accomplishments. Many of our faculty members are experts in more than one scientific domain; for example, we have chemists creating new materials, mathematicians making impact in computer science, physicists working in financial engineering, etc. The numbers of publications and competitive research grants received by SPMS faculty members have increased steadily over the years. Our publications in top tier journals and conferences have increased from 52 in 2005 to 644 in 2017! Over the last 5 years, SPMS faculty members have received more than S$150 million in competitive research grants from external agencies, and to date we have been joined by 27 National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellows and National Research Foundation (NRF) Investigators. We also have 21 excellent young researchers who are recipients of the Nanyang Assistant Professorship.

I invite you to visit the wonderful ecosystem of research and education in SPMS.

Tan Choon Hong
Professor and Chair
School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, NTU