Celebrating Bright Young Minds
16 Apr 2020

Young Defence Scientists Programme (YDSP) activities in the past year culminated on 16 April 2020 at the YDSP Congress, where students showcased a wide range of projects in a virtual showcase and shared insights gleaned from their experiences.

This year, YDSP Congress 2020 went online as a virtual showcase for the first time. Over 400 students who had participated in YDSP activities in 2019 – comprising the YDSP Science and Technology (S&T) Camps, World of Science and Research@YDSP – joined the event.

Through the YDSP Congress 2020 microsite, students learnt about the highlights of various YDSP activities, and found inspiration in the many projects their peers have completed. These ranged from using artificial intelligence (AI) to recognise emotions, designing recovery systems for autonomous underwater vehicles, and even detecting hidden images in online photos. Detailed research reports and posters were also included to provide a comprehensive overview of every project.

National Junior College student Allysa Tan, whose Research@YDSP project ‘Towards Scene Understanding for Automated Recyclables Sorting’ was part of the showcase, shared that her YDSP experience was nothing short of exciting and rewarding. Together with fellow Research@YDSP interns at DSTA, she explored leveraging computer vision to automate the process of sorting recyclables.

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Allysa (first from left) discussing her Research@YDSP project with her fellow intern and mentors.

“We were given the opportunity to dig deeper into computer vision with the guidance of our mentors. Although it was difficult, we eventually created our very own object segmentation tool! The support from our mentors, fellow interns and many engineers at DSTA was heartwarming and inspiring, which made the YDSP experience extremely memorable,” she said.

NUS High School of Mathematics and Science student Akhil Chandran Nair, who was part of the champion team for one of the YDSP S&T Camps, cherished the valuable learning experience. As part of the camp, he had to design, build and program a Remotely Operated Vehicle.

“Over the course of four days, we learnt how to troubleshoot our prototype and deal with unexpected problems along the way. Even though we faced a lot of problems, we also learnt a lot,” he said. His team’s project on ‘Underwater Unmanned Robotics (UN1C0-RN)’ is also featured on the YDSP Congress microsite.

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The event was also an opportunity to recognise 22 Integrated Programme Year 3 students with the YDSP Scholarship, for their outstanding academic results and passion in science and technology.