Festival of Ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences: “How the humanities and social sciences can help us hack the STEM fields”

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SUTD and the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) cluster are delighted to invite you to our roundtable “How the Humanities and Social Sciences Can Help Us Hack to STEM Fields,” which has been jointly organized with the Ministry of Education as part of the MOE’s inaugural Festival of Ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences. Our HASS colleagues will be sharing their research on the exciting ways the humanities and social sciences can help us imagine a better world by design using human-centric technology and computational innovation.

Some of the world’s most successful leaders in technology fields have backgrounds in the humanities and social sciences. Jack Ma of Alibaba was an English literature major. Stewart Butterfield, the co-founder of Slack, studied philosophy. Steve Jobs studied philosophy and psychology before spending time traveling in India, where he studied Buddhism and Asian religions. What allowed these tech innovators to stand apart from their peers was their ability to anticipate future challenges and seek out opportunity for growth using the strategic and creative skills that they honed as students of the humanities and social sciences.

This roundtable brings together practitioners and academics from across the humanities and social science fields for an exciting conversation about how tech innovations in anthropology, sociology, psychology, urban planning, Asian studies, communications and media studies, financial technology, and the digital humanities can help us answer important social and cultural issues and challenges in Singapore and our globalized world.

Come learn more about new and exciting technological advances in the humanities and social sciences!

Tea, coffee, and refreshment will be served.

In-person registration: https://forms.office.com/r/cNVqCjFasB
Zoom registration: https://tinyurl.com/uek79scb

Festival of Ideas in the Humanities and Social Sciences: “How the humanities and social sciences can help us hack the STEM fields”


Head of HASS Prof. Yow Wei Quin (PhD in Psychology, Stanford University)

Dr Yow Wei Quin obtained her PhD (Psychology), MA (Psychology) and MSc (Statistics) from Stanford University. She also received her MBA (Strategic Development) from Nanyang Technological University and BSocSc. (Honors in Psychology) from National University of Singapore. She has published more than 80 peer-refereed papers, conference proceedings and book chapters in top-tiered journals and conferences such as Developmental Science, Child Development, Journal of Gerontology Series B, Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, Innovation in Aging, Frontiers in Psychology, and Cognitive Science Society in the area of social cognition, bilingualism, education, technology, and aging.

Asst. Prof. Rhema Hokama (PhD in English Literature, Harvard University)

Rhema Hokama is Assistant Professor of English literature and a faculty member in the digital humanities minor program at SUTD. Her current Tier 1 grant project from SUTD and the Ministry of Education uses methods from the computational humanities to catalogue and visualize a new archive of maps, navigational charts, and maritime exchange routes that shaped global exchange in the early modern world.

Assoc. Prof. Lyle Fearnley (PhD in Anthropology, University of California—Berkeley)

Lyle Fearnley is Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Head of Cluster (Education) in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences. Trained as an anthropologist of science and medicine, Lyle received a Joint Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco. His book, Virulent Zones: Animal Disease and Global Health at China’s Pandemic Epicenter (Duke University Press) was Honorable Mention for the 2021 Francis L.K. Hsu Book Prize, awarded by the Society for East Asian Anthropology Section of the American Anthropological Association. In 2021, Lyle was a Finalist for the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year (Social Sciences and Humanities) based on the research discussed in Virulent Zones.

Assoc. Prof. Alastair Gornall (PhD in Asian Studies, University of Cambridge)

Alastair Gornall is Associate Professor in history and religion at SUTD and a research associate at SOAS University of London. His research focuses on the intellectual and cultural history of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia, particularly the Pali literature of Theravada Buddhism. He has also edited and translated works of Pali literature and currently serves as a member of the Council of the Pali Text Society. He teaches courses on Asian religion, history, and the digital humanities as part of SUTD’s digital humanities minor programme.

Asst. Prof. Setsuko Yokoyama (PhD in English and the Digital Humanities, University of Maryland)

Setsuko Yokoyama is Assistant Professor of English and digital humanities at SUTD. She received her doctorate in English from the University of Maryland, and is one of the inaugural graduates of its Digital Studies in the Arts and Humanities program. She also holds a master’s degree in information science from the University of Michigan School of Information, which she earned while on a Fulbright scholarship. Her current research concerns the literary history of speech-to-text technology (STT), and reimagines the contemporary discourse on fairness in speech AI. Drawing from archival records of American literary artists who negotiated questions of race, gender, class, disability status, and national origin as they rendered folk speech sounds to text, her work makes a case for STT remediation as editorial labor. In doing so, she contests the current software engineering workflow that assumes data preparation and labeling for STT as low-wage, menial labor.

Asst. Prof. Gordon Tan (PhD in Geography, University at Buffalo)

Gordon Tan is Assistant Professor of geography at SUTD. As a financial geographer who is fascinated by the increasing convergence between technology and finance, Gordon is interested in studying how new financial technologies (FinTech) and platforms, such as FinTech and blockchain, shape the ways users interact with financial markets and how such technologies contribute to the further financialization of society and nature. An advocate of financial literacy especially among the youth, Gordon’s upcoming project will investigate the use of FinTech apps among millennials and Gen-Z consumers and how such usage has influenced their financial behaviors.

Asst. Prof. Andrew Yee (PhD in Communication, Nanyang Technological University)

Andrew Yee is Assistant Professor of communication at SUTD, where he researches how and why people use digital technology, and the impact it can have on their lives. His latest work involves the collection of screenomes to better understand and dissect youth smartphone use. Another current project involves understanding what aspects of media use contributes to preschoolers’ school readiness. HIs work aims to explore how message design, technology, and digital media can be harnessed to positively affect children’s development.

For more information on our event, please visit: https://www.ideasfestival.edu.sg/events/week-3/how-the-humanities

For more information about the Ideas Festival and to look at the full lineup of events, please visit: https://www.ideasfestival.edu.sg

For enquiries, please email SUTD’s Festival representative Rhema Hokama at rhema_hokama@sutd.edu.sg.

Thank you!