Check out these new USP modules on offer in Semester 2, Academic Year 2018/19. We also warmly welcome five new USP faculty members who just joined the USP community—Prof Maharaj Pandit, A/P Lim Wei Shi, Dr Chan Chi-wang, Dr James Warren and Dr Alberto Pérez Pereiro. In fact, Prof Pandit has taught in USP before as our Visiting Senior Fellow!

Get to know these wonderful professors in class when the semester starts – you can always start by dropping them an email to say hi.

We wish all USP students an exciting semester ahead!

UQF2101K Quantitative Reasoning Foundation: In Search of Soulmate

Dr Chan Chi Wang In Search of Soulmate


A mixture of Hongkonger and Macauese. I got my Ph.D from the New York University with major in physics. I then taught in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the University of Hong Kong for General Education (or Common Core Foundation) courses in science. My academic interests cover statistical physics, history of science and the applications of science to understand human society.

How did you decide on the topic you’ll be teaching in USP?
The QR course that I will teach is called In Search of Soulmate. I am interested in all kinds of hidden orders in humans and I believe my topic is something that we all care. Getting a soulmate after taking the course is not guaranteed, but you will learn the math at least. (:

How would you describe your teaching style?
I am experienced in making mistakes in teaching, but I do enjoy the time when students and I fixed the mistakes together. I love to learn together interactively. Please be prepared to discuss with your classmates and share your opinions in class.


UHB2214 Humanities and Social Sciences: Effective Decision Making

Prof Lim Wei Shi Effective Decision Making


I am a Singaporean, and alumni of NUS (Mathematics) and London School of Economics. I took a scholarship and so like everyone else who did, came back to NUS (Business school) to teach after I completed my PhD. I have taught a range of modules from undergraduate to MBA to PhD, from the more technical ones (Game Theory, Pricing Strategies) to more qualitative ones (e.g. Marketing Management). One of the central themes of the modules I teach is strategic thinking/decision making.

How did you decide on the topic you’ll be teaching in USP?
I was catching up on my readings after a 3-year stint in an administrative position. There is so much that I have missed! I am excited to share these ideas and I think USP will be a good place to launch such a module where ideas are new and many are really work-in-progress.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I prefer to facilitate learning rather than provide all the materials. I like to ask questions to stimulate thinking rather than say everything upfront. I believe that learning is best done when a person thinks (creatively and without constraints). I hope it will be a win-win experience for the new module that I will be launching coming January.


UWC2101H Writing and Critical Thinking: Power, Space and Pleasure

Dr Warren Power Space and Pleasure


I’m from the UK but have spent over ten years living and working in Southeast Asia. I first went to Thailand in 1997 and taught English as a foreign language there for a couple of years, while also taking the opportunity to travel around the region. These experiences inspired me to study a Master’s degree in Southeast Asian Area Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, between 2000 and 2001. I then went on to do a PhD in history at SOAS (2002-2007), in which I examined the socio-economic and legal history of gambling in Thailand. Underlining my research was the question of why gambling is essentially illegal in Thailand today, despite the widespread popularity of various (illegal) gambling activities and the potential revenue the government forgoes. After completing my PhD, I took up a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of History at NUS between 2008 and 2010. During the postdoc I revised my PhD thesis for publication as Gambling, the State and Society in Thailand, c.1800-1945 (2013). I also started a new research project on the history of alcohol consumption and production in Thailand, which has resulted in a couple of articles and with more to come. Before joining USP, I taught in the Social Science programme of Mahidol University International College, Thailand, for seven years. During my time in Southeast Asia I’ve acquired a taste for the region’s cuisine and I look forward to sharing tips on places to eat in Singapore and Bangkok with USP students.

How did you decide on the topic you’ll be teaching in USP?
I’ll be teaching the existing WCT module ‘Space, Power and Pleasure’ in my first semester as it was felt that it corresponded with my research interests in the history of alcohol and gambling. I believe that the way in which states and societies encourage, tolerate, restrict or prohibit activities and commodities such as these and others such as tobacco and prostitution reveals much about the political, economic and social relations in those societies. I plan to develop this into my own WCT module titled ‘Vice, the State and Society in Singapore’ that will be offered in the next academic year.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I like to build rapport with my students through the use of humour but I am serious when it is required. As a historian, I try to relate things in the past to the present to make things relevant to students. This means I often make references to pop culture, though hopefully not ones that are too out of date! Overall, I hope to create a stimulating but comfortable atmosphere in the classroom in which all students feel they can participate and contribute fully. As for marking, students at MUIC apparently considered me to be tough but fair, which is all I think a teacher should be.


USE2310 Humanities and Social Sciences: Questioning Sustainable Development

Prof Pandit Questioning Sustainable Development


I am a Professor of Environmental Studies and till recently Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Delhi, and Radcliffe Fellow, Harvard University. My research focuses on Himalayan ecology and conservation that follows a synthesis approach to understanding ecological patterns, biotic extinctions driven by land use changes, and genomic traits influencing plant invasiveness and rarity. My book Life in the Himalaya: An Ecosystem at Risk, published by Harvard University Press explores a “safe space” for the Himalaya in the context of more than 1.4 billion people depending on its natural resources - water and biodiversity. The book presents an interdisciplinary account of Himalaya’s past and present and highlights its importance for the global climate and regional water security.

I earned BSc and PhD from the University of Delhi, where I became a professor after a decade of research at the University of Delhi South Campus. I was Senior Visiting Fellow, University Scholars Programme at the National University of Singapore and held adjunct appointment in the Department of Geography, NUS. I spent over a year researching for my book at Harvard University as Hrdy Fellow. I was elected a Fellow of the Indian National Science Academy (2016) and National Academy of Sciences of India (2014).

How did you decide on the topic you’ll be teaching in USP?
I will teach a module on sustainability at USP. This module presents a critique of sustainable development (SD) as a collective response of global nations to solve the twin problem of poverty and pollution. The idea for this module emanated from a view that an unjust world environmental order ended up laying the blame of pollution at the door of poor nations - "poverty is the biggest polluter". So, to rid the world of the pollution problem, business as usual economic development model had not only to be broadened, but also intensified. The "proverbial tide of economic development" was supposed to lift every boat. Sadly, the idea of SD has neither alleviated the problem of global pollution nor the poverty. SD turned out to be akin to 'squaring the circle' as John Robinson describes it. This tension between the idea and the reality of SD interested me and one thought it worth sharing and exploring this with USP students.

How would you describe your teaching style?
I enjoy dialogic style of teaching, engaging students in discussion in and outside the classroom. I prefer using lot of case studies in my lectures. I also use story-telling as a tool to deliver key scientific concepts.


UCV2207 Humanities and Social Sciences: Singapore Studies: Politics of Heritage: Singapore and the Region

Dr Alberto Politics of Heritage

USE2321 Humanities and Social Sciences: Singapore Studies: Examining Local Lives

Prof Barbara Examining Local Lives

UPI2211 Humanities and Social Sciences: Utopia: Ideal Places from Plato to the Smart City

Dr Bart Utopia

USE2322 Humanities and Social Sciences: Situating Singapore in a Wider World

Dr Quek Situating Spore

UPI2212 Humanities and Social Sciences: Technologies of the Self: from Socrates to Self-Help

Dr Bart Self Improvement