The conduciveness of the USP community facilitates collaborative ties between faculty staff and students, and this allows USP students to further their academic pursuits in various interesting ways. Here is one example.

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In the recent summer break, Ryan Ong Rui An (Business + USP, Class of 2016) interned with Tung Shing Group for eight weeks in Hanoi, Vietnam during which he was attached to Hanoi Hotel, Tung Shing Halong Pearl Hotel, and Lakeside Hotel.

It was the result of a partnership between the NUS International Relations Office and the Hong Kong-based conglomerate in Vietnam.

Ryan’s role was to research and inform the senior management of Tung Shing Group of his observations on the ground and suggest innovations.

Ryan presented an impact analysis of the hospitality industry’s changing landscape, including emerging consumer trends in online travel and technology developments that would impact the hospitality sector.

And here is the interesting spin-off – his internship research inspired him to want to further investigate the opportunities that ambient intelligence brings to the hospitality sector, and the person he thought of collaborating on this – USP faculty Dr Daniela Plewe.

Being overseas did not stop Ryan from working with Dr Plewe who is based in Singapore most of the time. While in Vietnam, he collaborated with Dr Plewe via Skype to write a research paper on this topic. With their cross-disciplinary expertise, their frequent Skype discussions fuelled new ideas. Ryan and Dr Plewe delved enthusiastically into the challenges faced by the hospitality industry, the applications and limitations of existing technology in Ambient Intelligence, and the possibilities for future research.

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This collaboration between Dr Plewe and Ryan eventually led to the production of a paper, titled Ambient and Aesthetic Intelligence for High-End Hospitality, which was submitted to and accepted by the Human Computer Interaction (HCI2015) International Conference in Los Angeles, USA.

From 2-7 August 2015, Dr Plewe and Ryan met up in Los Angeles to present their research paper at the conference.

In their research presentation, they “focused on three core aspects of Ambient Intelligence: safety, economical optimisation, and convenience, with the belief that there is significant potential in the hospitality industry to make use of Ambient Intelligent systems in combination with principles of Aesthetic Intelligence to create new customer experiences.”

The conference proceedings have since been published as part of Springer’s series of Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) and Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (LNAI). Dr Plewe shares with us excitedly, “We received interesting feedback with an invitation for next year’s conference!”

The success of this project is the direct result of a university community that fosters collaborative relationships among faculty, staff, and students. USP encourages cross-disciplinary research, and facilitates every opportunity conducive to this kind of scholarly work. Both Dr Plewe and Ryan, like the rest of the USP community, benefit from such academic collaborations. We look forward to more of them.

Ryan is currently interning at a start-up in Silicon Valley under the NUS Overseas College Programme. He tells us that he is looking forward to be back in Cinnamon College (USP) next semester!