Mr Girish Kumar

IT Youth of the Year, 2016

Girish's passion for Computer Science was first ignited at the age of 12. He subsequently pursued his studies at the NUS High School of Mathematics and Science where he was a key member and Vice-President of the Robotics Club.

In his 3rd year at school, he took part in the Science Mentorship Programme organised by MOE at A-STAR. Under the tutelage of Dr Donny Soh and Dr. Cheu Eng Yeow, Girish and his classmates built Android applications that integrated gesture recognition into smartphone user-interfaces, including a gesture lock-screen. At the core of their innovations was the "Dynamic Time Warping algorithm". This project won the Bronze award at Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) 2013.

Girish was selected by the Ministry of Education, Singapore (MOE) for "Research Science Institute" in 2014. In that 6-week trip, Girish visited Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and interned at the MIT Media Lab, working on Transient Imaging. Girish is also involved in computer science academia. As a research intern at ASTAR under Dr. Rafael Banchs and Dr. Luis F. D'Haro, he has published four peer-reviewed conference papers in areas ranging from deep-learning to the integration of computer sciences in classroom learning.

Beyond academics, Girish has led his peers in supporting community work through IT. Working with Brackets4Change, he ran workshops teaching high-school students how to code, with a focus on empowering them to implement their ideas. Together with his team, he designed teaching materials and made use of open source software to lead workshops on web development in JavaScript and Python. Participants had the opportunity to create software, including a face-detector and an about-me webpage.

Girish also served as Vice-President of his school's robotics club where he developed training materials and revamped robotics parts logistics.

In 2015, Girish worked on a project entitled "RevUP", a software that automatically generate quiz questions for students and teachers by leveraging on cutting edge AI algorithms. To date, there is no tool out there that does what RevUP does.

This work was done at A-STAR under the tutelage of Dr. Rafael E. Banchs and Dr. Luis F. D'Haro. A provisional patent has been filed and Girish is in the process of commercialising this technology. He was part of the winning team for Pre-Tertiary category for SCS Splash Awards 2015 and also a participant in the IdeasInc 2015 accelerator.

Girish has also won the Google Technologist Award in 2015. He will also be working with Edmodo, one of the world's largest LMS systems with over 50 million users, to integrate his technology into their platform.