Mr Vishnu Prem
IT Youth, 2011
In his 4th year at school, he took an undergraduate module at National University of Singapore (NUS). Under the mentorship of Dr Chong Shan Shan, Vishnu and his classmate, Sanchit Bareja, built a Facebook application called Friendshipr that ranks members on how 'influential' they are in their social circle. Friendshipr utilized the "Eigenvector centrality algorithm" for people ranking and won 2nd place in IDA's National Infocomm Club Awards 2008 and the Merit award in Singapore Science and Engineering Fair (SSEF) 2009.
In 2009, Vishnu took up a virtual reality project attachment at NTU under the guidance of Dr Paul Horng Jyn Wu. Together with his classmate, Sidwyn Koh, they developed a 3D world similar to SecondLife that uses Peer-to-Peer (P2P) technology, eliminating the need for a huge server infrastructure.
He was selected by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) for "Infocomm Club Study Trip to Silicon Valley" in 2008. In that 10-day trip Vishnu visited Stanford University and various IT companies in Silicon Valley, USA.
In 2009, Vishnu was selected for the "IDA InfoComm Ambassadors Program" - an initiative started by the IDA that allows student leaders to play a larger role in the InfoComm clubs in schools. During his tenure, IDA Ambassadors initiated and implemented various InfoComm Club activities, including 'iSpace 2009'. In the same year, he was employed as an intern engineer for the Singapore-based startup company, Chalkboard, which delivers location-based, close radius advertisements on mobile devices. Vishnu was one of the key developers at Chalkboard and worked closely with the founders of the company at that time to help transit the idea from its inception to product launch. Chalkboard was also the first startup in Singapore to utilize the technology of HTML5 for its geo-location services. Remarkably, Vishnu picked up the skills needed to develop this application on his own.
During the term of an internship with Socialwork in 2010, he developed an iPhone application that has most of the basic functionalities of the current Facebook App, but modified for business purposes. Vishnu has also been a mentor to many aspiring iPhone application developers. Last year, he conducted two 18-hour "iPhone Application Development Workshops" in Singapore.
Since 2006, Vishnu has also been a volunteer at many events organized by the Singapore Malayalee Association. His innovative methods for audio cue-ing and video playback using inexpensive laptops have saved thousands of dollars on expensive professional equipment for the association.