School of Informatics & IT
Darren Lee scored 3 points for his O-level exams and had one burning aspiration – to become a game developer specialising in advanced artificial intelligence and cognitive computing! “My father introduced me to real-time strategy games when I was younger”, says Darren when asked how his love for digital games started. He had also chosen to do the Creative 3D Animation applied subject taught by TP lecturers in his alma mater, Temasek Secondary School, deepening his interest in game development. It was thus no surprise that Darren opted to pursue TP’s diploma in Game & Entertainment Technology (now known as Game Design & Development).
The only child of a retired accountant father and mother who works in a bank, Darren was offered the prestigious Integrated Infocomm Scholarship (IIS) by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore in his first year at TP. The IIS enables outstanding O-level achievers to pursue infocomm-related diploma and degree courses from polytechnic through to university.
Right from the start, Darren showed himself to be highly analytical and creative. He aced all his subjects and sustained a perfect cumulative grade point average of 4.0, accumulating 17 distinctions and 14 A’s in the process! In his second year, Darren worked on a cognitive training game project in collaboration with Professor Kawashima, TP’s distinguished advisor, and TP’s Centre for Ageing Studies. He then worked on a second project in collaboration with Bright Hill Evergreen Home, where he led a team to develop and design four mini-games to help rehabilitate residents of the home suffering from dementia.
In his final year, Darren interned with Japan’s Kumamoto National College of Technology. There, he was part of a team which worked on transforming an operational aircraft which took off like a helicopter, to fly like a plane when in mid-air. Despite having no prior experience in aeronautical and electronic engineering, Darren performed brilliantly.
Darren was also an active student leader who volunteered at polytechnic-wide events, and participated in numerous workshops under the Student Leadership Programme. He was also lead trainer o workshops conducted under the Microsoft Office Student Interest Group, president of the Game Design & Development Special Interest Group and also a Samsung Ambassador who created and launched his own mobile games.
Multi-talented, Darren learnt to play the piano on his own, has a keen interest in naval warfare and battleships, is adept at making armour and weaponry to scale using recycled materials, and also collects dragon toys! While academics take precedence, he believes that one should “work thrice as much as you play, but play as much as you can”.
Truly, this is a remarkable individual with a brilliant future ahead!