aaron.casa
Learning is a road of no return
学习是不归之路

ABOUT AARON ( 黄毅凯 )

I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of Communications and New Media at the National University of Singapore (online version of my curriculum vitae available here). I currently serve as the department's graduate student representative, protecting and representing the interests of the graduate students in the department.

Before starting my doctoral study, I taught at the same department for ten years: three years as a teaching assistant and seven years as a lecturer. I also received my Masters of Arts and Bachelors of Social Sciences with Honours from the department and was awarded the NTUC Income Prize for topping my undergraduate cohort.

I am an advocate of open-source software. I am familiar with Linux, with my experience mainly in Debian-based distros such as Ubuntu and Linux Mint. I am also a professional English copywriter and editor with years of experience in a wide range of writing styles, from news writing to scholarly writing.

Like every Singaporean male, I serve National Service. I am a trained combat engineer and currently serve as a Regimental Sergeant-Major holding the rank of Third Warrant Officer in the Singapore Armed Forces, where I ensure training standards, safety, and discipline of men and junior commanders in my battalion. In 2020, I won the Singapore Combat Engineers Formation's National Serviceman of the Year award for my contributions to National Service.

I am a sixth-generation Singaporean of ethnic Teochew(潮州)Chinese descent. Unfortunately, while I can understand the Teochew dialect, I don't speak it very well. I possess native, first language proficiency in English and Mandarin Chinese. I am married to a lovely wife, and we have two daughters.

RESEARCH

My research interests range widely. Broadly, I am interested in media effects, public relations, health communication, emotions, fake news and online misinformation, public opinion, cognitive science, big data, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and critical theory, especially in Asian contexts. I have published papers in these areas (for details, see my CV).

Currently, I am focusing on investigating the role of emotions in online health misinformation, and I hope to develop a theoretical model that explains the mechanisms behind why people believe in online health misinformation (e.g. vaccines cause autism).

I prefer quantitative methods (but I do qualitative research too!) and am familiar with classical statistical analyses used in the field of communications such as t-test, ANOVA, and linear regression. I also have experience with generalized linear models, structural equation modeling, and mixed-effects models.

As part of my open-source software advocacy, I primarily use R: The Project for Statistical Computing with RStudio to analyse my data and visualize them. For Python, I use the Anaconda distribution to conduct statistical analysis, data visualization, big data analysis, and machine learning. In terms of machine learning, my main interest is in Natural Language Processing.

TEACHING

Classes I have previously taught include media writing, visual communication, print design, web design and managing communication campaigns. My key expertise is effectively teaching the technical (e.g. copywriting, copyediting, visual design, coding, applied statistics) to students regardless of their background. Many of my students have graduated to become successful, technically competent, and well-rounded professionals.

I strongly believe that communication professionals and scholars need sufficient technical expertise to understand programmers and computer scientists so that they can better integrate their communication and social science expertise and perspectives into the development and application of digital technology.

Therefore, besides the classes I am already experienced in teaching, future classes that I plan to design and teach include courses on big data, machine learning, and digital security. The prevalence of digital technologies in everyday life will only increase, and I seek to also equip future communication professionals and scholars with computational knowledgeable and technical expertise so that they are well-equipped to handle future communication challenges.

Professionally, I write and instruct in English, but my native-level proficiency in Mandarin Chinese is an additional teaching asset. I can code-switch easily in teaching, which is especially helpful for Chinese students whose English is a second language. I am highly experienced in helping both Chinese students and researchers at all levels to overcome their structural English disadvantage in professional speaking and writing.

I am grateful that my students rate me as an excellent teacher. I have won multiple teaching awards (see here, here and here) and I have been placed on the Faculty of Arts and Social Science's Honour Roll for winning the Graduate Student Teaching Award three consecutive times. An ex-student blogged about taking my class here.

Below are selected comments from the thousands I have received in my teaching evaluations over the years

"I wasn’t expecting to enjoy the module due to the content on statistics but Aaron managed to clear my doubts through email and in class, and he motivated me to do better for my assignments."

Quantitative Research Methods Course, 2020

"He is always willing to attend to students' queries and is patient whenever a student is unable to catch up with the lesson's pace. Additionally, he makes sure that he demonstrates the use of software step–by–step such that all students can follow closely."

Quantitative Research Methods Course, 2020

"He is very, very passionate about this module and he is very helpful towards his student. Apart from being very encouraging and kind, he constantly extends his help to all his students and he provides very informative and valuable feedback."

Visual Design and Communication Course, 2020

"Aaron was really patient when us especially for us beginners and always doesn’t mind repeating what he said. I can tell he is really passionate about teaching and allowing us to successfully complete the course."

Visual Design and Communication Course, 2020

"Credit should be given where it is due. Aaron is juggling his own workload and pressures as a PhD student but he still finds it in him to treat us with dignity and respect, helping us along without criticising us unfairly. He is a fantastic example of what an educator at the tertiary level should be."

Print and Web Publication Course, 2019

"He is really patient and understanding towards his students. I have arranged to have consultations with him and he would always make time to come for consultations and answer my questions. He is also really understanding and engaging as a tutor."

Print and Web Publication Course, 2019

"Aaron is very friendly and very helpful, and makes the class very interactive and engaging. Aaron is also very encouraging and this makes me feel a lot more comfortable, especially being in a public speaking module that requires us to step out of our comfort zone!"

Public Speaking Course, 2016

"He provides good quality feedback that is easy to understand and implement. Also very encouraging during tutorials when students are delivering speech, makes the atmosphere less intimidating and thus more conducive in a public speaking setting."

Public Speaking Course, 2016

"He's very hardworking and tries his best to make lessons as applicable to real life as possible. Very approachable and honest with his feedback too."

Online Journalism Course, 2014

"Friendly and approachable. Also helpful in giving suggestions, providing constructive and detailed feedback, and very understanding especially when some classmates need deadline extensions or face difficulties in interviewing people."

Online Journalism Course, 2013

"Aaron is a excellent tutor. I have improved in my writing ability because he gives constructive remarks which encourages us to write better in the re-writes"

Media Writing Course, 2011

"Mr Ng was very approachable. He paced the lessons according to the student's ability. Also, he is meticulous in covering the materials and provides very useful feedback in our writing skills."

Media Writing Course, 2011

CONTACT

Need to get in touch about my research, propose a collaboration, or to get a reference letter? Drop me a line using the form below.