Jonathan Y. H. Sim

Department of Philosophy
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
National University of Singapore

Jonathan Y. H. Sim is a Lecturer with the Department of Philosophy, at the National University of Singapore, where he teaches Chinese philosophy and the Philosophy of Computing and Data Analytics to both undergraduates and working professionals. He also teaches philosophy to the elderly as part of a collaboration between NUS and the National Silver Academy. For his passion in teaching and his effective teaching methods, Jonathan won the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (FTEA) in 2019 and 2021.

He is passionate about preparing his students to make an impact in society, and thus he has been mentoring and supervising many humanities and social science students for corporate internships in tech-related roles; and he has also been training many undergraduates to become effective and engaging educators under the University Teaching Opportunities Programme (UTOP).

Jonathan has a special interest in crossing beyond disciplinary boundaries in the search for fascinating new insights to address age-old problems. It is for this reason that he has worked with Nobel Laureates (such as the late Sydney Brenner who discovered mRNA) and many top academics around the world to publish books on critical world issues, such as “Grand Challenges for Science in the 21st Century”, (New Jersey: World Scientific, 2018) “Buying Time for Climate Action,” (New Jersey: World Scientific, 2021) and “Fit for Purpose? The Futures of Universities.” (New Jersey: World Scientific, 2022)

For his passion in sharing the joys of philosophy, and his knowledge of philosophy across a spectrum of applied issues, he has been invited to discuss philosophical issues about technology and society in panel discussions for the Financial Times and Channel News Asia.

Teaching | Publications | Talks & Lectures | Music | Resources | Ask Me Anything! | Contact

Currently Teaching

GEI1001/GET1050 Computational Reasoning. A fun and exciting module that teaches undergraduate students (from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences) how to employ computational methods to solve problems, and philosophically reflect on the social and ethical issues that arise in the creation of models and implementation of algorithms.

UTOA2001PH Undergraduate Teaching Opportunities Programme. There are two tracks that students can enrol in: (1) The Teaching Track, where students learn classroom management techniques, how to question and diagnose students’ level of mastery over the subject, and other pedagogical techniques to become effective teachers in the classroom as they undergo mentorship and on-the-job training teaching undergraduate tutorials in NUS. (2) And the Learning Design Track, where students learn the nuts and bolts of good pedagogy, lesson design, and assessments, and how to conduct education research to measure the efficacy of the learning activities they have crafted – and they will undergo mentorship and on-the-job training as they design new learning activities and conduct research in NUS.

Pioneer batch of Undergraduate Teaching Assistants and their mentors (senior Undergraduate Teaching Assistants) under UTOA2001PH
UTOA2001PH Training of New Teaching Assistants, a collaboration with the Centre for Design of Teaching and Learning (CDTL) in NUS

What Students Have to Say about GEI1001/GET1050 Computational Reasoning

GEI1001/GET1050 helped me to get an internship and it’s very relevant to my work!

GEI1001/GET1050 has empowered me!

GET1050 is amazing!

Testimonials from Students

Here’s what former students have to say about Jonathan’s teaching:

Your 101% efforts, right down to the details don’t go unnoticed by me. What I appreciated most from your class was that you made it a point to make things relevant to us. I’m glad I took this module and I’m even more grateful that it was taught by you. I think the teachers we meet in our lives really do make a great impact on the learning outcomes and the subject matter at hand. Content might be king but engagement is truly queen. I’m glad that I had the chance to dip my toes into five other disciplines that I know close to nothing about. It was a very eye-opening class.

C. McColl (FASS)

Very energetic and very engaging. His class is so lively and fun! I look forward to attending his class all the way in University Town even after a long day’s work! Very sincere and real. His sharing in class is very beneficial to all students. Jonathan also shares openly about his thoughts and experiences, and he bring out greater sharings from the class. Extremely dedicated person.

Jonathan is very well prepared for his class. He summarizes all the notes from the videos, teaches from his powerpoint slides and prepare tutorials and goes thru with the class very systematically. He also encourages participation in class in a fun way by randomly assignment ‘fun’ roles to students.

V. Shaw (Executive Education)

Genuinely wants to help his students learn something from the module, and makes the effort to tweak his tutorials to make learning more effective.

Anonymous Student Feedback

Jonathan’s lessons stray away from the usual ‘textbook learning’ and focuses more on letting us learn by playing games or engaging in activities that he has planned. Furthermore, his feedbacks are very to the point and easy to understand, upon which we could improve on. His passion for this subject surpasses any TAs throughout my entire university life thus far. His lessons are also very catered to FASS students and through his games, we could see the hard work that he has placed in for this module. He is truly someone who can teach.

Anonymous Student Feedback

Thank you Jonathan! I thoroughly enjoyed GEQ1000 under your guidance and this module has been the complete opposite of the horror stories I’ve heard from my friends. They would tell me the module is bad but not explain why, so this makes me think they just can’t appreciate thinking! But you have truly helped us students hone our thinking skills, through the different schools of thinking.

I think the most enjoyable part of lessons is the very relevant and quirky examples raised in class, that not only helps to engage us students, but also keeps us on our toes because the examples like dating also is something we would like to find out more, on a personal basis.

Thank you for also always laughing with us and yourself, it really makes us at ease with how lighthearted classes can be, whilst still being so entirely enriching! This will be one of my most favourite modules throughout university!! :)

Anonymous Student Feedback

Jonathan always goes to the extra mile in order to ensure students are keeping up with the learning pace despite having a lot of commitments. Also, he’s a warm–hearted teacher who strives to take learning out of the classrooms by teaching us how theories can be applied to our reality. He’s always going the extra mile for students such as coming up with consultation slots for group, even answering questions in the middle of the night and being responsible by informing us if he cannot adhere to certain deadlines but still gives a reasonable deadline to feedback to his students.

Anonymous Student Feedback

He facilitates classroom interactions and asks thought provoking questions. He creates new and interesting activities for our tutorial class which involves everyone. He expresses genuine care and concern for us and goes beyond to connect with us on a personal level. He makes an effort to get to know each of us. Through his teaching, I have learnt life-long skills and this module has refined and left a strong impact on my thought processes.

Anonymous Student Feedback

He is a dedicated teacher whose passion is evident in the attention and care he shows his students. Furthermore, he goes above and beyond in ensuring that students know he is always there for them, be it for consultations or otherwise. His willingness to open up to students always brings back the human aspect of teaching – he shares about his personal life and experiences so we will feel more connected with him. Conversations are always two–way, and he doesn’t make students feel like he is merely a superior, but rather more like our equal who understands our struggles and who is willing to help.

Anonymous Student Feedback

He puts in significant effort in the preparation of his tutorials such as creating his own in-class activities and the role card method of getting his students more engaged in the discussion. He also makes his own slides which made complex concepts much easier to understand for me. Jonathan is also very enthusiastic and engaging in his teaching despite having to take a class that ends at 9pm.

Anonymous Student Feedback