FASS Staff Profile



Brief Introduction

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 education, AI and technology and its societal implications for the Channel New Asia, China Global TV Network, the Financial Times, the South China Morning Post, and TODAY News.

Teaching Areas

Currently Teaching:

  • GEI1001/GET1050 “Computational Reasoning”
    • Succeeded in implementing teaching interventions/innovations to enhance learning and students’ self-trust to apply their learning to the working world. Many students are able to successfully secure internships and jobs after graduation because of the skills taught in this module. Presented many of these innovations as talks and articles internationally.
  • UTOA2001PH “Undergraduate Teaching Opportunities Programme”
    • 60% of my TAs received excellent teaching evaluations that exceed the department average. 
    • Collaborating with the Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning to implement the successes of my TA training programme into new TA training initiatives for NUS.
  • PH2301 "Classical Chinese Philosophy"
  • (Executive Education) How to Achieve a More Meaningful Life with Philosophy
    • A collaboration between NUS and the National Silver Academy to offer philosophy courses to the elderly and alumni of NUS.
  • CR001x “Computational Reasoning with Microsoft Excel” on edX (https://www.edx.org/course/computational-reasoning)
    • Received the NUS LIFT Grant of S$13,480 to develop GET1050 into an EdX MOOC
    • After a year, we have a total of 3000 enrolments, with 80 students on the paid track and a 40% completion rate (higher than completion rates of most MOOCs (usually 5-15%)


Past Courses Taught:

  • GEQ1000 "Asking Questions"
  • GET1031A "Computational Thinking"
  • DMA1401PH "Computational Reasoning in the Corporate World"
    • Successfully placed and trained FASS students as interns for tech-related positions who did exceedingly well that some employers are now keen to hire FASS majors for technical positions.
  • DMA1402PH "Confucianism in the Modern World"
    • Under my supervision, 3 students received the Maih Lan Ying Confucianism Scholarship from the Nanyang Confucian Association.
  • (Executive Education) The Professional Certificate in Human and Automated Managerial Skills
    • Compulsory core programme to prepare unemployed learners for upskilling initiatives under the SGUnited Skills Programme
    • Conducted the course 13x times and generated a total revenue of ~$1.8m from this endeavour.


Teaching Areas:

  • Chinese Philosophy, Metacognition, Ethics, Philosophy of Technology, Philosophy of Computing, Philosophy of Data Analysis, C/C++ and VBA Programming.






  • Jonathan Y. H. Sim. 2016. “The Audacity to Reform: The Impact of Clark Kerr’s Vision in History and What We Can Learn in Dealing with the Rising Demand for Higher Education.” Asian Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. 6(1):116-121.


  • Jonathan Y. H. Sim. 2018. “Harmonising Fractured Communities: A Confucian Approach to the Problems of Distribution.” Masters Dissertation. National University of Singapore.
  • Jonathan Y. H. Sim. 2013. “Notions of Harmony in Classical Chinese Thought.” Honours Dissertation. National University of Singapore.

Academic Talks and Public Speaking

Academic Talks and Conference Presentations

  • 2023. “Ideas for Teaching and Learning Philosophy with ChatGPT and Other AI Tools.” NUS Department of Philosophy.
  • 2023. “ChatGPT and Its Impact on NUS.” NUS Teaching Academy. 
  • 2023. “The Role of Universities in Higher Education.” Panel Discussion organised by the George Town Institute of Open and Advanced Studies at Wawasan Open University, Penang, Malaysia. (Invited Talk)
  • 2022. “Methods for Fostering Intellectual Self-Trust in Students.” Paper presented at the Higher Education Campus Conference (HECC) 2022, held in NUS. (This paper won the Best Paper Presentation award)
  • 2022. “The Five Awarenesses of Teaching and How Reflecting on Them Shapes Me as an Educator.” Career Advancement for FASS Educators (CAFE) in NUS.
  • 2022. “Sharing on Teaching GET1050/GEI1001 in FASS.”  Computational Thinking Plug-and-Play TEG Learning Community, NUS. (Invited Talk)
  • 2021. “Computational Reasoning: How to Think Critically about our Digital Solutions?”, Organised by SkillsFuture Singapore at Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). (Invited Talk)
  • 2021. “Engaging the Minds and Hearts of the GE Learner.” Organised by Office of the Provost and Senior Deputy President (PVOSDP) for the “General Education Tutors’ Summer Conference.” (Invited Plenary Speaker)
  • 2021. “How to Effectively Engage Students through Blended Learning,” Career Advancement for FASS Educators (CAFE) in NUS.
  • 2019. “Thinking About Computational Thinking: Questioning the Processes for Flaws, Biases, and Socio-Ethical Implications.” Science and Mathematics Research Seminar. Science and Mathematics Cluster, Singapore University of Technology & Design (SUTD). (Invited Talk) 
  • 2017: “The Role of Li (禮) in the Distribution of Material Goods.” Paper presented at the 20th International Conference of the International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP), held in NTU Singapore.
  • 2017: “Is There a Social Justice Dimension in Li (禮)?” Paper presented at the 3rd Nanyang Graduate Student Colloquium 2017. (This paper won the Best Paper Presentation award)
  • 2015: “Complexity Science and Chinese Philosophy.” Paper co-authored with Jan W. Vasbinder, the Director of the Institute Para Limes, NTU. Paper presented during the Plenary Session of the Conference on Complex Systems 2015 in Tempe, Arizona, USA, organised by Arizona State University, the Complex Systems Society and the Santa Fe Institute.
  • 2014: “Differences between the Chinese and Western Traditions of Thought” at the workshop entitled, “Exploring the East-West Barrier,” organised by Institute Para Limes, NTU.
  • 2013: “Reconciling Culinary and Musical Models of Harmony in Classical Chinese Thought.” Paper presented at the Joint Meeting of the Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy (SACP) and the Australasian Society of Asian and Comparative Philosophy (ASACP), held in Singapore.


Conference Chair/Moderator

  • 2016: Conference Chair for the conference, “East of West, West of East,” organised by Institute Para Limes, NTU at Mandarin Orchard Hotel, Singapore.
  • 2016: Session Moderator for the paper, “Environment and Brains, Food for Thought,” by Georges M. Halpern, Honorary Professor, Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. At the “Silent Transformations” Conference, organised by Institute Para Limes, NTU.
  • 2015: Session Moderator for the session, “Complexity and the Shift in Western Thought,” by W. Brian Arthur, External Professor, Santa Fe Institute. At the “Emerging Patterns” Conference, organised by Institute Para Limes, NTU.


Public Speaking Engagements

  • 2023. “The Teachings of Confucius: Beneficial or Detrimental to Modern Singapore?” Nanyang Confucius Association. (Invited Talk)
  • 2022. “Discussion with Book Co-author of Memoirs of a Flying Tiger.” Singapore Press Holdings. (Invited Talk)
  • 2021. “HistoriaSG: Behind Memoirs of a Flying Tiger.” National Museum of Singapore. (Invited Talk) 
  • 2016: “Insights on the Dynamic Digital Revolution” at the Asia Business Summit, jointly organised by the Institute of Asian Consumer Insight and Channel News Asia.
  • 2015: “The Ethical and Societal Implications of Hi-Tech Development” at the Smarter World Summit, jointly organised by the Financial Times and the Institute of Asian Consumer Insight.
  • 2014: “Disruptive Innovation, Open Hardware, and Arduino” at the World Arduino Day 2014, jointly organised by SG Makers and the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA), Singapore.

Media Interviews and Mentions

Last Modified: 2023-02-17         Total Visits: 2326