FASS Staff Profile



Jonathan Sim is an Instructor with the Department of Philosophy at the National University of Singapore. He is passionate about teaching and he continues to research fun and innovative ways of engaging students to learn effectively. He has been teaching general education modules to a diverse range of undergraduate students and adult learners at the University. He is the recipient of the Faculty Teaching Excellence Award (FTEA) for AY2019/2020.

He is the Module Coordinator and Lecturer for GET1050 "Computational Reasoning," a compulsory module to 800 Arts & Social Science undergraduate students each semester. The course equips students with the technical skills of data analysis and coding, as well as the philosophical critical thinking skills to assess the ethical/social/political implications of these computational methods. 

He is also the Lead Facilitator for the Computational Reasoning Segment of the Professional Certificate in Human and Automated Managerial Skills, a compulsory executive education course under the "NUS SGUnited Skills Programme," designed to equip unemployed learners with the essential philosophical thinking skills to critically carry out data analysis, computational thinking, so as to effectively and efficiently lead and manage both people and resources in solving complex real-world problems.

Jonathan has a special interest in crossing beyond disciplinary boundaries in the search for fascinating new insights to age-old problems. For his knowledge of philosophy across a spectrum of issues, he has been invited to discuss philosophical issues about technology and society in panel discussions for the Financial Times, Channel NewsAsia, and the Institute of Asian Consumer Insight. He recently edited a book on the Grand Challenges for Science in the 21st Century, (New Jersey: World Scientific, 2018) featuring insights from some of the Nobel Laureates and top scientists around the world. 

Currently Teaching:

  • GET1050 "Computational Reasoning"
  • DMA1401PH "Computational Reasoning in the Corporate World"
  • The Professional Certificate in Human and Automated Managerial Skills (Executive Education under the SGUnited Skills Programme)
  • The Professional Certificate in Computational Reasoning (Executive Education)


Past Courses Taught:

  • GEQ1000 "Asking Questions"
  • GET1031A "Computational Thinking"


Teaching Areas:

  • Chinese Philosophy, Metacognition, Ethics, Philosophy of Technology, Philosophy of Algorithms, 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 Conference Presentations

  • 2021. “HistoriaSG: Behind Memoirs of a Flying Tiger.” National Museum of Singapore. (Invited Talk) 
  • 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.
  • 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

  • 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.

Last Modified: 2021-06-15         Total Visits: 1279