[ Bio | Research | Teaching | Life | Publications]

Martin Henz

Associate Professor in the School of Computing (SoC) and Faculty of Engineering (FoE) at the National University of Singapore (NUS)

SoC (Department of Computer Science): COM2, 3-51, 13 Computing Dr, Singapore 117417
FoE (Innovation & Design Programme): E2A 03, 5 Engineering Drive 2, Singapore 117579
(make an apointment via email or WhatsApp/SMS)
Mobile: +65 
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In Academic Year 2011/2012, I embarked on experiential learning and never looked back: At an NUS residential college, I acquired a second-hand motorcycle for experiential student projects; my sailing boat Bo Bo Cha Cha served as floating classroom for the first run of a course "The Physics of Sailing"; I started teaching the experiential programming freshmen module CS1101S in SoC; and I became the supervisor of Rahul Singhal's PhD research project.

Rahul went on to invent automated reasoning techniques for generating questions, earning him a PhD in 2017 and leading him—with SoC alumnus Shubham Goyal—to form the AI startup Cerebry that focuses on problem-based learning, where I serve as advisor. With my CS1101S students, I developed the Source Academy, an experiential learning environment for programming that enrolled 120 computer science freshmen in Semester 1 2017/18. More than a dozen runs of "The Physics of Sailing" from 2012 to 2017 taught me that sailing vessels provide a uniquely conducive environment for multi-disciplinary learning. I initiated the NUS Seafarers in 2016, who have conducted eleven seafaring voyages for experiential learning in 2017 and 2018, roaming the waters of the Philippines and Indonesia. And the motorcycle? Dubbed FWi, it became the first of a series of experiential learning platforms on the road, at sea and in the air, under the design and prototyping studio FrogWorks in the Innovation & Design Programme (iDP), where I serve in a joint appointment since 2016.

Today, I'm more convinced than ever of the unique opportunities of experiential learning in university education. I see every encounter with students as a mutual learning experience and don't seem to get tired of creating experiential learning opportunities for my students in SoC and iDP.

[ Bio | Research | Teaching | Life | Publications]
I obtained a Dr.rer.nat. in Computer Science at Saarland University in 1997 and a Masters in Computer Science at Stony Brook University in 1993.

I joined NUS after my doctorate, in 1997. Computer Science was at the time part of the Department of Information Systems and Computer Science in the Faculty of Science. (SoC was formed in 1998.) From 2012 to 2015, I served the University Scholars Programme (USP) as Deputy Director for Residential Life. I joined the Innovation & Design Programme of the Faculty of Engineering in a joint appointment with the School of Computing in July 2016.

Before my doctorate, I worked as research scientist at Saarland University and German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.

I worked as a nursing assistant in the mental asylum Landeskrankenhaus Merzig from 1987 to 1989, before the asylum was abolished in 1998.

My research has spanned combinatorial optimisation, FPGAs, programming tools and languages, and most recently education and electric vehicles, with publications in IJCAI, AAAI, ICTAI, CP, Operations Research, CSEDU, AIED, EVS, EVER and ETOP.

I teach programming, programming languages and logic, and supervise design projects.

Together with Dr Jörg Weigl and Brian Teo, I initiated the FrogWorks design and prototyping studio at the iDCP in FoE at NUS. So far, more than 30 FrogWorks students have developed green vehicles that operate on land, at sea and in the air.

Together with Alan Sevugan, I founded the software company FriarTuck Pte Ltd, whose software solutions WorkforceOptimizer and SurgeryOptimizer schedule thousands of employees and surgeries every day, and where I currently serve as Director. My former students Rahul Singhal and Shubham Goyal have spun off the AI startup Cerebry in 2016 where I serve as advisor.

I love, swim, sail, ride, and do yoga and acting.


  • NUS Annual Teaching Excellence Award, Academic Year 2016/17
  • Faculty Teaching Excellence Award of School of Computing, Academic Year 2016/17
  • Startup @ Singapore, entrepreneurship competition, Champion, 2001, with Alan Sevugan for work on FriarTuck Pte Ltd
  • Startup @ Asia, entrepreneurship competition, Champion, 2001, with Alan Sevugan for work on FriarTuck Pte Ltd
  • Fulbright Scholarship, 1990-1991

[ Bio | Research | Teaching | Life | Publications]

[ Bio | Research | Teaching | Life | Publications]
  • In SoC, I currently teach CS1101S Programming Methodology. CS1101S is a rigorous, thorough and immersive introduction to programming and programming methodology. The module follows the didactic strategy of the classic textbook Structure and Interpretation of Computer programs, which I am translating from Scheme to JavaScript.
  • I've taught CS4215 Programming Language Implementation and CS3234 Logic and Formal Systems for many years.
  • In the USP, I have taught UIT2206 The Importance of Being Formal.
  • I love getting students involved in audacious engineering projects and have joined the iDP in FoE at NUS to facilitate project-based experiential learning. My current iDP projects engage students in the design and prototyping studio FrogWorks, where these machines are being built:
  • I facilitate outdoor education and experiential learning. I have conducted student sailing voyages in Singapore in 2013 and 2014 and to Bintan, Indonesia, in 2015. In 2016, I organized a paragliding course in Thailand, as part of the engineering project The Delta.
  • In late 2016, I initiated NUS Seafarers, a framework for experiential seafaring voyages. The NUS Seafarers have conducted eleven voyages so far in 2017 and 2018, each between 8 and 14 days long and with a total of 121 students and 14 alumni on board. One of the voyages visited the Philippines, and the other ten took place in Indonesia, reaching Borneo, Java, Bangka, Belitung, Krakatoa, Karimata and many islands of the Riau Islands Province, including the Anambas Islands, Batam, Bintan, Lingga, the Pekajiang Islands, the Tambelan Islands and the Badas Islands.

[ Bio | Research | Teaching | Life | Publications]
  • Family: My wife Kelly Reedy is an artist and art therapist. Our son Jakob lives currently in Johannesburg, South Africa, and our daughter Luisa is studying in Vancouver, Canada.
  • Swimming: I like swimming in the University Sports Complex but love swimming in the ocean, with three participations in the Kapas-Marang International Swimmathon (6.5 km open sea).
  • Sailing: I love sailing my masthead sloop Bo Bo Cha Cha, a Maxi 77 pocket cruiser built in Singapore in 1980. Here is what it's like on board when there's a fresh breeze, and this is serious sailing reaching Horsburgh Lighthouse in the South China sea during the North-East Monsoon. Bo Bo Cha Cha is Singapore's only carbon-neutral motorized vessel.
  • Riding: This is my first real bike, a Yamaha XJR400, just before it was scrapped. I currently ride a Honda ST1300, and had a BMW R1100R in between.
  • Yoga: daily.
  • Acting: I've been on stage in a dozen productions by The Stage Club (Singapore's oldest theatre company) since 2010, and played Mr Scoblowski in Daisy Pulls it Off, Francis Nurse in The Crucible, a director in Calendar Girls and various roles in The Taming of the Shrew, Bram Stoker's Dracula (see picture) and the Christmas Pantos Aladdin, Little Red Riding Hood, Sleeping Beauty and Jack and the Bean Stalk.

[ Bio | Research | Teaching | Life | Publications]