Associate Professor in the School of Computing (SoC)
at the National University of Singapore (NUS)
Office: COM2, 3-51, 13 Computing Dr, Singapore 117417
(make an apointment via email)
J15N blog: https://martin-henz.github.io/martin-henz
The guiding motivation for my work is the scalability of experiential learning. With my colleagues at the NUS School of Computing (SoC), I have scaled the experiential introductory course CS1101S from 48 students in 2012 to 670 students in 2021. I'm also teaching the experiential course CS4215 Programming Language Implementation, and subscribe to SoC's project-based course CP3108 for experiential learning projects.
Some multidisciplinary experiential initiatives:
- NUS Seafarers, a programme for maritime exploration that was active 2017-2020,
- FrogWorks, a prototyping studio at the iDP in the NUS Faculty of Engineering that was active 2011-2016, and
- The Physics of Sailing, a collaboration with NUS physics professors that was active 2011-2017.
I obtained a Masters in Computer Science from Stony Brook University in 1993 and a Dr.rer.nat. in Computer Science from Saarland University in 1997.
I joined NUS 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 was jointly appointed with the
Innovation & Design Programme
of the Faculty of Engineering from 2016 to 2018.
Before my doctorate,
I worked as research scientist at
Saarland University and
Research Center for Artificial Intelligence.
I worked as a nursing assistant in the
from 1987 to 1989, before the
asylum was abolished in 1998.
My research has spanned
combinatorial optimisation, FPGAs, programming
tools and languages, electric vehicles, and most recently education and
with publications in IJCAI,
programming, programming languages and
logic, and supervise design projects.
Together with Dr Jörg Weigl and Brian Teo, I initiated the
prototyping studio at the iDP in FoE at NUS (green vehicles on land, at sea and in the air).
Together with Alan Sevugan, I founded the software company
Workforce Optimizer Pte Ltd,
where I serve as nonexecutive director.
My former students Rahul Singhal and Shubham Goyal
have spun off the AI startup Cerebry
in 2016 where I served as advisor from 2016 to 2018.
In 2022, I spent a semester at MIT (CSAIL) as Visiting Scholar,
on a sabbatical from NUS.
I'm interested in the scalability of experiential learning.
With NUS students and colleagues, I have developed the
immersive online experiential environment for learning programming
Source Academy, which is covered in
at the SPLASH-E Symposium in 2021.
With Aquinas Hobor,
I have explored the use of
proof assistants in
teaching formal methods;
with Koh, Duran-Novoa and Weigl, I've been involved
in a study on change
propagation in engineering projects; with Danner and Teo,
I've explored employing engineering challenges for experiential
learning; and with Rahul Singhal and Shubham Goyal, I have invented
automated reasoning techniques for
question generation in mathematics
and the sciences.
- Electric vehicles: I was guiding students in the design of novel
electric vehicles on
land, at sea and
in the air
(twice) in the
design and prototyping studio
- Combinatorial optimization:
I've solved combinatorial search and optimization problems
as a combinatorial search problem.
- Field-programmable Gate Arrays: With Roland Yap, Edgar Tan, and
Stella Wang, I investigated
implementations of local search algorithms.
- Programming tools and languages:
I was part of the group around Gert
Smolka that developed the
in the 1990s, and my doctoral dissertation, published with
Kluwer as a monograph covered
object-oriented aspects of the
language. We also explored the use of Oz for multi-agent
systems. With my Master students Kevin Ng and Jeff Choi,
components for constraint-based search.
- Term rewriting: In a previous life, I worked on term rewriting modulo AC1.
I currently teach
a rigorous, thorough and
immersive introduction to programming and programming methodology. The course
follows the pedagogic strategy
of the classic textbook Structure and Interpretation of Computer
I have adapted
- I have established the experiential course
CS4215 Programming Language Implementation in 2009
and taught the course four times including 2020 and 2021.
- With Aquinas Hobor, I transformed
CS3234 Logic and Formal Systems
into an experiential course, using the theorem prover Coq.
- In the USP, I have taught
The Importance of Being Formal.
FrogWorks prototyping studio at iDP in the
NUS Faculty of Engineering, I have led some interesting projects:
I facilitate outdoor education and experiential learning.
I have conducted student sailing voyages
in Singapore in
and to Bintan, Indonesia, in
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 fifteen
voyages from 2017 to 2020, each between 8 and 14 days long and with
a total around 180 students and 14 alumni on
board, reaching the Philippines and Thailand, and many destinations in Indonesia,
including Borneo, Java, Bangka, Belitung, Krakatoa, Karimata and many islands of the Riau Islands Province
(the Anambas Islands, Batam, Bintan, Lingga, the Pekajiang Islands, the Tambelan Islands and
the Badas Islands).
My wife Kelly Reedy is
an artist and
Our son Jakob lives in Johannesburg, South Africa, and our daughter Luisa
in Vancouver, Canada.
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).
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.
This is my first real bike, a Yamaha XJR400, just before it was
scrapped. After that, I was riding a BMW R1100R and a Honda ST1300.
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
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. More recently, I help in set design and backstage work.