Shawn Tan

Dr Shawn Tan has a deep passion for swimming (and occasionally drowning) at the hardware and software boundary. He began programming software in 1989 and his first commercial product was released in 1997, an education management system initially trialled at a Smart-School in Putrajaya. His second product became a first phase winner for both Venture 2001 & 2002 business plan competitions organised by McKinsey & Co.

Alongside his software experience, he began designing digital hardware in 1999, specialising in microprocessors. His industry-proven IP core has been independently benchmarked as the smallest and fastest microprocessor core in its class and is currently used by both academia and industry in US/EU/China, powering several products such as the USRP2 – a leading software-defined radio system; and OMRP – a wireless mesh-routing platform.

This trajectory ultimately led him to a PhD in Integrated Circuit Design from the University of Cambridge, funded by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Malaysia. During his time at the university, he served as a teaching assistant covering a number of areas including CMOS Mixed-Signal Design, C/C++ Programming, Computer Architecture and Networking, and project supervision at both undergraduate and Masters levels.

Upon returning from his studies abroad, he served the nation and worked for the government of Malaysia in information security, where he helped design and build a multi-modal secure user authentication system still in use by the government.

He was awarded the Young Engineer of the Year 2014 by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Malaysia.

He is a Chartered Engineer registered with the Engineering Council (UK), a Preliminary Investigation Board member for The IET (UK), a law graduate of the University of Malaya, industry advisor to UTHM and UCSI universities, and Vice President to the Oxford and Cambridge Society, Malaysia.

He was a former research fellow to Telekom Malaysia, a former academic with several universities in Malaysia, a former auditor for TechnoFund, and former Honorary Treasurer to the The Institution of Engineering and Technology, Malaysia Network.

During his leisure time, he likes to watch a good film. He can usually be caught reading a good book on his Kindle.

Selected Writings

  1. EFF: Malaysia Doesn’t Need Another 20 years of Copyright!
  2. DNA: Speculative Meltdown
  3. DNA: Why Patents are Bad: Privatisation of Knowledge
  4. DNA: How to Prevent Volkswagen-like Scandals in the Future
  5. DNA: The Gender Gap in STEM
  6. DNA: Addressing the Data Scientist Glut
  7. DNA: On Blended Learning and Malaysian MOOCs
  8. DNA: Too Many Computer Science Degree Programs in Malaysia
  9. DNA: Malaysians Prefer Slow Broadband? There’s no Choice!
  10. DNA: Agreement Disclosure – Non!

Selected Talks

Selected Podcast