An email from Boredin Saengtuksin is (like the man) always three things: to the point, clear and timely. As the Academic Director of Science and Math, Boredin plays a central role in analysing curriculum requirements, developing content, and delivering products to clients. He leads from the front and is good at it. Projects under him run smoothly, a deadline is never missed. We’re all a little in awe of him which is why it’s hard to get to know the real man behind all the work.
Boredin has a Bachelors and a Masters in Physics from the National University of Singapore (NUS). These days, he is based in Singapore so he communicates via Skype with a lot of us. This interview was also conducted on Skype.
Here Boredin talks about Math, stars and working with his wife.
KP: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
(laughs) Do you want the long or the short answer? I was born in Northern Thailand and I moved to Singapore when I was about ten years old. I got an undergraduate degree in Physics and then a Masters in Physics. I worked in research at NUS for 7 years, where I also tutored a year 2 module. But then I realised that it wasn’t what I loved doing. Research is very much a one man show. There’s minimal interaction and it can get, well, boring. I moved into teaching A-level Physics and did that for 1 year.
KP: Has the shift from teaching to working as Academic Director at Knowledge Platform been drastic?
In a way, yes but in some ways, no. Through my teaching career, I realised there is such a big disconnect between traditional teaching methods and the pace at which technology is moving outside the classroom. I wanted to explore how the disconnect can be bridged and I came to that realisation before I came across the work Knowledge Platform is doing. My wife has a good friend whose husband was (and still is) working at Knowledge Platform and she mentioned the organisation to me. I gave them my resume and the rest is history.
KP: What is your favorite thing about KP?
KP is an organisation that is flat and friendly. I feel comfortable here because the hierarchy isn’t rigid, and I feel comfortable working with my boss and colleagues. Despite the workload, the culture is easy going. What a surprise that that can foster productivity! (laughs)
KP: What does a weekday look like for you?
I start at 9:30 am. There’s actually no real typical day. Sometimes I start with meetings with Beenu [Mahboob Mahmood, CEO of Knowledge Platform). Then, I might have a meeting or two with our graphic designer. At my desk, I create content, create videos, and increasingly spend time planning pilots and thinking of new projects. I’ve learned many things since I joined, including a range of software (Camtasia, Adobe Primier, etc) as well as softer skills.
KP: It’s so obvious that you’re passionate about Math and Physics. Where does this passion come from?
I have quite a romantic answer to this one and maybe it’s a bit of a cliché. I’ve always been fascinated by the night sky and the stars. In fact, my interest in physics derives from my interest in Astronomy. It’s unbelievable to me that when you look up at the stars you’re looking backwards in time. Facts like this drew me to physics: I wanted to explore space and time using science. And of course, Math is a necessary tool to help you study Physics. They’re hard sciences but they unravel some of the greatest mysteries of the world. Who wouldn’t be fascinated?
KP: What’s one of your favourite things about living and working in Singapore?
Oddly, my favourite thing about Singapore is also its biggest drawback for me. Things are comfortable and predictable here which is nice. But because of that, life can also get monotonous sometimes. Usually, I spent my time travelling, reading, watching movies, walking on the beach. Nothing too out of the ordinary.
KP: You work with your wife. We’ve always wanted to ask how that works.
[laughs] I wish I had a more scandalous answer to this, but it’s quite straight forward. I give her the content creation schedule and then periodically hurry her along. At the end, I do some quality control. We love working together actually, or at least I love working with her…
KP: If there was one place in the world you could travel to, where would it be?
Oh this is easy! The North Pole to see the Northern Lights.