Social Sciences and Technology

The Social Sciences and Technology Horizontal Technology Coordinating Office (SST HTCO) seeks to develop A*STAR’s social and behavioural science capabilities, through an integration of social-behavioural approaches with technological innovations, to contribute to national priorities of strategic importance.

Social and behavioural science is an area of growing interest and relevance in Singapore and around the world.

Many of the challenges facing societies today are complex, multi-faceted, and inherently behavioural in nature, and thus require solutions that take these issues into account. New innovations are needed that integrate social sciences with digital technology, such as those that make it possible to gain insights about people’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. Together with recent advances and new ways in which people interact with one another, such innovations can leverage fresh insights about people, obtained through new tools and data sources that these advances provide.

SST HTCO is a coordinating entity, supported by research performers across A*STAR, with the majority coming from the Social & Cognitive Computing and Systems Science departments from the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC), and the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS). Our researchers working on relevant areas of R&D and enabling technologies come from several other A*STAR research institutes, including, but not limited to, the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), the Institute for Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), and the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech). SST HTCO helps coordinate relevant research activities across A*STAR, through various activities and engagements, such as roundtable discussions, workshops, regular townhalls and research seminars to build awareness and promote collaborations across the board.

About Us


SST HTCO will serve as a one-stop platform to effectively translate A*STAR technologies and capabilities into solutions informed by the social sciences that address strategic. The HTCO seeks to:

  • Build expertise and lead the planning, implementation, and communication of social sciences R&D across A*STAR research institutes.
  • Connect A*STAR capabilities and researchers with appropriate opportunities, resources, and partners, both internally within A*STAR, and externally, across the ecosystem.


The HTCO’s efforts are centred around four key research themes:

  • Social Sensing & Trust
  • Socio-Urban Solutions
  • Health & Wellbeing
  • Education & Human Potential

Our People

Su Yi

Dr. Su Yi
Executive Director
Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC)

Joe Simons

Dr. Joe Simons
Lead of SST HTCO and Social and Behavioral Influence Group Manager

Quek Boon Kiat

Dr. Quek Boon Kiat
Co-Lead of SST HTCO

Ho Seng Beng

Dr. Ho Seng Beng
Co-Lead of SST HTCO

Diana Deng

Ms. Diana Deng
Assistant Manager

Tan Pei Jing

Ms. Tan Pei Jing
Assistant Manager

Capability Leads

Yang Yinping

Dr. Yang Yinping
Affective & Social Intelligence

Ilya Farber

Dr. Ilya Farber
Cognitive & Decision Sciences

Kenneth Kwok

Dr. Kenneth Kwok
Human-Centric Intelligence

Choi Dongkyu

Dr. Choi Dongkyu
Collaborative Intelligence

Neil Huynh

Dr. Neil Huynh Hoai Nguyen
Systems Science

Research Theme Leads

Yang Yinping

Dr. Yang Yinping
Social Sensing & Trust

Neil Huynh

Dr. Neil Huynh Hoai Nguyen
Socio-Urban Solutions

Choi Dongkyu

Dr. Choi Dongkyu
Education & Human Potential

Activities & Events

Seminars and talks

  • To make social behavioural sciences work a regular A*STAR feature
  • A key forum / avenue for academic & scientific interaction

Regular roundtable discussions on emerging topics

  • To create awareness on the current / latest developments and brainstorm on possible areas of collaboration

Engagement with public sector and government agencies

  • Introduce HTCO and gather problem statements to highlight to SST HTCO community

Increase visibility to external stakeholders

  • Keeping a community list of people to keep in the loop for SST HTCO events
  • Discover opportunities to work with external parties in related fields

Provide value to external stakeholders

  • Create awareness through information such as newsletter or timely information exchange in areas related to SST.