Founded in 1990_ in a radical move by sdfwerte


									                                                                                                       June 2000 • Volume 10
Available at:
                                                  Department in Focus:
          In this issue
                                                          Department of Information Systems
 English Section                                                Focuses on the Future
 Department in Focus ............... 1

 Graduate Studies News ........... 2
                                                  F    ounded in 1990, in a radical move
                                                       that was possible because CityU
                                                  was in an expansion phase, the
                                                                                             fast-evolving nature of the programmes
                                                                                             taught in the Department — for
                                                                                             example, e-commerce — mean that
                                                  Department of Information Systems is       staff are continually researching the
 Research Study Wizard ........... 4              today the largest of its kind in Hong      latest developments and the best means
                                                  Kong, and probably in South-East Asia,     of teaching them.”
 CUPA Activities ....................... 5        according to its Head, Dr Matthew Lee.
                                                  Dr Lee attributes the Department’s         Because the Department has a result-
 Students’ Sharing ..................... 7        success to its size; its research          oriented curriculum, students have
                                                  and teaching programmes; its
 Applied R & D ........................ 8         highly visible presence at
                                                  international conferences; and
 Staff News ............................. 10      the shared vision of its faculty
                                                  and students. The increasing
 External Research Grants/
                                                  use of information technology
 Awards .................................. 12
                                                  (IT) systems within business
 News from Research Office ... 13                 and organizations in Hong
                                                  Kong has also had an impact
                                                  on the Department, since
                                                  business IT systems is the key
                                                  theme of the Department’s
           ! KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK N     programmes. From having initially to       more opportunities to solve
                                                  convince employers that a degree in        entrepreneurial or technical problems
           !"#$ KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK O             information systems was not a “second      working on their own, with academic
                                                  best” qualification, Dr Lee expects that   staff serving as consultants. Final year
                     The Editorial Board                                                     students in the Department take on
                     welcomes articles,
                                                  this year all the Department’s graduates
                                                  will find employment.                      substantial year-long consultancy
                     photos and ideas.
                                                                                             projects which allow them to gain
                     Please send your
                     contributions to Ms
                                                  The focus on IT in the past year has       confidence and develop
                     Belinda Luk c/o              resulted in employers and students         communicative skills that they would
 School of Graduate Studies (Fax: 2788-           changing their expectations. The           not learn in the traditional classroom
 9940; E-mail:            Department is responding by                environment.
 The Board would also like to extend its          introducing three new programmes, a
 sincere thanks to all those who have given       move that reflects the importance the      E-commerce and IT-enabled learning
 their valuable comments and suggestions in       Department places on integrating           and knowledge management are the
 the opinion survey launched in the last issue.   research with teaching, says Dr Lee. “It   two research thrusts of the Department.
 We will take into account the comments and
                                                  is our central philosophy that research
 suggestions to enhance the Newsletter.
                                                  should benefit teaching directly. The                  continued on next page 

June 2000
            Graduate Studies News

            In the field of e-commerce, staff are
            currently researching into areas such as
                                                                    Outstanding Thesis Awards Scheme
            Internet shopping behaviour, design of
            Internet markets, modelling of Internet
            banking systems, and e-business
            strategies. In the area of IT-enabled
                                                           T    he School of Graduate Studies will
                                                                introduce an Outstanding Thesis
                                                                                                        on (a) quality and originality of the
                                                                                                        research; and (b) clarity, accuracy and
                                                           Awards Scheme this year, the aim of          presentation of the thesis.
            learning and knowledge management ,            which is to recognize
            the major research theme in the                and reward research
            Department is the design and                                            Nomination and Shortlisting Schedule for the Year 2000
                                                           students who have
            management of Internet-based systems           produced a thesis of Date               Activity
            to support learning and knowledge
                                                           outstanding quality 1 August –          Departments/School to submit nominations to
            management processes for individual
                                                           and achievement in 30 September the School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
            and organizational effectiveness. This
                                                           the relevant research                   (Applicable to students who have earned their
            research resulted in the setting up of the
            FaBWeb virtual University site, the            area. Each year, a
                                                                                                   research degree within the period from October
            University Learning Park Portal and the        maximum of two
                                                                                                   1999 to September 2000)
            introduction of the iMBA programme.            awards will be
                                                           granted; one for an Early October SGS to forward nominations received to the
            The Department’s graduate students are         MPhil thesis and the                    relevant Faculty/School Graduate Studies
            working professionals and full-time
                                                           other for a PhD thesis.                 Committees (F/SGSCs) for consideration
            research students who concentrate on
                                                           M P h i l a n d P h D Mid October       F/SGSCs to submit their shortlists to SGS
            solving research problems. “Research
                                                           students who have Late October          The selection panel to select the awardees
            students are critical components of our
                                                           satisfied the following
            Department in terms of helping us to
            create a research ambiance,” says Dr           two criteria are
                                                                                                        For more information about the award,
            Lee. At present, there are around 20           eligible to be nominated for the award:
                                                                                                        please call 2788-9076.
            research students, which he sees as the
                                                           (a) those who have earned their
            ideal number. “They can support each
                                                               research degree within the 12
            other and interact on a day-to-day basis                                                     Newsletter Advisory Board
            to exchange ideas and to promote                   months (October to September)             Prof P S Chung, Vice-President (Research)
            research-based activities.”                        prior to the close of nominations;        and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies
                                                               and                                       Prof W F Fong, Associate Dean
            Research students in the Department are                                                       School of Graduate Studies
            actively encouraged to contribute              (b) those whose thesis has been
                                                                                                          Mr Bryan Bachner,
            articles to international journals and to          assessed by internal and external
                                                                                                          School of Law
            take part in major international                   examiners as of outstanding quality
                                                                                                          Dr James Caldwell,
            conferences. What our PhD students do              and recommended for consideration          Department of Mathematics
            after leaving CityU is a critical reflection       of the award by the said parties.
                                                                                                          Dr Randy LaPolla,
            of the education they have received,
                                                                                                          Department of Chinese, Translation and
            says Dr Lee. For instance, the                 Each department/school may nominate
            Department has graduated two PhD               no more than one student for each of
                                                                                                          Prof Celik Parkan,
            students recently and they have both           the MPhil and PhD thesis awards.
                                                                                                          Department of Management Sciences
            obtained tenure-track Assistant                Nominations received from
                                                                                                          Mr Tso Kong Sang,
            Professor positions in North American          departments/school, together with the
                                                                                                          Representative from CityU Postgraduate
            universities. By introducing its research      comments from the relevant examiners,          Association
            students to the international academic
                                                           will be sent to the respective Faculty/        Editors
            network and getting them to publish
                                                           School Graduate Studies Committee (F/          Mrs Linda Cheng,
            high-quality research articles early, and
                                                           SGSC) for consideration. The shortlist         Research Office
            through actively seeking a high profile
                                                           received from the F/SGSCs will be              Ms Theresa Fox,
            in the academic community, the
                                                           forwarded to a selection panel                 University Publications Office
            Department seeks to enhance not only
            the reputation of its graduate students        appointed by the Dean of the School of         Ms Belinda Luk,
                                                           Graduate Studies, which will select the        School of Graduate Studies
            but also, by extension, the international
            reputation of the University.                  awardees. The selection will be based          Mr H Y Wong,
                                                                                                          Industrial and Business Development Office
                                      — Theresa Fox

                                                                                                               Graduate Studies News

                                Open Forum on Effective Supervision

A    bout 80 research degree students
     and staff attended an open forum
on “Effective Supervision: Mutual
                                               disagreement include a deepening of
                                               the relationship and stimulation of the
                                               imagination. Dr Tao concluded by
                                                                                               themselves should play a more active
                                                                                               part in developing and maintaining
                                                                                               good supervisory practice. Perhaps
Expectations” on 19 April. The forum,          advising supervisors to “Teach – and be         students could be responsible for their
held in the Amenities Building Multi-          taught!”                                        own progress and participate in
purpose rooms, was organized by the            Mr Craig Simpson (PhD student, BCH)             arranging a work schedule, be open in
School of Graduate Studies.                    talked about the importance of                  telling their supervisors about the
Five faculty members and two PhD               developing the student – supervisor             difficulties and problems they
students shared with the audience their        relationship and how the relationship           encounter, be explicit about the
ideas for achieving a successful               will inevitably change over the years.          provision of feedback from the
supervisory relationship. The facilitator,     To the students, their work is the first        supervisor, and challenge any other
Prof W F Fong (SGS), explained that the        priority but they should recognize that         supervisor’s ideas which they do not
purpose of the forum was to share the          their supervisors have many priorities,         agree with, she suggested.
points of view of both students and            he said. “Share responsibility for the          Prof M J A Cooray (SLW) had the task of
supervisors. He listed a number of             relationship, respect the relationship,         summing up. There is no model
possible relationships, ranging from           see the supervisor’s point of view and,         supervisor-researcher relationship, he
director – follower to friend – friend, and    above all, ensure communications stay           said. “The tasks of the supervisor will
also listed the different expectations         open,” Mr Simpson stressed.                     vary from field to field, person to
held by students and                                                                           person.” To make the most of their time
supervisors. “It is very important                                                             at graduate school, students should ask
that we understand from the                                                                    themselves three things: how best to do
beginning of the relationship                                                                  their work using their expertise, time
what doing research and                                                                        and commitment; how best to make use
supervising is all about,” Prof                                                                of their supervisors; and how best to
Fong said.                                                                                     learn and acquire effective research
The first speaker, Prof Stephen                                                                skills.
Cheung (EF), talked about the                                                                  The role of the supervisor is to give
complicated relationship                                                                       students support and direction, not to
between students and their                                                                     provide them with ideas. When it comes
supervisors. There are three (from left) Prof M J A Cooray, Miss Teresa Ng, Prof Ron Hui,      to defending the thesis it is the student
groups involved in the process: Mr Craig Simpson, Dr Julia Tao, Prof Stephen Cheung and Prof   who will be on stage: the supervisor will
the university, the supervisor, W F Fong                                                       be behind the scenes. “This is why,
and the student, all with                                                                      when we talk about the relationship, we
different expectations. The relationship    Prof Ron Hui (EE) said he believed                 think of it as not supervisor-centred, but
can be a love/hate affair, a “marriage”,    supervisors should use their experience            student-centred,” Prof Cooray
or a nightmare, he said, and he             and research insight to point students             concluded.
emphasized the importance of regular        in the right direction and stressed the            In the discussion that followed, Prof
meetings, mutual understanding and          importance of understanding their                  Fong and Prof Cheung stressed the
encouragement. Drawing on personal          students’ experience and background.               importance of asking questions and
experience, Prof Cheung said                Students, he said, should be enthusiastic          speaking up. Both agreed that it is alien
postgraduate study should be                about their work, to make it stimulating           to Asian culture to regard supervisors
memorable and enjoyable. “Make the          for both student and supervisor.
                                                                                                                                             Graduate Studies and Research Newsletter

                                                                                               as colleagues but that is what the
most of your time – it flies,” he advised.  Management, of both time and literature            relationship should be. “Ask more
Dr Julia Tao (SA) spoke about the value     search, is also very important. “Have the          questions!” Prof Cheung advised.
of disagreeing. This means three things     courage to take up new challenges,” he
                                            said, “And don’t be afraid to dream the            One speaker said it was important to
in a supervisory relationship, she said:                                                       get value from supervisors and
you are putting forward a different point   dreams!”
                                                                                               supervisors should show their students
of view; you are trying to raise a different   Miss Teresa Ng (PhD student, SS) said           how to do this. Dr Tao ended the session
perspective; and you are suggesting that       she felt that the majority of students felt     by saying that students should be active,
what has become established                    that their supervisors were responsible         not just because it is their “act” but also
knowledge should be critically                 for their research progress and only a          their “script”. “If you are a dreamer,
examined. There must be ground rules           minority of students reflected on their         don’t just dream about acting, dream
for disagreeing, so that it does not turn      own role in the relationship. She               about writing your own script,” she
into a personal conflict. The many             believes that although supervisors              challenged.
benefits derived from fruitful                 should guide their students, students
                                                                                                                         — Theresa Fox

June 2000
            Research Study Wizard

                                                  Academic Writing: Challenge or Curse?

            M       ost of us have little difficulty
                    answering this question. Few
            writers, whether novice graduate
                                                                       want to be accepted differently. We
                                                                       write with a supervisor or colleagues
                                                                       from our discipline in mind.
                                                                                                                      respectful of others’ points of view.
                                                                                                                      Again, this means knowing what your
                                                                                                                      readers are likely to expect and accept,
            student or experienced professor, find                                                                    and fitting your language to show your
            writing easy and people who actually                       This doesn’t mean that we can’t identify       personal honesty and professional
                                                                       some general principles of academic            competence.
            enjoy the experience are a very rare
            species. It is perfectly normal to feel                    writing. Of course there are overlaps of       So much for the product, or outcomes
            daunted, and even panic-stricken, when                     style, organization and presentation           of academic writing, now what about
            faced with an academic writing task and                    between genres and disciplines which           the process of creating this product?
                                                                       we think of as academic writing. In good       Often students’ problems with academic
            these feelings never quite disappear.
                                                                       academic writing the writer shows a            writing are increased by their lack of
            Students often think that the ability to
                                                                       strong sense of purpose and an                 experience in organizing how they
            write well involves luck, or some                                                                         write. They tend to delay writing until
            inherent genius, but this is not true. Like                appropriate voice. Both come from
                                                                                                                      they have all the data they need, start
            any other art or creative act it takes time                knowing who your audience is and
                                                                                                                      at the beginning, write through to end,
            and plenty of reworking, to get it right.                  what it expects from the paper.
                                                                                                                      leave their revisions until the paper is
            Also like other creative acts, it helps if                 A sense of purpose suggests that the           finished, and expect to get their paper
            you know something about what you                          writer has a clear direction and that          right first time. This is the hard way.
            are doing and where you are going,                         there is an overall coherence to the
                                                                                                                      Everything we know about writing tells
            which means having understanding of                        writing. This is partly achieved by
                                                                       control over the material, knowing the         us that while every individual has a
            both the process and products of
                                                                       literature, what is relevant, how ideas        preferred way of writing, there are
                                                                       are related to each other, and by              certain points that apply to most of us.
            Perhaps the first place to start is with                   carefully structuring the argument in a        These are:
            the term academic writing. The term                        way that is expected and clearly               • Writing is recursive and not linear:
            covers a range of different types of                       signaling the steps in the process. In a           writers start at any point they please
            writing (or genres) each with its own                      research-based genre this usually                  and constantly revise and redraft as
            conventions and features. For example,                     involves an introduction which informs             they write
            r e s e a rc h a r t i c l e s , t h e s e s , g r a n t   the reader of the topic, its importance,       • Writing generates thinking: looking
                                                                       and how it fits in with the interests and          at our writing generates new ideas
            proposals, textbooks, book reviews, and
                                                                       problems of the discipline by reviewing
            lab reports all have different purposes                                                                       and new ways of organizing and
                                                                       your literature in the introduction. In
            and are organized differently to achieve                                                                      expressing our ideas; thinking and
                                                                       most disciplines you then have to give
            those purposes. The ways we structure                      the method you will use to address this            writing go together.
            our arguments, the certainty with which                    topic and answer the questions you             • Writing is social: we always write
            we make our claims, the emphasis we                        have raised about it. You then present             for a particular audience and build
            give to our personal opinions, and the                     the findings that these methods produce            into our writing what we know
            style we use to address our readers, are                   and analyze their relevance and                    about its opinions, preferred ways
            likely to be very different in each of                     importance in a discussion. These stages           of arguing, background knowledge,
            these.                                                     are different for different kinds of writing       etc.
                                                                       so it is a good idea to do a lot of reading    • Writing is purposive: our purpose
            Another problem is that academic                           and become familiar with the kind of               needs to be clear and explicit from
            writing also turns out to be quite diverse                 format expected.                                   the beginning
            when we look at different disciplines: a                   The second general point about                 • Writing is strategic: we write for a
            research article in biology diverges from                  academic writing is the need for an                particular discipline and goal
            one in engineering, and a textbook in                      appropriate voice. That is, the way we             therefore it is a good idea to get
            law differs from one in sociology.                         express our ideas helps determine                  advice from others and to consult
            Reading these texts, we quickly notice                     whether they are likely to be accepted             examples of the genre (and journal)
            that more than content and jargon are                      or not. Not everyone will always agree
                                                                                                                          we are writing.
            different. We see that writers in different                with what you have to say but even hard
            fields talk to their readers in different                  to swallow ideas can be made more              What I have tried to show in this short
            ways, drawing on the previous literature                   acceptable by sounding intelligent and         article is that academic writing is a
                                                                       reasonable. To persuade a reader, we
            differently, representing themselves
                                                                       need to sound confident in what we say,
            differently, and establishing what they
                                                                       but also reasonable, open-minded and
                                                                                                                                   continued on next page 

                                                                                                                         CUPA Activities

challenge that can be met, rather than
a curse to avoid. Writing an effective
                                                                    CUPA’s New Faces
and successful dissertation, grant
proposal or research paper does not
have to involve painful trial and error
as there are ways to shortcut this
                                          F   urther study is one of the best ways
                                              to achieve the goal of keeping up
                                          with the rapid changes in our society.
                                                                                           3. To promote the welfare, and
                                                                                              safeguard the benefits, of
                                                                                              postgraduate students.
process. In addition to the research      As CityU students, we not only need to
                                          excel in our postgraduate studies, but           4. To establish a link between CityU,
which we put into our papers, we need
                                          also to prepare ourselves to be well                other local universities and overseas
to do a little more research on how to
                                          rounded in order to meet society’s needs            tertiary educational institutions
present them. Knowing something
                                          and expectations. One of the aims of                through academic exchange and
about the process of writing, the
                                          CUPA (CityU Postgraduate Association)               research development. Then we can
conventional voice and format of the
                                          — the association for every CityU                   share our opinions, broaden our
product in our disciplines, and the
                                          postgraduate student — is to make                   horizons, and understand different
audience we are writing for can help
                                          campus life easier and fruitful for                 cultures.
us approach writing tasks with greater
confidence of success.                    students.
                                                                                           Different kinds of activities will be
                                          Our team, the newly elected ExCo of              o rg a n i z e d , i n c l u d i n g a c a d e m i c
                 — by Dr Ken Hyland
                                          CUPA for the year 2000–2001, is a                interflow tours, joint university
               (Department of English)
                                          group of students full of
                                          aspiration and energy (see
                                          the table below for the
  New CUPA Office                         membership). We want to
  and Postgraduate                        express our sincere thanks to
                                          all of the members of CUPA,
   Common Room                            wholly from our hearts, for
                                          their support. Stepping into

A    fter several months of meetings
     and negotiations with the
contractor, CUPA’s new office and the
                                          the new era, our objectives

                                          1. To act as a bridge to fill
new postgraduate common room at
                                             in the gap between the
the Amenities Building are finally
                                             university and the            (from left) Ching Wai-keung, Phoenix Lee, Tse Kai-wing,
available for use. The opening                                             William Lam, Chris Mak and Nelson Ngan
                                             postgraduate students.
ceremony of the new office and
                                             We will try our best to
common room was held on 31 March
                                             facilitate communication and                  programmes, outings, etc. to achieve
2000. Over 60 people attended the
                                             mutual understanding between                  the above. Your participation is the best
ceremony, presided over by Ms He
                                             postgraduate students and the                 support we can have. We all anticipate
Jun (Division Chief, Education,
                                             university.                                   seeing YOU at our functions. Last but
Science and Technology Department)
                                                                                           not least, we wish every CityU
from the Liaison Office of the Central    2. To establish a close relationship and
                                                                                           postgraduate student a promising and
People’s Government in the Hong              cohesion between postgraduate
                                                                                           successful future career.
Kong SAR, Prof P S Chung (VP/RS),            students.
                                                                                                                                                  Graduate Studies and Research Newsletter

and Mrs Diana Ying (Associate VP/IA).                                                              — CUPA New ExCo 2000-2001
The new office and the common room
are at a better location and are more
                                          Position                          Name                                      Dept         Degree
spacious than the old ones. Do come
and visit our new premises at:            President                         MAK Shuk-kwan, Chris                      BCH          MPhil
                                          Vice-President                    LEE Ho-fan, Phoenix                       CS           MSc
CUPA office: R6167, 6/F, Amenities        General Secretary I               TSE Kai-wing                              BCH          MPhil
                                          General Secretary II              NGAN Chun-yim, Nelson                     EE           MPhil
Common room: R6163
                                          Treasurer                         LAM Wai-yan, William                      BCH          MPhil
Tel: 2788 9136
Fax: 2788 9135                            Internal Programme Leader         CHING Wai-keung                           BCH          PhD
Email:         Publication Leader                TSO Kong-sang                             MGT          MA

June 2000
            CUPA Activities

                          Report from the 1999–2000 CUPA Executive Committee

            W         ith continuous support from
                      different parties at the
                                                                 successors and hope they, too, will have
                                                                 a fruitful year. Last but not least, we wish
                                                                                                                     chance to make mistakes and to learn
                                                                                                                     from them.
            University, the 1999–2000 Executive                  to thank everyone who gave us the                                    — Mr Kenneth Kwong
            Committee successfully completed its                                                                          President, CUPA ExCo 1999–2000
            term of office on 31 March 2000.
            During the year, we organized many                    University Committee                 Postgraduate Representative            Dept       Degree

            activities, both recreational and                     Council                              Under consideration                    –          –

            academic, to cater to the various needs               Senate - observer                    KWONG Ka Kei, Kenneth                  MKT        PhD
            of postgraduate students. We are very                 Board of Graduate Studies            LAM Kin Yu, Gilbert                    SA         MPhil
            pleased that our efforts spent in pushing                                                  LEUNG Ka Ying, Andy                    AC         PGD
            for CUPA representation on various                                                         LEUNG Wai Kong, Raymond                EE         MPhil
            University committees have been                       Campus Facilities Committee          KWONG Ka Kei, Kenneth                  MKT        PhD
            successful. CUPA now have repre-                      Information Services Advisory        FONG Man Ching, Tom                    SLW        MA
            sentatives on different committees at                 Committee
                                                                                                       TSO Kong Sang                          MGT        MA
            different levels (see the table on the right
                                                                  Library User Group Committee         NG Miu Kwan, Kennis                    CTL        MPhil
            for the name of the committees and
                                                                  Quality Assurance Committee          LEE Ho Fan, Phoenix                    CS         MSc
            student representatives). We treasure
                                                                  Student Canteen Supervisory          Jag KUNDI                              AC         PhD
            what we have learned over the past                    Committee
            year; it was a wonderful experience that              Student Discipline Committee         CHAU Fung Cheung, Lawrence             SLW        MA
            we will long remember. We would like
                                                                  Student Residence Committee          LAM Kar Wai, Gary                      EE         MPhil
            to send our best wishes to our
                                                                  Student Services Committee           LEE Hiu Hong, Michael                  SA         MPhil


                          Recipient of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship

            M      arch 18, 2000 was a day I will
                   always remember. That was the
            day Lady Youde presented me with the
                                                                 fields of IT and education. My aim for
                                                                 the future is to contribute not only to
                                                                 the areas of teaching and research, but
                                                                                                                     activities such as departmental society
                                                                                                                     and a Shanghai study tour. The
                                                                                                                     experiences and knowledge gained
            Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship                 also to the development of Hong Kong                from these activities definitely cannot
            for Overseas Studies 2000/2001 at City               society.                                            be learnt from textbooks but will surely
            Hall.                                                                                                    be extremely useful in my future
                                                                 My life at CityU has been fruitful and
                                                                                                                     academic and personal development.
            It is really a great honour for me to be             rewarding for me. During the past six
            awarded this fellowship. Not only does               years, as well as studying, I have                  Last, but not least, I would like to take
            it provide me with sufficient funds to               participated in various extra-curricular            this opportunity to express my gratitude
            pursue my PhD study in the                                                                               to my supervisor, Prof Benjamin T’sou
            US for three years, but it also                                                                          for his patience and guidance
            gives me a valuable                                                                                      throughout my undergraduate and
                                                                                                                     graduate studies. My thanks also go to
            opportunity to enhance my
                                                                                                                     Dr Mary Erbaugh (CTL), Mr Tom Lai
            experience in my chosen
                                                                                                                     (CTL) and Dr Samuel Chan (CS) for their
            field of study.                                                                                          valuable comments and advice on the
                                                                                                                     fellowship interviews.
            My major in my PhD will be
                                                                                                                                           Chin Chi-on, Andy
            linguistics, specializing in
            Chinese linguistics. It is                                                                                                         MPhil Student
            obvious that linguistics now                                                                                 Department of Chinese, Translation
            plays a significant role in the                                                                                                   and Linguistics

                                                                                                                         Students’ Sharing

                                                 Students’ Sharing

A Research Student’s                         I met was a charming scholar from San            Prof Michael Bamber, a member of the
                                             Diego. He talked about various aspects           o rg a n i z a t i o n c o m m i t t e e o f t h e
Conference Experience
                                             of American life, from eating to                 Conference. His sincerity impressed

I   attended the Sixth Midyear Annual
    Auditing Section Conference, held
                                             education. Like me, he had had a paper
                                             accepted by the Conference. I also met

                                                                                              At the Conference, there were many
between 13–15 January 2000 in
                                                                                              good papers. They were well thought
Los Angeles by the American
                                                                                              out and clearly written. The ideas were
Accounting Association. The
                                                                                              first explained by the presenter and then
Conference offered me a good
                                                                                              discussed by another academic. I found
occasion to meet people and
                                                                                              some of the ideas new and useful for
exchange ideas. Most of the
                                                                                              my future research work. Attending the
participants came from the
                                                                                              Conference was a rewarding experience
United States but there were
                                                                                              for me, and I was pleased to receive
also academics from Germany,
                                                                                              many encouraging comments on my
Canada and Australia. The US
                                    Lai Kam Wah (left) and Prof Michael Bamber of the
                                                                                              own paper.
participants came from as far as
                                    Unversity of Georgia at the Conference                                               Lai Kam Wah
East Coast and as near as within
                                                                                                                          PhD Student
California. Amongst the people                                                                             Department of Accountancy

Philosopher Explores the                     Hong Kong University, recently gave a            their supervisors but he believes on non-
Ethics of Care                               s e m i n a r a t H K U ’s P h i l o s o p h y   empirical matters, it is important to
                                             Department on the topic “Do                      disagree if you think you have good

E    nrolling as a PhD student in CityU’s
     Department of Public and Social
Administration may seem an unusual
                                             Confucians Really Care?”

                                             Dr Tao and Daniel have a fundamental
                                                                                              reasons for doing so. “Once you get to
                                                                                              university level, it is important to learn
                                                                                              the skill of how to disagree and to
                                             disagreement over Confucian ethics. Dr
choice for a philosopher who is writing                                                       verbalize your reasons, especially if you
                                             Tao believes the Confucian ethics is an
his thesis on ethical pluralism, but                                                          are hoping to go on to work in
                                             ethic of care while Daniel argues that it
Daniel Star says he liked the idea of                                                         academia,” Daniel emphasizes.
doing something different. Daniel, who
                                                                                                       As for his “unusual” choice of
has a BA in Philosophy and a Bachelor
                                                                                                       department, Daniel says he
of Asian Studies in Chinese Studies from
                                                                                                       enjoys being where he is
Murdoch University in Western
                                                                                                       because his colleagues are
                                                                                                                                                   Graduate Studies and Research Newsletter

Australia, met Dr Julia Tao at a
                                                                                                       interested in philosophy and
conference in Australia. “We hit it off
                                                                                                       what it has to offer. He believes
and she invited me to come to CityU to
                                                                                                       it is a good idea for philosophers
do my PhD,” he explains.
                                                                                                       to get down to earth, to relate
Although Daniel’s thesis examines a                                                                    their ideas to practical matters.
pluralistic approach to ethics, one                                                                    “Although I am focusing on
section of his work is on an area similar    is a virtue ethic. He and Dr Tao find it         ethical theory, I want to communicate
to the one his supervisor Dr Tao is          interesting that they have such a                with people outside the philosophical
working on: the ethics of care and           productive disagreement, says Daniel.            field and relate my ideas to concrete
Confucian ethics. Daniel, who sat in on      He has spoken to some graduate                   matters.”
a course on Chinese Philosophy at            students who are afraid to disagree with                                       — Theresa Fox

June 2000
            Applied R&D

                 From Research Student to Entrepreneur                                                           A CityU Subsidiary
                                                                                                                 Receives International
            S    everal CityU graduates have gone
                 on to set up and run their own
            businesses, some in the multi-million
                                                               business and marketing. The company
                                                               targets importers of security systems, not
                                                               the end user, by advertising in trade
                                                                                                                 Artificial Intelligence
                                                                                                                 Award for the Second Time
            dollar range, using the skills and                 magazines, by attending trade
                                                                                                                 Congratulations to Advanced Object
            k n o wle d g e th e y learned at t he             exhibitions, and through its Web site.
                                                                                                                 Technologies Ltd. (AOTL) on receiving
            University. In this issue of the                                                                     the “Innovative Applications of
            Newsletter, we focus on Dr                                                                           Artificial Intelligence (IAAI) Award”
            Wallace Ma and Mr Nevin Ho,                                                                          presented by the American Association
            of Signal Communications Ltd                                                                         for Artificial Intelligence in recognition
            (SiCOM), an associated company                                                                       of its achievements in designing and
            of CityU Enterprises Ltd.                                                                            developing mission critical artificial
                                                                                                                 intelligence (AI) applications. This is
            SiCOM was founded in 1994 by                                                                         the second consecutive year that AOTL
            CityU and a group of researchers,                                                                    has received the prestigious Award.
            including Dr Ma, Prof C K Chan                                                                       The award presentation will take place
            and Dr C F Chan, from CityU’s                                                                        at the Twelfth Innovative Applications
            D e p a r t m e n t o f E l e c t r o n i c Wallace Ma (left), Nevin Ho and their flagship product   of AI Conference, to be held from 1-3
            Engineering. Both Mr Ho, who “TeleEye”                                                               August, 2000, at Austin, Texas. This is
            also joined the company in 1994, and                  The monitoring systems developed by            one of the largest yearly international
            Dr Ma are former research students of                 SiCOM include TeleEye Pro and                  AI events and practitioners and
            Prof Chan. It was while doing his                     TeleEAR. TeleEye Pro is the updated            researchers from all over the world
            research on image processing                          version of TeleEye, SiCOM’s first              gather to exchange ideas about basic
            technology that Dr Ma and his                         surveillance system. Transmitting              and applied AI.
            colleagues decided that there was a                   images at 10 frames per second, TeleEye        AOTL was selected for the Award for
            potentially huge market for remote                    Pro, according to Dr Ma, is the world’s        their work in designing and developing
            video monitoring.                                     fastest remote video monitoring system.        workforce scheduling software that is
                                                                  Since TeleEye was launched in 1995,            used in the Hong Kong Hospital
            SiCOM is today one of the world’s                                                                    Authority’s Staff Rostering System. The
                                                                  SiCOM has won nine industry awards
            leading suppliers of remote video and                                                                application schedules and manages
                                                                  for its products.
            audio monitoring products, with clients                                                              staff members at various public
            in more than 40 companies world-wide.                 TeleEye Pro also has applications in           hospitals in Hong Kong.
            Dr Ma is the Director of Marketing at                 monitoring road traffic; surveillance of       AOTL was set up in 1998 by Dr Andy
            SiCOM and Mr Ho is the Engineering                    public utilities; monitoring children or       Chun, from the Department of
            Manager. Both emphasize the                           the elderly at home; and alarm                 Electronic Engineering, and CityU
            importance of developing and                          monitoring in buildings. And with              Enterprises Ltd. It specializes in
            marketing their products. “These are                  S i C O M ’s n e w r e m o t e a u d i o       optimizing the limited resources of a
                                                                  transmission unit, TeleEAR, connected,         corporation in order to increase its
            state-of-the-art products, so we must
                                                                  users are provided with complete audio         productivity and efficiency. Apart from
            respond quickly to market needs,”
                                                                  (including remote public addressing) as        the award-winning Staff Rostering
            explained Mr Ho. With three to four                                                                  System, AOTL has also designed an
                                                                  well as video monitoring.
            products at a time either being                                                                      Underground Train Scheduling System
            developed or upgraded, Mr Ho’s job is                 Asked what advice they would give to           for the MTRC, a Check-in Counter
            to co-ordinate the projects to ensure                 aspiring entrepreneurs at CityU today,         Optimization System for the Civil
            schedules are met. At present, the                    Mr Ho said they should be innovative           Aviation Department, and a Container
            company is developing new, high-tech                  and focus on their applied research.           Vessel Berth Allocation System for the
            products which focus on the Internet                  Agreeing with his colleague, Dr Ma             Modern Terminal Ltd. and Hong Kong
            and security.                                         added, “The three things which I               International Ltd., etc. The Airport
                                                                  consider very important for graduate           Stand Allocation System designed for
            For the first few years after SiCOM was               students are novel research which could        the Hong Kong Airport Authority
            established, Dr Ma focused on product                 lead to possible commercialization, the        earned AOTL its first IAAI Award last
            development. As the company                                                                          year. To date, AOTL is the only
                                                                  support of your professors, and keeping
            expanded, it hired engineers to do this                                                              company in Hong Kong ever to have
                                                                  abreast of developments in your field.”
            work and these days Dr Ma                                                                            received this international award —
                                                                                             — Theresa Fox       not to mention twice in a row!
            concentrates on developing the

                                                                                                                        Applied R&D

                    Novel Management System Wins First ITF Grant

A     CityU project to develop a novel
      LAN-based Intelligent
Management System (LIMS) has been
                                                “The beauty of using LonWorks
                                                technology is that it is freely available.
                                                Of course, if you buy the components
                                                                                              to the human nervous system, Dr So
                                                                                              explained that the aim of this research
                                                                                              is to develop a system which will
awarded the first grant of the University-      from Echelon, you have to pay but we          monitor the status and actions of each
Industry Collaboration Programme                are going to build our own system, using      component and co-ordinate them for
under the Innovation and Technology             International Standards,” Dr So               optimal operation.
Fund (ITF). Project co-ordinator, Dr            explained.                                    Dr So’s team is collaborating with the
Albert So, Associate Professor in the              Building on the basic LonWorks system,     University of Notre Dame in Indiana on
Department of                                                               Dr So will        this project.
Building and                                                                develop a
Construction and                                                            system which      With its potential applications in the
Director of the                                                             will allow the    domestic, retail and commercial
Johnson Controls                                                            user to control   sectors, Dr So believes that this project
Intelligent Building                                                        lighting,         will enhance the electronics and
Research Centre, said                                                       facilities and    constructions industries in both Hong
the ITF will contribute                                                     electrical        Kong and the mainland.
50% of the $8.117                                                           appliances
million project and                                                                                                    — Theresa Fox
                                                                            throughout the
the balance will be                                                         home from
met by the industry
partner, Deson-IES
                                                                            any room in                    Patents
                                                                            the home, and
Engineering Ltd.                                                            from outside      The University provides financial
The System consists of                                                      through the       assistance to staff to apply for patents.
four sub-systems: an                                                        Internet or a     All funding applications are
Integrated Intelligent                                                      telephone line.   considered by the Intellectual Property
Management System                                                           Instead of the    Committee (IPC). Since 1997, the IPC
(IIMS); a LonWorks                                                          numerous          has processed 22 applications. To
Universal Switch                                                            switches we       date, CityU has obtained one Chinese
(LUSH); a LonWorks                                                          have in rooms     patent for a utility model which
Universal System                                                            today, Dr So      resulted from research on “Patch
                              Dr Albert So and his research team are
Multi-media (LUSM); responsible for the hardware components while envisages that              Antenna with L-Shaped Probe” (“L”
a n d a L o n Wo r k s the industrial partner takes care of the software we will have                 !"#$%&= ) conducted by
U n i v e r s a l S y s t e m part of the project.                          just one box      Prof K M Luk of the Department of
Intelligence (LUSI).                                                        fitted to the     Electronic Engineering. The remaining
IIMS, the software                                                          wall in each      21 applications, covering the PRC, US
component of the project, will be                  room. In the most innovative feature in    and European countries, are in
developed by Deson. LUSH, LUSM and                 the system, any LUSH on the network        progress.
LUSI, the hardware components, will                will be automatically accessible by any    The Industrial and Business
be developed by Dr So and his                      other LUSH on the same network.            Development Office (IBDO) provides
colleagues at CityU.                               Including LUSM in the control system       administrative support to the IPC in
The problem with today’s intelligent            means that each box will have a small         respect of patent applications.
                                                                                                                                          Graduate Studies and Research Newsletter

buildings is that the systems used to           black and white camera, a loudspeaker         Colleagues interested in submitting
send information to the users and to            and a black and white LCD panel.              applications are invited to browse
control and monitor the buildings are           Through any LUSM on the network, the          IBDO’s homepage where funding
not integrated, mainly because of the           user can ask for a real-time picture from     guidelines and application forms can
cost involved. Moreover, the                    another LUSM. A mother working in the         be downloaded. Enquiries can be
technology used in the buildings is             kitchen, for instance, can use the LUSM       directed to Miss Eunice Chik (ext
imported from companies such as                 to check what her children are doing in       8477, email: ibeunice).
Honeywell. What Dr So and his team              their rooms and can send a message of         The IBDO would appreciate hearing
propose to do is to fully integrate the         up to five seconds to the loudspeaker         from any University staff who have
two applications in a system that will          in their rooms.                               obtained patents elsewhere. They are
be a world first, will require relatively       Developing the LUSI is perhaps the            requested to send details of their
little investment, and will be completely       most complicated part of the project.         patents to the IBDO for record
locally designed and developed.                 Comparing building control networks           purposes.

June 2000
            Staff News

                                Sabbatical Leave, Research Secondment Leave,
                                 and Professional Secondment Leave Reports

            T    he following reports on recent
                 sabbatical and professional
            secondment leave are included in this
                                                       financed by the Croucher Foundation
                                                       Senior Research Fellowship.)
                                                                                                          that it is a tremendous but worthy task.
                                                                                                          A large amount of relevant papers and
                                                                                                          books were collected and read. Equally
            Newsletter to provide feedback on the      To h a v e m o r e i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h   important is that I had more time to
            Leave Schemes, with the aim of             professionals in the field, I decided to           enhance my knowledge in many fields
            encouraging more staff members to          take sabbatical leave from December                of distributed computing. My
            enhance their research work and            1998 to September 1999 to visit two                knowledge in several other areas, such
            professional experience by participating   US institutions: the Naval Postgraduate            as workflow technology and Petri nets,
            in the Schemes:                            School and the University of Hawaii.               has also been greatly improved.
                                                       The Department of Meteorology in each
            Dr Alfred Chan, SS                         institution has an active research                 Mr Kevin Manuel, BST
            Host Institution: Personal Social          programme in tropical cyclones.                    Host Organizations: Planning
            Services Research Unit (University of                                                         Department, HKSAR, and Nomometric
            Manchester, UK)                            The visits to the two institutions were            Design and Planning Consultants Ltd
                                                       extremely useful in two ways. The
            The primary purpose of the attachment      interaction with other scientists in the           It is one of my fundamental beliefs that
            was to fulfill three objectives: (1) to    field triggered many fresh ideas that can          University staff members should be
            replicate the Chinese Geriatric            be subsequently pursued. In addition,              more proactive in keeping up with the
            Depression Scale (CGDS) with a group       the complete relief from teaching and              changing market and the needs of the
            of Chinese elderly people who reside       administrative responsibilities allowed            community. I took an industrial
            in Manchester; (2) to learn and compare    me to concentrate on research, which               placement during my sabbatical and
            experiences on the costs, quality and      resulted not only in the production of             secondment leave, and worked in both
            delivery of elderly services; and (3) to   quality publications, but also in the              the Planning Department of the
            strengthen links between the University    development of new ideas.                          Government of the HKSAR and a
            of Manchester and CityU.                                                                      private firm called Nomometric Design
                                                       Being a recipient of the Croucher                  and Planning Consultants Ltd. The main
            During the attachment period, a small      Foundation Senior Research Fellowship              objectives of this programme (scheme)
            survey (N=43), a focus group with          Award was undoubtedly very rewarding               are threefold. Firstly, to establish closer
            survey respondents (N=5) and a focus       experience for me.                                 links with the outside community and
            group with worker — interviewers                                                              to have a better understanding of market
            (N=5) were successfully conducted.         Prof Cheung To-yat, CS
                                                       Host Institutions: International Institute         operations and conditions. Secondly, to
            Preliminary results show that CGDS is                                                         acquire practical professional
            reliable and valid for Chinese elderly     of Software Technology (United Nations
                                                       University) and Software Institute                 experience in architecture and planning
            in Manchester and the UK. I have                                                              so as to enhance teaching and learning
            gained more knowledge, in particular       (Chinese Academy of Science)
                                                                                                          activities at the University. Thirdly, to
            in the concepts and practical              During my seven-month leave in 1999,               gain more in-depth work experience
            application of care needs assessment,      I visited several academic institutes and          because most real life projects last for
            balance of health and social care,         gave seminars and lectures. The                    many months and require continuing
            service quality and costs, QoL and user    institutions I visited included the                supervision.
            satisfaction measurements. I also          International Institute of Software
            delivered an in-house seminar entitled     Technology (United Nations University)             The experience I gained is directly
            “Replicating the Chinese Geriatric         and Software Institute (Chinese                    related to the fields of development
            Depression Scale in Britain: Some          Academy of Science). During my stay                control, planning studies, urban design,
            Cultural Considerations”.                  with the former Institute, I met many              sustainable development and planning
                                                       scholars and research students who                 and development procedures. I was
            Prof Johnny Chan, AP                                                                          able to establish a network of contacts,
            Host Institutions: the Naval               came from Africa, India, Britain, China,
                                                       etc. I also collaborated with colleagues           which in turn will generate
            Postgraduate School and the University                                                        opportunities in applied research and
            of Hawaii, US                              from other universities. Together, we
                                                       published seven papers during this                 development and closer collaboration
            (The sabbatical programme was                                                                 and co-operation with outside
                                                       period. My research and preparation of
                                                       materials for a book made me realize               communities.

                                                                           – 10 –
                                                                                                                        Staff News

Dr Julia Tao, SA                             enable better communication between          and a CityU strategic project (Focus and
Host Institution: Oxford University          two physically separated groups.             Sentence Interpretation).

I found myself fruitfully challenged by      The secondment has been a very               My knowledge of current developments
fellow philosophers at Oxford and at         valuable learning experience for me. I       in the topics under investigation has
other universities in the UK, whom I         was able to apply my knowledge of            been considerably updated. Three
met through formal and informal              systems analysis and design in a virtual     papers addressing the concepts,
exchanges. The academic contacts I           organization environment, and at the         realization and interpretation of focus
have made are invaluable, and so are         same time was able to observe                have been drafted for presentation and
the new insights, new vistas and new         interaction and communication within         publication, each containing in-depth
possibilities which my tenure as Visiting    virtual teams first-hand. Members of the     investigation and original findings. Two
Fellow at the Centre and at St Hugh’s        student project group have had the           abstracts have been accepted for
College has opened up for me. During         advantage of building a state-of-the-art     presentation at international
the leave period, I was engaged mainly       application for an industry client. The      conferences. Also submitted is another
in three research projects, writing and      industry partners have enjoyed the free      research paper not directly related to
publication of papers, developing new        professional advice offered by CityU.        either of the projects. About one third
research initiatives, giving paper                                                        of the time in the period was spent on
presentations and participating in                                                        the supervision of my research degree
international conferences, symposiums        Mr Peter Wong, BST                           students. I have also benefited from my
and seminars.                                Host Institution: Wong & Ou-yang             stay at the host institution by
                                             Building Services Ltd                        participating in their weekly linguistics
It is without doubt a privilege and an                                                    seminars and discussions with
honour to be a visiting fellow at Oxford     The secondment programme offered me          colleagues there.
University, which is the leading             a great opportunity to gain practical
university in the UK for teaching and        industrial experience in building
research in philosophy. The experience       services engineering. I updated my
has deeply enriched my intellectual life.    knowledge of design guidelines and
It has certainly affirmed the value of my
work and research, but it has also
                                             electrical installation products available    Foundation Senior
                                             in the market. I also learned and
importantly reminded me that there are       reviewed the design concepts and             Research Fellowship
always higher goals to strive for and        methodology used in the Hong Kong
even greater joys to be known in the         building industry.
discovery and creation of knowledge
through human endeavours.                    Updated knowledge of the Extra Low
                                             Voltage (ELV) system and the newly            Dr K S Chiang of the Department of
                                             granted guidelines on the                     Electronic Engineering received the
Dr Christian Wagner, IS                      Telecommunication & Broadcasting              prestigious Croucher Senior Research
Host Organization: Motorola                  Exchange (TBE) room was gained from           Fellowship for his outstanding
                                             the host company. This knowledge will
                                                                                           scholarship in the field of
The purpose of the secondment was the        be useful in teaching and will be of
                                                                                           optoelectronics research. His
study of work in virtual reality, and the    definite benefit to BSE students. In
development of new information               return, I have contributed to the host        research interests cover a range of
technology tools and techniques to           organization my work on harmonics,            theoretical and experimental studies
                                                                                                                                      Graduate Studies and Research Newsletter

support such work for Motorola. The          power distribution and control circuitry.     in fibre optics and integrated optics.
application will allow workers to                                                          He is currently involved in the design
receive on-demand information about                                                        and development of various kinds of
their organization, their tasks, and their   Prof Xu Liejiong, CTL                         optical fibre / waveguide devices,
environment. Outcomes of the work            Host Institution: University of Toronto,      development of fibre sensors, and the
included a test implementation of the        Canada
information portal (currently still under                                                  study of nonlinear effects in fibres and
development), and the development of         The main objective of the programme           waveguides. The award was
a prototype-based model for software         was to devote time to two research            presented by the Chief Secretary for
requirements specifications. The             projects, a CERG project (Parametric          Administration, Mrs Anson Chan, on
requirements specification model will        Variation in Three Chinese Dialects),
                                                                                           Tuesday, 28 March 2000.

                                                               – 11 –
June 2000
            External Research Grants/Awards

                                                       External Research Grants/Awards
            Name of             Project Title           Principal              Awarded             About the Project
            External Grants                             Investigator           Amount (HK$)
            RGC Central         Studies on Important Prof Rudolf Wu, BCH       $4,750,000          The projects aims at (a) identifying and characterizing the priority toxicant in the
            Allocation          Toxicants in Coastal                                               coastal environment through development of novel analytical techniques; (b)
            1999–2000           Waters of Hong Kong:                                               studying the sub-lethal effects of long-term exposure on the health of marine
                                A Risk Assessment                                                  ecosystem; (c) understanding their uptake and bioaccumulation kinetics in the
                                Approach                                                           marine biota; (d) modelling their environmental fate and levels in various
                                                                                                   compartments of the marine environment; and (e) assessing the overall ecological
                                                                                                   and public health risks of these priority toxicants.
                                A Near-field            Prof Edward Yung, EE   $2,500,000          The objective of the project is to upgrade the antenna measurement capability of
                                Measurement System                                                 the Wireless Communications Laboratory with the acquisition of a large 12’x12’
                                for Wireless                                                       Near-field Measurement System for the characterization of high-gain low-profile
                                Communications                                                     antenna arrays to be invented and developed by the Laboratory. The outcome of
                                Antennas                                                           the research will promote the antenna industry in Hong Kong and the mainland.
            RGC Cooperative     CRC on Conductive       Prof Y C Chan, EE      $1,796,000          The Centre aims to facilitate the timely acquisition of a conductive adhesive
            Research Centre     Adhesive Technology                                                technology within Hong Kong’s advanced electronic packaging industry. It will
            1998–2001           for High Density                                                   establish a strong base for the development of conductive adhesive technology in
                                Electronic Packaging                                               Hong Kong through a combination of high quality midstream research and
                                                                                                   development and close cooperation within industry.
            France/HK Joint     Efficient Numerical     Dr J Maurice Rojas,    $31,250             The main goal of the project is the creation of fast new algorithms, and
            Research Scheme     and Symbolic            MA                                         implementations using these techniques, to solve hard systems of equations in
            1999–2000           Methods for Sparse                                                 diverse applications. The software, written in a highly portable language such as
                                Polynomial System                                                  Maple or Matlab, possibly C or C++, will be made available over the Internet.
                                Solving and their
                                Applications to
                                Economics, Finance
                                and Game Theory
                               Factors Affecting        Dr Moez Limayem, IS    $62,500             The objective of this research is to gain a better understanding of factors
                               Internet Purchases: A                                               influencing consumers’ decision to buy through the Web. This research will have
                               Longitudinal Study in                                               important implications for companies interested in selling through the Web in
                               Hong Kong and                                                       Hong Kong and in France and EC applications designers.
            UK/Hong Kong Joint Lifetime Modelling of    Prof Y C Chan, EE      £6,000              The aim of the project is to focus on the lifetime study of advanced electronic
            Research Scheme    Advanced Electronic                                                 packaging such as flip chip package with no-flow underfill material, as this
            1999–2000          Packaging                                                           represents the generality of issues normally encountered, and will find extensive
                                                                                                   use in solving practical problems.
                                Studies of Electrode   Prof S T Lee, AP        £6,000              The electrodes used in polymer light-emitting devices (PLEDs) will be modified and
                                Modifications for Use                                              high quality PLEDs will be fabricated using improved electrodes and highly
                                with Conjugated                                                    efficient polymer materials.
                                Polymer Light-emitting
                                Object-oriented         Dr Shaoyi Liao, IS     £6,000              The long-term aim of the research is to develop an object-oriented methodology for
                                Requirement                                                        requirement engineering, with focus on its design of formalism, specification and
                                Engineering (OORE)                                                 representation, and on the investigation of the feasibility of applying the formalism
                                                                                                   in modelling business systems.
                                Fuzzy Scheduling        Dr K S Tang, EE        £5,964              The main aim of this research is to investigate approaches to designing fuzzy
                                Control of Nonlinear                                               controllers for nonlinear systems that do not require gain scheduling or adaptation,
                                Systems                                                            using a combination of multiobjective genetic algorithms and intelligent
                                                                                                   representation schemes.
            Germany/Hong        Ion Beam Synthesis of Prof S T Lee, AP         $30,000             To synthesize different forms of nanoscale materials (nanocables and
            Kong Joint Research Nanoscale Materials                                                nanocomposites) and systematically characterize their microstructures and optical/
            Scheme 1999–2000                                                                       electrical properties. The research team will further optimize the growth method
                                                                                                   and improve the quality of the nanoscale materials.
                                The Virtual Operating Prof S K Tso, MEEM       $30,000             The robot, the surgical tool and the patient have to be calibrated in relation to the
                                Theatre — Design of                                                simulation models. New robot-based mechatronic tool systems have to be
                                Advanced Tools for                                                 investigated and evaluated with regard to their usability in typical surgical
                                Computer and Robot                                                 procedures.
                                Assisted Surgery and
                                Tool Evaluation by
                                Virtual Reality
                                Biocompatible Surface Prof Paul Chu, AP        $30,000             The biocompatibility of small sized medical implants, e.g. stents, has to be
                                Layers of Enhanced X-                                              improved as well as the x-ray contrast. Tantalum-doped adherent DLC layers,
                                Ray Contrast                                                       produced by PIII, will meet the requirements.
            PLK Camoes Tan Siu NAC (Newly Arrived       Dr Anson Yang, EN      $283,726.80         The project aims (a) to develop an English curriculum for newly-arrived children
            Lin Primary School Children) Curriculum                                                (NAC) from China; and (b) to do research on the English learning difficulties of
            Asbury Methodist   Research Project                                                    NAC.
            Primary School
            Ranex Investment    Evacuation and          Dr S M Lo, BC          $150,000
            Limited             Disaster Prevention

                                                                                          – 12 –
                                                                                                               News from Research Office

                Research Committee Meeting                                                           CityU Research
                     on 28 March 2000                                                               Report 1998–1999
 Strategic Research                            possible reduction of funding for
                                                                                                   An on-line version of the CityU
                                               research staff for CERGs in the
 Grants Allocation                             forthcoming exercise.
                                                                                                   Research Report 1998–1999
                                                                                                   published by the University covers
 The Committee, on the                                                                             basic information on each active
 recommendation of the respective                                                                  project, with a separate section
 Faculty/School Research Committees,
                                               Support for Applied R&D                             detailing publications/presentations
 approved funding of $25M to support           Work                                                produced by departments during the
 102 strategic research grant                                                                      reporting period. The report is now
 applications. 12 applications were            The Committee considered means of                   available on the web at http://www.
 deferred pending receipt of further           enhancing support for the University’s    
 external assessments and another 37           applied R & D work now coordinated                  htm.
 proposals were rejected on the grounds        through the IBDO, and agreed to invite
 of unfavourable external reviews.             Faculties and Departments to consider               Results of 1999
                                               (a) the appointment of an Associate                 Research Assessment
 Funding Ceiling for                               Dean to look after applied R & D
                                                   work, and to initiate similar
                                                                                                   Exercise (RAE)
 Internal Research Grants
                                                   appointments at departmental                    Results of the UGC’s RAE announced
 The Committee reviewed the existing               levels;                                         in late April provide much
                                               (b) t h e F a c u l t y / D e p a r t m e n t a l   encouraging news for CityU
 funding ceilings for internal research
                                                                                                   r e s e a rc h e r s . T h i s e x e r c i s e i s
 grants and agreed to reduce the ceiling           representatives to work closely with
                                                                                                   conducted over a 3-year cycle and is
 for strategic research grants and direct          IBDO, which will arrange regular                meant to assess the research output
 allocation grants to $250,000 and                 meetings to provide up-to-date                  performance of the UGC-funded
 $120,000 respectively from 2000–01.               information on funding                          institutions expressed by a Research
                                                   opportunities, and jointly draw up              Index (RI) which is defined as the
 The decision was taken after
                                                   plans for fostering applied work,               percentage of staff whose research
 considering the practice of other tertiary                                                        work is judged to have reached an
 institutions, the funding levels of the           exploring the potential and viability           attainable level of excellence
 RGC Competitive Earmarked Research                of commericalization and                        appropriate to the discipline in Hong
 Grants (CERGs) in recent years, and the           technology transfer.                            Kong, and showing some evidence of
54321098765432109876543212109876543210987654321098765432121098765432109876543210987654321          international excellence. It is most
                                                                                                   encouraging to note the significant
                                                                                                   improvements in standards in nearly
                                 IRIS Update                                                       all CityU cost centres over the last
                                                                                                   exercise. The University fared well in
 How much staffing                             Your proposal has                                   the exercise with a RI for Faculty cost
                                                                                                   centres above the sector-wide average
 budget do you need to                         arrived at RO!                                      and median figures of 58.35 and 52.
 reserve?                                                                                          89 respectively. Significant increases
                                               Have you ever puzzled over the                      in the proportion of academic staff
                                               whereabouts of your research                        meeting the threshold standard are
                                                                                                                                                        Graduate Studies and Research Newsletter

 IRIS has integrated the information on
                                               proposals? The answer can be found on               noted in 16 out of 23 Faculty cost
 research staff appointments as a new
                                               IRIS, which lists all the recent                    centres, all with their RI above the
 component, to give PIs a more                                                                     sector median. Marked improvements
 comprehensive view of information             applications under their actual status,
                                                                                                   are found in Accountancy, Biology,
 needed for proper management of their         such as “under consideration”,                      Chemistry, Building Technology,
 projects. Presented on each Project Fact      “deferred” or “approved”. So from now               Surveying, Computing Science, and in
 Sheet is the name and grade of the            on, instead of ringing around to find out           Manufacturing Engineering; while staff
 research support staff appointed to each      what’s happened to your proposals, you              in other disciplines, e.g. Materials
 project. Exclusively for PIs, the starting    have the option of locating them on the             Science, Electronic Engineering, and
 salary and appointment period of the                                                              Mathematics, continue to perform
                                               IRIS web.                                           well.
 research support staff are available, to
 assist in making an estimation of the                                                             According to the UGC, the next RAE
 staffing budget you have to reserve for                                                           exercise is expected to be undertaken
 the project.                                                                                      in around 2002.

                                                                    – 13 –
June 2000
            News from Research Office

                        NSFC/RGC Joint Research Scheme                                                 Shortlisted Areas of
                                 2000/2001                                                             Excellence (AoE)
                                                                                                       Proposals, Second Round
            The following four CityU applications were among the 53 applications shortlisted
                                                                                                       The UGC received 55 AoE initial proposals
            by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) and the RGC for
                                                                                                       in February and two CityU proposals on
            further consideration for funding:                                                         “Wireless Communications”, with Prof
                                                                                                       Edward Yung (EE) as PI, and “Chinese
            Project Title (HK Partner)                                                                 Language Sciences”, with Prof C C Cheng
                                                                                                       (CTL) as PI, were among the 16 shortlisted
            Research on the Local Atmospheric Flow System over Complex Terrain and Its
                                                                                                       by UGC for consideration for funding.
            Application to the Air Pollution Problem in Hong Kong (Prof Johnny Chan, AP)
                                                                                                       Colleagues in BCH also participated as
            Portfolio Optimization with Friction and Asymmetrical Information (Dr Xiaotie              collaborators in two shortlisted proposals
            Deng, CS)                                                                                  submitted by CUHK and PolyU. The other
            Synthesis of Ordered Organic Materials and Their Applications in Organic                   shortlisted proposals were from HKU (five),
                                                                                                       CUHK (four), HKUST (four) and PolyU (one),
            Light-emitting Diodes and Laser Devices (Prof Shuit-tong Lee, AP)
                                                                                                       with details given below:
            Research and Development of Multilayer Coatings with Super-hard Diamond-                   CityU as leading institution
            like Carbon Layers for Tribological Applications (Dr Lawrence K Y Li, MEEM)                Wireless Communications, Chinese
                                                                                                       Language Sciences

            Upcoming Events and Application Deadlines                                                  CityU as participating institution
                                                                                                       Research in Chinese Medicine (CUHK as
                                                                                                       leading institution), Chirotechnology for
            The following highlights major events and various application deadlines in the             Chiral Drugs (PolyU as leading institution)
            months of June – September 2000:                                                           HKU as leading institution
            Date /                 Event / Activity                       Responsible Party / Remark   Genetics and Functional Genomics in
            Application Deadline                                                                       Development, Degeneration and Disease,
            29 May–30 June         Application for Research Tuition       SGS                          Institute for Chemical Biology: Integrated
                                   Scholarships (3rd Round 2000)
                                                                                                       Research on Drug Development, Business
                                                                                                       Management in China, HK Culture and
            8 June                 Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund —       RO
                                                                                                       Society: Beyond Cosmopolitanism, Water
                                   Visiting Professorship Scheme &
                                                                                                       Environment Engineering
                                   Postgraduate Conference for Local
                                   Tertiary Institutions 2000–2001                                     CUHK as leading institution
            15 June                Germany / Hong Kong Joint Research     RO
                                                                                                       Computer Assisted Diagnosis, Treatment and
                                                                                                       Training in Medicine, Marine Biotechnology,
                                                                                                       Research in Chinese Medicine, E-Commerce
            16 June                Deadline for application for           SGS
                                   admission to research degree
                                   programmes (3rd Round 2000)                                         HKUST as leading institution
                                                                                                       Molecular Neuroscience: Basic Research and
            19–20 June             The 1st International Conference       Ms Monica Lau, CS
                                                                                                       Drug Discovery, Wireless Communications
                                   on Web Information Systems
                                                                                                       Systems, E-Commerce Driven Manufacturing
                                   Engineering (WISE 2000) Hong Kong
                                                                                                       and Logistics Systems, Coastal and
            30 June                Deadline for submission of theses      SGS
                                                                                                       Atmospheric Research
                                   for examination for MPhil/PhD
                                                                                                       PolyU as leading institution
                                   students who wish to graduate and
                                                                                                       Chirotechnology for Chiral Drugs
                                   participate in the 2000 Congregation
            30 June                Occupational Safety and Health         RO                           It is expected that final funding decisions will
                                   Council — Application for Research                                  be made in January 2001.
            24–26 July             International Union of Materials       Pat Lam, AP                   Best Service Award
                                   Research Societies —                                                The Research Office (RO) is the recipient
                                   6th International Conference in Asia                                of the “Best Service Award” under the
            24–28 July             Seventh International Conference       Pat Lam, AP                  University’s Reward Scheme for
                                   on New Diamond Science and                                          Administrative and Academic Support
                                   Technology                                                          Departments 1999–2000. RO is one of
            15 August              France/HKG Joint Research Scheme       RO                           the three central administrative units
            Early September        Health Care and Promotion Fund         RO                           receiving the award, out of 18 units
            1–30 September         Application for Conference Grants      SGS                          which participated. Congratulations to
                                   (3rd Round 2000)                                                    the RO team.

                                                                               – 14 –

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