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KE Spotlight

  • Three HKU scientists make the list of Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific by MIT Technology Review

    Three HKU scientists make the list of Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific by MIT Technology Review

    Three HKU scientists are among the four Hong Kong young scientists who made the MIT Technology Review annual list of Innovators Under 35 for the Asia Pacific Region and they are: Dr Hao Guo, Postdoctoral Fellow of the Department of Civil Engineering, who created an electricity- and chemical- free filter for rapid water purification; Dr Ziyan Guo, PhD Researcher of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who co-developed world’s first intraoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)-guided robot for bilateral stereotactic neurosurgery; and Dr Ping Luo, Assistant Professor of the Department of Computer Science, who developed computer vision and AI technologies to understand human behaviours such as facial expressions, emotions and social relationships. The peer-reviewed annual award was established by MIT Technology Review in 1999 to recognise outstanding young innovators under the age of 35. In 2010, regional versions of the award were introduced to cover areas including Latin America, Europe, China, India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia/Oceania.

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  • HKU Engineering-led student team wins 1st runner-up at Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019 in London

    HKU Engineering-led student team wins 1st runner-up at Global Grand Challenges Summit 2019 in London

    A HKU Engineering-led student coached by Dr Hayden Kwok-Hay So of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering through the support of the Tam Wing Fan Innovation Wing and the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Fund was awarded 1st runner-up at the Student Competition of 2019 Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS) in London on September 13. The award-winning project, “ClearBot”, an AI-powered, autonomous plastic-collecting robotic solution that took aim at the global ocean plastic epidemic, represents a truly multi-disciplinary solution that puts heavy emphasis on the relationship between technology and the people who are most affected by this plastic epidemic. From the initial experiential learning trip to Bali, to the open-source software/hardware development model, the development of “ClearBot” remains hinged on the belief that real-world impact can only be achieved by engaging the target communities at every step.

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  • HKU publishes EOC-funded study on unconscious bias

    HKU publishes EOC-funded study on unconscious bias

    A study, “Doing Equality Consciously: Understanding Unconscious Bias and its Role and Implications in the Achievement of Equality in Hong Kong and Asia”, funded by the Equal Opportunities Commission was published on 24 September 2019. The project was housed at The University of Hong Kong’s Women’s Studies Research Centre (WSRC) and the Faculty of Law’s Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL), and aimed to look into the types and extent of unconscious bias and the potential for intervention in different settings. The report offers several recommendations, including incorporating implicit bias awareness into early childhood education, and institutionalising training in governmental, educational, corporate, health, civil society, legal, and social welfare organisations.

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  • HKU linguist’s project on preserving an endangered language

    HKU linguist’s project on preserving an endangered language

    Dr Cathryn Donohue, Assistant Professor of the Faculty of Arts, has been working to preserve an endangered Tibeto-Burman language, Nubri, which has been described as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘definitely endangered’ by UNESCO. She has been working on the documentation of Nubri with the local community for the past few years and hopes to contribute to the preservation of this language. She also investigated possible maintenance efforts and in order to introduce a writing system to allow Nubri to be written and used in more domains, she facilitated a gathering of the Nubri people by organising eye clinics and have resulted in nearly 500 villagers in the remote Nubri Valley in Nepal receiving eye treatment and more than 50 villagers regaining sight through cataract surgery. By restoring vision for many in this community, the project created an opportunity for the community gathering to discuss orthographic options, and to record some of Nubri’s traditional medicinal practices. It also has a longer-term impact by contributing to the documentation of Nubri language and culture, and hopefully to the preservation of the language through the introduction of a community-endorsed writing system.

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  • HKUMed reveals WhatsApp chat support enhances smokers’ quitting rate

    HKUMed reveals WhatsApp chat support enhances smokers’ quitting rate

    The Smoking Cessation Research Team at the School of Nursing and School of Public Health of the HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine(HKUMed) conducted a cluster-randomised controlled trial at the 8th “Quit to Win” Smoke-free Community Campaign organised by the Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health, which found that “WhatsApp chat support”, combined with brief smoking cessation interventions, could increase the chance of quitting by 60% to 90%. The study recruited 1,185 daily cigarette smokers, where 591 participants were randomised to the intervention group and 594 to the control group. Those who joined the intervention group have a quitting rate 90% higher than the control group at a three-month follow-up, and the chance of verified quitting was still 60% higher in the intervention group at six-month follow-up, which was three months after the end of “WhatsApp chat support”.

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  • Faculty Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019

    Faculty Knowledge Exchange Awards 2019

    The annual Faculty Knowledge Exchange (KE) Awards recognise each Faculty’s outstanding KE accomplishment that has made demonstrable economic, social or cultural impacts to benefit the community, business/industry, or partner organisations. Results of the 2019 Faculty KE Awards are now available.

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  • HKU longitudinal study finds screen readers improve learning efficiency in students with visual impairment

    HKU longitudinal study finds screen readers improve learning efficiency in students with visual impairment

    A two-year study by HKU Faculty of Education found screen readers effectively assist people with visual impairment to learn. A total of 50 participants including primary and secondary school students as well as adults with visual impairment were recruited. It found these students mainly used screen readers in language classes at school, which could replace Braille textbooks and help to reduce the weight of their school bags and increase their reading speed; adult users also found screen readers useful for helping them to cope with difficulties in their daily lives. Dr Allan Yuen, Deputy Director of the HKU Centre for Information Technology in Education, called for programme developers to consider the compatibility between screen-reading software when developing software, to provide more software for use by people who are visually impaired. He also recommended schools to provide sufficient computers to students with visual impairment for classroom and after school learning.

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