Planting the Seeds of Tomorrow, Nurturing STEM Talents Today

A part of the mission of the Faculty of Science at The Chinese University of Hong Kong is to educate and inspire the next generation of scientific innovators and leaders, and besides students in our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, we also extend our work into the community to work with secondary school students. Between July 2020 and December 2021, the Faculty’s Science Academy for Young Talent was very fortunate in obtaining support from the Education Bureau’s Gifted Education Fund to run a 3-tier training and research programme “Scientific Training and Mentoring for STEM Talents” whereby students took courses at the Faculty and conducted research under the guidance of academics. A symposium was held on 11 December 2021 for these young STEM talents to showcase their findings. With the commitment of students and the devotion of our teachers, the programme proved to be successful.

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Knowledge Transfer: Little Soy Bean to Change the World – Professor LAM Hon Ming

The humble little soybean is quietly leading a revolution in the world, thanks to the decades-long dedication of Professor LAM Hon Ming, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Life Sciences from the School of Life Sciences. Through biotechnology, Professor Lam has identified stress-tolerant varieties of the soybean, and since then, worked to fight global hunger, improve crop-yield and increase farmers’ revenue in arid environments around the world. This all happened thanks to, according to Professor Lam, the academic atmosphere of CUHK, wonderful colleagues, and generations of inquisitive students. Thank you to Professor Lam and all those along the way who helped make this change for the better possible!

Honours & Awards

Civility, Compassion, and Change for Good
Riding Out the Storm with Science and Technology - LAU King Heng

With high aspirations to contribute to science and society, LAU King Heng (Earth System Science) has garnered the support of two major scholarships, namely the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships in 2018, and most recently the Innovation and Technology Scholarship in 2021, in his pursuit of scientific advancement and personal growth. Recipients of the Hong Kong Jockey Club Scholarships are referred to as “JC Scholars”, and are outstanding students recognised for their intellect, character, leadership qualities and commitment to service.

King Heng expresses his appreciation and gratitude for the scholarship, “Through the scholarship and its programs, I was very fortunate to meet with many outstanding students from different universities in Hong Kong. Their commitment to their goals and the society of Hong Kong have really motivated me to continue my own pursuit to become an atmospheric scientist that will contribute to Hong Kong’s long term sustainability.”

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Student Sharing: On Exchange during the Pandemic

YUAN Lin (Cell and Molecular Biology)

Studied at University of Toronto, Canada in Term 1, 2021/22

During exchange at University of Toronto, I joined the Recognized Study Group with a number of students. It was in this class where I got to meet my partner Aaryan for Peer-Assisted-Reflection assignment, in which we could explore given mathematical questions in greater depth and then submitted in an essay-type worksheet to show our inference.

It was pretty great to take part in these activities. Not only did they train us to build our logical thinking about math questions, but they also encouraged us to reflect on our own reasoning by teaching our peers. Additionally, they gave us chances to go beyond the lecture, to think out of the textbook and midterms and finally develop our interest in Mathematics.

SONG Leshan (Statistics)

Studied at Brandeis University, USA in Term 1, 2021/22

All the professors at Brandeis are kind and helpful, and I benefited a lot from all the courses I have taken. The one which impresses me most is the Statistical Machine Learning. The professor not only focused on the complex mathematical formulas, but also vividly demonstrated the real applications to help us understand the algorithms better, and my programming skill in Python was improved a lot.

I also got familiar with Matlab, which let us raise and vote for the best grading criterion based on the class’s score distribution to enhance our understanding for statistical distributions. Moreover, the teaching assistants were always ready to answer our questions and gave some useful advice on how to make our model robust.

Student Sharing: Learning from the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) 2022

Hemraj BHATTARAI (PhD student in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

Joining the GYSS2022, Singapore, is a great experience. Although it is virtual, sharing from Nobel Laureates, influential scientists, and young researchers from diversified fields not only nourished my knowledge but also makes me more enthusiastic.

This is my first time to interact directly with Nobel Laurates. Listening to their struggle stories and their achievements have strengthened my willingness of becoming a world influential scientist in the field of earth and atmospheric science. The open group discussion session has connected me with global young researchers.

In short, this has broadened my horizon and build confidence to achieve my career goal. I would really like to thank Faculty of Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong for providing me this opportunity.

LIU Ran (PhD student in Statistics)

I was honored to attend the GYSS2022, which featured 20 plenary lectures, 6 panel sessions, small group informal sessions, a video contest and networking sessions. The lectures not only inspired me with new ideas to tackle interdisciplinary problems using statistical models, but also offered me great insights into topics that I am not familiar with.

The research stories narrated by panel speakers encouraged me to set out a plan for developing my research career in detail. I had the chance to interact with other young researchers who show keen interest in research work in the networking sessions. It was nice to meet them and show our encouragement; knowing that we are all working towards the same goal is so heartening.

I am very grateful for such a valuable opportunity to participate in the GYSS2022 and would like to express my sincere gratitude to the Department and for the nomination and support.

YAO Suli (PhD student in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences)

It’s an impressive and eye-opening experience for me to attend the GYSS2022. The summit was held online due to the pandemic. During the summit, eminent scientists gave talks and joined the panel discussions with young scientists spanning various fields of science, mathematics, and technology, including some hot spots such as how to prepare for the next pandemic, and the application of artificial intelligence in science. Such communications, as well as different viewpoints from scientists in different fields, can help us keep an open mind in doing scientific research.

Dr. LI Baiying Receives 2021 Young Scientist Awards

Dr. LI Baiying (Cell and Molecular Biology) has been selected for the 2021 Young Scientist Awards for her work entitled “Dissecting the cellular endomembrane trafficking and homeostasis under stress conditions via a combined biochemical and cell biological approaches”. This yearly award was established in 2002 to reward young scientists and engineers with great promise in their field of study and to nurture the growth of science and technology in Hong Kong.

“I am greatly honored to have been awarded the 2021 YSA. I feel delighted that my study in plant cells is appreciated by colleagues from distinct backgrounds, and that the spirit of basic science is conveyed to the public. A supportive supervisor plus a lab with wonderful platforms and nice people are the keys for one to go farther in science.” said Baiying.

The project conducted by Dr. LI and colleagues has developed advanced techniques for studying vesicle trafficking in plants. The study discovered a new population of giant vesicles enriched with transporters that are regulated by plant hormones and environmental stresses, which provides a new insight for future development of drought-tolerant plants/crops in plant biotechnology.

Fortune Favours the Brave:
Biology Alumnus Eric CHAN Shares Advice with Junior Fellows

More at CU Alumni Magazine No. 108 (Chinese version only)

English Recap

Biochemistry Alumna Dr. CHOI Pui Wah:
"Alumni@Workplace” Episode. 3: Biotechnology

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Physics Alumnus Jackie SI-TOU shared Career Opportunities in the United Nations

Video (In Cantonese)

English Recap

2021-22 Science Faculty Postgraduate Research Day

The 2021-22 Science Faculty Postgraduate Research Day was held on 14 December 2021, and a total of 14 speakers from 7 graduate divisions in the Faculty of Science presented their findings at our annual event, showcasing some of the finest innovative thinking of our young scientific leaders.

After a day-long exchange of research work, Ms. WANGWU Jiaxuan (Year 4 PhD student in Statistics) who worked on the single-cell data analysis won the championship. Ms. XIE Yi (Year 3 PhD student in Chemistry), focusing on the research of gold-in-copper at low *CO coverage, and Mr. Dominic LEUNG (Year 2 MPhil student in Risk Management Science), whose research focuses on the variance change, were awarded the first and second runners-up respectively.

Thank you once again to all our speakers and our panel of judges. We look forward to hearing more new ideas and breakthroughs from our postgraduate students in the near future.

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CUHK-CUHKSZ Academic Forum in Science and Engineering

Faculty of Science and Faculty of Engineering at CUHK, and School of Science and Engineering at CUHK-Shenzhen jointly held the premiere virtual “CUHK-CUHKSZ Academic Forum in Science and Engineering” on 19 February 2022. Professor SONG Chunshan, Dean of Science expressed his heartfelt congratulations on the newly established partnership between CUHK and CUHKSZ. He highlighted that “crosslinking” between two universities is the key to success. He also looked forward to strengthening the collaboration in science and engineering education and research, and envisioned diversified cross-disciplinary development.

At this event, a number of distinguished scholars shared their state-of-the-art research findings from a broad spectrum of areas. Professor FENG Dejun of the Department of Mathematics and Professor NGAI To of the Department of Chemistry chaired the sub-forums of “Mathematics” and “Chemistry, Material, Energy” respectively and many of our faculty members joined, including Prof. HE Xuhua and Prof. Ronald LUI (Department of Mathematics), Professor KWONG Fuk Yee and Professor YEUNG Ying Yeung (Department of Chemistry), as well as Professor WANG Jianfang and Professor LU Xinhui (Department of Physics).

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