HKU Bulletin October 2003 (Vol. 5 No. 1)

3 CONTENTS NEWS ROUND-UP 1 u Scientist Returns Home u Frontline Fight Should Inspire Leadership 2 u University Welcomes Distinguished Visiting Professor u New Communications Director Sets Her Goal 3 u Chinese Premier Visits HKU u Radical Scheme Saves Energy 22 u Rare Stamps Find Their Way Home RESEARCH 4 u Brought To Book 6 u New Kit Targets Those at Risk 7 u ‘Talking’ Computers Ease the Flow of Information 8 u Sick Fish Blamed on Pollution 10 u Rare Fish Return to Hong Kong Waters FULFILLING THE DREAM 12 u New Rhodes Scholar 14 u Past Rhodes Scholar Praises Its Benefits 15 u High Flyer Says ‘Don’t Just Stick to Books’ 16 u HKU Grad Sets Her Sights on CFO Position 17 u Alumna Invites Partnership and Criticism EXCHANGE STUDENTS 18 u New Experience Gives A New Perspective 19 u The Best of Both Worlds 20 u A Taste for the East PEOPLE 24 u Racing Passion Inspires New Book 25 u A Life of Dedication Editor The Registrar Editorial Board Allison Jones, Sheila Stimpson, Dora Yue Writers Adam Luck, Kathy Griffin Photographer Richard Jones, sinopix photo agency Graphic Designer trinity & co. Printer G & P Production & Printing Co. Items for Publication Items for publication in The University of Hong Kong Bulletin or suggestions for subjects which might be included should be addressed to the editorial board, Knowles Building, telephone number: 2859 2229, fax nu mber: 2559 9459 or e-mail: Items should include the author’s name and University contact details. If you have any comments or suggestions to make regarding the content or format of The University of Hong Kong Bulletin , please direct them to the editor for consideration by the editorial board. Printed on recycled paper. 1 Scientist Returns Home A fter more than 20 years abroad Fuchun Zhang considers that he has come home to China but the new Chair Professor at the Department of Physics is still searching for the Holy Grail of science. Zhang is at the frontier of physics with his sights firmly locked on understanding and predicting novel superconductors or materials that can transport electricity without wastage or resistance. He said: “There are a lot of Nobel laureates working on this! As a theoretician we try to build on what exists, explain it and try to predict (which direction scientists should follow). “It is not always a success but if you get it right you will be recognized. Born in Shanghai Zhang was one of the first students to leave China in 1980 when he went to study at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute before moving through a series of universities in the US. After a short break in Swi tzer land in the late 1980s Zhang moved to the Uni versi ty of Cincinnat i where he became a professor and spent the remainder of his American career there. He said: “I came back because at this stage of my career I fel t that HKU provided me with al l the things I wanted – not least I want to build an institute of theoretical physics and help develop a theoretical community here.” Frontline Fight Should Inspire Leadership T he Vice-Chancel lor Professor Lap-Chee Tsui has told the next generation of graduates that they should be inspired by the University’s frontline fight against SARS. Only by combining the spirit of teamwork with an independent mind can today’s undergraduates become the successful graduates of tomorrow. Highlighting the crucial work by the University’s medical and research teams in fighting the epidemic Professor Tsui said this should act as a beacon of excellence. The packed Loke Yew Hall was told that only the broadest and most challenging approach to education would ensure that students measure up to society’s needs. He said: “University education is not just education in academic terms it is education for life. It teaches you to socialize and teaches independence of mind and thought. “I want you all to become future leaders when you graduate from The University of Hong Kong….Being a member of HKU brings with it a duty to self, to your family, to the university community and Hong Kong. “You owe it to yourselves to give of your best. We are ful ly committed to excellence. So should you be.” The Vice-Chancellor dismissed criticism that standards were deteriorating in higher education as ‘too simplistic’ or ‘some would say shallow and naïve’. Both research students and undergraduates had exhibited their commitment to the community by helping combat SARS in and out of the research laboratories. He said: “I was proud of the way students displayed compassion and leadership during this crisis.” But the SARS epidemic also illustrated the need for creative thinking and this, in turn, meant that students must have a broad base of knowledge beyond their own subject. Biology and medicine – the critical disciplines in the fight against SARS – were just two examples of the broad array of knowledge required in the modern world. The Vice-Chancellor said that only by taking full advantage of the diverse courses on offer, however, could students ensure they had the foundations to support this knowledge. Students’ Union President Raymond Mak echoed this plea. He said: “Why are the mass media criticising universities claiming they are becoming factories? The main problem is that students are too career orientated and have no intention of questioning themselves and socie “ t I y f . getting a good job is the aim of university it is definitely a disaster for our tertiary education.” Fuchun Zhang NEWS ROUND-UP