Alumni's Words

CHAN Fai
MPhil 2008

 

I studied in the CSE department of the CUHK for the past five years. I remember that computer-related subjects were not my first JUPAS choice and I was admitted to Computer Engineering, which was my third choice. From the start I studied hard to obtain a high GPA as I was considering changing to another department. It was not easy for me to obtain good grades in the competitive environment that I faced and it motivated me to try even harder.

 

Someday in spring semester of my first year study, Prof. Moon, one of my course teachers and my MPhil supervisor, encouraged me to participate in Intel Cup, a contest held in Shanghai focused on application design in embedded system. I found it very interesting and I joined this competition with two of my classmates. Our application was a mobile fingerprint-based logon system. The original system took less than 1 second to execute on a desktop computer but 60 seconds on our mobile device. Prof. Moon stimulated our mind: "One computer, one application, how can you fit the application with the best use of that computer?" At that moment I realized the essence of computer engineering: make the best use of computers in constrained situations. Using numerous techniques, we optimized our design to finish the task less than one second on the mobile device, and were awarded a second class honor prize in the competition.

 

Just after the competition, I received a transfer offer from a top-tier program in the Faculty of Business, the one I originally desired. I struggled with the question since I now found Computer Engineering very interesting. After much thought I turned down the transfer offer and continued in Computer Engineering. I have now obtained both Bachelor and MPhil degrees in Computer Science and Engineering and will shortly work in an engineering company on video streaming.

 

Thanks to the CSE department and especially my supervisor, Prof. Moon, I have been given tremendous opportunities and support. I have participated in numerous oversea events, helped in coordinating teams for Intel Cup twice, and we finally won the Intel Cup Championship in 2006. This project was then presented as a business plan in the "Idea to Product" global competition, held at the University of Texas in Austin and drew attention from famous companies, such as PenPower in Taiwan.

 

We are currently living in a computer-aided world, I.T. will continue to grow, regardless of the economics. You cannot live without computers and computer technology cannot advance without computer engineers. If you are into creative thinking, the CSE department at CUHK should definitely be one of your top choices!