Alumni's Words

WONG Hiu Yung
MPhil 2001

Senior Device Engineer
Spansion LLC


As an engineer in semiconductor device design and fabrication, many of my colleagues know that I obtained my PhD in Electrical Engineering from UC Berkeley, while very few know that my bachelor and master degrees were from CSE, CUHK. But they would find out soon when they realized that I was able to write a simple C program or PERL script to pre-process test chip tapeout data, or to filter DRC errors to increase the productivity. These are simple tasks for a computer science/engineering student, which capture only a tiny subset of the knowledge we learnt in programming, database, data mining, CAD etc.. While such superficial skills may have already impressed some people, I believe what really differentiate me from the others are the philosophies in computer science and engineering I was instilled during my five-year stay in CSE. In an environment with so many world-class scholars of various fields in computer science and engineering, although not all the profound theories could be understood, a "computer-mind-set" could have been cultivated.


Many believe that a solid foundation of mathematics and physics in high school is a key to the success of an engineering/science degree. To me, a solid undergraduate training in computer science and engineering is a promising stepping stone to the success of the next stage of life, namely, graduate or career life. This is because, simply, this is an information era. I have seen or engaged in many engineering research projects, in which without the help of computing theories and tools, no progress would be possible.


Therefore, after debating myself for a few years if I have "wasted" my time in computer science and engineering as I eventually work in a completely different area, I do not regret my choice. Indeed, I think my computer training background in a world-class school like CUHK gave me many advantages during graduate school, scholarship and job applications.