Alumni's Words

LAM Chi Fai David
BSc in CS 2007

Current PhD student in CSE

 

I studied in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering of CUHK for my past seven years, I have learned about computer science theories and have gained a lot of real-life practical experiences. After I got my bachelor degree, I enrolled in PhD program. I am very much delighted to apply both my knowledge and experiences in the world-class high impact Bioinformatics researches.

LI Shun Pun
BSc in CS 2011

Current M.Phil. student in CSE

 

During the past few years in CUHK, I have learnt many things from my study and got the opportunities to participate in different activities and international competitions. It really made my student life meaningful. Compare with other majors, Computer Science is really hard. When the others are enjoying their holidays, mostly likely, we still cope with projects and assignments. Undoubtedly, coding and debugging became part of our life and took away much of our spare time. But I believe the solid training is a key to success in the future.

CHAN Tsui Ying
BSc in CS 2010

 

Time flies and this is already the forth year I have in CUHK.

 

It was the beautiful campus and the well-equipped computer lab. that amazed me and explained my decision of making studying in the Department of CSE of CUHK my first choice when I was a F6 student.

 

The professors of CUHK are friendly and are never tired of making the explanations on the syllabus detailed to us not only in class, but are also willing to discuss with us the technological knowledge beyond the syllabus after class as long as we ask. Living in hostel is such a wonderful experience to me. It is not a place simply provides me with somewhere to sleep. Frankly, it is my second home. The memories of shooting the breeze with mates in hostel, preparing meals together and urging the fighting spirits of one another made them my family. Amazing activities in hostel like 'Chinese dessert party', the Sports Festival and so forth are really the highlights of our campus life.

 

What is more, I was an exchange student in Miami, the U.S for 1 year. That was indeed a fruitful year considering my greatly improved English and having experience on different activities like Dragon boat race, Bamboo dance competition and live soccer games, of which are hard to have a taste of in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, I realized some differences on study culture between students of Hong Kong and the U.S. Hong Kong students are doing better than their counterparts in the U.S in terms of cleverness. However, our friends there outdo us concerning their spontaneousness of asking, answering questions and even challenging on those told by the professors. The students learn better and faster after having discussions. I do reckon thinking and discussions facilitate a solider foundation and make the use of knowledge flexible. Honk Kong students should not have taken what they have learnt for granted if they want to learn better and faster.

 

CUHK is such an amazing university. I hope you would join our big family and makes every day counts in here.

YU Shuang
BSc in CS 2010

 

My first year in CUHK dates back to 2006. Professors in CUHK are not only excellent instructors on our academics; they meanwhile are supporters for us giving much advice and care to our daily life issues. The campus provides with us loads of opportunities to exchange. For example, I went to University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign for exchanging in 2009. There, I did experience on the serious atmosphere of study of a foreign institute and how Americans emphasize team spirit and cooperation. These experiences encourage self-reflection and comparison to my own culture. It turns out like I am proud of my culture and push me onto the way towards self-progression.

WONG Chi-Wing Raymond
BSc 2002, MPhil 2004, PhD 2008

Assistant Professor
Department of Computer Science and Engineering
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

 

CUHK has the largest university campus in Hong Kong. I pursued my undergraduate and postgraduate studies under this green environment. I still remember the fresh air and the shiny sunshine along "Million Boulevard" with lots of trees. During my studies at CUHK, I was very delighted to meet many good friends. They gave me a joyful and wonderful time in my research.I was really lucky to meet with my supervisor, Prof. Ada Fu.She not only taught me how to conduct research but also gave me a lot of advices in my life.

FOK Ka Ling
2005

HSBC
System Analyst Programmer

 

We needed to solve different problems every day. Programming and papers were just two of many. What is considered the most difficult to learn would also be the most challenging in this department. We learned not only computer knowledge, but also a great variety of skills. Teamwork and writing the final year project facilitated my overall personal development. Professors and tutors, who encouraged more sharing and communication of students outside the classroom, were nice to us. What is more, numerous activities were held by the department and C.S. Cup was my favourite since I could play electronic games, badminton and tug of war in it. To put it in a nutshell, my journey of learning in this department was full of fun.

WONG H. Y. Starsky
BSc 2000, MPhil 2002

Research Staff Member
IBM T.J. Watson Research

 

I am working in the wireless networking group in IBM T.J. Watson Research. IBM Research is an exciting place to work with as I can interact with so many talents around the world. After many years of studying and working aboard, I consider joining CUHK CSE department was the best decision I made in my life. CSE department provided me a world-class education and research experience, which helped me a lot in different aspects such as applying school, job hunting and conducting research. I would like to encourage all the CSE students to 'work hard, play hard' as I can guarantee you will never regret.

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.

SO King Yan Oldfield
MPhil 1999

Vice Chairman
Hong Kong Linux Industry Association

 

I graduated in 1997 and I guess most of you would share the same feeling; I did not want to leave such a wonderful place at the time. So, I took the plunge and enrolled in my Masters studies. Of course, I did not make a wrong choice and I learned a lot during my stay in graduate school. Now, I'm working in a company specializing in Linux, and am a vice chairman of the Hong Kong Linux Industry Association. If you asked me why Linux, I would tell you that back in the summer of 1996, I was motivated by a final year project from Prof. John Lui. Being strongly attracted to the fun of kernel hacking with my close friend Peter Tam, approached Prof. Lui immediately after our examination fearing that someone else might take this project before we did. Later we found that no one else was interested. You're right, not everyone wants to be a kernel hacker.

 

At CUHK, you can find your way to your own unique interest and better yet, you have great opportunities and guidance to further develop it! It was definitely a very important first step.

David K. Y. Yau
BSc 1989 (New Asia)

Associate Professor of Computer Science, Purdue University
Distinguished Scientist, Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore

 

When I started college, computers were a novelty, and I knew little about them. I only knew that if you entered the tricky "right" commands, they would give you the "right" results. Armed with that faith, I set out to assert human superiority and intellect over these willful machines. The journey was at times excruciating. In Year 2, I must have spent the longest sleepless bout in my life for work when we worked on a DBMS that would manage investment portfolios. I scarcely knew about investments or portfolios, but that didn't stop us from producing something with layers of flashy pull down menus and cool soft buttons. That was my idea of computing.

 

Fast forward to Year 4. My classmate ``Mr. Chan'' and I picked an expert system project that would classify the surface geographical features of planet Earth. It was my most extended attempt yet to produce something by independent study. We pored through a book by Zadeh and a few other cryptic papers on ``expert systems'' and ``fuzzy logic.'' All of a sudden our daily vocabulary included these terms and others like ``backward chaining.'' We were also fortunate to have two expert advisors (most students had only one!) in Professors KS Leung and Yee Leung . After months of programming, we were overjoyed when, on feeding satellite GIS data for Hong Kong into our system, a map resembling Hong Kong would actually appear, complete with all the plausible surface features -- foliage, soil, water, whatnot!

 

As I became nostalgic with ``deep intellectual inquisition'' while working as Management Associate, I remembered how we had produced the GIS expert system and decided that I wanted to become a bona fide ``computer scientist.'' In graduate school, I would learn more about computational complexity, computability, and Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. I would understand that our expert system, despite what we thought it could do, could be incredibly inefficient and might not even produce any meaningful results at all. Much more important than our novice expert system, computing in general has significant inherent limitations. But then, from the Internet to Google and Facebook, to the IBM machine that mastered Jeopardy!, computing did change the world, didn't it? I think I have learned that, although things in theory are always so predictably gloomy, there is always enough to be found and done in practice that could make a big, big difference.

 

It's interesting that this realization all started for me at CUHK. It occurred during one of the most carefree periods of my life. It was when my classmates and I would study in the library together, cook instant noodles for late night snack together, stay up all night to watch France beat Brazil in a classic World Cup quarterfinal together, go backpacking in Europe for two months together, and shared serious thoughts, juicy stories, and stupid jokes alike together.

Cambridge Wong
BSc 1982

Managing Director
Wealth Bridge Asia Ltd.

 

Cambridge was a graduate of the first graduation year of the Department of CSE. The whole thing was no easy task since there were both 1 and 2-year preparatory course then. Cambridge chose the latter one but was not able to attain the offer he wanted after the exam. After working for a short while and self-studying for a year, he attained flying colors in the exam. Still, he was not able to make it as there were only 12 offers in the department that year. Cambridge said he was lucky to take a senior's advice to approach the university directly and was finally admitted, though the process was not without hurdles.

 

Cambridge worked in the EDP department of Jardine Matheson group and later in Digital, Town Gas, etc after graduation. Not long, Jardine Matheson group was to set up a foundation and Cambridge was recommended as a computer expert by his former superior to the group. He became the supervisor there for 16 years. Thanks to the restructuring of the economy and different enterprises, Cambridge proposed to the company the plan of privatization of the departments and services he was in charged of. The proposal was made based on Cambridge's years of experience and accurate sense to the market. It could then lessen the financial burden of the company whilst to give a chance for his team to develop their business. With the consent and support of the company, Cambridge kicked off his own business and it became a turning point of his career. Having several international financial institutions under contracts with him within only a year proved his insight and decision. (more...)