Jimmy Lee's Homepage


Jimmy Ho Man Lee
BMath, MMath (Waterloo), PhD (Victoria), DFHKCS, FHKIE

A person wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera

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“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make a man more clever devil.”   C.S. Lewis



Jimmy Lee graduated on the Dean's Honours List with an Honours BMath degree, majoring both in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, from the
University of Waterloo, Canada, in 1987. He received his MMath degree in Computer Science in 1988 also from Waterloo. Jimmy then moved to the University of Victoria, Canada, and completed his doctoral studies in 1992 under the supervision of the late Maarten van Emden (see Maarten’s wonderful scientific blog and Jimmy’s commemoration of Maarten) in the area of constraint logic programming. During his graduate studies, he was involved in research projects funded by IBM (Canada) and the Canadian Institute of Robotics and Intelligent Systems. Upon graduation, Jimmy returned to Hong Kong and joined The Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he is now Director of the University Planning Office, Associate Head of the New Asia College, Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Professor (by courtesy) in the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management.  He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees, New Asia College and was on the University Council, CUHK during 2019-23.  In his past life, he was Associate Dean (Education) during 2019-21 and Assistant Dean (Education) during 2018-19 of the Faculty of Engineering, Graduate Division Head of Financial Technology during 2019-21, Graduate Division Head of Computer Science during 2008-11, and was in charge of the Department’s curricula and Teaching and Learning matters during 2011-14 to oversee the transition to the 334-curriculum. 


Jimmy's research focuses on the theory and practice of constraint satisfaction and optimization with applications in combinatorial optimization, scheduling, and resource allocation. In particular, he is interested in problem modeling, stochastic local search, symmetry and dominance breaking, global constraints, and over-constrained problems.  His PhD student, Allen Zhong, won the Best Student Paper Award at the 28th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming, held in Haifa, Israel, in August, 2022.  On the practical side, he joins hand with Darwin Lau and Anthony Sum to build autonomous robots in such applications as indoor hydroponic farming and painting at construction sites.  See the hydroponics robots and SLAM robot prototype running around and doing all sorts of interesting maneuver.  Another one of his fun projects results in the framework of Infinite Stream Constraint Programming (see Publications).  See the Inverted Pendulum Robot and Flying Quadrotor in action using a controller synthesized by the framework.  During the 2000s and early 2010s, he researched also on novel Web-based learning platforms and accompanying pedagogies, particularly in the design and development of educational games (take a look at Tong Pak Fu and Chou Heung: the Probabilistic Fantasy, Farmtasia, and Learning Villages).  He was the Associate Director (Research and Development) and then Director of the Center for the Advancement of Information Technology in Education during 2004-12.  Inspired by his many former good teachers from elementary school to universities, Jimmy received the University Education Award, which is the highest honour bestowed upon contributions to Teaching and Learing at the University, in 2017.  Check out the award sharing video.  He was recipient of the Vice-Chancellor’s Exemplary Teaching Award in 2005 and again in 2016 (being the only person in the Faculty of Engineering receiving the Award twice), and the Faculty of Engineering Exemplary Teaching Award for the academic years 1998-99, 1999-00, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2004-05 and 2014-15.  He was also recognized for his outstanding services with the Faculty of Engineering by the Faculty Service Award for 2003-04. 


In Collaboration with Peter Stuckey of the University of Melbourne (now at the Monash University), Jimmy has produced two MOOCs on “Basic Modeling of Discrete Optimization” and “Advanced Modeling of Discrete Optimization”.  The MOOCs are designed and developed with the Fable-based Learning pedagogy, and feature both a Chinese and English versions.  Learners will walk through an interesting fantasy based on the famous novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms (三國演義), with the teachers, while learning advanced computing technologies to solve difficult real-life problems.  The MOOCs, available both in Mandarin and English, were launched on Coursera in January, 2017.  You can take a look at the promotional videos (Mandarin and English) to find out more about the courses.  The third and latest MOOC on “Solving Algorithms for Discrete Optimization” is out.  You can check out the promotional videos (Mandarin and English) and also a paper in EAAI 2020 describing the pedagogical design and initial research studies of the MOOCs.  Both Peter and Jimmy were featured as Top Instructors on Coursera, which is an honour for the top 10 instructors in each subject domain based on the instructor ratings given by the learners.


Jimmy is a Distinguished Fellow of the Hong Kong Computer Society and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers.  He was a Convenor of the Standards Assurance Sub-Committee, Hong Kong ICT Awards during 2010-16, and was also an appointed member on the Steering Committee on Strategic Development of Information Technology in Education and the Steering Committee on Selection, Quality Assurance and Review for the e-Textbook Market Development Scheme, Education Bureau, Hong Kong SAR Government.


Besides being active in local community services, Jimmy is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Artificial Intelligence Research (AAAI Press) and Research and Practice in Technology Enhanced Learning (World Scientific), and also on the editorial board of the CONSTRAINTS journal (Springer).  He was an Associate Editor of Artificial Intelligence Review (Springer) and of the Journal of Discrete Algorithms (Elsevier) during 2005-14.  He was a founding editor of Constraint Programming News with Eric Monfroy and Toby Walsh.  Jimmy was an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Constraint Programming during 2006-09, and served as the Secretary of the Association from 2006 to 2012.  He is

§  a Senior Program Committee member of the 33rd International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI-24)

§  a Program Committee member of the 21st International Conference on the Integration of Constraint Programming, Artificial Intelligence, and Operations Research (CPAIOR 2024)

§  a Program Committee member of the 30th International Conference on Principles and Practice of Constraint Programming (CP 2024)


Jimmy was the Program Chair of CP 2011, held in beautiful Perugia (see wonderful photos taken by Helmut Simonis) and organized by Stefano Bistarelli.  He was also an Invited Speaker at CP 2023 in Toronto.


Jimmy knows he is a “well-known” scientist, but didn’t expect to be inducted “involuntarily” to be a member of the EU Academy of Sciences even when he didn’t reply to the invitation.  Ignoring it didn’t seem to work since he received a reminder!  Not sure if he should add that to his CV.


Jimmy considers himself a fairly athletic person.  Besides being a mediocre table-tennis and soccer player, Jimmy started long distance running in year 2000 as a hobby to torture his body and clean up his soul (if there is one).  His immediate next goal is to finish a full marathon under 4 hours (achieved his personal best of 4 hours 4 minutes 33 seconds painfully at the 29eme Marathon International de Paris), although his running career is in semi-hibernation now.  He also claimed the “Fastest Old Men” title (Staff Category) at the 2005 New Asia College Happy Run event (can you find him there?), dashing approximately 7.5K from the New Asia College to the Prince of Wales Hospital.  Together with his good and long-time partner, Ronald Chung, Jimmy captured the 2nd Runners-Up in the Men's Double Table-Tennis Event of the 2005 Hong Kong Teacher Tennis and Table-Tennis Competition.  Jimmy reached the peak of his totally-non-professional career by partnering with CC Ah Lung to claim the championship in the Men’s Double Event of the CUHK Staff Table-Tennis Tournament in 2011 and again in 2013.  He also captured the 4th place in the 2013 Joint U Table Tennis Invitation Match, in which the CUHK team did very well.  Look at the “angry” player in action at the 2011 Hong Kong Teacher Table-Tennis Competition, in which our CUHK team captured the team championship.  On the social side, Jimmy enjoys alcohol sampling (see the pretending connoisseur in action) and random rumbling.  Jimmy is fortunate to have many good friends and colleagues.  Besides being good companions to Jimmy in many activities, they care also about his spiritual behavior and purity with K.H. Wong presenting him the nice t-shirt.  His good colleague, K.H. Lee, gave him a bottle of ultimate sports drink for marathoners (a.k.a. Chinese vodka) to ease his training pain.


Jimmy and his wife (and another friend) had the pleasure of taking this photo with Prof. Charles Kao and Mrs. Kao, 2009 Nobel Laureate in Physics, on March 27, 2009 (half a year before the prize was announced), at the 20th Anniversary dinner of the Chinese University Women’s Organization (CUWO).


If you are bored, take a look at some of the quotes, jokes, and writings and proverbs that Jimmy has collected over the years (some in Chinese).  Please share this present with all.  Also, this Management Lesson would certainly benefit you for a lifetime.  What is the truth in the corporate world?  It depends on the viewing angle.  This amazing piece relates coffee, coffee cups, and life (read it even if you don’t like coffee).  If you are male, don’t miss this Cautionary Tale for Men (in Chinese) which teaches us all an important lesson.  Everyone has parents, and everyone should read this (in Chinese).  We don’t want to be the cause of a heart-attack (in Chinese), do we?  You may change your personal philosophy after seeing this Tibetian Monks’ sand art (in Chinese).  Are you upset today?  If so, read this (in Chinese).  The commencement address by Steve Jobs at the Stanford University tells the making of a true pioneer.  Are you the ants in this fable (Chinese and English)?  If you are nostalgic about Hong Kong, don’t miss this wonderful photo collection of Hong Kong dated back to 1946 (captions in Chinese).  How about an 8-minute video (narration in English) of 1937 Hong Kong?  This (in Chinese) will soothe you from the midlife crisis.  Jimmy teaches, and this is what his classroom is like.  Jimmy researches, and this is academic freedom.  Jimmy is a professor, and that’s what others think of him.  Jimmy learns a lot from EWD1110, in which Dijsktra commented on the unhealthy direction that the academia is heading.  Believe it or not, more can become less.  After reading this, Jimmy is speechless too.  Kind words for (big and small) teenagers.  Jimmy hopes that you will enjoy and learn from his collection as much as he did.


Department of Computer Science and Engineering
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Shatin, N.T.
Hong Kong

Phone: +852 3943-8426       Fax: +852 2603-5024


jlee ‘at’ cse.cuhk.edu.hk