Bulletin Spring‧Summer 2001

Area of Excellence in IT One of Three UGC-Supported AoEs in Hong Kong 1999 ' A r ea of Excellence in IT', an equal partnership project undertaken by The Chinese University, the University of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, is one of the first three projects selected by the University Grants Committee in1999 for funding support under the Area of Excellence (AoE) scheme. The project's mission is to assist the transformation of Hong Kong into an IT society with a strong value-added economy, and it vows to achieve this aim by making Hong Kong one of the top-notch centres of IT research, and by actively promoting IT education, services, and relevant technology transfer. The project will be allocated HK$51 million over the course of five years, from 2000 to 2005. Prof. Liew Soung Chang Three-Track Programme The p r o j e ct has three ma i n t r a c k s : m u l t i m e d i a t e c h n o l o g i e s, I n t e r n e t applications, and networking research . The C U H K c o - d i r e c t or is Prof. L i e w Soung Chang, while the CUHK coordinators for the three tracks are respectively Prof. Jack Lee, Prof. Wong Wing-shing, and Prof. Tony Lee, , all from the Faculty of Engineering . There is also an ad v i s o ry board c o n s i s t i ng o f members from industry and academia whose role is to ensure that all research conducted is o f relevance to industry. Network is the focus of all three tracks, w i th each targeting different aspects. The first track, multimedia, w i l l focus on video: delivery o f video-on-demand (VoD), video conferencing, and delivery of applications on t h e n e t . T h e s e c o n d t r a c k , I n t e r n e t applications, w i l l concentrate on bilingual (Chinese/English) search engines and speech recognition processing, and the delivery o f high-end applications on the Internet . The third track, networking research, w i l l focus on l ow - end applications such as networ k protocols and network infrastructure. In the year 2000, 12 projects are funded u n d er the s c heme. M a n y e n d e a v o u r s IT: The Name of the Game 11