Newsletter No. 85

Summing Up the World in a Computer: Professor fPhysics Shows How Prof. Leo P. Kadanoff, John D. MacArthur Distinguished Service Professor of Physics from the University of Chicago, gave a lecture at the University in his capacity as Wei Lun Visiting Professor on 6th March in the Lady Shaw Building. The lecture, entitled 'Little Worlds: Investigations of Reality in Computer Models with Examples Drawn from the Physical Sciences', focused on the construction of computer games which mimic patterns found in nature. Very often the physical system 一 the behaviour of liquids, gases and solids — produces patterns which show both order and chaos at the same time. These patterns can be reconstructed in the computer to help us better understand the ideas and concepts behind such natural phenomena. One example shows that a liquid's motion can be described in terms of the movement patterns of dancers in a square dance. Another instance studies the similarities among pulled taffy, splashing milk, and dripping faucets. World Renowned Accounting Academic Portrays Future of Financial Reporting Prof. Jerry J. Weygandt, Wei Lun Visiting Professor to the University and Arthur Andersen Alumni Professor of Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, gave a lecture on'FutureDirections in Financial Reporting' on 11th March in the Sino Building. In this lecture, Prof. Weygandt pointed out that the rate of change in the financial reporting environment was accelerating and that investors and creditors would want more information that can indicate future financial performance. He referred to the recommendations of a completed report, 'Improving Business Reporting — A Customer Focus: Meeting the Information Needs of Investors and Creditors', which call for the adoption of a new business reporting model. The new model should provide high-level operating and performance measurements, forward looking information, business segment perspective, and flexible reporting. Prof. Weygandt also examined current efforts underway to re- examine some of the core concepts of financial reporting and the likelihood of change. He concluded the lecture with a discussion of the possible changes that might occur in the financial reporting environment. An accounting academic inter- nationally known for his textbooks on financial accounting and reporting, Prof. Weygandt is concurrently director of the Arthur Andersen Financial Reporting and Control Center at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. In 1994-95’ he served as president of the American Accounting Association, the largest academic accounting organization in the world. He has published over 30 articles in leading academic journals, and his current research addresses issues related to how financial reporting can provide more useful information to ensure proper allocation of resources in economies. CHUNG Chi's Old EST HOSTELS G I VEN NEW Look Hua Lien Tang and Ying Lin Tang, the oldest student hostels of Chung Chi College, were officially reopened on 3rd February 1996 after being closed for renovations for two years. The hostels were built in the early fifties and the College Board of Trustees decided in 1994 to allocate over HK$15 million to upgrade their facilities, which had become obsolete and outmoded. The reopening ceremony was well attended by trustees, staff, alumni and students of the college. Officiating guests included Mr. George Hung and Dr. D. Lee Rudgard of the Board of Trustees, Prof. Rance Lee, head of the college, Mr. Vincent Chen, director of the Buildings Office, Dr. Yung Kung-hing, convener of the Student Hostel Renovation Working Committee, and wardens of the hostels, Profs. Kitty Young and Wong Kun-chun. The renovated hostels have various new facilities such as computer rooms with optic fibres connected to the campus network, a lounge on each floor, and telephone lines for individual rooms. Two Events to Ma r k Anni versary of Pao Centres for Cancer Collaboration Agreement with Peking Cancer Institute & Symposium on EBV-Related Tumours Participants of the EBV conference outside the Prince of Wales Hospital On 4th March the University's Faculty of Medicine signed a collaboration agreement with the Cancer Institute (Hospital) of Peking Union Medical College. The Institute is affiliated to the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, and was represented by director Prof. Dong Zhi Wei, and Prof. Cai Wei Ming of the Department of Radiation Oncology. The University was represented by Prof. Joseph C. K. Lee, acting dean of medicine, and Prof. Philip J. Johnson, director of the Hong Kong Cancer Institute. The agreement w i ll provide for exchange of senior teaching staff, medical staff, and postgraduate students between the partner institutions for purposes of cancer research and communication of treatment methods. There will also be exchanges of academic publications on cancer, and annual meetings to be hosted by the institutions in turn. With a graduate staff force of 300, the institute in Beijing is closely involved in defining the causes of cancer prevalent in China. Its specific areas of interest include the role of chemical agents in causing cancer of the oesophagus, and methods of preventing liver cancer in high incidence areas. The signing of the agreement was only one of the events to celebrate the first anniversary of the Sir Y. K. Pao Centre for Cancer and the Lady Pao Children's Cancer Centre at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Another celebratory event was the first annual scientific symposium on EBV-related tumours hosted by the University's Hong Kong Cancer Institute. EBV stands for the Epstein-Barr Virus, discovered in the 1960s by Dr. Barr and Dr. Epstein. The subject is particularly relevant to Hong Kong because the virus is thought to be one of the causes of nasopharyngeal cancer which is also known as the Cantonese cancer. In Southern China the virus infects nearly all children in their early years. Prof. Zeng Yi from the Institute of Virology of the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine discussed the role of EBV in nasopharyngeal cancer, reasons for the high incidence of the tumour in Southern China, as well as the development of vaccines against the virus. Prof. George Klein of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm spoke on EBV- related issues in other parts of the world. In the West, EBV infects adolescents and is known to cause glandular fever. For a small number of people, including those with AIDS, it may be responsible for cancers of the lymph glands. In parts of Africa it is believed to cause Burkitt's Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph glands in children which, if untreated, is rapidly fatal. Prof. Klein's lecture is the first of the Cheng Suen Man Shook Foundation lectures. If detected early, EBV-related tumours are likely to be cured by modem anti-cancer treatment using drugs and radiotherapy. The latest methods of detection and treatment were described by the University's doctors at the Prince of Wales Hospital. Other innovative treatment approaches which rely on enhancing the body's immune system were discussed by Prof. Richard Ambinder from Johns Hopkins University.