Newsletter No. 140

New Centre to Give Techno Boost to Industry T he Advanced Surface and Materials Analysis Centre, a centre which assists metal f i n i sh i ng and related manufacturers tackle practical production problems and setting operation protocols for quality control, was officially set up by the University and the Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) on the University campus on 18th January 1999. The University has been engaged in materials science research and has made significant contribution both in practical application and theory. The setting up of the centre exemplifies technology transfer f r om academia to i n d u s t ry and partnership between the two in promoting technology-intensive industry in Hong Kong. Established with grants from the Industrial Support Fund, the centre consolidates the existing facilities and expertise of the Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Electronic Engineering, and the experience of the HKPC in industrial liaison to provide user-friendly, one-stop service to manufacturers in surface analysis, reverse engineering, process and product development, quality control and assurance. The centre is equipped with state-of- the-art materials analysis machines i nc l ud i ng the X - r ay Photoelectron Spectrometer and the Scanning Auger Microscope. The centre has the active participation and support of over 20 manufacturers. Advanced surface analysis is vital to the development of high value-added manufacturing. The metal finishing and related industries yield a major portion of the gross manufacturing earnings in Hong Kong because they involve a series of high value-added processes, often for the production of critical components. Their businesses include surface finishing as well as the production of watches, jewellery, spectacle frames, batteries, magnetic devices, integrated circuit leadframes, circuit boards, computer components, and electronics components. Guests at the grand opening of the centre included Mr. Francis Ho, director- general of the Industry Department of the HKSAR, Mr. Thomas Tang, executive director of HKPC, and Prof. Arthur K.C. Li, vice-chancellor of the University. Education Conference Examines Teacher Professionalism for the Next Century A n international conference on 'New Professionalism in Teaching: Teacher Ed u c a t i on and Teacher Development in a Changing World' took place at the University from 15th to 17th January 1999. The conference was organized by the Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research and the Faculty of Education in collaboration w i th the international research network PACT (Professional Actions and Cultures of Teaching), an interdisciplinary and international network of scholars and practitioners who share a common interest in a broad range of issues affecting teaching, teachers' work, and professionalism. The theme of the conference was the multi-faceted role of teachers and the direction of their development in the rapidly changing world today. Six scholars from the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, and Hong Kong delivered keynote addresses in the plenary sessions which were broadcast live on the Internet: 'Towards a Principled Pr o f ess i ona l i sm', 'Professional Development in the US: Practices and Po l i c i es ', 'The Status o f the New Professional in Schools of the Third Millennium: Benchmarking Against the Best ill Medical Practice', 'Building an Electronic Professional Community of Teachers', 'Teacher Development and Ed u c a t i on in Ra p i d ly Ch a n g i ng Societies', and 'Professionals and Parents: Personal Adversaries or Public Allies?' Concurrent sessions for paper presentations, symposiums, and round- table discussions were held each day after the plenary sessions. New Programmes of Study T he following programmes of study have recently been approved by the University Senate: • Four-year full-time Bachelor of Education Programme in Physical Education and Sports Science for introduction in 1999-2000; • Professional Diploma Programme in Health Promotion and Health Education for introduction in January 1999; • Advanced Diploma Programme in Security Studies (Distance Education) for introduction in January 1999 by the School of Continuing Studies; and • Revised Certificate Programme in Japanese for introduction in Spring 1999 by the School of Continuing Studies. Mathematician on Mathematics as Cornerstone of Science and Technology P rof. Yau Shing-tung, professor of mathematics at Harvard University and d i r e c t or o f the I n s t i t u te o f Mathematical Sciences at The Chinese University, delivered a lecture entitled 'Mathematics and Society' on 15th January 1999 at the lecture theatre of Shaw College. The lecture was a Sir Run Run Shaw Distinguished Visiting Scholar Public Lecture. In his lecture Prof. Yau analysed the role played by mathematics in social development. He pointed out that the economy of modern society is largely i n f l u e n c ed by i n d u s t r y wh o se technological advancement requires the support of the basic sciences. And mathematics is the language of the basic sciences. Prof. Yau read mathematics at Chung Chi College and pursued postgraduate studies in the US, obtaining his Ph.D. from the University of California at the tender age of 22. Fields medallist in 1982, he was once known as the most influential world-class mathematician under 50. International Nursing Scholar Visit T he Department of Nursing recently hosted a visit from international nursing scholar, Prof. Janice Morse, the Director of the International Institute for Qu a l i t a t i ve Me t h o d o l o g y. Du r i ng her v i s it she gave research seminars and workshops to staff and guests from all over Hong Kong. Prof. Morse is celebrated for her scholarly writings on clinical research and methodology.