Newsletter No. 230

Upcoming Anniversary Celebrations Fine Arts Alumni Exhibition 2003 An art exhibition by alumni of the CUHK Department of Fine Arts will be staged jointly by the Alumni Association of the department and the Leisure and Cultural Services Department from 22nd to 30th November 2003 at the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre at 7A Kennedy Road, Central. Prof. Ambrose King, vice-chancellor of the University, will officiate at the opening ceremony at 3.30 p.m. on 22nd November. International Conference on 'Globalization and Gender: The Implications of Global Economic Restructuring for Women in China and Southeast Asia' Date: 27th—29th November 2003 Venue: Cho Yiu Conference Hall Website: Social Work Symposium: Knowledge, Practice and Research in Chinese Societies 一 Challenges Ahead Date: 2nd-6th December 2003 Venue: LT1 Esther Lee Building Enquiries: 2609 7504/2609 7556 60th Congregation for the Conferment of Degrees Date: 4th December 2003 Venue: CUHK campus Seven distinguished persons including Dr. Raymond P.L . Kwok, Prof. Arthur K.C. Li, Mr. Anthony Neoh, Prof. Reinhard Selten, Prof. Lu Yongxiang, Prof. K.C. Yu, and Prof. Jao Tsung-I will be conferred honorary doctorates on the occasion. Details of special arrangements for congregation day can be found in the 'Announcements' column on page 4. CUHK 40th Anniversary Banquet Date: 6th December 2003 Venue: Grand Hall, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre Enquiries: 2609 8893 Please visit fo r the latest information. Br ief ing Sessions on Universi ty Finances T he University held a briefing session for all staff members on its general financial situation and the anticipated funding cut during lunch time on 4th November at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hall. The session was conducted by Prof. Ambrose K i ng, vice- chancellor of the University, in Cantonese with simultaneous interpretation for English-speakers. Some 1,000 staff members attended the function. A similar session was held on 3rd November at the Cho Yiu Conference Hall for close to a hundred department chairmen and unit heads. Prof. King said on the occasion that the University had already reduced its expenses by 10 per cent over the last six years, and annual savings to the tune of HK$47 million had been achieved as a result of the Management Efficiency Review. The government has plans to substantially reduce its funding allocation to the tertiary education sector from the year 2004-5, due mainly to an unprecedented fiscal deficit, estimated to be around HK$78 billion for 2003-4. While the University is still awaiting the actual allocation figure from the UGC, it believes that the cut would be 'not insignificant'. The cut is also likely to continue in the 2005-8 triennium. The University forecasts that it w i ll be up to HK$280 million short in 2004-5 even after reducing staff salary by six per cent in line with the civil service pay cut. To maintain its competitiveness, University management plans to implement funding cuts strategically rather than across-the-board; departments will be allowed some flexibility in deciding how to meet the budget requirements. The cuts will proceed in stages and University management will communicate with CUSA and CUTA in the process. The University w i ll be using its reserves and other income to cover any shortfall on a temporary basis in the process of the budget cut. Its principal task in the near future is extensive consultation through meetings with CUSA and CUTA and by inviting staff to submit proposals directly or through the two staff associations. When the exact allocation figure is received from the UGC, it will formulate an overall plan for implementation. Management hopes to have the support of every member of staff to ensure the University will remain competitive and the long-term well-being of itself and its students and staff will be taken care of. Prof. P.W. Liu (left), pro-vice-chancellor, and Mr. Terence Chan ( r i gh t ) . University bursar, responded to questions from the floor after Prof. King's (centre) brief. The session began at 12.45 p.m. and lasted for about one and a half hours. CUH K Create s World s Highes t Resolut ion Virtua l Huma n Researcher with a screen shot of the 3D virtual human Prof. Heng Pheng-Ann T he Un i ve r s i ty has succeeded i n making 3D reconstruction and real-time visualization of the wo r l d 's highest-resolution v i r t ual human. The breakthrough makes it possible to achieve on PC platform a highly interactive photo-realistic visualization of a virtual human reconstructed from a gigantic digital human dataset. These ultra-high resolution digital human datasets allow extremely fine anatomical details to be interactively visualized in three dimensions and can be w i de ly applied t o anatomy education, surgical simulation, virtual endoscopy, and all other human- related simulations. A virtual human is a three-dimensional human structure built by the computer. To obtain digital human data, a cadaver is dissected into many very thin layers. Scientists then take digital colour photos of the dissected layers. The data of each layer is compiled using advanced imaging technology to reconstruct a virtual human body, which consists of exactly the same anatomical structures as a real human. Within the last year, the University completed the processing of five Chinese visible human datasets originally collected by the Third Military Medical University and the First Military Medical University of China. To date, the Un i ve r s i ty has finished the reconstruction and 3D visualization of seven virtual humans (five Chinese and two American) and now possesses the largest digital human database in the world. The research project was conducted by the University Designated Strategic Research Area in Computer Assisted Medicine. Formed in 2000 and comprising over 30 faculty members, i t is led by Prof. Jack Cheng, pro-vice- chancellor, and Prof. Heng Pheng-Ann of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The team's mission is to enhance medical diagnosis, treatment, and education through original research, innovative application, and intelligent integration of new advances in computing and engineering. The team was also the first to use the Chinese visible human datasets in the development of virtual anatomy, virtual acupuncture, and virtual arthroscopy. The breakthrough was announced a t a press conference on 28th October. 1 No. 230 19th November 2003