Newsletter No. 122

BA STUDENTS WIN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION AS FIRST-TIMERS Four students f r om the Faculty of Business Administration won the 17th McIntire International Case Competition (MICC) held in the US on 21st February. One of the most prestigious competitions for undergraduate business students, the MICC is organized by the McIntire School of Commerce at the University of Virginia and sponsored by the General Electric Fund. Previous competitions have received extensive coverage by the Wall Street Journal and other business periodicals. CUHK is the first and only university from Asia to have been invited to take part in the competition. Participants this year also included the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Carolina, the University of Dublin, and Queen's University. Each team was given 14 hours to tackle a case prepared by the McIntire professors, after which it had to produce a written solution and present it orally in 20 minutes. On the CUHK team were Julie Cheng (marketing), Venus Ho (finance), Anne Tse (finance), and Carol Wong (finance), with Prof. Danny Cheng as their adviser. International Conference Probes How Asian Educational Systems Should be Restructured An international conference was held from 12th to 14th February on campus to explore how Asian countries should reshape their education systems in response to the phenomenon of information explosion and the globalization of economies. Entitled 'Restructuring the Knowledge Base of Education in Asia', the function was jointly organized by the CUHK Faculty of Education and the Hong Kong Institute of Educational Research. It provided a f o r um for scholars, educationalists, and policy makers in the region to share information and insights on how Asian countries should develop their human resources, upgrade the quality of their labour force, and enhance the capability of their education systems to meet the challenges of the new century. The conference was held as part of the 35th Anniversary Celebration Programme of the University as well as to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Educational Journal. Keynote speakers included Prof. Leslie N . K. Lo of The Chinese University, Prof. Zhou Nanzhao of the China National Institute for Educational Research, Prof. Hidenori Fujita of the University of Tokyo, Prof. Yang Shen- keng of Taiwan Normal University, and Prof. Park Young Shin of Inha University in South Korea. New Findings on the Relat ionship Between Peptic Ulcers, H Py l o r i , and NSA I Ds Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine have recently found that the eradication of Helicobacter pylori (HP) bacteria before the use of non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) reduces the occurrence of NSAID-induced peptic ulcers, and may be the most cost-effective measure to prevent gastroduodenal ulcers in patients who take NSAIDs to treat muscoloskeletal pain. Peptic ulcers caused by NSA ID therapy is a healthcare issue world-wide, and HP is present in about 50 per cent of patients with NSAID-associated ulcer disease. To understand the pathogenic role of HP in this disease, the researchers recruited a group of patients who required NSAID treatment but had had no previous exposure to such drugs. Those with HP infection but no pre-existing ulcers on endoscopy were randomly given naproxen (a kind of NSAID) alone for eight weeks, or triple-therapy (to cure HP infection) for one week before naproxen treatment. Endoscopy was repeated after eight weeks, or when naproxen treatment was stopped early because of bleeding or serious abdominal pain. Results reveal that HP infection was eradicated in none in the naproxen group, but in 89 per cent of patients in the triple- therapy group. In the former group, 26 per cent developed ulcers, whereas in the latter group, only 7 per cent developed the condition. Researchers are thus led to believe that HP infection increases the predisposition of NSA ID users to develop ulcers, and that HP eradication could protect them from developing the disease. The CUHK research team comprises Profs Francis Chan, Joseph Sung, Sydney Chung, K.F. To, M.Y. Yung, Vincent Leung, Y.T. Lee, Cynthia Chan, Edmund Li, and Jean Woo. Their research findings have been presented in several international conferences and were recently published in The Lancet. New Asia -Yale Student Exchange Eight New Asia students spent two weeks in the US exploring gender issues under the fifth New Asia- Yale University Student Exchange Programme. Between 24th January and 7th February, they presented papers on sexual discrimination and harassment at a symposium held at Yale University and exchanged views w i th different student groups. They also visited relevant organizations such as the Permanent Commission on the States of Women and Planned Parenthood, and toured the cities of New York and Washington D.C. Yale students will return the visit this month. PERSONAl NEWS SERVICE ( P N S ) for IT USERS The Information Ne two r k i ng Laboratories of the University has developed a new tool for handling the colossal amount of information available to users of the Internet. The tool, PNS, was displayed at the Hong Kong Information Infrastructure Expo and Conference held last month at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. PNS collects information from all sorts of news homepages, local and overseas, and traces such information automatically. When used with a full-text searching system, also developed by CUHK, PNS can search and sort materials according to the commands of users and send relevant details to them via the Internet, e-mail, or fax. PNS can also analyse and categorize news according to key phrases chosen by individual users. This is done automatically with 100 per cent accuracy.