Newsletter No. 48

CUHK Newsletter No.48 November 1993 30th Anniversary Celebration Activities Highlights from 16 th November to 31st December • CU Open Day Date: 20th and 21 st November • Portmann Course on Functional Microsurgery of the Ear and Workshop on the 'Hong Kong Flap' in Open Mastoid Surgery Date: 22nd to 26th November Venue: Prince of Wales Hospital Organizer: Department of Surgery • 30th Anniversary Lecture: Ceo Buckminster- fullerene, the Celestial Sphere that Fell to Earth Speaker: Prof. Harold Walter Kroto, FRS School of Chemistry and Molecular Sciences, University of Sussex, UK Date: Tuesday, 23rd November Time: 4.30 p.m. Venue: Shaw College Lecture Theatre Organizer: Faculty of Science • International Symposium on Contemporary Playwriting in the Chinese Language Date: 1 St to 5th December Venue: Sir Run Run Shaw Hall Organizer: Sir Run Run Shaw Hall • 47th Congregation Date: Thursday, 9th December Time: 2.30 p.m. Venue: University Mall Nobel Laureate Lectures on the Speed and Scope of Economic Transition Over 1,000 students, staff members and guests gathered in the Sir Run Run Shaw Hall on 4th October to hear a talk on 'Economic Transition: Speed and Scope' delivered by Prof. Kenneth J. Arrow, Nobel Laureate in Economic Science. The lecture was presented by the Faculty of Social Science to commemorate the University's 30th anniversary. Prof. Arrow, Joan Kenney Emeritus Professor of Economics and Emeritus Professor of Operations Research at Stanford University, USA, is a giant in the field of modem economics. His exposition of the general equilibrium systems, his analysis of collective and social choice based on individual preferences, and his theories on production functions, optimal public investments and inventory policies have all won him international acclaim. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Science in 1972 and his influence is far-reaching. In his lecture, Prof. Arrow analysed the transition of the economies of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union along two major themes, the role of time and the role of state direction. He pointed out that even given the ultimate goal of a free market economy, there were a range of alternative immediate steps in the transition and many possibilities for the structure of the free market economy when it emerges. The speed and modalities of change in different places might be very different. He discussed the alternatives in the light of general economic theory and new developments in the theory of organization, and stressed that movement to a free economy must take time for very elementary reasons of economics. Father of Fuzzy Logic on Campus Prof Lotfi A. Zadeh, creator of the theory of fuzzy logic in 1965, gave a public lecture entitled 'Fuzzy Logic and Soft Computing: Principles, Applications and Perspectives' on 26th October at the Sir Run Run Shaw Hall. The function was organized by the Faculty of Engineering. Now Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and director of the Berkeley Initiative on Soft Computing at the University of California at Berkeley, Prof. Zadeh is still active in research on fuzzy logic and neural network theory. Fuzzy logic describes human activities, which are by nature imprecise, in a mathematical and structured way. It recognizes the fact that there are many situations where an exact, quantitative or measurable description is unnecessary, and where imperfect (or 'fuzzy') information is sufficient to guide human decisions. Present-day applications of fuzzy logic ranges from the guidance of spacecraft and robotics to the control of domestic appliances such as rice- cookers and washing machines. In his lecture, Prof. Zadeh described soft computing as a collection of computing methodologies which were effective in dealing with problems having approximate solutions. Its principal aim is to exploit the tolerance for imprecision and uncertainty to achieve tractability, robustness and low solution cost. The major constituents of soft computing are fuzzy logic, neural networks, and probabilistic reasoning. Computers armed with these elements may imitate the decision-making processes of human minds, which have the ability to summarize data and focus on decision-relevant information. Prof. Zadeh also examined recent advances in fuzzy logic and soft computing and discussed their potential applications. 2