Newsletter No. 195

2 No. 195 4th January 2002 CUHK Newsletter UN-sponsored Workshop on Natural Disaster Management O ver 20 government officials and professionals from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Benin, mainland China, and Hong Kong participated in the International Training Workshop on Natural Disaster Management Using Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies. The workshop was organized by the CAS-CUHK Joint Laboratory for Geoinformation Science from 7th to 16th December 2001 as part of China's international aid programme for developing countries in Asia. The coorganizers included the International Institute of Spatial Information Technology, the National Remote Sensing Centre of China, and the Hong Kong Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing. The function was sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission. The 10-day workshop comprised lectures and system demos on remote sensing and GIS applications on monitoring and managing disaster weather, floods, earthquakes and landslides, forestry disasters, and draught. The speakers were from CUHK, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Hong Kong Observatory, Hong Kong Baptist University, the Asian Institute of Technology, and other research centres in China. Prof. Yeung Yue-man (front row, left 3), head of Shaw College and an academic adviser to UNESCO, gave a welcoming speech at the opening ceremony. The participants were also given technical tours to the Hong Kong Observatory and the Geotechnical Engineering Office of the HKSAR Government. Empowering the Wor ld wi th Knowledge of Health M edical and health experts from Hong Kong, the mainland, Taiwan, Macau, and Europe participated in two events organized by the Centre for Health Education and Health Promotion of the Faculty of Medicine and Chung Chi College on 7th and 8th December. The events were aimed at promoting academic exchange among medical professionals on the issue of health promotion, and strengthening Hong Kong's role as a bridge between the East and the West. The underlying concept was that health education should be promoted to enable people to understand the determinants of their health, so that they can take control of them. A t the Conference on Healthy Cities and Health Promoting Universities held on the first day in the Esther Lee Building, keynote speeches were delivered by Dr. Hisashi Ogawa, representative from the World Health Organization, Prof. John Ashton, Regional Director of Public Health, North West Region of England, Dr. Chen Jingen of the Jiading District Health Bureau of Shanghai, Prof. Eileen Martin and Prof. Mark Dooris of the University of Central Lancashire, and Prof. S.H. Lee, chairman of the Steering Committee of Health Promotion on Campus at CUHK. Officiating at the opening ceremony were also Prof. Arthur K.C. Li, vice-chancellor of the University, Prof. Yin Dakui, vice-minister of health of the PRC, Ms. Shelly Lee, Director of Home Affairs of the HKSAR Government, Prof. Sydney Chung, dean of the Faculty of Medicine, and Prof. Rance Lee, head of Chung Chi College. At the Symposium on Health Education and Health Promotion, held on the second day in the Sino Building, local primary and secondary school representatives joined the speakers to discuss their experience in developing health education. Officiating guests were Mr. Anthony Tong, deputy director of the Education Department, Dr. Ko Wing-man, Director of Professional Services and Public Affairs of the Hospital Authority, Dr. Regina Ching, Assistant Director of Health, and Prof. Maurice Mittelmark, president of the International Union of Health Promotion and Education. Keynote speeches were delivered by Prof. Mittelmark and Dr. Alysoun Moon of the Wessex Institute for Health Research and Development, University of Southampton. The prizes for the Logo Design Competition of the Hong Kong Healthy Schools Award were also presented at the symposium. Understanding How the Brain Works D ifferent brain areas do not function independently. Even a simple task involves the synchronous operations of several areas. To promote research on such linkages w i t h in the brain, a t wo - day wo r kshop was o r gan i zed by the Depa r tment o f Psychology on 14th and 15th December last year. The theme of the workshop was the study of brain synchronization with EEG, or electroencephalography, a technique to aid people w i t h neuromuscular diseases. The event was sponsored by Chung Chi College in celebration of her 50th anniversary, and it took place in the Sino Building. Prof. Walter Freeman of the University of California at Berkeley and Dr. Joydeep Bhattacharya of the Austrian Academy of Science and the California Institute of Technology were invited to speak at the workshop. Prof. Freeman discussed the nature of brain waves and Dr. Bhattacharya gave an overview of the nonlinear analysis of brain waves. Researchers in the field from Hong Kong and the mainland also joined the overseas scholars in the discussion. Biochemistry Department Celebrates 30th Birthday T he Department of Biochemistry invited all alumni to a homecoming visit on 1st December in celebration of her 30th anniversary in 2001. The celebratory programmes included two guest lectures by Prof. W.W. Tso and Mr. Y.L. Lo on 'Biochemical Weapons' and 'Business Opportunities in the Biosciences' respectively, a guided tour of the department, and, the highlight of the day, a homecoming banquet attended by close to 300 biochemistry staff and alumni. A special 30th anniversary magazine, with old class pictures and articles contributed by the past and present chairmen and alumni of the department, was also published to mark the occasion. English Department Organizes New Drama Contest T he drama scene at the University is very much alive and kicking. Apart from the annual Intercollegiate Drama Competition organized by the four colleges, and the contributions to local theatre of Sir Run Run Shaw Hall, there is now the Andrew Parkin Drama Cup, which wi ll be held every year. The idea for the event originated from Prof. David Parker, chairman of the Department of English. The department has always harboured a strong interest in drama, and a competition wi ll provide a good opportunity to enhance the practical awareness of drama in performance, and improve the spoken English and self-confidence of the participants. Prof. Parker discussed and developed the idea with other members of the department and finally decided on an annual contest that is open to all English majors and minors with teams, one from each college, being formed on the basis of voluntary interest. The decision was also made to name the contest after Emeritus Professor Andrew Parkin, former chair of the department and a distinguished scholar in poetry and drama, who retired in 2000. The four teams rehearsed rather intensively over the period of a month, with some coaching thrown in from Prof. Joanna Williams and Prof. Peter Crisp of the Department of English, and tutors from Yale University who were attached to the department. Then on the evening o f 31st October, they presented the audience at Sir Run Run Shaw H a l l w i t h t h e i r renditions of the plays of their own choice: Chung Chi with an excerpt f r om Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, United with another piece from the Bard, Romeo and Juliet, New Asia with The Applicant by H a r o l d P i n t e r, E n g l i sh p l a y w r i g h t k n o wn f o r h is 'comedies of menace', and Shaw, the winning team, wi th 'Maybe Lady', a free adaptation of Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of awards by none other than Prof. Parkin himself who had flown in from Paris to attend the competition and give out the awards. It was a moving occasion for both the audience and the participants. The event was very much a joint effort between the department and the staff of Sir Run Run Shaw Hall, who made available to the students their expertise and equipment. The experience taught the students a lot about the technical aspects of dramatic performance. Prof. Peter Crisp, teacher-in-charge of the contest, pointed out that although the department has been offering courses in drama, they do not involve practical performance skills, and it is something they would like to develop in the future. The winning team, Judges, guests and professors of the English Department. Third from the left is Prof. Andrew Parkin.