Newsletter No. 260

CUHK Teams up wi th Microsoft Dr. Hon Hsiao-wuen (left) and Prof. Lawrence Lau T he Microsoft-CUHK Joint Laboratory for Human-Centric Computing and Interface Technologies was inaugurated at the Un i v e r s i ty on 4 th Ma y 2005. Officiating guests included Prof. Lawrence J. Lau, vice-chancellor of the University, Dr. Hon Hsiao-wuen, assistant managing director of Microsoft Research Asia, Prof. Andrew Yao, Turing Award winner and distinguished professor-at-large of the University, and Prof. Peter Yum, dean of the CUHK Faculty of Engineering. CUHK and Microsoft Research Asia have had a long-standing academic and research relationship. The founding of the joint laboratory will further draw upon the research strengths of both to develop innovative human-centric computing and interface technologies that improve the quality of life. The laboratory w i ll strive to p r omo te c o l l a b o r a t i on be tween academia and the information technology industry, provide leading research infra- structure, and nurture talent. The essence o f human - c en t r ic computing and interface technologies is to enhance user-computer interaction by imitating the natural modalities of human communication. The novel technologies endow the computer with the ability to 'see', 'hear' and 'sense' the user. It can also generate i n s t ant mu l t i me d ia messages. These technologies make computers more user-friendly, accessible, and applicable to daily life. Prof. And r ew Yao w i l l serve as chairman of the International Advisory Board of the new facility. Other members of the advisory board include Prof. Fred Juang, Mo t o r o la Founda t i on Chair Professor and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar, School of Electrical and Computing Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology; and Prof. Victor Zue, professor of electrical engineering and computer science and co - d i r ec t o r, Comp u t er Science and A r t i f i c i a l Intelligence Laboratory, M I T. Dr. Hon Hsiao-wuen and Prof. Peter Yum will serve as managing directors of the laboratory. New Treatment for IschaemicHeart Disease I schaemic heart disease is the second top killer in Hong Kong, just after cancer. Every year, about 4,000 people die from the disease in the territory. Ischaemic heart disease is caused by atherosclerosis of the vessels in the body, a process characterized by the thickening of the arteries with deposition of 'plaques' inside the vessel wall. Therefore one of the main targets of treatment is to limit the amount of atherosclerotic plaque formation in arteries. For the past decade, the D i v i s i on of Cardiology of the Un i ve r s i ty has been i n the forefront of research on ischaemic heart disease and its therapy. One of the new treatment strategies is drugs that l i m it atherosclerotic plaque formation in arteries. A recent study by the d i v i s i on f o u nd that this can be achieved by high dose statin therapy. S t a t i n is a d r ug t h at can l o w e r cholesterol level. When administered to patients with ischaemic heart disease in different regiments, it was found that a high dose regimen not only prevented atherosclerotic plaque formation in the m a j o r a r t e r y , b u t was a b le to s i g n i f i c a n t ly r eg r ess the p l a q ue thickness by nearly 10 per cent. By contrast, a low dose regimen could only prevent the progression of the disease. The findings, the first of their kind in the world, were recently confirmed by an international multicentre trial, the results of which were announced at the annual s c i e n t i f ic me e t i ng o f the American College of Cardiology. JLGIS Leads Effort to Map Hong Kong's Terrestrial Habitat The J o i n t L a b o r a t o r y f o r Geolnformation Science (JLGIS) has completed a study to update Hong Kong's terrestrial habitat mapping and ranking based on conservation value using the latest remote sensing and geospatial data and data collected from field surveys. The four-month study was commissioned by the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) of the Administration Wing of the HKSAR government. The research team consisted of teaching staff, technicians, surveyors, and graduate and undergraduate students f r om the Chinese Un i v e r s i t y, and partners. The key deliverables of the study included a D i g i t al Terrestrial H a b i t a t M a p and C o n s e r v a t i on Assessment Map of Hong Kong based on 2004 SPOT satellite image and other geospatial data, and an expansive field database of 370 sites surveyed throughout Hong Kong land territory. The study provides the most up-to- date information on habitat types and conversation values for Hong Kong. The habitat map allows for quantification and assessment of existing natural habitats and study of its status and trends when c omp a r ed w i t h the h a b i t at maps developed i n previous studies. The conservation map for each habitat portrays areas in detail with various levels of conservation status, and provides useful data for sustainability assessment. T h e f i e l d d a t a b a s e a l s o contains information on plant species and communities as well as the importance of conserving various habitat types. There are also panoramic photos of each site surveyed. Talk on Broadening Student Mix M rs. Grace Chow, Director of Admissions and Financial A i d of the Chinese University, gave a presentation on the topic 'Vision and Mission of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Broadening of Its Student Mi x: Prospects and Challenges' at the 73rd Anniversary Luncheon Meeting of the Y's Men's Club of Hong Kong at the Manda r in Oriental on 5th May 2005. From left: Mr. Tony Chan, retired president (1985-86, 1996-97) of Y's Men's Club; Mrs. Grace Chow, and Mr. C h a r l e s C h u , r e t i r e d president (1987-88) of Y's Men's Club UC Alumni Reunite over Tea F orty-five United College alumni working for different units at the University attended a tea gathering organized by the college on 19th Ap r il 2005 at the UC Staff Common Room. It was a very warm occasion where many participants were r eun i t ed w i t h t he ir formers classmates. Prof. Fung Kwo k - pui (left 2 ), college head, b r i e f ed them on recent developments in alumni affairs o f the c o l l e ge and appealed to them to continue supporting the college. 2 No. 260 19th May 2005