Citations for the Recipients of the Michael Gale Medal

Prof Joseph LIAN
~ 1994 Medalist

"A gifted and motivated teacher, Dr Lian is devoted to his students and their well-being. He has inspired enthusiasm in his students and continues to give of his time and energies unselfishly. Dr Lian has shown continued pursuit of excellence in his teaching and curriculum development."


Prof Kin-Yin LI
~ 1995 Medalist

"Dr Li is noted for his clear explanations of difficult concepts. His enthusiasm shows itself in his caring attitude towards students and extends beyond his classroom to 'extracurricular' teaching through publication of the Mathematical Excalibur, a newsletter for students filled with mathematical puzzles and games, combined with entertaining discussions of serious mathematics. Dr Li has also been active in coaching bright secondary school students in the International Mathematical Olympiad. An unsolicited comment from a student evaluation form sums up Dr Li from the student's perspective: 'He treats every student very well. He is patient and his goodness is beyond words.' "

~ 1996 Medalist

"Dr Mark James Davidson is a pioneer in the development of multimedia materials as a lecturing medium. His success in this area has resulted in his selection by his department to spearhead its contribution to a major institutional project on multimedia teaching tools in Civil Engineering education.

Dr Davidson's teaching is best expressed by the term 'dedication.' His commitment to his craft is evident in teaching at all levels - undergraduate, postgraduate, and in the supervision of research. He brings to his profession a fusion of traditional student-teacher mentoring and the latest in technological support for student learning."


Prof Kimberly CHANG
~ 1997 Medalist

"As a member of the School of Humanities and Social Science, Dr Chang is one of a dedicated group helping to produce graduates with a broad education, aware of the world around them.

Dr Chang's strength as a teacher is her ability to encourage students to bring their own experience as young men and women growing up in Hong Kong into their social science classes at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In doing so, she strives to encourage critical and analytical thinking and an awareness of the society around them. Her teaching does more than inform - it stimulates personal growth and insight among her students."


~ 1998 Medalist

"As a graduate student, Dr Ben Letaief was honored as the best graduate instructor at Purdue University. At UST, he has won the School of Engineering's Teaching Excellence award not once or twice, but three times.

As an outstanding teacher, Dr Ben Letaief reminds us that a dedication to teaching is inseparable from a commitment to research. In his own words, 'active research has a major impact on effective teaching, and good teaching and good active research go hand-in-hand. I do not really differentiate between research and teaching. Where is the border line?' With a teacher and scholar of this caliber, we have every reason to be confident that, while we have no higher honor to bestow upon him for teaching, he will continue to bring honor to us through his scholarship, dedication, and commitment to our students."


Prof Che-Ting CHAN
~ 1999 Medalist

"Dr C. T. Chan is an outstanding example of the complete scholar: distinguished teacher, excellent researcher, and active participant in the life of his Department and the University. Noted for his enthusiasm, patience, and friendliness, his courses have been well received by students. They often attract larger enrolments than expected, and also attract students who audit the courses simply for the opportunity to learn. He has been successful at every level of teaching, from introductory courses for non-majors, to challenging courses for third-year Physics majors, to postgraduate courses and the supervision of research students.

Dr Chan has made use of all the tools available to him, including the APLE (Active Physics Learning Environment) studios and the Classtalk ™ system - predecessor of the Personal Response System (PRS) recently developed at HKUST. But whatever the methods, his courses have clear objectives and his aim is to help students develop an intuitive understanding of the subject - learning through discovery rather than by memorizing equations and formulas.

Dr C. T. Chan is superb example of how good teaching can remain a central concern of an established scholar in mid-career."


Prof Kam-Ming YIP
~ 2000 Medalist

"Since coming to HKUST in 1995, Dr Yip's teaching has been exceptionally well received by students, as measured by her formal evaluation results. In ten semesters of teaching, she has compiled an average score of nearly 87 on the question asking for an overall rating of the instructor. Her courses have ranged from HUMA 071, a very popular introductory course called 'The Art of Thinking' through postgraduate courses in Daoist metaphysics and theories of language. Her evaluation results for classes of 100-200 students are as high as most of those for smaller classes. Dr Yip has also played an important role in the Division of Humanities' effort to improve teaching, and organized a day-long workshop attended by most of the Division's faculty.

An examination of what Dr Yip does in the classroom reveals how she achieves these results. Her classes are lively and full of interaction with the students. She manages to put concepts in a context to which her students can relate - a context in which they are eager to contribute their own ideas. To paraphrase one of the Selection Committee members, we can imagine ourselves, with enough hard work and dedication, doing as well in our teaching as most of the candidates for this award. But few of us have the gift to do what Dr Yip manages to do. As another member said, 'She can reach the soul of the students.'

One aspect of Dr Yip's teaching that should be noted is that she has been using Chinese as a medium of instruction. Her courses were approved by the School of Humanities and Social Science, under procedures approved by the Senate, along with a number of other courses in Humanities, as exceptions to the general policy that English is the medium of instruction. The success she has had in these classes demonstrates the wisdom of the decision made by the Senate when it approved the request of the School to offer some of its courses in Chinese. However, it would be mistake to assume that Dr Yip has been so successful simply because of the language in which she has taught. The kind of talent she displays is rare in any language, in any classroom, in any university."


Prof Andrew B. HORNER
~ 2001 Medalist

Prof Horner earned his PhD from the University of Illinois in 1993 and joined the faculty of HKUST as an Assistant Professor in the same year. Having come to HKUST just after completion of his doctorate, Prof Horner can be regarded as a "home grown" product in the classroom.

He arrived as a relatively inexperienced teacher, but hard work and genuine dedication transformed him into a teaching phenomenon who scores in the 90th percentile in large lecture classes teaching material that some (including his wife) have described as "dry and boring." He is living proof that this research-intensive university can, not only nurture, but also nourish, a great teacher.

His philosophy is simple: putting students first. Living that philosophy requires hard work, but Prof Horner seems to feel it is worth it. In his own words:

'The students appreciate the innumerable acts of kindness that express respect: listening with attention, remembering what it was like to be a beginning programmer, not speaking harshly or jumping to unkind conclusions. If I put students first, all the other right things follow naturally-helping students in labs, making interesting and creative assignments, making stimulating lecture notes, and finding ways to make the lecture more fun.

Putting students first means respecting them when they fall short of my expectations and maintaining an even-minded detachment even when they are rebellious.

Putting students first makes it relatively easy to maintain a successful balance between teaching and research. Although it takes a little more time to teach well, it takes less energy than to struggle through it, leaving energy to reinvest in research.'

This approach has earned Prof Horner his School's teaching award four times, selection by the students as one of the Best 10 Lecturers twice, and three nominations for the Michael Gale award. It is fitting to reward this third nomination with his selection for the Michael G Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching.


Prof Robert G. FERGUSON
~2002 Medalist

Professor Ferguson earned his PhD from the University of Minnesota in 1996 and joined the faculty of HKUST as an Assistant Professor in the same year.

Professor Ferguson teaches courses in the interdisciplinary area of science, technology and society (STS). His teaching spans the full range, from a very large undergraduate lecture class to supervision of postgraduate students. His introductory course, SOSC 111, is one of our largest classes, and consistently achieves high student evaluation scores for any course, quite remarkable for a class of nearly 400. However, it is often said that the best measure of a teacher's effectiveness is not the evaluation conducted at the end of a semester, but his long-term impact on his students' lives. The support for Professor Ferguson from recent HKUST graduates gives strong evidence of his impact in this area. His supporters include a young woman who longed to become an aircraft engineer and, having met Professor Ferguson through SOSC 111, went to him for help in preparing for a highly competitive job interview. She eventually got the job, beating out applicants from Hong Kong and overseas. In her own words:

"I believe that the teacher-student relationship should extend beyond the classroom. A teacher's value to students depends not only on pure knowledge transfer, but also on his advice and guidance. To me, Professor Ferguson is a generous advisor who helped my dream come true."

As for where his commitment and dedication come from, Professor Ferguson tells us:

"I suppose it does not need an explanation, but I teach because the students make it extremely rewarding. There are many things in life that do not turn out as advertised. But our students surprised me, and continue to do so. Teaching them has been one of the most profound and indelible experiences of my life."

This attitude earned Professor Ferguson his School's teaching award in 1998, selection by the students as one of the Best 10 Lecturers in 1999, special mention in the competition for the Michael Gale award in 2001, and now the Medal itself in 2002.


Prof Vidhan K. GOYAL
~2003 Medalist

Professor Goyal earned his PhD in Finance from the University of Pittsburgh in 1994 and joined the HKUST faculty in 1995. For successive years since 1996, he has been chosen to receive his School’s annual teaching award.

Professor Goyal’s contributions are, in some ways, atypical of those of many of the past winners of the Medal, who have been honored particularly for their ability to motivate students in large classroom settings. In contrast, Professor Goyal has taught mostly advanced undergraduate and postgraduate courses in finance, which have smaller enrolment sizes. The natural motivation of students on these advanced courses can reduce the pressure on their teachers to make the extra effort needed to inspire them to deeper learning and full intellectual development. It is in making this extra effort, and achieving outstanding results as a consequence, that Professor Goyal excels.

His approach is to start with an applied problem, a case study, a real world situation, and relate it to the theory. These examples are frequently drawn from recent news, making it necessary to come up with new examples every time the course is taught. He wants students to discover the motivation behind the transactions, how the relationships among stakeholders change as a result, and how the markets respond and why.

The teaching goals of Professor Goyal are to develop his students’ thinking ability, and to make them lifelong learners. He feels his greatest asset as a classroom teacher is his love of the subject, and wants his students to become as passionate about it as he is himself. He summarizes his teaching style in the following words:

"Although I still plan my class sessions in great detail…I am more willing to take risks. I try unconventional learning approaches if I feel they enhance learning in class. I organize lots of group activities and use a variety of media such as the slides that CFOs have used in their presentations to the analyst and investor community."


Prof Ben YOUNG
~2004 Medalist

Prof Young received his PhD in civil engineering from the University of Sydney in 1998, and came to HKUST in 2001 after serving with distinction for several years at Nanyang Technical University, Singapore. He is renowned for his dedication to teaching, his ability to make complex concepts easier to understand, and his availability and willingness to help students outside the classroom. He also conducts extensive studies on innovations and tools that can improve the effectiveness of his teaching.

Prof Young summarizes his approach to imparting knowledge in what he calls the "Seven-Musts" philosophy:

  • Must have a heart for students
  • Must spend time preparing for lectures
  • Must present well in lectures
  • Must always make students think in lectures
  • Must have two-way communication and interaction in lectures
  • Must get feedback from students
  • Must always think of ways to improve

In discussing the "heart" of the matter, Prof Young refers to "understanding, enthusiasm, patience, and kindness." He stresses that "the teacher must put himself into the student’s position, try to understand how the student thinks, and be able to teach according to their level of understanding."

His "Seven Musts" principle has won him unanimous support from undergraduates, postgraduates and his peers. He is highly regarded for his preparedness in class, the clarity of his presentation of difficult concepts, and his superbly organized lecture notes. Twice Prof Young has been recognized by the School of Engineering for his teaching contributions: first in 2001/02 when he was a recipient of the School's Teaching Excellence Appreciation award, and again in 2002/03 when he won the Bechtel Foundation Engineering Teaching Excellence Award. It is fitting that the University now accords him the Michael G Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a faculty member.


Prof King Lau CHOW
~2005 Medalist

Prof Chow graduated with first class honors in Biology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1986 after receiving his schooling in Hong Kong. He was awarded a PhD by Baylor College of Medicine in 1990 and next spent four years conducting postdoctoral research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He then joined HKUST as an assistant professor.

Prof Chow exemplifies the very best in professional teaching. He excels in his tasks through active interaction with students, using an impressive mix of methods and materials and putting enormous effort into course design. He is responsive to the changing needs of those he teaches and challenges them to reflect and apply their learning in genuine situations.

His students, in turn, have described him as aspiring, dedicated, genuine, gifted, insightful, inspiring, outstanding, patient, responsible and serious.

One nominator commented on the length of Prof Chow's days, estimating them at 48 hours each. How else could he devote so much time to teaching and mentoring students in the classroom, office and laboratory, while at the same time running a first-class research program of his own?

Prof Chow's interest in biology spans a broad spectrum, from molecular biology to biochemistry, cell biology, genetics, developmental biology, organismal biology, bioinformatics, modeling, synthetic biology, evolution and population behavior.

He is a frequent attendee at education workshops and teaching forums, sharing his experience with colleagues and supporting junior staff. He has been actively involved in the Undergraduate Committee of his department and is a member of the Senate's Committee on Teaching and Learning Quality.


Prof Irene Man-Chi LO
~2006 Medalist

“Prof Lo is a gifted and dedicated teacher. In large classes and small, and in personal interactions with undergraduates and research students, she has consistently set clear goals, facilitated effective learning to achieve these goals, and demonstrated a warmth and interest in students’ careers and personal success that has inspired their affection and gratitude.

‘When I hung my head from time to time’, says one student, ‘she came to show me her concern and back me up... She inspired me to perform at full stretch, whenever and whatever’.

Excellence in teaching comes through professionalism as well as passion, and this professionalism has been a consistent theme in Prof Lo’s teaching career at HKUST. The meticulous preparation of class material, use of a range of media, including video, case studies and real-world issues, team projects, and active use of student feedback, bring her classes to life. She has also conducted research on the effectiveness of different teaching tools and media.

‘Irene is an extremely effective instructor’ says a colleague, ‘who excels at course design and organization, as well as classroom presentations. Irene is one of the few among us who has conducted research on teaching methodologies’.

Prof Lo’s contributions to the application of new technologies to enhance teaching and learning has been particularly valuable to HKUST. She has undertaken three successful projects to implement multimedia courseware, including 3D visualizations and simulations. Through these interactive teaching tools, says one colleague, “She is able to present better engineering concepts and provide graphical aids for students to visualize different kinds of pollution issues. Her new teaching technique has been recognized to be very effective by our faculty and has been well received by our students”.


Professor Pak Wo LEUNG
~2007 Medalist

Prof Leung's teaching is driven by the desire to help students cultivate an appreciation of physics and understand some of the cross-disciplinary concepts fundamental to its appreciation. "If students are able to understand the history and evolution of science subjects," he says, "they can understand how scientists explain natural phenomenon and be inspired to handle new problems in science."

As a dedicated teacher, he accords tremendous weight to the preparation of his lectures. By deploying a mixture of methods and teaching materials, he spatters his lecture with visualization of abstract concepts, interactive learning activities, quizzes and intriguing tasks. He wishes to ensure his students are engaged and adequately challenged.

Without doubt hWithout doubt he is a demanding teacher, but he "matches the demands he places on his students with his own infectious enthusiasm and hard work," his colleagues remarked.

Outside the lecture rooms, he turns from a demanding professor to a caring mentor and coach, always accessible by his students for personal advice, clues to answers, exchanges of views, words of encouragements or just a pat on the shoulder. His students reciprocate his zeal, remarkably effective delivery and personable style with the love and respect due to him. One of his students remarked, “I am amazed at his accessibility...whenever you need him, even during holidays, he's always there."Another said, "I admire him for his humor, dedication and patience."

Prof Leung has been pivotal in the Department's educational work. He mentors junior academic staff on instructional methods and delivery. He is currently the Department's Undergraduate Coordinator, the Vice Chairman of the Curriculum Task Force. He has also sat on the Postgraduate Studies Committee for many years.


Prof Mordecai GOLIN
~2008 Medalist

Professor Golin’s teaching is characterized by the clarity of his lectures and the effectiveness with which his courses are organized. His ability to present difficult ideas to students with diverse backgrounds is complemented by his capacity to motivate and inspire students to learn, leading to a steady flow of students to his office for academic discussion and guidance. Always enthusiastic in the classroom, he “...always explains the difficulties with some funny stories...” says one student, and “...always puts students his highest priority...” reports another. Professor Golin has also arranged independent study courses to teach theoretical knowledge, where individual subjects raised by motivated students may not be covered fully in formal departmental courses. Many students find that such courses have an enduring impact on their academic life.

Highly regarded by his peers for his hard work and generous service in the development and administration of CSE, Professor Golin has taken up numerous service responsibilities since he joined the Department. He was the postgraduate director for four years, during which he played a leading role in restructuring the postgraduate program to successfully become primarily doctorate-based and establishing a well received mentoring program for advanced doctoral students. He also worked very hard to create a new self-financed postgraduate program – the MSc COMP, and to shape a new undergraduate program in computer science which permits double majors and provides capable students with a unique vehicle for academic advancement.

As a faculty member with an exemplary record of work and service, Professor Golin has given his time unreservedly to both students and colleagues. His focus on curriculum development and management, achievements in the classroom and dedication to students represent the best of spirit of the Gale Medal, which recognizes, celebrates and rewards distinguished teaching,
excellent service and selfless commitment.

Professor Golin is a four-time recipient of School of Engineering teaching awards including Distinguished Teaching Award andTeaching Excellence Appreciation Award. He was also twice voted by students as one of the Top Ten Best Lecturers.


Prof Mike KP SO
~2009 Medalist

Professor So is passionate about his subject and dedicated to his
students’ success. His lectures are driven by thought provoking
questions and supported with vivid examples, turning difficult and
sometimes dry material into content that is interesting and relevant.
Always enthusiastic in the classroom, his “……..innovative problem-based
learning approaches, such as role-play activities and corporate
projects, were particularly effective in boosting students’ problem
solving skills and confidence in applying sophisticated tools in real
world setting………” says one student, and “…….given the tremendous
workload from teaching and research, I am always impressed by the great
amount of time and effort he spends in helping each student……” reports

Professor So has also made a broad contribution to the development of
teaching at the University. He is particularly interested in the
challenge of enhancing reflective thinking in large classes,
problem-based learning, and assessment strategies for learning. He has
pioneered the use of the Study Process Questionnaire as an evaluative
tool, and participated in many teaching innovation projects with wide

Recently Professor So has devoted much of his time to curriculum
development and the implementation of a new interdisciplinary
undergraduate program. This has been no small task, and the University
is his debt for demonstrating that, with the right level of commitment
and breadth of interests, innovative educational programs can be created
for a new generation of students.

Prof Michelle YIK
~2010 Medalist

Prof Michelle Yik is enthusiastic, humorous and capable of mastering the trendy language of students. It does not mean her students can be happy joy riders during her class. She takes her classes seriously and establishes protocols with students right from the beginning. In 2007, she received the Humanities and Social Science Teaching Award. Having served on various boards regarding students’ community participation and general education, she became Director of HKUST’s signature Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program in 2009 to further enhance the research capabilities of undergraduate students.

Prof Yik, whose primary teaching and research focus is on personality, emotion, and their implications on behaviors, is herself a good mixer. ‘Energetic’, ‘passionate’ and ‘excited’ are the words she uses to describe her teaching experience. To her, every class has a story to tell and every lecture is a ‘show time’, during which she hops up and down the tiered lecture hall to involve even the most passive students at the back.

Prof Yik finds it most enjoyable and fascinating to teach a large and dynamic class of 300 students with different backgrounds from across the globe. She understands the limitations of western textbooks and motivates students’ learning by making her subjects relevant to her audiences.

On research front, Prof Yik focuses primarily on human emotion, the relativity of happiness judgments, and cross-cultural examination of facial expressions. Her other research interests include the usefulness of personality in profiling different cultures, studying national stereotypes, and predicting social behaviors such as academic achievement.

Prof Yik is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Signal Patterns and the Editorial Board of the Asian Journal of Social Psychology. She is also a reviewer for National Science Foundation, Social Psychology Program, and a member of a number of other professional organizations.

Prof Amine Bermak
~2011 Medalist

Prof Amine Bermak received his PhD from Paul Sabatier University, Toulouse, France in 1998. He joined HKUST in 2002 and is currently a professor in the Electronic and Computer Engineering Department. Since his appointment at the University, Prof Bermak has demonstrated a very high level of commitment to and success in a wide range of roles as a teacher and as a contributor to the advancement of education at the University.

Prof Bermak’s enthusiasm and commitment to teaching have been recognized by numerous teaching awards. He is a two-time recipient of the School of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award, and a four-time nominee for the Michael G Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching. Prof Bermak’s goal is to provide his students with a solid theoretical foundation strongly linked to practical engineering applications. Students are at the top of Prof Bermak’s priorities. He has an open-door policy to encourage students to discuss academic issues and learning difficulties outside the classroom. The result has been very high teaching evaluation scores and warm student comments: “We really enjoyed the superb class; we all benefited from his interactive lectures and gained a lot from his courses” is a typical example.

Prof Bermak’s is also fully committed to excellence in research-student supervision. He is the founder and the leader of the Smart Sensory Integrated System Research Lab at the University and a very popular and effective postgraduate supervisor, with one of the heaviest supervision loads in the University.

Prof Bermak has given much of his time to administrative service and educational work. He has been Director of the Computer Engineering program, Director the Master’s program in IC Design, Chair of the 334 Curriculum Committee for Computer Engineering, a member of the department’s 334 Curriculum Committee; and a member of the University Senate. He has established a new interview scheme to promote Computer Engineering to local secondary schools and leads the departmental career and internship committee to facilitate student job placement and internship through active interaction with industry.

Prof Stephen W Nason
~2012 Medalist

Prof Stephen W Nason received his PhD in Management and Organization from the University of Southern California, US in 1994. He joined HKUST in 1995 and is currently a Professor of Business Practice in the Department of Management, School of Business and Management. In the 17 years he has served the University, Prof Nason has taught a wide range of undergraduate and executive education courses. In all his teaching he has demonstrated a remarkable level of teaching excellence, with teaching evaluations consistently among the best in his School and the University.

Prof Nason’s enthusiasm and commitment to teaching have been recognized by numerous teaching awards. He has been selected three times in the annual University-wide student poll for the Best Ten Lecturers. He has twice received the SBM’s Franklin Prize for Teaching Excellence. He has also been nominated four times for the Michael G Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching. As a colleague reports, he is “an exceptional communicator and gifted teacher”.

Prof Nason’s success as a teacher is firmly based on a student-centered pedagogy emphasizing experiential and active learning in the classroom, the careful set-up of assessments, and full engagement with students outside class. His primary goal is to develop students’ ability and enthusiasm to tackle problems. Prof Nason understands the importance of student feedback and forms student-feedback committees to provide suggestions for the improvement of his teaching. “All in all Prof Nason is a teacher that students not only respect but also like, as his classes are fun and interesting,” says one of his students.

Prof Nason has made a broad contribution to course and curriculum design. He has played an important role in curriculum committees and in the development of outcomes-based education. Prof Nason is also a mentor for junior colleagues and a strong supporter of team teaching: “by sharing his teaching experiences in formal and informal settings, he helps others learn from his struggles and successes in teaching,” says a colleague.

Prof Nason has also given much of his time to building up relationships with other business schools around the world and has identified opportunities for students to join international business case competitions, volunteering long hours to coach students for these competitions.

Prof Jimmy CH Fung
~2013 Medalist

Prof Jimmy C H Fung received his PhD in Mathematics from the University of Cambridge in 1990. He joined HKUST in 1992 and is jointly appointed to the Department of Mathematics and the Division of Environment. His research focuses on understanding, predicting and assessing air pollution associated with urban and coastal environments, especially for Hong Kong and the neighboring region.

In the 21 years that Prof Fung has served the University, he has taught a wide range of mathematics courses for thousands of students from mathematics and non-mathematics disciplines, demonstrating remarkable effectiveness as a teacher, especially in classes with large enrolment. His students have said that “the syllabus is difficult, but he can explain in an active way. He uses a lot of daily examples to illustrate difficult concepts and knowledge” In addition, “he is not just the best teacher, but our friend. We chat on all topics mathematics, society, education and personal life”.

Prof Fung’s success as a teacher is confirmed by his consistently high student-feedback scores and his numerous teaching awards including the HKUST School of Science Teaching Award in 1998-99, and as a winner in the annual University-wide student poll for the Best Ten Lecturers 11 times. He has been nominated three times for the Michael Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching and received special mention for excellence in teaching in 2010.

As a member of the University’s atmospheric research team, Prof Fung is also a successful supervisor of postgraduate students, emphasizing personal contact and opportunities for overseas research exchange and attendance at conferences. As a result, he has a notable record of placing his students in good universities.

Prof Fung’s contribution to education goes well beyond his high level of performance in the classroom. As the Undergraduate Programs Co-ordinator for the Department of Mathematics since 2005, he played a key role in the re-development of mathematics education under the four-year degree. More recently, he has championed the setting up of the MATH Support Center, where just-in-time support for students working through key courses can be provided in a welcoming, interactive environment. As Chair of the Interdisciplinary Undergraduate Studies Committee in the Division of Environment he has fostered the University’s effort to implement interdisciplinary programs for both undergraduates and research students – a priority for the University and the community.

Prof Chun Man Chan
~2014 Medalist

Professor Chun Man Chan received his PhD from the University of Waterloo, Canada. He joined HKUST in 1993 and is currently Associate Head and Associate Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering. His research focuses on structural optimization of tall buildings, computer-aided engineering, wind effects on buildings, seismic performance based design, and steel and composite structures.

In the 21 years that he has served the University, Professor Chan has taught a wide range of structural engineering courses for undergraduates and postgraduates, courses that are notoriously difficult for students. He is also involved in supervising PhD students. He has achieved a remarkable level of teaching excellence, with teaching evaluations consistently among the best in his School and the University. His commitment and passion for teaching have been recognized by being a four-time recipient of the School of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award.

Professor Chan strongly advocates meaningful, active and cooperative learning. He encourages students to express themselves and to work together toward common goals. To achieve this he has developed his own physical models and tool kits to facilitate students’ learning. “Professor Chan’s classes are distinguished from others by their engaging and interactive atmosphere”, says one student. “His classes are extremely tough and demanding, but he is excellent in explaining difficult theories and concepts”, says another.

Professor Chan is a passionate and inspiring educator. He sends personal invitations to meet students who are underperforming, encouraging them to seek help to improve their learning. His hard work and personal sacrifice have an enduring, positive impact on students. He believes that students should not only learn the subject matter, but should be inspired to develop a lifelong commitment to their own professional development.

His department and School have benefitted from Professor Chan’s major contributions to curriculum committees. He was the Program Director of the Master in Civil Infrastructural Engineering and Management, a member of the School’s 334 Curriculum Committee, and a member of the University Senate. He has also strengthened industry-university collaboration through his engagement with government advisory committees and through his important contribution to his department’s Internship Training Program.

Prof Kam Tim Woo
~2015 Medalist

Professor Woo Kam Tim received his PhD degree in Electronic Engineering from HKUST in 2005 and joined his alma mater as a Demonstrator. He is currently Associate Professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering. His research focuses on engineering education, data clustering, automatic modulation recognition and automatic control.

Since he joined the University, Professor Woo has been a strong advocate of engineering education. He has adopted an inquiry-based approach, placing students at the center of learning, encouraging them to explore the world and to be proactive in solving problems. An innovator, Professor Woo introduces many in-course project work as well as final year projects, to foster student development in the School of Engineering. Although teaching project-oriented courses requires teachers to make extra efforts to meet individual needs, he believes that this is fully worthwhile to enhance students’ learning experience.

Professor Woo has established a very successful program for experiential learning through robotics competitions, nurturing a unique HKUST Robotics Team composed of students from culturally and academically diverse backgrounds. Since 2007, students under his supervision have won more than 130 prizes and awards in robotics and engineering-design competitions, business-plan competitions, research competitions and student-paper and final-year-project contests. An active figure to share his experience, Professor Woo is always eager to engage his colleagues in both formal and informal settings, seeking to motivate younger faculty members to tap into their innovative spirit on experiential learning across disciplines.

Recently, Professor Woo has opened up new community-service opportunities for students and colleagues through the development of advanced applications to assist the hearing-impaired and partially sighted. This service to the community has been a vehicle for students’ achievement in a range of critical, career-relevant skills. He is also the Founding Director of the Center for Global and Community Engagement of the School of Engineering.

The breadth of Professor Woo’s contribution has been complemented by the high quality of his performance in all aspects of his work. Students have warmly welcomed his courses and he has won the School of Engineering’s Teaching Excellence Appreciation Award. Most recently, Professor Woo has been honoured with the 2015 UGC Teaching Award, which was launched by the UGC in recognition of outstanding academics in the UGC-funded institutions. Only two or three awards are made each year.

Prof Garvin Percy Dias
~2016 Medalist

Professor Garvin Percy Dias received his doctorate from the Fudan University, China in 1998. Subsequently, he joined HKUST in 1999 and is currently Associate Professor of Business Education in the Department of ISOM. His research interests include IS Auditing, Computer Network Management, and Group Decision Support Systems.

For Professor Dias, teaching students Information Systems (IS) is rewarding and challenging as the discipline is growing rapidly and the courses need constant changes and revisions. He always improves his teaching by careful planning and thorough considerations of the thoughtful feedback from his students. He has been a pioneer of outcome based education and an innovator of blended learning since his early stage of teaching career. He treats teaching as a lifelong endeavor and is devoted to make a difference in all his students’ future. As one of his students said, “Percy’s teaching goal is to make sure all students 100% understand the contents, not even 99.9%”.

Apart from students’ encouraging feedback throughout the years, his enthusiasm and commitment to teaching have been recognized by numerous teaching awards. He has been awarded four times for the School of Business and Management’s Franklin Prize for Teaching Excellence. He has been selected twice in the annual University-wide student poll for the Best Ten Lecturers. He has also received special mention for excellence in teaching in the 2015 Michael G. Gale Medal for Distinguished Teaching.

Professor Dias has made a broad contribution to the development of teaching and learning at the University. His dedicated and continual efforts to develop and enhance the BBA-IS program make it the first program in the Asia Pacific region to be aligned with the Information Systems Audit and Control Association model curriculum. As the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator for the Department of ISOM since 2001, he plays a key role in re-structuring the four-year BBA-IS degree. Outside classrooms, he works closely with professional bodies and industrial partners to enhance students’ competitiveness through professional examinations, case competitions and job placements, and he is generous in sharing with colleagues his insights about teaching practice and his teaching tools for encouraging class interaction.

As the Director of the Center for Business Education, Professor Dias has recently devoted much of his time to manage the Center that is responsible to provide support for quality assurance for teaching, organize activities for international accreditation and reputation building of the School of Business and Management, and promote and develop new teaching pedagogy.

Prof David Paul Rossiter
~2017 Medalist

Prof David Paul Rossiter received his doctorate from the University of York in England. His expertise is in software technologies and his research interests include multimedia, internet technologies, computer graphics, computer sound and music, as well as human-computer interaction. He joined HKUST in 1996 and is currently Associate Professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Prof Rossiter is an all-round educator who richly deserves recognition for his contributions to teaching excellence, curriculum design, and academic administration.

Prof Rossiter’s success as a teacher is demonstrated by the astonishing list of teaching awards he has earned including: the HKUST School of Engineering’s Teaching Excellence on six occasions, the Best Instructor for the Master’s Degree in Information Technology on five occasions, and the Best Ten Lecturers award. He has consistently achieved an extremely high rating in the student evaluation exercise, properly reflecting how much the students appreciate him. He also led numerous student projects and among them, many have won the President Cups, the highest student project award at HKUST. As one of his students stated, “Prof Rossiter is an inspiring, passionate and considerate teacher and he always explains things from different perspectives to facilitate a better understanding”.

Prof Rossiter plays a key role in new curriculum design and course development, particularly for the 4-year undergraduate degree. He has been heavily involved in the creation, and subsequent leading, of several new introductory first-year computing courses, courses that collectively form the computing course requirement for almost all HKUST undergraduate students. He has also adopted flipped classroom pedagogy in teaching and designed learning projects to encourage student active engagement – his innovative and creative pedagogical approach is both an example and a lead to Faculty across the institution. But his professional influence is not limited just to the University. He developed a MOOC course “HTML, CSS and JavaScript” in Summer 2015 which has since been offered monthly via the Coursera platform. The course was very well-received with over 140,000 learners and 15,000 course completers from around the world.

Prof Rossiter has always been an active user of IT in teaching. Back in 2005, Prof Rossiter developed the Gong and NanoGong systems for language learning which have been used by thousands of institutions across the global Higher Education sector. In 2008, as the department co-ordinator of the outcome based education (OBE), he initiated the development of Programs and Courses Outcomes System (PACOS), a web-based system for the centralized input of, and access to, OBE information. This system has not only been extensively used within HKUST, but has also been freely shared with external organizations.

Prof Rossiter believes that the curriculum and its contents, as well as the open source projects, need to evolve continually. By repeatedly questioning and revising his own approach and drawing on his educational experience, he has been able both to maintain and to enhance the quality of the provision.

Prof Shenghui Song
~2018 Medalist

Professor Shenghui Song joined HKUST in 2009 after receiving his PhD and is currently Associate Professor of Engineering Education in the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering. His research is primarily in the areas of statistical signal processing and wireless communications systems with a current focus on robotics, machine learning, and cloud computing.

When Professor Song took up a teaching career at HKUST, he was determined to engage his thousands of students from engineering and non-engineering disciplines using innovative teaching approaches. He believed that a university is a platform to stimulate students’ innate drive to learn. In all of his teaching, he has demonstrated a remarkable level of teaching excellence, with teaching evaluations consistently among the best in both his School and the University. His commitment and passion for teaching have been recognized by numerous teaching awards including the School of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award in 2012-13 and he is three-time recipient of the Best Ten Lecturers. He also supervised numerous students in final year projects and UROPs and some have won multiple awards, recently including the prestigious Gold Award of the President’s Cup 2018.

HIs dedication to engineering education has earned very positive comments from leaners and fellow colleagues. In the words of one of his students, “Professor Song’s teaching was unique, he always used different methods to draw our attention and helped us to integrate our knowledge across disciplines.” Many students appreciated Professor Song for building a caring relationship with them, and another student inspired by him wrote that he “conveyed the purposes of University education in the last lecture and encouraged us to shape a positive learning attitude. For many years after my graduation, I am still inspired by his wisdom.”

Professor Song has made broad contributions to the development of teaching and learning at the University. He put efforts into developing new teaching initiatives including MOOCs, experiential learning courses and blended learning courses. He consolidated his teaching experience through research on innovative teaching and assessment methods and has published his findings in research papers. Highly engaged in engineering education research, he currently serves as an Associate Editor for the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Transactions on Education. He is also very generous in sharing with colleagues his insights about teaching.

Prof Julian M. Groves
~2019 Medalist

Professor Julian M. Groves first joined the University in 1992. After a period of broadening his experience elsewhere, he re-joined HKUST in 2008 with a renewed ambition to enhance the social science curriculum that would relate more closely to the personal lives of our students. He is currently Associate Professor of Social Science Education in the Division of Social Science with research interests lying primarily in the areas of Southeast Asia ethnography, social theory, youth studies, gender, migrant workers, technology and society, and social policy.

Teaching at HKUST for more than 20 years, Professor Groves has been encouraging and facilitating his students – the majority of whom come from science or business studies backgrounds – to learn complex cultural and societal issues from a critical perspective, and gain true ownership of their learning. His approach to student-centered learning is to enable students to generate conceptual materials themselves, based on their own experiences, and through open-discussion, service-learning, and original research. Through the sociological training he provides, students are truly inspired and empowered by the special mix of thinking, debating and role modeling, ultimately providing positive service to their peer groups, the community and beyond.

His adoption of digital technologies in teaching to maximize classroom interaction, in particular through MOOCs and in “flipped classrooms”, was well-received by his students, with one saying, “The class discussions were fantastic!......the professor encourages us to apply critical thinking and to find our own solutions, and that is greatly appreciated.” The Dean of Humanities and Social Science praised Professor Groves as being “amongst the most committed and effective instructors with the faculty.”

Professor Groves’ teaching excellence is amply demonstrated by the hugely impressive list of teaching awards that he has earned, including the School of Humanities and Social Science Award for Teaching Excellence in 2014-15 and the Honorable Mention for the Common Core Course Excellence Award in 2015. He is also the winner of the General Research Fund and Teaching Development Grant multiple times.

Professor Groves is ardent believer and practitioner of service-learning, and has established partnerships with NGOs, bringing in large-scale projects that have greatly enriched more than 1,400 students’ learning experiences by reaching to diverse groups of people in the community and enabling the understanding of social problems from novel perspectives. His colleagues also appreciate his generous sharing of his teaching experiences on different occasions.

Raymond Chi-Wing Wong
~2020 Medalist

Prof. Raymond Chi-Wing Wong joined HKUST in 2008 after receiving his PhD from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and is currently Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering with research interests lying primarily in the areas of big data, data mining, and database systems. Prof. Wong is an educator who has been recognized by his peers and his students as a role model for what a true “teacher” can be.

“Being an alchemist” is the teaching philosophy of Prof. Wong, who works his “magic” on his students by upholding nine principles of teaching — Active interaction, Listening, Care, High-quality teaching, Eagerness to take challenges, Motivate students to work harder and develop their skills, Inspire students, Sharing, and Technology. The inquiry-based learning approach he adopts in his classes has resulted in numerous high-achieving research students under his supervision receiving awards within and outside the University during his 12-year tenure at HKUST.

Prof. Wong’s strong commitment to creating an engaging, interactive, and supportive classroom environment, and designing courses that help students meet real-life decision making challenges, such as the highly popular common core program “COMP 1942 Exploring and Visualizing Data”, has led to him being recognized with the Honorary Mention in the HKUST Common Core Teaching Excellence Award twice.

The course materials developed by Prof. Wong include examples that are fun and often surprising. His courses, which use well-designed assignments to engage his undergraduate and postgraduate students, all have his trademark stamp of creativity, challenging real-world computing tasks, and are quoted as being a “romping good time for students”. As one of his students stated, Prof. Wong was “an exceptional embodiment of one vital idea HKUST holds — encouraging interdisciplinary academic exploration and development.”

Prof. Wong clearly understands that an excellent teacher should care for, listen to, and motivate his students instead of simply imparting academic knowledge, so he strives to help students develop not only intellectually but in all aspects of life. There are numerous nomination letters from students who appreciated the time and care he gave them, helping them with problems and decisions that impacted their future careers and lives. One student considered him “not just an advisor but a mentor, and most importantly a good friend.”