School of Engineering (SENG) faculty members and their innovative research drew global attention at the prestigious World Economic Forum annual conference in Davos, Switzerland, in January.
Led by HKUST President Prof Tony Chan, four of the School's academics hosted an IdeasLab, a unique Forum format in which the world's leading minds present ideas to change lives for the better. HKUST was the only university from Asia to be part of the IdeasLab series at this year's conference. The six other universities were Oxford, Harvard, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon.
At the HKUST IdeasLab, the SENG academics shared their insights on the integration of the physical and cyber worlds and the impact on society. Dean of Engineering Prof Khaled Ben Letaief discussed the game-changing effect of 5G technology and Head of Computer Science and Engineering and New Bright Professor of Engineering Prof Qiang Yang looked at the new environment being ushered in by big data and artificial intelligence. Human-machine communications expert Prof Pascale Fung, Electronic and Computer Engineering, spoke on the development of empathetic robots and Prof Pedro Sander, Computer Science and Engineering, examined advances in capturing and rendering images to provide a more detailed visual record of the world.
Prof Fung also co-hosted a lively dinner discussion on "Evolution of Human Knowledge in the 21st Century', where politicians, business leaders, artists and writers debated how machines could be taught language and arts appreciation.
Among the 2,500 global leaders attending the World Economic Forum were China's Premier Li Keqiang and US Secretary of State John Kerry, Alibaba's Jack Ma and Microsoft's Bill Gates.