|The HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (top), and Prof Ching Tang and Prof Sir Chris Pissarides in action.
The dedication of the HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study (IAS), inauguration of the first eminent IAS Named Professors and naming of the Lo Ka Chung Building celebrated donors’ support for the inspirational knowledge hub and ushered in an energizing new phase of development for the Institute.
Economic challenge of Asia
One of those newly appointed academics is Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences Prof Sir Christopher Pissarides, who views his role at HKUST as an invigorating prospect.
"A lot of exciting things for economists are happening in the region of Hong Kong,” explained Prof Pissarides, who has become IAS Helmut & Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large. “China is the growth engine of the world. Other Asian nations are catching up and there is optimism for the future. Understanding and explaining what is going on are both a challenge and a fascination for economists like myself.” The Institute draws highly distinguished international scholars to the city and region to drive forward breakthrough thinking and next-generation discoveries in a bold, collaborative, interdisciplinary environment and is the only one of its kind in Hong Kong.
In addition, Prof Pissarides, who has spent 40 years as a faculty member of the London School of Economics and is known for his search and matching theory for studying interactions between the labor market and macroeconomy, is happy to be connecting up with other academics at the University. “I especially like the interaction with scientists and others outside economics, where I have most to learn,” he explained to e-Genesis.
Physical chemist and “Father of Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLEDs)” Prof Ching Tang has also joined HKUST as IAS Bank of East Asia Professor. Prof Tang, a Hong Kong native born in Yuen Long and schooled at King’s College, wants to use his expertise to build up a laboratory in the University for research in OLED and related fields. As a researcher, he spent 31 years at Kodak Research Laboratories developing OLED and photovoltaic technologies before assuming his first academic appointment at the University of Rochester. Based on Prof Tang’s invention, OLED is now widely adopted in display applications from mobile phones to high-definition televisions and poised to be the next-generation display technology.
"I came back because I was born in Hong Kong,” said Prof Tang, the first Chinese recipient of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry. “I chose to join HKUST because it is a world-class university with an excellent faculty and talented students. My main function is to drive research activities and develop local talents in the exciting fields of display technology and renewable energy. It’s also an exciting experience – my first job in Hong Kong!”
Meanwhile, IAS is continuing to build its Named Professorships and draw intellectual giants to the region. World-leading mathematician and IAS Si Yuan Professor Prof Gunther Uhlmann is due to arrive later this year. Over 35 international Visiting IAS Professors and other leading scholars provide a flourishing schedule of distinguished open lectures on the latest innovations in their field. The Institute is also developing its IAS Programs, where leading international scholars tackling major intellectual challenges of today, and organizes workshops and conferences to share the latest breakthroughs in a range of fields.
The inauguration of the first three IAS Named Professors.