When Education Meets Technology: USThing

USThing

USThing: A Mobile App Project
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Aug 2016 – Present

My latest project is to develop an app that is expected to be widely used by the campus community for HKUST.  As a technological tool, the app will bring convenience to students and enhance student life, turning the campus into a better and smarter learning environment.  As a learning opportunity, the app is created by students, who will receive practical training in mobile app development.   The team now consists of about 40 students and operates much like a startup.   You can find out more about the app here or catch our news here.

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It’s All About The… looks? HKUST President’s Cup

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Revamping the HKUST Presiden’ts Cup
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
2016

The President’s Cup is one of the most prestigious competitions at HKUST since 2002. However the competition has not gained its popularity among the students as it’s originally intended and saw a decline in participation rate.  When I took up the project last year the first thing I did was to re-brand the whole thing.  The local designer I worked with gave the President’s Cup a refreshingly new image.  It was a lot more eye-catching to the students of today’s generation and attracted some very good entries to the competition.

Every year there’d be an exhibition on campus to showcase the projects of the semi-finalists.  Last year I re-designed a new set of materials for the exhibition and hoped it would help attract more audience – and it worked.  But unfortunately there was a really bad rainstorm just a few days into the exhibition and ruined most of the exhibits 😦  We had to close the exhibition early so I quickly set up an online exhibition so the students’ efforts could still be seen by the public.

I took the above photo when I passed by this year’s exhibition just a few days ago. Take a look at the competition website too.  It was part of the re-branding.  Let me know what you think!

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Where Friendships from Around the World Formed

HKUSTISP2015

International Summer Exchange Program
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
2012 – 2015

This was the second program I launched for HKUST.  Before 2012, the university only had exchange programs in the Spring and Fall Semesters.  The summer exchange allowed a study abroad experience for those who wouldn’t be able to go on exchange in regular semesters due to financial or other reasons.  I only had 4 months’ time from conceptualizing to implementation of the first intake.  The program was well-organized and had ample opportunities for students to take part in cultural activities and mingle with local students.  The number of students grew annually to have reached over 400 in 2015.

For me, the first year was the most challenging yet most enjoyable.  Given the short amount of time to put a program together, that year had the least number of only 66 participants, but because of the relatively small number it felt more cozy and everyone involved on the program formed a much tighter bond.  Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to have met students from around the world and made friends with them.  It was a true delight to witness the forming of friendships and even a few romances there wink

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One of my all-time favorite projects: HKUST Summer Institute

HKUSTSI2016

HKUST Summer Institute for Senior Secondary School Students
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
2011 – 2016

This was the first program I had ever launched for HKUST and definitely one of my all-time favorites.  There was no similar program in Hong Kong when we launched it but you will find almost every university in Hong Kong has a program more or less like this one today.  The program targeted at senior high school students and gave them a taster experience of what it’s like to be a university student.  It was very well-received by high school students, their parents, teachers and principals alike.  After the first intake, it became a popular program among high school students and one of the most anticipated summer programs in Hong Kong.  The program was also one of the largest in scale among summer programs of its kind.  From 2011 to 2016, it had hosted over 3,000 high school students from Hong Kong as well as other countries.

Most of the students who joined the 1st intake of this program have either graduated from university last year or are graduating this year.  I can’t explain the feelings watching them grow through one chapter of their lives to another – it’s that mixed feeling of a lot of joy and a bit of worry, kind of like a parent seeing their children turn from a baby to an adult!  Some of the kids I met on this program had chosen HKUST for their undergraduate studies (the rate of program participants returning to HKUST for their UG studies is 25% by the way), and I’d feel especially accomplished when they told me it was because how they had enjoyed this program when they were still in high school. Coincidentally, a few of the HKUST students that I’m working with on my current project were also participants of the Summer Institute. Isn’t that amazing or what?!

P.S. I picked the 2016 poster to show here because it was designed by me 🙂

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