Speech by Presidential Chair Professor of CUHK-Shenzhen Hwang Kai at the Inauguration Ceremony 2019
Governing Board Members, President Xu, Dear Parents, Students, and my Fellow Professors:
Good morning. I am Hwang Kai of the School of Science and Engineering. Today, I am much honored to give a keynote speech at this inauguration ceremony, as the representative of all faculty members of this great university.
First of all, welcome all freshmen and new graduate students to join our university. This big warm family of CUHK-Shenzhen will be your new home from now on. You will find out that college life is the most memorable period of your life.
I joined this university in 2018. Before that, I had worked in the University of Southern California and Purdue University in the US for more than 40 years. The most important reason for my choosing CUHK-Shenzhen is the fact that this is an international university erected on my motherland. The thought of returning to my native country has, for years, been on my mind. CUHK-Shenzhen integrates the East and the West, its reputation and academic standing growing rapidly over the past years.
My colleagues are esteemed scholars who have studied or worked at the world’s leading universities before they joined our university. Among our faculty team, many are young, dedicated, talented, and leaders of their chosen fields. Our faculty members are not only committed to innovative research in various fields, but also, and more importantly, are devoted in teaching and providing the utmost support to our students.
This year, I have given six talks on computing, artificial intelligence and big data in English. Now, to help most of my audience here better understand me, the rest of my speech shall be delivered in Chinese.
Looking back on the past 4 decades of teaching and research, what I take most pride in is not the books I’ve written or the hundreds of papers I’ve published. It is the generations of talents, thousands in number, that I have trained for both my country and the world. Among them, 4 are academicians, 8 are IEEE/CCF Fellows, and over 30 are national-level leading experts and scholars. I am truly delighted and proud of this.
Yet as a university professor, my greatest delight does not lie in all those titles they have won, but in their successful integration of theoretical researches and practical industrial production. My students, generation after generation, have created enormous value for the society at universities such as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Tsinghua University, the University of Science and Technology of China, National University of Defense Technology, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, as well as major Chinese enterprises including Huawei, Lenovo, Sugon, Inspur, Baidu and Tencent.
My dear students, scientific research may begin with some small ideas, and it can be boring in the following process of long development. Yet why does it deserve our efforts? Under the ever evolving society and our steady effort, scientific research, I believe, will certainly promote the development of industries, hence that of the human race.
One case in point is this. Over a decade ago, the world knew nothing of China’s supercomputer industry as China, back then, had neither domestic CPU chips makers, nor core technologies of computer clusters. We were largely subject to other countries. But now, more than 210 out of the world's top 500 supercomputers are designed and manufactured in China, making us the leader in the area of supercomputing. We have outdone Europe and America. This probably explains the significance and our sense of achievement in doing scientific research.
This August, I was honoured with the Science and Technology Innovation Achievement Award for 70 Talents of the 70th Anniversary of the Founding of the People's Republic of China at the Global Chinese Influences Festival. The past few decades has witnessed unprecedented changes and progress of our country in fields such as economics, scientific research, and education. China has leaped from an impoverished, undeveloped country into the world’s second largest economy. Aren’t we proud of this?
Now I am back in Shenzhen, hoping to cultivate a new generation of cloud computing platform and Intelligent Internet of Things Development Center. With this, I hope to contribute to the development of China’s computer science and cultivate more talents for my country, especially in such areas as computer system, cloud computing, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and big data applications.
Dear students, as a teacher, I want to share with you three specific suggestions as you now reach the turning point of life.
First of all, lay a solid foundation at your undergraduate stage. Whatever your major and whichever pathway you choose for your future, the knowledge, academic skills, and self-disciplined good habits you thus develop will benefit you for your lifetime.
Second, communicate with your professors and get involved in their research projects. The professors at our university are distinguished scholars, and they are willing to know more about you. Therefore, I hope you can take the initiative and make the most of the available education resources, so that our teachers can better understand your needs and further develop your potentials.
Finally, I hope you can grow into individuals with social responsibility. You are among the privileged few of the society. I hope you will not forget to put what you learn from this university into good use, to help people in need, to realize your personal value while contributing to the general progress of our society. You, together, shall stand as the backbone of the future of our country.
Dear students, the spirit of science calls for inheritance and continuity. Up to this day, I still cherish the zeal I felt in my heart on first becoming a teacher. Me and my colleagues shall unreservedly pass what have learned through our lifetime onto you. Together with the knowledge and skills, we pass onto you the spirit of science with the hope of its ever continuing.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of People's Republic of China. I wish we can embrace the next 70 years with more breakthroughs in scientific research, more pioneers in different industries and fields. Within this prosperous picture, I hope to see many active CUHK-Shenzheners.
Dear students, the accomplishments of your teachers are there to be surpassed and reinvented, and this is my fond wish to you.
Finally, I hope that you all will enjoy your college life and build up your career from this point forward, productively. Thank you for your attentions.