--> Openlink Vol 23 Issue 1 (March 2014)<!--Vice President Prof. Leung Chun-ming<br>A scientist applies philosophy derived from solving puzzles--> | Hong Kong Metropolitan University
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  •  Openlink Vol 23 Issue 1 (March 2014)
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    Vice President Prof. Leung Chun-ming A scientist applies philosophy derived from solving puzzles
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    A scientist applies philosophy derived from solving puzzles

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    Vice President Prof. Leung Chun-ming
    A scientist applies philosophy derived from solving puzzles

    As concisely as if he were reporting some research results, Vice President (Technology and Development) Prof. Leung Chun-ming managed to give the following summary of his career development, ‘After earning a PhD in astronomy from the University of California, Berkeley, I spent four years on pure research, then focused on teaching and leading a research team for the following two decades. By chance, I met Prof. Tam Sheung-wai, the then OUHK President, and subsequently joined the University. Having worked here for 15.5 years, I retired at the end of January.’

    With the courage and desire to meet new challenges, the astrophysicist was determined to take up the post of Director of Technology Development at the OUHK and, in the process, to change his career from teaching and research to administration and management. For Prof. Leung, there are many commonalities between the two fields. ‘Astronomy is an observational science that requires broad knowledge and a broad perspective to see the forest rather than the trees, while information technology is all-pervasive. What I gained from studying Astronomy could apply equally well here,’ he explains.

    In 2001, Prof. Leung was promoted to Vice President with two major areas of responsibility: developing IT applications and managing infrastructural projects. During his tenure, he has completed more than 20 large-scale projects, including among them the Student Administration System (SAS), the complexity of which earned the project the fearsome nickname ‘mission impossible’. Yet, despite the challenges posed by the project, Prof. Leung was able to find the key to success. ‘When facing a problem, I say boldly to my inner self : “Leung Chun-ming, you are the only one in the world who can solve this problem”.’ This approach gave Prof. Leung the inner strength and determination to overcome difficulties. Finally, after eight years of hard work, the SAS was launched successfully.

    Human factors are also a major challenge in doing administration work. But Prof. Leung has developed his philosophy from playing puzzles. ‘Every little piece has its own shape. If each piece could be flexible and compatible, then a full picture could be completed with a minimum of time. Likewise, if each of us could be more flexible and tolerant, a task could be completed much sooner,’ he says.

    Witnessing the OUHK’s rapid development, Prof. Leung hopes that the University can continue with its mission of providing ‘Education for All’, especially providing a second chance to those who have previously missed the opportunity to pursue studies. Though he did not have any concrete plans for retirement, he fondly recalled the happy moments in the US when he tried out different cooking recipes or delved into carpentry work. ‘I enjoy the process of learning, and I hope the young generation can embrace curiosity and foster the passion necessary to realize their dreams.’

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