Lingnan University hosts establishment ceremony for the School of Data Science to cultivate well-rounded AI and data scientists

02.05.24 10:31 Uhr

HONG KONG, May 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ --Lingnan University announced today ( 2 May 2024) the establishment of the School of Data Science (SDS), and held a plaque-unveiling ceremony officiated by Prof Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Mr Tim Lui, Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC), Dr Rocky Cheng, CEO of Cyberport, Mr Augustine Lui Ngok-che, Chairman of the Lingnan Education OrganizationMr Andrew Yao Cho-fai, Council Chairman of Lingnan University, and Prof S. Joe Qin, President and Wai Kee Kau Chair Professor of Data Science.

Lingnan University announces the establishment of the School of Data Science. Prof Sun Dong (left 4), Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, Mr Tim Lui (left 3), Chairman of the University Grants Committee (UGC), Dr Rocky Cheng (left 2), CEO of Cyberport, Mr Augustine Lui Ngok-che (left 1), Chairman of Lingnan Education Organization, Council Chairman Mr Andrew Yao Cho-fai (right 4), President Qin (right 3), Vice-President (Research and Innovation) Prof Xin Yao (right 2), and Acting Dean of the School of Data Science and Associate Vice-President (Strategic Research) Prof Sam Kwong Tak-wu (right 1) unveil the plaque for the School of Data Science.

Following the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Business, Faculty of Social Sciences, School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and School of Graduate Studies, the School of Data Science is the sixth school established by Lingnan University. It is composed of three divisions: the Division of Artificial Intelligence (DAI), the Division of Industrial Data Science (DIDS), and the LEO Dr David P. Chan Institute of Data Science (LEODCIDS), and offers a wide range of high-quality programmes ranging from bachelor's degree to PhD.

In his speech, Prof Sun Dong, Secretary for Innovation, Technology and Industry, said, "Today marks the beginning of a new chapter of Lingnan. With the objective to seamlessly integrate arts, humanities and sciences, the new School of Data Science is the best illustration of what higher education looks like today and tomorrow. In the digital era where data-related knowledge has become indispensable and the demand for talents equipped with such knowledge rises at exponential rate, I am pleased to learn that Lingnan University has offered various programmes on Data Science and AI, and will be introducing more in the coming years." 

"These programmes would be the strong propellers to the Government's efforts in enlarging the local talent pool in the innovation and technology sector to create new impetus for economic growth. With the establishment of the School of Data Science, there is no doubt that Lingnan University will lead the next wave of digital revolution in Hong Kong's higher education sector," he said.

In his welcoming address, Mr Andrew Yao Cho-fai said that the School of Data Science will create new opportunities in the digital era to cultivate innovative talents for Hong Kong, the Mainland, and the world, thanks to the government's undertaking to develop data science and the artificial intelligence industry.

"Situated in Hong Kong, Lingnan University enjoys strong support from the motherland, and global connectivity. By emphasising critical thinking skills in the application of innovative technology, the School of Data Science empowers students to extract valuable insights from massive data. The University will continue to seek research partnerships with prestigious universities worldwide, with the goal of conducting more impactful and transformative research projects that contribute to positioning Hong Kong as a global innovation and technology hub," Mr Yao said.

President S. Joe Qin delivered his speech and said: "Today, we embark on this new chapter in our university's history. The establishment of SDS (School of Data Science) marks a full-scale implementation of our strategic plans. Our goal is to build on our tradition and become a leading Liberal Arts Research University in the digital era."

"Our goal is clear: to equip our students with AI literacy and critical thinking skills to collaborate and co-live with AI, since AI is impacting every aspect of our lives and work. We want our students to be pioneers in understanding AI's impact on humanity, society, and potential issues that technology advancement will bring. The integrated approach is the very unique feature about AI education in Lingnan," Prof Qin said.

Prof Sam Kwong Tak-wu, Acting Dean of the School of Data Science, Associate Vice-President (Strategic Research) and Chair Professor of Computational Intelligence, outlined the School's vision to become Asia's premier incubator for data innovation, training outstanding data scientists and instilling in them ethical, critical, and strategic thinking skills.

Focusing on first-class interdisciplinary education and training, research, and industry partnerships, the SDS offers a comprehensive curriculum covering fundamental principles and essential skills such as programming, statistics, and machine learning. The curriculum is designed to meet dynamic market needs by providing interdisciplinary hands-on experience and project-based learning that applies skills to real-world datasets, along with strong engagement with organisations through internships and networking opportunities for students. The SDS will also promote collaborative, cross-disciplinary research projects that leverage data science, analytics, machine learning, and AI expertise to address critical challenges in diverse domains.

The School of Data Science offers programmes including the existing LEO Dr David P. Chan Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Data Science (BScDS), Master of Science in Artificial Intelligence and Business Analytics (MScAIBA), Master of Science in Data Science (MScDS). MPhil/PhD in Data Science will be launched in the 2024/25 academic year.

The University will be introducing two new programmes in the 2025/26 academic year, the Master of Science in Industrial Data Analytics (MScIDA) and the Master of Science in Smart City Technologies and Applications (MScSCTA). The MScIDA programme will develop expertise in analysing large-scale industrial datasets for process optimisation, predictive maintenance, and quality control. The MScSCTA programme will provide students with a comprehensive understanding of smart city concepts and technologies as well as their implementation in areas such as transportation, energy, and government services.

Additionally, the University has made generative AI a core course for all first-year students in the 2024/25 academic year. It covers topics such as fundamental concepts of generative AI, methods for evaluation, and ethical considerations. Students without prior AI knowledge will acquire practical skills in implementing, critiquing, and refining generative models.

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SOURCE Lingnan University in Hong Kong