Four postgraduate students win faculty’s Best Speaker Awards for outstanding presentations

Professor Li Wai-keung (far left), Dean of FLASS, presents certificates to thank the two guest speakers: Professor Jim Chi-yung (second from left) from SSC and Professor Wong Ming-hung (second from right) from SES. Professor Daniel Chow Hung-kay, Associate Dean (Research and Postgraduate Studies) is on the far right.

Around 80 participants, including teachers, researchers and postgraduate students from different departments, attend the seminar. Professor Philip Yu Leung-ho, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Information Technology, asks a presenter a question from his department.

The seminar provides a platform for postgraduate students from FLASS to exchange their experiences in conducting research projects.

Congratulations to the four postgraduate students from various departments of FLASS for receiving the Best Speaker Awards in the latest Faculty Postgraduate Seminar (FPS) on 23 November 2022. FPS is organised twice every year to provide more opportunities for our postgraduate students to learn from veteran scholars about how to conduct high-quality research and present their research projects. It was the first time EdD students joined the seminar together with other PhD students.

In the opening session of the one-day seminar, Professor Wong Ming-hung, Advisor (Environmental Science) from the Department of Science and Environmental Studies (SES), gave a speech on “Sustainable Management of Persistent Toxic Substances to Enhance Environmental and Health Protection”. Professor Jim Chi-yung, Research Chair Professor of Geography and Environmental Science from the Department of Social Sciences (SSC), followed up with a speech on the “Socio-economic dimension of urban greening”. They answered questions from the floor about factors that contribute towards a successful research project, and the common difficulties a researcher may encounter during their research. The seminar attracted around 80 participants.

After the two professors delivered their speeches, 12 postgraduate students from FLASS were divided into science and social science panels, where they shared the progress of their research projects. Four students were given Best Speaker Awards in recognition of their outstanding presentations. The winners of the science panel were Ms Diana Wong Yuen-sam from SES, and Mr Khan Qasim from the Department of Mathematics and Information Technology (MIT). The winners of the social science panel were Ms Jessie Tu Jiaxin from the Department of Asian and Policy Studies (APS), and Mr Benedict Essuman-Quainoo from SSC.


Dr Suen’s encouraging words calms my nerves

Mr Khan Qasim from MIT and Ms Diana Wong Yuen-sam from SES with their certificates of the award.

Mr Khan Qasim gives a presentation about fractional calculus and its applications.

Ms Diana Wong believes that using a funnel introduction is a good way to start a presentation.

Mr Khan Qasim completed both his Master of Philosophy and undergraduate degree in his homeland Pakistan before moving on to pursue his doctoral studies in applied mathematics at MIT of FLASS. Since joining MIT in September 2022, he has had 14 research articles published in various international peer-reviewed journals. Mr Qasim’s presentation topic at the seminar was “Fractional calculus with applications”, which is an extension of the ordinary calculus taught in secondary schools. He said that fractional calculus is a useful approach to solving partial differential equations in applied mathematics, and this will be one of his research focuses in his PhD study at EdUHK.

He thanked his supervisor Dr Anthony Suen Chun-kit from MIT for his encouraging words. “He calmed my nerves shortly before the presentation by saying, ‘Khan, don't worry, I trust you, and you will be the best.’” Mr Khan also wanted to thank Professor Lo Sing-kai, Dean of the Graduate School, and other faculty members for inspiring him with new ideas.

The presentation by Ms Diana Wong Yuen-sam was entitled “How do attitude-laden educational approaches influence pupils for shark conservation, cognitive VS affective?—a preliminary study in Hong Kong”. The postgraduate student from SES believes a well-organised flow and effective use of language are key to delivering an engaging presentation. “I started the presentation with a ‘funnel introduction’, beginning with a broad statement about the background of my research, and then narrowing the focus down gradually to a specific argument.” She said whenever she feels nervous before or during a presentation, she will take a deep and slow breath to relieve anxiety and stress.


To be braver when facing possible challenges

Ms Jessie Tu Jiaxin from APS with her award.

Ms Jessie Tu Jiaxin is in her second year of the Education of Doctor programme at APS. Her research project, entitled “Explaining the implementation of education policy reforms in China with a city perspective: a mixed method”, is about the reform of basic education in mainland China. It is the first independent research project that Jessie has ever taken up.

“I didn’t have a strong academic background about the topic, so I felt nervous and confused at the beginning. Fortunately, I received a lot of professional advice from my supervisor and different kinds of encouragement from all the teachers and classmates around me,” Ms Tu said. She added, “Being given the award encourages me to be braver when facing possible challenges during my research project. I really want to express my thanks to my supervisor, who nominated me to join this seminar. It was a good chance for me to train my presentation skills and learn from other outstanding students.”

The fourth recipient of the award is Mr Benedict Essuman-Quainoo, whose research project is entitled “Critical barriers to Green roofs and walls adoption in developing countries”.