Three professors in the Department of Electrical Engineering, Wong Ching-chang, Cheng Chi-tai and Li Shih-an, led the Soccer Robot R&D team to the 18th Federation of International Robot-Soccer Association (FIRA) World Cup Robot Tournament held August 24th to 29th in Shah Alam, Malaysia. More than fifty teams from twelve countries participated in the event. The TKU Medium-sized Soccer Robot Team grabbed the championship titles for the RoboSot in Robot Soccer and the Motion Challenge, the runner-up for the Vision Challenge, and third place for the Open Creative Challenge. TKU’s Humanoid Robot Team also won the championship in HuroCup Basketball, bringing the total of TKU wins to three golds, one silver and one bronze. This was the ninth time that the R&D team has won the world championship for the Medium-sized Soccer Robot Group, and it was the eighth time running (2006-2013), which is outstanding. The FIRA World Cup Robot Soccer Tournament this year divided the competition into five categories based on dimensions, functions and other differences. TKU’s Department of Electrical Engineering Robot R&D team participated in two categories, the RoboSot and the HuroCup. Professor Wong Ching-chang said that the TKU medium-sized robot was equipped this year with a completely new high-speed camera and a hardware control device, and in addition to upgrading the robot’s race reaction time, system stability was also improved so that the robot was able to handle the continuous, tight competition. The robot was now also able to maintain a high level of combat capability scoring. In the Humanoid Robot section, the competitive strategy this year was to add even more intelligent control algorithms, which improved the robot’s hoop-shooting accuracy, allowing TKU to win the basketball competition this year. He Chengyao, a doctoral student in Electrical Engineering and the team leader of the medium-sized soccer robot R&D team, said that there is a degree of difficulty adjusting the tournament for the venue and rules each year. From this year on, the medium-sized soccer robot competition will be adding a technical challenge element to the competition wherein the robots must complete visual positioning, dynamic obstacle avoidance, technology disclosure and other competitive items. The medium-sized soccer robot team relied on new research completed for positioning and obstacle avoidance systems for a successful win of the gold in the Dynamic Obstacle Avoidance Challenge, the silver in the Visual Positioning Challenge, and the bronze in the Technological Disclosure Challenge. Hu Yueyang, a doctoral student n the Department of Electrical Engineering and team leader of the humanoid robot R&D team, said that the Humanoid Group trained at Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore before the competition to allow the students on the humanoid robot team to experience the customs of another country and for a technological exchange between the two countries. Furthermore, the two sides conducted a simulated contest to accumulate competition experience, which helped the humanoid robot team to achieve success at the 2013 FIRA event. Chen Gonghan, who participated in FIRA as a member of the humanoid team, stated that although the robots compete in an arena, the team members standing outside the arena were not at all relaxed. The TKU team would take the lead in many of the competitions, but their opponents would trail by a mere point or so. Fortunately they finally succeeded in holding onto their victory. Chen said, “I was shouting with excitement on the sidelines.” This caused everyone there to look at him, and he felt so embarrassed that he just wanted to find a hole to sink into. Another team member, Lin Shuwei, stated that the tournament was hosted this time by Malaysia, and that the local staff and the national teams were all very enthusiastic. “In addition to sharing the different features of our respective cultures, we also made a lot of friends,” Lin said. Wong Ching-chang said that the TKU Robotics Team dates back to the founding of the Intelligent Control Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1989. The sequence of research revolves mainly around small-scale, medium-sized, humanoid and home services robotics, and the current team has entered the third stage of an energy integration period. The R&D that the team has conducted on full-imagery and full-mobility technology and patents gave the TKU soccer robot a competitive advantage, and the scope of the research has advanced to home services, rescue robots and robotic arm applications. The team will continue to exert efforts in the direction of industrial-academic cooperation to get R&D funding allocated for an increase in opportunities to study the robotics industry. This will allow R&D development to move forward with a focus on the intelligent robot industry.
To help new students during the summer break review high school math, to help those who have only heard about calculus to lay a good foundation in the study and to better understand their future career plans, and to reinforce self-confidence as well, the College of Science will hold a freshman math camp this week for four days and three nights so that new students can “warm up their engines” before the school year begins. Whether they like math or not, all students will be able to gain a new perspective on math, seeing the subject as not just a tedious operation or formula. It is also hoped that participants can get to know one another and learn something other than what the courses offer via camp activities and programs such as teamwork and thinking outside the box. College of Science Dean Wang Bo-cheng stated that in recent years the level of math skills displayed by most senior high school students has been in steady decline, and freshman calculus teachers feel that students without a solid foundation find it quite difficult to study. In view of this, the College of Science set up this camp before school opens thanks to the teaching of Department of Mathematics Associate Professors Li Wu-yen and Wu Jyh-shyang; the course contents include an introduction to logic, fun math, real numbers, the Cartesian coordinate system, functions and so forth, attracting the enthusiastic participation of a third of the freshman seeking Bachelor degrees in Math, Chemistry and Physics, amounting to nearly a hundred students. This shows that junior and senior high school students are not the only ones in need of bridging courses in basic subjects; college freshman are also in urgent need of such courses. Professor Li Wu-yen’s main course covers derivatives of limits and trigonometric and transcendental functions in calculus, and graph-drawing, related variability and problems in optimization and application. In addition, he may balance the course by interspersing text material on math and popular science. Professor Li said that since time is limited, in order for students to learn more, classes will be lecture-based, and that students will interact while working on some topics they are given. Such an arrangement will familiarize students with the form of college classes so that they can quickly adapt to classroom conditions once school begins and connect with the course contents. Professor Wu Jyh-shyang’s course merges propositional logic, function concept and trigonometric function, limit derivative function and integral concepts, and the teaching methodology consists of lectures, interactive Q&A and achieving teaching objectives through imitation exercises. Professor Wu said that most students will find their thirst for knowledge to be very strong after four days of the class, and it can be seen from people’s expressions of doubt or knowing satisfaction whether or not they understand new concepts. This is quite different from formal classes, which have a particular pace and tempo. Teachers cannot wait in this case for a knowing look on a student’s face before continuing on with the lesson, but it is the direction that remedial teaching may take in the future. The executive director of the camp, fourth-year Math major Lin Weijue, attended the same camp three years ago after having just become a freshman. He said that the camp offers a very memorable experience, and in addition to getting familiar with the manner in which college classes are taught, it is vital that newcomers be able to recognize fellow freshman students. The math camp ensures that a student will more likely be clued into the campus once the new semester starts. Moreover, the greater number of fellow students one knows, the more quickly you can find a solution via this pipeline to problems encountered on campus. Lin said that new students should definitely seize this opportunity to participate in the camp due to the help the camp offers in adapting to future learning conditions. In regard to joining this year’s math camp, Bai Peijia, who is studying for a B.A. in Science, mentioned often hearing classmates who are taking calculus say it is a real headache, and that except for people who are really strong in mathematics, just looking at all the symbols and formulas in a calculus textbook will make one’s head spin. The humorous, easy-to-understand way that Professors Wu and Li use to teach the essential basics gets students interested in math, and quizzes are arranged for after the class to test whether students have retained the course content. The training for this camp has allowed Bai Peijia to understand that the key to learning math well is to just go for it and not worry about it too much. In the face of future studies, he will get an understanding of the course contents prior to the class, listen attentively to lectures during class and follow each process directly when making math calculations. Furthermore, such efforts will certainly allow him to pursue his university studies effectively when training himself to resolve problems.
Starting 48 years ago, prior to freshman admission each year, the five-day Danhai Same Boat Club seminar for leaders of students associations is held. In addition to nurturing a number of outstanding student leaders, the seminar allows participating guidance counselors, service staff and leaders to cultivate a deep and abiding camaraderie, and it brings a vibrant new energy to TKU clubs and societies. For the 2013 Danhai Same Boat seminar, 231 student club leaders received training, the seminar theme being “Martial Arts Overlord” in the hope that during the five days and four nights of training, each club leader would turn into a skilled knight-errant, a hero rich in knowledge and capabilities. Fourth-year Civil Engineering student Hsieh Minyan said that with the aim of doing everything possible to develop its vision, the Danhai Same Boat Club hopes to achieve the goals of breaking through one’s own defenses, building a consensus with others, learning from the past to build for the future, and reaching a pinnacle through the reform and restoration of resources. Hsieh noted that the lineup of lecturers for this year’s courses is very strong and hopes that those participating in the course sessions take their studies seriously. Moreover, if that which is learned is brought back to the club, the club will also reach that pinnacle, he said. During the opening ceremony in the Cheuh-Sheng International Conference Hall on August 22nd, Academic Vice-President Yu Kuo Hsing pointed out that a club with an accumulation of experience can be of great help regarding a future career, saying he hopes that the TKU student club leaders will be able to cultivate much soft power from such a source. The course on creativity in club activities invited the famous Hsiang Sheng Wa She (相聲瓦舍, House of Comic Dialog) comic dialog artist Song Shao-ching, who teaches in a most lively and interesting manner with a unique creativity of sharing and nurturing. Wu Bo-rui, a second-year student in Industrial Economics, stated that the comedian teaches very actively, conveying an ingenuity that comes from the heart using humor. For the “Student Party” and “Heritage Party” on the fourth evening, each group of students pulled out all the stops to perform ten-minute skit and dance routines that included a blend of dancing, cartoons and MTV which showed the diverse talents of the students. It is hoped that the activities can stimulate creativity and problem-solving skills in students within a short period of time. The Heritage Party symbolizes past and future traditions, and 2012 student group leaders were specially invited to the event this year to cheer on the 2013 leaders taking over responsibility for the clubs. Spending time and energy with student clubs is certainly the right choice for younger classmates to make! Senior students in Danhai Same Boat have also previously encouraged new student leaders. Third-year Finance student Yang Shi-yi, president of the Japan Mahjong Club, said: “Because the club has just been set up, I can learn many things by joining Same Boat. It has helped me realize the importance of partnership, and we are making history together.” Near the end of the event during the closing ceremony, Dean of Student Affairs Ke Chih-en, said that future employability is increased through the honing of one’s skills in a student club, and that one becomes more confident, with eyes focused and full of passion. The dean also thanked the service staff for its selfless efforts in helping the event to close successfully.
In coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tamkang University promotes the International Youth Ambassador Exchange Program, and in recent days Professor Chen Hsiao-chuan, director of the Graduate Institute of the Americas, led the 2013 International Youth Ambassadors Mission to Mexico for a 14-day cultural exchange. The mission members began writing the project proposal in March for this exchange activity in order to draw up their lesson plans. After the selections were determined, preparations were launched for the various courses at the end of April and practiced repeatedly in the hope that the richest aspects of Chinese culture would be presented to Mexico, and that the goals for this exchange task and mission would be reached. The opening ceremonies for the Mexico Exchange Mission were held at Universidad Iberoamericana on August 8th, during which the youth ambassadors performed a tea ceremony and a traditional sleeve dance to enthusiastically favorable criticism. In addition to the school’s principal and Taiwan’s representative to Mexico Lee Sing-ying, guests from other schools also joined the festivities. Head of the delegation, Director Chen Hsiao-chuan, said that the TKU delegates studied the tea ceremony at the Yun Fong Tea Shop in Tamshui prior to departure for Mexico, and that Yun Fong donated the much-loved tea used in the ceremony, which came in handy making tea in Mexico, and supported the mission’s performance. Five of the delegates are students in the Institute for Latin American Studies: Zhou Houyu, Li Yizhen, Wei Yijia, Wang Wanru and Huang Ruihong. One student, Li Xiangyu, is from the Institute of European Studies. All of the delegates can speak Spanish, so their exchanges with local students were very lively. The mission visited the following schools during the fourteen-day trip: Universidad Iberoamericana, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México (UAEM), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Hidalgo (UAEH), TecMonterrey, La Voz, Colegio de México, Universidad de Valle de México (UVM). UAEM is a sister school with TKU, and the TKU delegates received an exceptionally warm welcome on this campus. TKU President Flora Chia-I Chang asked Director Chen to present a letter to UAEM President Jorge Olvera García so as to promote friendship between the two schools. President García held a banquet for the Youth Ambassadors as an expression of the esteem which UAEM has for TKU. The youth ambassadors prepared several courses on Chinese culture at the exchange of universities in Mexico, such as, the tea ceremony, tea and refreshments, paper-cutting, Chinese knot-tying, traditional festivals, impressions of Taiwanese, et cetera. In addition, they designed group activities and children’s toys in order to quickly interact with local students. Each university in Mexico welcomed their guests at the opening with folk dances, inviting the youth ambassadors from Taiwan to join in and thereby fully achieving a mutual cultural exchange. American studies student Zhou Houyu said that it was the goal of the mission to help local people become familiar with Taiwan culture. “Originally, we thought of a few things that were already past their prime that might be a new experience in the eyes of local people, but during the process of giving directions, we rediscovered the beauty of Taiwan’s culture.” She said that she was quite moved by the importance local people attached to these types of cultural activities. Under arrangements made by the Mexico Representative Office, the Youth Cultural Ambassadors Mission also accepted interviews from mainstream media like Mexican national television station ABC and Hidalgo TV, among others, and they paid a visit to the Mexican House of Representatives. Director Chen Hsiao-chuan expressed how happy she was to have this opportunity to take the mission abroad on a cultural exchange, which allowed her to personally experience so many cultural exchange activities on such a deep level. These activities not only promote recognition of Taiwanese culture among young Mexicans but draw both sides closer together as well. Taiwan soft power diplomacy can also make incursions in the global arena through the spread of culture.
The 2013 ADOC Digital Center Exchange Conference was held in the afternoon of August 15th at the Howard Plaza Hotel. Tamkang University and Chunghwa Telecom jointly announced a portable assistant for the visually-impaired and for senior citizens that provides them with services that can identify everyday objects and banknotes through cloud computing recognition technology and remote volunteer services, and can also use speech commands to query bus information, daily breaking news, and timely stock or price quotations. The app also allows a smart phone to become an electronic magnifying glass that helps elderly people or their friends with poor eyesight to improve the quality of their lives. In the capacity of visually-impaired students, R&D engineer Jason Chang from TKU’s Center of Resources for the Blind , expressed the importance of this app, saying that in addition to helping improve the lives of the visually-impaired, the app can also be used by senior citizens. He further stated that the app has basic voice as well as built-in multi-touchpad functions together with a text-to-speech feature and a voice assistant to read out text so that users can easily listen to the contents of written material. Cloud computing recognition technology and remote volunteer services provide visually-impaired and elderly users of this app with services that can identify items used in daily life as well as paper money, use spoken queries for bus times and routes, and announce breaking news, stock market information and prices. The app also allows smart phones to enlarge written material for elderly people or their companions with failing eyesight so that they never need worry again about making out tiny text. In regard to safety issues for the elderly and the visually-impaired, the app has a function that can report safety conditions or transmit emergency request messages and phone calls. By entering the phone numbers of friends and relatives into their smart phones, by means of a simple operation seniors can leave home safely or, if in need of help, can send emergency messages as well as GPS coordinates and an address to family and friends so that assistance can be easily and quickly provided. Executive Secretary Hung Hsi-ming of the school’s Center of Resources for the Blind stated that the app released today is the latest version of the portable assistant app for the blind and the elderly since Tamkang University and Chunghwa Telecom released the initial version in June of last year. The newest version has been expanded from the original visually-impaired users to include senior citizens, and the functions have also been substantially expanded. The feature which helped the visually-impaired to identify banknotes originally only worked for New Taiwan dollars, but now it recognizes five denominations, the NT, the Chinese renminbi, the Japanese yen, the US dollar and the euro. In addition, the voice feature can speak the denomination for the visually-impaired to hear. As for everyday items, a remote volunteer services system has been added to the latest version of the app whereby pictures of daily supplies can be transmitted to volunteers who then send the name of the product back to the app for the user to hear spoken by the voice assistant. Hung Hsi-ming said that the app can even identify difficult-to-recognize items like milk and fruit juice. Jason Chang said that there is a high degree of similarity in the packaging of daily-use items, and that visually-impaired people often have difficulty in differentiating between these items by touch, causing no small trouble in daily life. The recognition feature of this app can therefore help them to resolve this kind of problem. The new version of the portable assistant app used with the Android system for the visually-impaired and elderly can be downloaded for free from the Accessible Global Information Network (http://www.batol.net), and before the end of the year, it can also be downloaded for free from Chunghwa Telecom’s Hami Apps or the Google Play Store.
The school’s Chemistry in Action Mobile Lab has traveled 18,000 kilometers in Taiwan, with the International Year of Chemistry having entered its third year. The Chemistry in Action Mobile Lab has returned to southern Taiwan, with plans to visit thirteen schools outside Kaohsiung, starting at Nanlong Junior High School on August 12th where scholars and junior high school students can experience the many colorful changes taking place in chemistry. In addition, the determination of Kaohsiung and experts in the chemistry industry to cooperate in launching educational diversity will be made public. The Chinese Chemical Society is hosting the chemistry activities program in the countryside with the help of the project leader, College of Science Dean Wang Bo-cheng. In addition to signing a cooperation agreement with the Kaohsiung City Department of Education, they will come to Nanlong Junior High School that day to participate in this event for the joint promotion of chemistry education, thereby sharing with students their experience of a career in chemistry research. Dean Wang has stated that the Chemistry in Action Mobile Lab can travel all over Taiwan. In addition to support from the National Science Council and the Bureau of Education as well as the enthusiastic participation of students from the Chemistry Department of each school, the kind support of domestic chemistry-related industries has been given for the funding of activities, industry information, samples of raw materials and testing apparatus. These chemistry industry businesses are willing to dispatch personnel as volunteers to participate in activities that provide in-depth help for each region. This type of enterprise helps with conducting social services feedback that makes the chemistry education campaign even more meaningful. The entire student body of the Nanlong Junior High School participated in this event. In the morning, they looked at wall posters detailing the early life of Madame Curie, relating many interesting accounts of the history of chemistry, with an easy-to-understand introduction of the products and status of the domestic chemistry industry. The afternoon event was a high point with demonstrations of chemistry experiments in sound and light changes that allowed students to begin hands-on experiments with an elevated mindset. This included principles of chemistry such as ideas about acids and alkalis, crosslink reactions and surfactants, three experiments designed to give students a hands-on experience. Nanlong Junior High School Principal Chiu Yan-fu thanked Tamkang University for its help in guiding students toward the proper study methods, and for pointing our daily life activities designed to provide students with a multi-pronged approach to come in close contact with chemistry and to realize the importance of chemistry in daily life.
A seminar for new department heads in the 2013 Academic Year was held August 7th and 8th at the Lanyang Campus Clement Chang International Conference Hall and the Evergreen Resort Hotel in Jiaosi. The seminar included a services report for the Office of Academic Affairs and the Office of Human Resources. In addition, invitations were sent to the Dean of the College of Engineering, He Chii-dong, to share the experience of being a senior dean, the Director of the Graduate Institute of China Studies, Chang Wu-ueh, to share the experience of being a senior department head, the Dean of the School of Business and Management, Chiu Chien-liang, to speak about leadership philosophy and communication skills, and the Dean of the School of Education, Chang Dian-fu, to lecture on team management and administration. A relaxing afternoon tea, an evening dinner gathering and a karaoke event were also arranged for the participants. Vice-President of Academic Affairs Gwo-hsing Yu presided over the seminar, and in his opening remarks, he first welcomed the new department heads to the executive team, saying that everyone who joined the school was bringing new thinking and vitality. VP Yu encouraged all the newly-appointed department heads to comply with the three directives for the handover ceremony for new department heads held August 1st: 1) department heads are asked to focus on efficiency and a fast pace; 2) each department head should arrange off-campus visits to conduct benchmarking studies so as to better understand his/her own strengths and weaknesses; 3) and most importantly was the presentation of innovative ideas and practices. If each department head can practice these directives, it is felt that school events will be more prosperous. VP Yu further expressed the sentiment that the new department heads are members of the school’s new generation and can overcome any difficulties in times of trouble. Tamkang is a place where aspirations can be developed and where pressures and frustrations that one has been burdened with can be recalled in the future as the most substantial and sweet of memories. TKU President Flora Chi-I Chang fully participated in the first day’s agenda, presenting Stephen Convey’s book, “The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life’s Most Difficult Problems,” to the new colleagues. President Chang emphasized that leadership is not natural and must be learned, asking which roles the serving department heads should play, and suggesting that this should be like the book’s basic premise, that people should think of a manner by which “your method” and “my method” change into “our method,” that is, collaborative innovation. The president further remind new department heads of the following points: 1) They will definitely want to make use of the summer to gain a detailed understanding of the relevant regulations because regulations are often revised whenever appropriate at the current moment, and not only are they archived, it is hoped that everyone will understand the changes in the rules. 2) In September school will begin and a discussion of the development plan for school affairs in the 2014-2016 academic years will be held to brainstorm the direction of development for the next three years, working to merge the school affairs development plan and the teaching excellence program. 3) This year ranking will be the theme of the teaching and administration reform seminar, and the first and second levels of ranking content will be introduced as well as precautions that must be heeded and methods to improve ranking measures. In the last part of the seminar, VP Yu presided over the department heads exchanging ideas regarding shared learning experience and comprehensive discussions. At the conclusion of two days and one night of learning activities, everyone went home all the richer for their experience.
The TKU sister school Doshisha University in Kyoto is a famous private university in Japan, and the principal of the school, Koji Murata, arrived for a visit to the TKU campus in the afternoon of Tuesday, August 6th, 2013. Doshisha University received two grants at the same time from Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (MEXT), one to enroll foreign students and another to send exchange students abroad. There have been frequent exchanges between the two schools since Doshisha signed a contract with TKU in May of 2010. Apart from sending a group of students and teachers (Department Faculty of Social Studies Department of Education and Culture) to conduct student/teacher exchanges with TKU in April of this year (2013), Doshisha also jointly held a seminar on development trends in Asia and the world with TKU’s College of International Studies, and TKU Vice President of International Affairs Tai Wan-chin led five department heads and professors from the College of International Studies to Japan for meetings and to present papers at the seminar. The TKU Department of Japanese had favorable results from sending third-year students to Doshisha as exchange students. In order to expand the exchange program, and with the expectation that future exchanges between the two universities would be more frequent, in February of this year, Wu Hsi-deh, Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Literatures, signed long- and short-term student learning exchange contracts with the head of Doshisha’s Faculty of Culture and Information Science, who along with Doshisha teachers and students was visiting TKU at the time. Principal Murata took charge in April this year, using a visit to Taiwan as an opportunity to visit TKU, at which time TKU President Flora Chia-I Chang held a special banquet in the Chueh-sheng International Conference Hall to celebrate, with relevant department heads joining in. There was much lively conversation during the meal, with expectations of even more exchanges of students and teachers in the future as well as cooperation on R&D projects.
During the 2013 summer break, the TKU Cambodia Services Learning Group enthusiastically provided its services in the form of 400 kilograms of supplies such as towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste, stationery, clothing and toys. This was the seventh visit to the lotus cities and towns of Kampot Province, and the floating village of Kampong Phluk on Tonle Sap Lake, to teach computer and Chinese classes and provide care supplies. In addition to cultural differences and a disparity in material items, the simple, mundane and practical is often seen in Cambodia, where for 22 days in July, contentment, gratitude and a sense of value were evident in the desire for knowledge that group members felt in the students. No matter whether it was during class or after class, there was a good opportunity to learn. That type of treasure, concerning the pursuit of knowledge and learning opportunities, is what most inspires the mission members to offer their services. Lee Mei-lan from the Extracurricular Activities Guidance Section said the teaching program has continued as before, with the mission dividing the Chinese teaching into teaching students basic phonetic symbols, and triggering an interest and impetus in students to study a basic Chinese class. Entertainment found in picture books and singing activities was used to get students to study, adding to picture books drama that resonates with students, and adding actions to singing games. Making the teaching of Chinese singing and painting classes more lively helps Cambodian students gain a deeper understanding of Chinese. In addition, in breaking away from the usual word processing in computer teaching, the image editing software Picasa and the graphics software Sketch Up were added to help students learn more software application skills. Advanced computer courses were also designed for the tutoring of translation teaching in the hope of developing new teachers so that once we have left, autonomous learning can continue, and when we see that local youths can teach their fellow Khymers to type, the group members will be filled with a sense of accomplishment. A member teaching the basic Chinese class, Cao Wenting, referred to the image that had made the deepest impression on her: “I could hear in the distance the welcoming song of the children at the Buddhist School and feel their hopes and expectations for the coming year. Watching the cooks that prepare three meals a day for us, cutting and washing the vegetables next to the hot stove, carefully preparing each delicious dish, enduring the greasy pots and pans under the charcoal smoke – they are tireless. After one meal is finished they start again preparing the next meal. The view of their sweating backs is the most beautiful and moving scene of this journey.” Lin Jiazhen, a member teaching the Chinese singing and painting class, also said: “I saw one kid who was very diligent in class actively studying Chinese, who would grab his notebook full of notes after class and ask the teacher how to write the characters they had just been talking about. He would then return quietly to his seat and repeatedly practice the Chinese words that had just been written down for him. He was constantly asking questions, and practicing over and over again. Seeing a kid like this made me think about how life influences life. Although we are in the roles of teachers, it is actually from the students themselves that much of learning takes place, learning to cherish one’s life, learning how to seize hold of the right time to study, and even more so, learning contentment and gratitude. On this trip to Cambodia, more than just enjoying the service work we do, we are seeing the value of life within this service.” Lee Mei-lan stated that the service was trying out a new experience with the evening calligraphy classes. The Cambodian children had never seen calligraphy brushes before and have had no previous experience learning calligraphy. The four short days of the advanced Chinese calligraphy class saw more than a hundred people in attendance. Calligrapher teacher and team leader Fu Shengjun said, “Based on cultural differences and differences in the evolution of writing, Cambodian and Chinese writing is as different as day and night. The kids are taken step by step, starting with holding a pen, to teaching the eight stroke patterns based on the character ‘yong (永, forever)’. In the beginning the kids are not too familiar with all this, but later they gradually learn how to hold the brush, how to lift the brush from the paper at the end of a stroke, and how to put the brush to paper. A teaching achievement this time was also helping students write one- and four-character New Year’s scrolls. Differences between the Cambodian and Taiwanese New Year were realized through such interactive cultural exchanges.” The service just happened to coincide with local general elections this time. Flags of the political parties lined the streets, which were filled with the noise of rallies, giving the mission the opportunity to become familiar with the local political culture. Motorcades passed by with waving flags and rallying cries. Young activists made up the majority of the participating public, bravely voicing their support for social welfare and taking to the streets for impartiality and justice. It was an intensely tight election, and after the opposition party claimed victory, a clamor about the government coup was repeated continuously and the news was whispered about everywhere, to the point that the mission almost could not return home. It was discovered on this trip that even though the education the Cambodian people receive is somewhat limited in scope, they participate with enthusiasm, giving the mission members a real lesson in “civic participation.” The eyes of each student are imprinted in the minds of the mission members. With the writing of Chinese characters by the children, and the sentences they recited in class, and because of an environment that fails to provide a complete education, one can get a sense that the kids do their best attitude when studying, which helped the mission members to understand how education can bring change into the lives of children. When the members were leaving, the reddened eyes of the children revealed both their hopes and their dismay, saying to the members, “Older brothers and sisters, are you coming back next year?” As the car slowly took off, the kids were hanging on to the hands of the members through the open windows. Although Taiwan and Cambodia are separated by some distance, the mission members were profoundly impressed by such genuine, simple, untarnished feelings. The blue sky, white clouds, green trees, red clay, gray stones and black skin are the colors of Cambodia, and they will remain in the minds of the mission members forever.
The 2013 handover ceremony for department heads was held in the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall on the TKU campus on Thursday, August 1st, starting at 10am. The event included eighteen positions changing hands in the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of Mass Communication. President Flora Chia-I Chang said in her opening remarks that the handover ceremony for new and outgoing department heads has been a tradition for many years, with the passing of the baton on to the next group of leaders and as a way of giving thanks to those departing. When interviewing new department heads, the President always tells Level 2 Teaching Department Heads that they were selected via popular mandate, and so long as they can harness their energies and nurture their capabilities, they will be able to realize their ambitions. Level 2 Administrative Heads have most often started out their career at the bottom and have many years of work experience, and with this abundance of administrative experience, they can also successfully guide their workplace colleagues. President Chang explained how in recent days she was upgraded from a position in a technical college to a university committee member, with the opportunity to attend the 9th Conference for University Presidents from the Cross-Strait, Hong Kong and Macao Regions. She said that she has visited many domestic colleges and universities and found the software and hardware facilities at each school to be both novel and very creative, things such as catering and hotel equipment, classroom facilities, and new ideas for library allocation. The president hopes to encourage all her colleagues to focus on the following three points: 1) Rapid Response In the rapidly changing environment of today’s higher education, it is important that each department head at the school respond to challenges in a quick and savvy manner using strategies such as the latest of software and hardware architecture, financial restructuring, organizational innovation, Total Quality Management, and so forth. 2) Creativity and Innovation Departments are the heart of the school, and new department heads should hold fast to the TKU mission to pay heed to the past while meeting the future by understanding the general situation of the department affairs as soon as possible, and reading up on the relevant regulations. In addition, all the department features should be developed through creative and innovative thinking, and departments should be guided in forging ahead in the established direction of this development. 3) Benchmarking The two key points of benchmarking are comparing operating performances and studying best practices models. It is hoped that each person chooses to benchmark his or her school and conduct an immediate observation. The president again thanked the outgoing heads for their many years of contributions to TKU, also saying that she hopes the new department heads will take up the baton and give it their best in a hard sprint for TKU. New and outgoing department heads then spoke to the assembly, with the new Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Lin Sinn-Cheng, saying that he had entered TKU’s Department of Information and Library Science fifteen years ago, and during that time had received no small amount of help and consideration from two professors, Huang Shih-Hsion and Huang Hong-Chu, from Dean Chiu Jeong-Yeou, and from other colleagues as well. Serving as a department head six years ago was one of life’s unexpected journeys for him. From reading the book, “Leadership Gold: Lessons I’ve Learned from a Lifetime of Leading,” given to him by Dean Chiu, he came to the profound understanding that the person most difficult for him to lead is himself, which has allowed him to transform from his original mindset of serving as a custodian to that of one taking an active leadership role. Therefore, his unexpected journey has become a journey of learning. Dean Lin thanked all the members of his harmonious Department of Information and Library Science family. He will instill this same ambience in the College of Liberal Arts in the future by continuing to shape a unique learning environment that evokes the perspective of the East, a global vision, an international standard and creative restructuring, building core competencies in the College of Liberal Arts in creative sinology, a cultural point of view, innovative publishing, film and television entertainment and digital content. Chen Li-Hua, the new Director of the Graduate Institute of Curriculum and Instruction, spoke about the continuation of her karmic destiny from 28 years ago. Director Chen recalled the deep impression left on her many years ago while serving at Tamkang by the Three Objectives of Education promoted by TKU founder Clement C.P. Chang, globalization, information-oriented education and future-oriented education. It is as if she has now returned to the environment she knows so well, rich in efficiency and innovation, and with benchmarking a worthy concern; continuing to serve at TKU is truly a cause for rejoicing, she said. Digital Information Group Leader Lin Tai-Hung said that he regards his new position as an opportunity for self-discipline, and that he looks forward to seeing the TKU library retain its leading position among domestic libraries as the academic heart serving the faculty, staff and students of the entire university. Outgoing Dean of the College of Liberal Arts Chiu Jeong-Yeou modestly referred to himself as the “little brother” of college deans because the four years of care he felt from “older brother” deans, chancellors and university colleagues was exceptionally warm. Dean Chiu pointed out that the pressures on administrative managers is certainly quite heavy, but he thinks that one should persist in doing the right thing to the end, and that only then will a department move in the direction of good development. Li Chi-Wang, outgoing Director of the Department of Water Resources and Environmental Engineering, said that working as an administrative manager had not been his original career plan, but it allowed him to get a taste of an experience that most teachers will never understand. He hopes that new Director Chang Li-Chiu can bring a fresh atmosphere to the department. Outgoing head of the Department of Russian Chang Ching-Gwo thanked everyone at TKU for helping him over the years, especially thanking the President for providing an opportunity for the Department of Russian to put innovative courses of action into practice. Chen Hsinchih, outgoing Director of the Center for General Education and Core Curriculum, said that although she only held her post for two years, it felt more like six years because her administrative work eventually flashed a red warning sign about her health. She therefore had no choice other than to resign. She very earnestly recommends that the Office of Information Services get serious about integrating the school’s information systems so that each office can save time on business integration and enhance administrative efficiency. Although the outgoing head of the Operation Management Section, Tsai Chun-Chih, has already retired, she still hurried over to the conference hall to attend the handover ceremony today. She firmly believes that Director Hsiao Ming-Chin will definitely be able to restructure and upgrade the office. Lastly, to the sounds of congratulations and blessings, the grand, warm handover ceremony came to a conclusion.
From July 27-29, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, led a delegation of senior TKU staff members to take part in several major events in Malaysia. The delegation included the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Gwo-Hsing Yu, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee, and the Executive Director of the Office of Alumni Service and Resources Development, Dr. Chun-Young Perng. While in Malaysia, the TKU delegates participated in the third session of the 2013 Malaysia Higher Education Fair, attended celebratory events marking the 39th anniversary of the Federation of Alumni Associations of Taiwan Universities, Malaysia (FAATUM), visited one of TKU’s partner universities in Malaysia, Sunway University, and interacted with TKU alumni at a special banquet dinner. In addition, President Chang also accepted an exclusive interview with the Oriental Daily News. During the interview, President Chang talked about the distinct features of TKU's Lanyang Campus. She explained that over 90% of courses at the campus are conducted in English; that the objective of the campus is to employ and promote a holistic educational approach; and that TKU’s graduates are consistently voted “enterprises’ favorite graduates” due to TKU’s system of education, which involves the Triple Objectives of Education, the Three Circles and Five Disciplines of Education, and the Eight Essential Tamkang Qualities.
From July 20 – 26, the 9th Cross-Strait, Hong Kong, and Macau University President Conference is being held in Taiwan. This year’s Conference was initiated at the behest of the President of the University System of Taiwan, Dr. Ovid Tseng. It is hosted jointly by National Taiwan University and National Chiao Tung University, and organized collectively by TKU, National Tsing Hua University, National Cheng Kung University, National Sun Yat Sen University, I-Shou University, Yang Ming University, Soochow University, National Cheng Chi University, National Central University, Chang Gung University, Yuan Ze University, National Chung Hsing University, Feng Chia University, Tunghai University, and National Quemoy University. One of the events held as part of the conference was a University Presidents Forum, held at the TKU Lanyang Campus on the morning of July 21. The Forum explored the current status and cooperative mechanism for development between universities in the four regions: Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Through this Forum, it is hoped that universities from each region may enhance their level of mutual academic cooperation and exchange.
The TKU Experimental Theater Group recently set out to a remote elementary school in Miaoli, Central Taiwan, where it taught local students about the joy of theatrical performance. Not only did the group perform for the children, it also guided the students to produce their own performance, complete with art, drama, dance, and music. The trip to Central Taiwan was part of the Experimental Theater Group’s “Red-Nose Performance” Summer Camp. The director of the camp, Luo Hsiang-Ru, explained that giving the children temporary financial or material support is not going to help them attain a better lifestyle. “What we try to do is help children gain confidence and self-belief through learning about and taking part in art and theater”. The camp was named the “Red-Nose Performance” Summer Camp because the motif of “clowns” and clown performance was a central part of the camp. Luo noted that clown shows are a type of performance with no barriers, and that the art of “clowning” places great emphasis on sharing with the crowd. “We hope that through holding clown shows, we not only teach students about how to appreciate the arts, but also equip them with the ability to share and communicate in their everyday lives”, said Luo.
From July 8 – 12, TKU’s Center of Resources for the Blind held the 2013 Happy Camp for the Visually Impaired. The purpose of the event was to help visually impaired students better adapt to university life and encourage such students to actively participate in casual social activities and prepare for future employment. Participants in this year’s Happy Camp came from universities around Taiwan, with a total 115 students, 12 student assistants, 25 teacher counselors, 21 team leaders, along with administrative staff, lecturers, and assessment committee members. Camp activities included an opening ceremony, special lectures, and experience-sharing from successful visually impaired persons.
On June 27 and 28, the TKU Graduate Institute of European Studies and the European Union Center in Taiwan jointly held the 5th EU Nuclear Safety and Sustainable Development Summer Camp. This year’s camp explored strategies of sustainable development employed in Europe and issues to do with nuclear safety. The camp involved special lectures delivered by seven renowned Taiwanese scholars and experts. The opening ceremony of the Summer Camp featured high level dignitaries, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs representative Chang Wen-Hsiung; the Executive Director of the European Union Center in Taiwan, Marc Chia-Ching Cheng; the Director of the TKU Graduate Institute of European Studies, Dr. Chiu-Ching Kuo; Dr. Cho Chung-hung (the Camp Consultant), and the Chair of Global Political Economy, Dr. Cheng Chin-Mo. A total 36 student participants took part in the Camp, including students from National Taiwan University, National Cheng Chi University, National Taiwan Normal University, Soochow University, and National Central University.
On the morning of July 4, TKU signed a partnership agreement with National Quemoy University (NQU), Kinmen. The agreement will involve student exchange, academic and educational cooperation, resource-based and academic interaction, and graduate student training. The partnership agreement was signed by the presidents of both universities at a signing ceremony held at the TKU Tamsui Campus. Apart from the presidents, the ceremony was attended by various NQU delegates, as well as senior TKU staff, such as the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Po-Yuan Kao, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, the Secretary General, Dr. Hsu Ting-Chi, and the deans of various TKU colleges and offices. During the ceremony, the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, stated that this is the first time for TKU to sign an academic partnership agreement with a Taiwanese university. The connection between the universities can be traced back to the 2009 National Presidents Forum held at NQU, in which TKU was received with warm hospitality. As early as 2009, the President of NQU, Dr. Chin-Cheng Lee, proposed the possibility of a mutual academic partnership.
On the recommendation of the Ministry of Education, at 10 am on July 1, 2013, the Rector of the University of Alcalá (Spain), Prof. Fernando Galván, and his spouse, Prof. Maria Angeles, visited the TKU Tamsui Campus. The guests were received by the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee, who led the guests on a tour of the campus, including visits to the Chinese Palace-style Classrooms and the TKU library. Prof. Galván and his wife expressed high praise for the beautiful campus surrounds and the comprehensive campus facilities. After the campus tour, the guests participated in an informal discussion hosted by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and attended by the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai; the Director of the Graduate Institute of the Americas, Dr. Lucy Chen Hsiao Chuan; Department of Spanish Associate Professor, Dr. Wan-i Her; Department of Spanish Assistant Professor, Dr. Liou, Ai-ling; and Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Pei Wha Chi Lee. At the end of the visit, President Chang held a banquet at the Hotel Regalees in honor of the guests.
From June 24-28, the 6th Worldwide Chinese Theoretical and Computational Chemistry Conference (WCTCC) was held at the Chung-Ling Memorial Hall, TKU Tamsui Campus. The Conference was organized jointly by TKU, Soochow University, Chinese Culture University, Fu Jen Catholic University, the Center for Bioinformatics Research (National Chiao Tung University), the Center for Quantum Science and Engineering (CQSE, National Taiwan University), the National Center for Theoretical Sciences (NCTS), and the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica. The Conference will explore various topics, including the most recent theoretical developments and computation methods, the reaction to theoretical and computational chemistry in the domain of chemistry, biochemistry, and the application of various related fields.
This year’s Flag Presentation Ceremony was held on June 26 at the Student Activity Center, Tamsui Campus. It is an annual event in which Tamkang says goodbye to students who will soon go abroad for a year of student exchange. The ceremony was attended by exchange students and by the 12 Tamkang students selected to represent Taiwan overseas as International Youth Ambassadors. The ceremony was hosted personally by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, and featured a number of dignitaries and diplomats, such as Hu Cheng-Hao (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Robin Lu (Bureau of International and Educational Relations, Ministry of Education), Jason Reeves (Director, Canadian Trade Office in Taipei); Mario González Alonso (Spanish Trade Office in Taipei), Teng Yu-Fei (Commercial Office of Peru in Taipei), and Ye De-Gui (Envoy, Latin America and the Caribbean). This year, a total of 441 students will take part in overseas exchange. They will study at 60 TKU sister universities from a total of 16 countries. At the same time, over 1,500 students from universities around the world are currently studying at TKU.
This year, close to 300 students from 19 TKU student clubs set out to bring care to the rural community. Eight of the clubs, including the TKU Volunteer Service Club, will hold volunteer service activities in the local Taipei area, teaching children about the importance of regular exercise and moral integrity. For the seventh time, the Cambodia Volunteer Group will head to Cambodia to help care for the local community and provide local children with lively lessons on using computers and speaking Mandarin. On June 24, a flag presentation ceremony was held at the TKU Tamsui Campus to farewell the vast group of volunteers.