The Tamkang University Robot Development Team once again produced impressive results at the final of this year's Hiwin Intelligent Robotic Arm Competition, which was held at Nankang Exhibition Hall on August 29, 2018. Led by two teachers from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering – Dr. Ching-Chang Wong and Dr. Tsai Chi-Yi – Tamkang's Robot Development Team consisted of two groups: the "MIT Hornets" and the "Tamkang Winners". The former group developed its own six degrees of freedom (DOF) robotic arm, and thus competed in the "development category" of the competition. The latter, on the other hand, applied software to a robotic arm provided by Hiwin Technologies, and thus entered the "application category" of the tournament. This year, Tamkang's MIT Hornets took first place in the development category for the fifth consecutive year. The development category comprised a total of six teams, with second and third place going to National Cheng Kung University and National Formosa University respectively. Within this development category, the Hornets claimed first spot in three separate sub-categories, or events: intelligent stacking, mechanical writing, and intelligent sorting. Meanwhile, in the application category, which comprised 16 teams in all, the Tamkang Winners edged out third place. Hiwin Technology has been holding the Hiwin Intelligent Robotic Arm Competition since 2008. Each year it sets aside NT $3 million for the competition, offering a total of NT $1.55 million in prize money, and hiring personnel to help organize the event. Through the competition, it hopes to cast a wide net and find talent in related fields, drive effective university-business collaboration, and enhance the technological capability and production value of the robotics industry in Taiwan. The award ceremony for this year's competition was held Sept 1.
Since Tamkang University began accepting foreign students in 1990, an average of 2,000 students from around the world have come to TKU to study each year. In order to greet the most recent group of foreign students, and help them feel more at home here, on Sept 5, 2018 the TKU International and Cross-Strait Affairs Office held a series of orientation lectures and a welcome party. Close to 700 foreign students participated in the event, as did a number of senior-level TKU faculty and staff, including the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who hosted the proceedings. Also present at the event were the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Chii-Dong Ho, the Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, and the Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Lucia Chen, as well as department chairs and section chiefs from each of Tamkang's departments and major administrative divisions. The series of events commenced with remarks from TKU's President Keh, who cited statistics from the Ministry of Education highlighting a massive increase in the number of foreign students studying in Taiwan over the past 15 years. From 2.17 million foreign students in 2000, this number has more than doubled, reaching 4.85 million in 2016. Conversely, President Keh noted, Tamkang University also encourages its students to embark on exchange or international programs at its sister universities overseas. So far, in 2018, over 1,400 TKU students have gone to sister universities to take part in exchange and study programs. Of these, under the Junior Abroad Program, 648 juniors traveled to 110 universities in 19 countries to pursue their studies. The president's opening remarks were followed by a greeting from the Dean of International Affairs, Lucia Chen, whose welcome remarks were delivered in fluent English to the 600-plus foreign students present. During her brief speech, Dean Chen urged students to keep in close contact with the International Office and expressed her hope that the new students were able to adapt to their new environment as quickly as possible. At the "welcome party" later that evening, students were treated to delicious Taiwanese food, while various displays were set up, giving the newly arrived foreign students a chance to experience Chinese calligraphy and view an array of Taiwanese relics.
To extend a warm welcome to new students, Tamkang University recently held two "Welcome Ceremonies", which involved a handful of rituals. In one ritual, students had to climb a steep staircase hewn into a slope beside the Tamsui Campus. The reason the welcome ceremony starts at this slope, know in Chinese as the "overcoming difficulty slope", is because climbing these steps is an allegory for overcoming one's troubles. It symbolizes the process in which people transcend the difficulties they encounter in day to day life. After scaling the slope and walking past the Ancient Palace Classrooms, a series of classrooms that resemble ancient Chinese buildings, the students headed to the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, where the ceremony was set to commence. The ceremony proper kicked off with performances from numerous TKU clubs, including the Cheerleading club and several dance clubs. To follow was a speech by the President of TKU, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, who described the phases TKU underwent on the way to becoming the foremost private university in Taiwan. President Keh also talked of Tamkang's success in the recent Cheers Magazine poll, an annual study that shows which college graduates are the most popular among local Taiwanese businesses. TKU ranked first among all private Taiwanese universities, and, when adding in public universities, placed ninth overall. President Keh concluded his speech by encouraging students to develop the ability to study independently and to continue studying throughout their lives. He exhorted students to improve their personal character and to make the most of their time at college, in the hope of adding to their knowledge and growing as people. At the end of the ceremony, the college song was played and the students, faculty, and staff in attendance sang along in one voice.
Modern Taiwanese cities are plagued by a number of problems. These include: a lack of space given to pedestrians due to overprioritizing vehicles, a paucity of public seats on which to rest, and public walls that are choked with advertising. As a result, people don't appreciate their surrounds, and instead tend to rush from A to B. To inspire the next wave of architecture students and encourage them to create better, more innovative designs, a Cross-Strait architecture competition for graduating students was recently held. Known as the 6th Architecture and Urban Planning Competition, it comprised entrants from 20 universities across Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. In the end, first prize in the architecture category went to Tsai Chia-Rong, a student from the TKU Department of Architecture. Li Lixin, one of the judges in the competition and an associate professor at the University of Xiamen School of Architecture and Civil Engineering, commented: "Ms. Tsai's design reflected a strong foundation in the field of architecture." But it was more than just that. "What was really impressive", he added, "was that Ms. Tsai's responses in the Q & A section and the architectural model itself both contained an extra, deeper layer to them. She's gone beyond creating a mere architectural design, and added a philosophical dimension to it. It's an incredibly memorable design." Lian Wei-Jun, another student from the TKU Department of Architecture, placed among the top contestants in the town planning category. Jeng Huang-er, an associate professor and coordinator of this year's TKU Graduation Design Exhibition, said that architecture is no longer merely about rigid bricks and mortar. The process of architectural design draws influence from various disciplines, including behavioral science, computer science, media theory, control theory, urban and behavioral models, and systems and artificial intelligence theories. Tsai's winning piece was titled 'Welcome to the Time Hotel'. To create the Time Hotel, she used familiar architectural elements from people's everyday lives to try and strengthen the connection between the individual and his or her surrounds.
As per convention, since early-August this year Tamkang University has held a total of 19 Freshman Forums in locations around Taiwan, allowing new students and their families the chance to familiarize themselves with life at Tamkang before the start of the new semester. On Aug 25, two forums were held at two TKU campuses; one at the Tamsui Campus (Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium), and one at the Lanyang Campus (Clement Chang International Conference Hall). The Forum at the Tamsui Campus was hosted personally by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, and attended by the TKU vice presidents and senior-level faculty and staff. Total attendance was around 1,400, including freshmen and accompanying family members. During his opening remarks, President Keh welcomed the new arrivals and thanked them for choosing to study at TKU. He expressed his hope that students make the most of their time at college, and work to strengthen their abilities and build their character in the open learning environment afforded them at Tamkang. He touched on TKU's 'triple objectives of education', urging students to develop a global perspective, enhance their information skills and sharpen their vision of the future. The purpose of these forums is to help freshmen and their families better understand their future departments and the learning environment at TKU. By holding a Q & A session and a campus tour, students and their parents become familiar with the campus and its surrounds, and gain peace of mind, which in turn helps students to focus on their studies and adapt smoothly to life at TKU.
Globalization has dismantled barriers that once existed between countries and brought people closer together, creating ever more chances for cross-cultural exchange and interaction. In a closely connected global village, many of the issues faced by modern societies can be solved through cooperation between nations. With this in mind, Tamkang University joined forces with Ritsumeikan University and Kyung Hee University to hold the 2018 Asian Community Leadership Seminar (ACLS). In its third year now, the Seminar centers around issues unique to East Asian societies, and through a mixture of theoretical discussions and practical activities, proposes a series of concrete solutions. As part of this year's three-week-long Seminar, students spent one week at Ritsumeikan University in Japan (Aug 6-11), then moved on to Kyung Hee University in Korea, where they stayed for the second week (Aug 12-18), and concluded their trip in Tamkang University (Aug 19-25). A total of 20 students took part: four from Japan, six from Korea, and ten from Taiwan. During the opening ceremony of the event, the TKU Dean of International Affairs, Dr. Lucia Chen, noted that the ACLS is an integral platform for students who wish to participate in international affairs and broaden their horizons. She praised the participants for displaying courage and wisdom, and showing a willingness to try things and challenge themselves. She also said that, this year, 90 percent of participants were female, which reflects the significant role women play in today's society. However, she expressed her hope that more male students would take part in the activity next year. Over the course of the three weeks, a number of educational activities were held, including lectures, group tasks, and internships.
In the recently released Webometrics Rankings of World Universities (WRWU) for July 2018, Tamkang University ranked 633rd in the world and 124th in Asia. It placed 10th among all Taiwanese universities, and 1st among private universities in particular. The rankings are released twice a year, in Jan and July. The objective of the rankings is to encourage universities and research centers around the world to enhance their global image when it comes to online journals, scientific research findings, and general research activities. Unlike other rankings, the WRWU takes into account the number of references a university receives via online search engines and digital scholarly databases, such as Google, Google Scholar, Yahoo, Live Search, and Alexa. In the subcategories of the rankings, TKU placed as follows: presence 5% (ranked 233); impact / visibility 50% (ranked 242); openness / transparency 10% (ranked 977); and excellence / scholar 35% (ranked 1,333). A total of 20 Taiwanese universities were listed among the top thousand universities in the July rankings. These included: National Taiwan University (94); National Chiao Tung University (254); Tsinghua University (278); Cheng Kung University (287); National Central University (467); National Sun Yat Sen University (473); National Yang-Ming University (513); Taiwan Normal University (618); National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (620); as well as Tamkang University (633), which placed 10th overall in Taiwan, but headed the list of Taiwanese private universities.
At 10am on August 1, Tamkang University held a ceremony to induct the new president of Tamkang University, as well as a slew of new department chairs and managers. The announcement of the soon-to-be TKU president was made during the ceremony by the Tamkang University Chairperson, Chang Shi-yi, and was formalized as Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the current president, passed a sealed envelope to Dr. Keh Huan-chao, the future president. The passing of the sealed envelope is a symbolic ritual akin to passing on the baton. Dr. Keh, who served as the Vice-President for Academic Affairs, is set to become TKU's 12th university president. The ceremony was attended by esteemed members of the Tamkang community, including the former TKU President and current Chair of the Retired Tamkang Faculty Association, Dr. Lin Yun-shan, who awarded President Chang a Certificate of Appreciation on behalf of the entire TKU faculty and staff. This was followed by a speech made by President Chang. In her speech, she thanked the faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication throughout her 14-year tenure, and expressed her wishes and hopes for the incoming President Keh. She also took the chance to stress the importance of TKU's core values, principles such as the "Three Circles and Five Disciplines of Education" and the importance of quality management. A total of 37 first and second-tier managers will be leaving Tamkang, their positions replaced by new personnel. This is the largest change to the human resource landscape in one single academic year ever. The list of managers and senior-level faculty to soon be retiring or vacating their position include the TKU Vice-President for International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, the Dean of Physical Education, Dr. Hsiao, Shu-Fen, and the Director of the Alumni Services and Resource Development, Perng Chun-young.
Historical areas and old streets in Taiwan are often criticized as being overly commercialized, or of offering a lack of variety in the types of wares being sold. They are viewed as lacking character. In order to preserve the character of such places and maintain their heritage and history, the Tamkang University Department of Architecture and the University Social Responsibility (USR) Office launched ‘The Restoration Street Workshop’. As part of the Workshop, students will work to restore, maintain, and protect the numerous cultural and heritage spots located in Tamsui. On July 12 TKU held a presentation ceremony to showcase some proposals for restoring and conserving such sites. Huang Rui-mao, an associate professor from the TKU Department of Architecture, noted that Tamsui is a thriving tourist destination and that behind Tamsui's success is a group of passionate residents who have been devoted to conserving the local cultural sites for many years.
Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone? Are you ready to embrace diversity in a completely new environment? Are you ready for challenges you may never have faced before? While most students are still pondering these questions, a group of 648 TKU students have already left the cosy confines of their comfort zones to go study overseas. To bid this group of students farewell in style, the 2018-19 TKU Study Abroad Ceremony was recently held at Tamkang University's Tamsui campus. Third year student, Chian You-yu, who returned from a year abroad on student exchange, asserted: "Every experience you have, no matter what the outcome, will add to your knowledge and maturity. In good times, be happy; during adversity, build your strength and durability. We can't know in advance how to overcome our challenges, but what we can be certain of is that we will in the end find a solution." In attendance at the ceremony were Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, the TKU Vice President for International Affairs, and Dr. Pei-Wha Chi Lee, the Dean of International Affairs.
On June 26, 2018, Tamkang University held a farewell ceremony for faculty and staff set to retire at the end of the 2017-18 academic year. Among those retiring were the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang; Professor Alex Tuan from the Department of Civil Engineering; Professor Huang Yi-ming from the Department of English, as well as several others, with a total of seven faculty and staff members due to leave the Tamkang family soon. President Chang, apart from being one of the faculty members who will soon retire, also delivered the opening remarks at the farewell event, and presented the other participants with farewell gifts. The ceremony was attended by senior-level TKU faculty, including the TKU Vice President for Academic Affairs, Huan-Chao Keh, the Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Hu, Yi-jen, and the Vice President for International Affairs, Wan-chin Tai. The event featured several emotional speeches and inspirational messages directed at those in attendance, the faculty and staff who will carry the torch forward for Tamkang University as it heads steadfastly into the next decade.
At 10:01 am on May 26, Dr. Clement Chang, the Founder of Tamkang University, passed away. He was 90 years old. During his life, Dr. Chang contributed extensively to society and to his country, serving as the Deputy-Speaker of Taipei City Council from 1969-1989 and subsequently being appointed Minister of Transportation and Communications, as well as working in various other senior-level government positions. Despite having worked in positions of political power, his true passion lay in the field of education, as he hoped to help the community and give back to society in the form of education. He was an educator and a philanthropist. News of his passing was met with extreme sadness by TKU faculty and staff, many of whom attended Dr. Chang's funeral. The funeral was held on June 21, and was also attended by a number of Taiwanese dignitaries, including the former president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jiu.
The 2017-18 Academic Year Graduation Ceremony kicked off at 10 am, June 16, at the TKU Tamsui Campus. The ceremony commenced with opening remarks by two graduating students, Tsai Yu-xuan and Wang Bo-yao, who represented all students in attendance at the ceremony. They wished for graduating students to go out into the world with confidence, to have robust friendships, to apply their knowledge, and to move forward with courage and create a life worth remembering. Activities held on graduation day included a final lap of the campus, which is a TKU custom for all graduating students. During the lap, students are accompanied by faculty as they walk past various sites and buildings that have been home to them for the last four years. Several senior TKU faculty attended the ceremony, as did the Tuvalu Ambassador to the ROC, Limasene Teatu, and representatives from the Marshall Islands (Anjanette Kattil) and Honduras (Jose Victor Lozano). This year's graduation ceremony featured a special guest speaker – a former TKU student and the current Managing Director of Yahoo Taiwan, Erika Wang. Wang's speech focused on the topic "A letter to yourself at 30". In her speech, she asked students to imagine themselves at the age of thirty. 'What would you be like?' she inquired. She also left the students with a message, exhorting them to keep in mind the following six principles: 1) Try to always remain kind and be upstanding. 2) Be punctual, be punctual, be punctual! If you keep your promises, you will gain people's respect. 3) Develop the ability to think critically; don't just be part of the herd. 4) Develop the habit of learning throughout your life. 5) Have the ability to help people without needing something in return. 6) Cultivate an optimistic outlook, and be able to support and cheer for yourself. A total of 6,107 college students graduated this year, as well as 890 master's students, and 21 PhD students. Among these graduating students were 562 Cross-Strait or international students from 54 countries.
As early as 2002, the Founder of Tamkang University, Dr. Clement Chang, signalled the way forward in higher education, pointing to online learning as a powerful new medium for instruction and designating TKU's "cyber campus" as the university's fourth official campus. Now, as we move further into the 21st century and enter the 'era of acceleration', the challenge is to effectively utilize new technologies to make our lives more convenient and efficient. To achieve this goal, the Tamkang Center for Learning and Teaching is currently holding a display at the Black Swan Exhibition Hall. With the theme "Working Together to Create a Brighter Future", the exhibition will showcase future designs of cyber campuses and intelligent classrooms, as well as a new breed of courses that incorporate the latest technology to bring knowledge and learning into the community. These include courses that blend practical elements with virtual reality, long-distance correspondence courses, massive open online courses, and OpenCourseWare courses. The opening ceremony of the exhibition was held on June 12 and was attended personally by the TKU Vice-President for Academic Affairs, who presented awards for outstanding long-distance courses and teaching innovation. The exhibition will end June 15.
To help students and faculty better understand the University Social Responsibility (USR) Program, last week Tamkang University held a workshop event at the Chueh Sheng International Conference Hall entitled "Working Together to Create Tamsui Community". The event featured students not only from TKU, but also other local colleges in the area. During the event, members of the USR team and others who had participated in previous events took turns sharing their experiences in conducting social responsibility activities, and the TKU Vice-President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Huan-Chao Keh, delivered a speech, in which he introduced the two projects that had gained approval and subsidies from the Ministry of Education. One was the 'Restoration of Tamsui Old Street' project, while the other was the 'Tamsui Good Living' project. The first session of the workshop involved a briefing from the members of the 'Tamsui Good Living' project. One of the teachers assisting the project, Huang Rui-mao from the TKU Department of Architecture, described the work that TKU students had accomplished under the USR program. This includes going into the community to help restore dilapidated areas, create innovative ways of dealing with food waste, provide long-term care and assistance for the elderly, and offer after-school care and guidance for school children.
In Taiwan, children who haven't yet entered kindergarten are often looked after by a babysitter or a full-time nanny. To allow the nanny to consistently evaluate the progress made by the child as he or she grows up, and to enable the flow of communication between nanny and parents, a little notebook known as a "communication booklet" is used. However, in its current form, the communication booklet is somewhat inconvenient. For example, it costs money to consistently purchase new booklets; the lined paper or the format of the booklet does not always meet one's needs; children often forget to take it with them or bring it home; and it's impossible to update and then instantly view the content of the booklet. Yet a group of TKU students from the Tamkang University Department of Computer Science and Information Engineering have changed all this by developing a new online e-booklet app that goes by the name "Babe with You". These students last week took part in the final leg of the 2017 Mobile Application Innovation Contest, held by Apple, and claimed first place, demonstrating on the largest stage the high-level software development skills of students from Tamkang University. Additionally, Meng-Shiuan Pan, the associate professor who oversaw the project, received the prize for best supervisor.
According to estimates released by the World Health Organization on Sept 27, 2016, 92% of the world's population live in conditions that fall below international standards for air quality. In 2012, 6.5 million people died due to air pollution, with 3 million of these deaths related to ambient air pollution, and two-thirds of deaths occurring in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific Region. In such regions, polluted air - characterized usually as 'haze' - carries particulates that enter the respiratory tract and lungs, and cause respiratory illnesses and cardiovascular diseases. On June 24, 2017, the TKU College of Science hosted a special lecture by the President of the City University of Hong Kong, Dr. Way Kuo, who spoke about various issues surrounding air pollution and its effects on the global population. The purpose of the lecture was to discuss the current direction of government policy as it relates to energy resources and the environment, as well as underlining the need to find alternative forms of sustainable energy sources. The event was attended by numerous TKU senior staff members, including the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang.
In the 2016-17 academic year, 49 students from Fujian University, Mainland China, attended Tamkang University as part of a unique collaboration between the two universities, which has seen the implementation of the Fujian and Taiwan Culture and Creative Study Program. While at Tamkang, this group of Mainland Chinese students gained a better grasp on the culture and creative industry, as well as experiencing life in Taiwan firsthand. The students compiled their year-long stay in Taiwan into a book, entitled "My Year as a Junior Studying in Taiwan", which was then published. Sinn-Cheng Lin, the Dean of the TKU College of Liberal Arts, noted that the College is actively promoting study programs in the culture and creative industry and in various fields encompassed in the culture and creative industry.
As globalization brings the world closer together, students in Taiwan are encouraged to open their minds, broaden their knowledge base, and show a sense of respect and curiosity toward customs and cultures around the globe. It is in this spirit of support for global adventure and exploration that, on June 20, TKU held the 2017 Flag Presentation Ceremony. The ceremony is an annual event attended by faculty, staff, and students, and is in essence a farewell celebration for TKU students set to venture overseas on exchange study programs. Among those in attendance at the event were the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who personally hosted the event and conducted the flag presentation herself, as well as the Deputy Director of the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Ms. Charmaine Stanley, and a member of the French Office in Taipei, Ms. Anne-Laure Vincent, both of whom delivered speeches. Various other dignitaries also attended the event. President Chang noted that, from the outset, when Tamkang University was first established, it was built on a set of clearly-stated principles: globalization, as well as information and future-oriented education. In 1993, it became the first university in Taiwan to set up a Junior Abroad study program, which has to date enabled over 7,000 students to study abroad.
For many years, bamboo has served as a source of inspiration for Taiwanese architects and designers. As well as being easy to prepare, bamboo is also low-cost and environmentally-friendly, and therefore has various applications, including being used as building material for homes, in lookout points at scenic spots, a common material in interior home designs, and often fashioned into handicrafts or used to make everyday necessities. To promote green building materials, the TKU Department of Architecture recently opened a bamboo-themed exhibition located at the well-known tourist site, the "Customs Wharf", in Tamsui. As part of the exhibition, students helped to mold strips of bamboo into numerous shapes and designs, including a moon, a globe, a flower, a fish basket, and a series of wave formations. The aquatic theme behind the designs correlates to the exhibition's surrounds, which includes a river and a wharf. The Chair of the TKU Department of Architecture, Dr. Mii, Fu-Kuo, explained that, before creating this artistic space by the river, the department first examined and took close note of the handiwork and culture of bamboo constructions internationally, and particularly in Southeast Asia. The exhibition will run for three months.