The centerpiece of the Tamkang University 60th Anniversary celebrations was the Diamond Jubilee Official Ceremony, held at 10 am on November 6. It was a prestigious event, attended by the President of the Republic of China, Mr. Ma Ying-jeou, the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Jim Bolger, and numerous university presidents and vice-presidents from Tamkang University’s overseas sister universities, as well as Tamkang University alumni. It was held at the Shao Mo Memorial Gymnasium, in a large hall adorned with balloons, greetings banners, and dolphin-shaped figurines. Amid this festive backdrop, the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, delivered an opening address, in which she expressed her gratitude to President Ma for attending the Official Ceremony, and identified a common objective held by the Taiwanese government and Tamkang University: the internationalization of Taiwanese education. In terms of internationalization, Tamkang University was the first Taiwanese university to implement a Junior Abroad overseas study program. Today, Tamkang enjoys sister school relationships with universities in Asia, Europe, America, Australia, and New Zealand. Close to 100 delegates from 35 of these sister universities attended the Official Ceremony. And in part thanks to this push toward internationalization, Tamkang University has been voted by Cheers Magazine as the leading private university in Taiwan for 13 consecutive years. For his part, President Ma reflected on how he was captivated by the beauty of Tamkang’s Tamshui campus when visiting for the first time during a summer camp 41 years ago. He also commented on Tamkang’s rapid evolution since that time, into what is today Taiwan’s leading private university. On a personal note, President Ma added that, being born in 1950, this year is his 60th birthday, too. Brief speeches were made by the former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mr. Bolger, as well as the President of the Tamkang Alumni Association World Federation, Mr. Chen Qing-nan, and awards were offered to major contributors among Tamkang alumni; after which Mr. Chen was honored for his substantial financial donation to Tamkang. Tamkang University’s alumni, which number over 220,000, are a major source of impetus for development. Each year, Tamkang awards alumni who have made significant contributions to Tamkang’s growth and to the larger society. This year, Tamkang also held a “Tamkang Evening Banquet”, where over 1,000 Tamkang alumni gathered under the one roof to celebrate the 60th anniversary of their former university. Other items in the anniversary schedule included special lighting ceremonies, a screening of the movie “Lessons Learned at Tamkang”, a concert held at the University Commons, and two separate presidents’ forums, among a range of other activities. The activities were lively, fun, and varied. They were not only a great success, but also a reflection of the collective vision and unity of the entire body of Tamkang staff and students.
To celebrate its 60th anniversary, from the beginning of this week, Tamkang University has been holding a number of colorful activities, including two separate light displays and a major concert. The lighting display at the Tamsui Campus began at dusk on the 5th of Nov. It was held at the University Commons, where long lines of multicolored lights were threaded through trees, bushes, and along the grassy perimeter of the square enclosure. Projection lights were set up, as were laser lights, and machines that sprayed mist. The Lee Shuan Che Monument, located within the University Commons, was the centerpiece for the show. And as the show began, loudspeakers started to project rhythmic tunes, and laser lights and mist spouted from the monument. The show was a symbol of the Tamkang spirit of ‘lighting up the path with wisdom’, a vivid reminder to always apply the values encapsulated in the University Motto “Simplicity, Truthfulness, Firmness, Perseverance”. Half an hour later, as the show came to an end, students headed over to the nearby Student Activity Center, where a major concert was just beginning. The concert featured various Tamkang alumni artists and entertainers, including TV personality, Bu Xue-liang – who hosted the event – as well as an array of talented singers: Xiao Huang-qi, Shi Hsiao-rong, Guo-jing (Claire), Ma Nien-Hsien, and Crowd Lu. The artists not only sang their own hit songs, but also came together to sing the Tamkang campus song. Meanwhile, Tamkang University’s Langyang Campus, in far away Yilan County, also came alive with a stunning light display. The display was planned using computer simulation. It lit up Mt. Linmei, the mountain on which it is perched, with powerful lights that formed the message “TKU 60”. So expansive was the display that county residents living hundreds of meters below in the flatlands called to enquire about what the message meant. Tamkang staff explained that “TKU” is a reference to Tamkang University, and “60” alludes to Tamkang’s historic 60th anniversary, which is shaping up to be an unforgettable celebration of Tamkang’s history as one of the leading Taiwanese private universities.
The movie “2012” depicts a future scenario, in which a flood ravages the Earth, and only a select few survive by boarding a specially designed “arc”. Although just a movie, “2012” raises issues related to our collective future, including concerns about human rights, a plummeting birthrate, and the state of the world’s natural ecosystems. Such concerns can no longer be resolved by one country alone. With this in mind, Tamkang University invited America’s Foundation For the Future (FFF), and Korea’s Kyung Hee University, to hold a joint seminar on the theme “Global Transitions and Asia 2060: Climate, Political-Economy, and Identity”. The seminar will be held at the Ching-sheng International Conference Hall from 4-5 Nov. One important goal of the seminar is to draft inter-regional cooperative agreements aimed at reducing carbon emissions in Asia. It is also a chance to discuss the possibility of regional cooperation and a blurring of national barriers to form an Asian equivalent of the European Union. The format of the seminar will differ from previous years. In the past, a speaker would stand on stage and tell the audience about his or her opinions and ideas, thus precluding the chance for a mutual exchange of knowledge. This time, however, participants will be divided into groups and will engage in discussion while seated around circular tables. This will allow for a greater interflow of ideas and perspectives. The primary topics to be explored involve climate change, globalization, new information and communication technologies, and the rapid changes occurring right now in Asia. The seminar is not only a forum for the interchange of ideas, but also a symbolic step toward establishing a beneficial and lasting Asian Union.
On Nov. 2, the College of Liberal Arts was home to a “re-opening ceremony”. The ceremony marked the re-opening of Tamkang University’s Experimental Theater, which had been closed for refurbishment. For the ceremony, a number of activities were organized, including a theatrical performance, a brief report on the renovation process using diagrams and pictures, a scrumptious lunch, consisting of south European style food and wine, and a toast – by the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang – to Tamkang University’s upcoming 60th anniversary. Tamkang University’s experimental theater was built in 1977, as part of the construction of the College of Liberal Arts. At the time, it was one of the very few comprehensive theaters built in a university campus. Its interior design and overall layout possesses a unique, very theatrical style, setting it apart from other theaters. It is used variously: for the Tamkang Drama Club’s regular rehearsals, the College of Languages and Literatures’ end of semester plays and scenario-based dialogues; even the Department of Architecture’s end of semester presentations are held there. For Tamkang students, being able to perform in a first class theater facility is a rare and precious experience. And so it is no surprise that many alumni, when reminiscing on their days at Tamkang, talk so fondly of this special theater. Its important place in Tamkang culture inspired drama instructor and Spanish Assoc. Prof., Lin Hui-ying, to give it a makeover. The first step in the process was to invite the Department of Architecture Assis. Prof., Sung Liwen, and Lecturer, Chen Xuancheng, to evaluate and appraise the theater premises. They found that the size and layout of the facility met the basic requirements for a university theater. However, they suggested that refurbishment of the existing facilities would enhance its diversity of function, increase its unique nature, and redefine its role in the context of the Tamsui Campus. Thus, in this year’s summer break, Assis. Prof. Sung and Ms. Chen enlisted a sizeable group of Architecture students to carry out renovations. They worked day and night, in sweltering heat, and succeeded in restoring the Experimental Theater to its former glory, as a sparkling beacon for theater and drama.
On the 31st of October, around 200 people hiked up Mt. Kuanyin in picturesque Tamsui. They scaled the mountain as part of “the Great Kuanyin Hike”, a bygone Tamkang tradition revived, in part, to mark Tamkang University’s upcoming 60th anniversary. The hike was a jointly organized event, and participants came from a number of local welfare and Cub Scout groups with connections to Tamkang University. A notable participant in the hike was the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who doubled as a team leader. “Those who haven’t hiked Mt. Kuanyin can’t really call themselves Tamkangians”, exclaimed Tamkang University Prof. of History, Luo Yun-zhi. His comment was a reference to Tamkang’s close affinity with its mountainous natural surrounds. Tamkang students often win prizes for artwork depicting Tamsui’s mountains and rivers; and there is even talk of the Kuanyin Mountain hike one day becoming a compulsory activity for all Tamkang students. The importance of the hike owes partly to its place in Tamkang history as a venerable tradition. The tradition vanished for an entire decade, but under the joint efforts of various local groups, it has now returned. The hike is a chance for teachers, students, and participating groups to take a break from their busy schedule, and get out amongst nature. After the hike a raffle was held, and one lucky participant went away with a new laptop. All participants, however, came away with a memorable experience and a renewed appreciation for the beauty and tranquility of Tamsui.
On Oct. 27, Tamkang University’s Sunshine Society held its 4th annual Sunshine Ambassador Contest, as well as a range of “quit smoking” activities. The event took place at the Tamsui Campus’ Student Activity Center, and the theme for the day was underscored by the catchy slogan “Tamkang is 60 – quit smoking for you and me”. The event kicked off with a singing performance by Department of Insurance student, Pang Chu, followed by an anti-smoking oath taken by all students and staff in attendance. As the main program got under way, the Professor and Dean of Student Affairs, Ko Chih-en, gave an opening speech. He congratulated Tamkang students and staff for taking third place, out of all tertiary institutions in Taiwan, in the Bureau of Health Promotion’s “Prevention of Smoking-Induced Harm” initiative. He recalled how just three years ago, they would collect an average of 130,000 strewn cigarette butts per semester. Three years on, and today the vast majority of students and teachers who still smoke, do so in the designated smoking areas set up by Tamkang University. For their part in affecting such change, Prof. Ko thanked his colleagues, as well as the Sunshine Society, and many other enthusiastic students who have assisted in promoting and implementing several anti-smoking initiatives. Anti-smoking volunteer, Chen Shu-li, also made a guest appearance at the event. She praised Tamkang University on its efforts to discourage smoking, and urged faculty and students to continue their attempts to curb smoking among today’s youth. As the contest entered the final phase, eight entrants remained. Each of the entrants made a brief speech, explaining why they should be the next Sunshine Ambassador, and gave a short performance to showcase their talent in an area of their choice. In the end, the first prize of 5,000 NT was claimed by fourth year student, Wang Shi-ping. The event concluded with a group photo of all participating students and staff.
Tamkang University has again broken the mould in school celebrations. For this year’s prestigious 60th anniversary, Tamkang enlisted the talent of three acclaimed film directors, who have together produced a unique film portraying university life at Tamkang. The film, entitled “Lessons Learned at Tamkang”, is almost feature length, and interlaces three separately directed short films to form a coherent, intriguing plot. Ahead of its release, a press conference was held on the 26th of October, at Eslite Bookstore’s Xin Yi branch, Taipei City, with close to 200 people in attendance, including Tamkang alumni, faculty heads, and reporters. The film’s directors include Chen Hui-ling, the director of “Next Station, Happiness” and winner of this year’s Golden Bell Award for the category Best Director of a Drama Series; Yang Ya-zhe, a regular at the Golden Bell Awards and director of the 2008 Taiwanese box-office sensation, Orz Boys; and Xu Ming-chun, the director of several acclaimed documentary films, including “Baseball in Taiwan – A Tale of a Hundred Years” and “Stars are Born”. Applying their own brand of direction, each director drew from the myriad scenes, sights, and sounds imprinted in their minds while at university to create a vivid take on life at Tamkang. Two of the short films made for the movie – Yang Ya-zhe’s “Rehearsal” and Chen Hui-ling’s “Action” – were selected for exhibition at this year’s Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival. “Lessons Learned at Tamkang” is not just a symbol and depiction of Tamkang’s 60 years as a leading institute of higher education; it is also a forum encouraging efforts to record, film, and reflect on life at Tamkang University. The feature film will be accessible on youtube during and after Tamkang’s 60th anniversary celebrations in early November. Literally one mouse-click away, the movie will become a platform, from which current students and alumni in every corner of the world may connect with the ever-flowing source of creative energy and innovation that is Tamkang.
On the 15th October, the student activity center at Tamkang University came alive with the sounds of shouting, cheering, and laughter. The event was a trivia contest, in which 53 groups of one to six people were quizzed on Tamkang trivia, as they vied for a spot in the semi finals. Quiz topics varied, from Tamkang’s history and culture, to its organizational structure, staff, teaching system, and even campus anecdotes accrued over the last six decades. The event, entitled “Trivia from 60 Years of Academia”, was organized to coincide with Tamkang’s 60th anniversary. The final, which will consist of 16 teams, will be held on the 6th of November – the very day of Tamkang’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations – and the winning team will take home a symbolic cash prize of 60,000 NT. Inside the activity center, students huddled together, hanging on every last syllable voiced by the compare. With each question, teams broke into frenzied discussion, excited laughter, and began bellowing out responses. The lively event thrilled students and invigorated teachers, as teaching staff relived the long-forgotten feeling of being tested and quizzed. At the end of the event, participants expressed their hope that a trivia contest may be held each year, to promote a deeper knowledge of Tamkang history and culture, and to bring even more fun and laughter to the Tamkang Tamshui campus.
Tamkang University’s Chinese palace-style classrooms were built in 1954. Designed with clay-colored walls and light green roof tiles, they were the starting point of construction for Tamkang’s Tamshui campus. Today, they not only form a must-see scenic spot for visitors to the campus, but also house the carefree memories of countless alumni. As Tamkang University's Diamond Jubilee celebrations rapidly approach, the Chinese palace-style classrooms and walkway – the oldest part of the campus – have been transformed into a symbol of unity and togetherness. Now, artistic lights line the walkway, creating an air of elegant romance by night, and by day, a scene of celebration. Aside from old-style lights draped with flowing pink material, the area is now decorated with round tables covered in red silk, which will be on display from October 18 to November 12. To mark the beginning of the display, a “Lighting Ceremony” was held last night, on the 18th of October. The ceremony and the display itself were designed to convey a sense of coming together, of oneness and unity as we approach Tamkang University’s 60th anniversary. The display officially commenced as President of Tamkang University, Flora Chia-I Chang, turned on the lights and illuminated the night sky. The pink sheets of silk affixed to the lights fluttered brightly in the wind, and gave the night a magical feel. So, too, did performances by the classical Chinese music society, as well as impromptu body painting by the society of fine arts. The scene was one of joyous celebration. The round tables symbolized the coming together of one big family. They were placed around the light poles, enwrapped in red silk that draped down almost to the ground. Benches were laid out, and light fixtures were installed under the tables. When the lights were lit up, each table turned into a giant red lantern, and the lamp stands were laced with colorful decorations. This uniquely decorated area has a dual purpose. It is a space where students can get together, chat, and study, in a festive environment leading up to the TKU 60th anniversary celebrations. More importantly, it is a reminder to current students and alumni of the importance of family unity and togetherness.
The 2010 TKU Seminar on Instructional and Administrative Reforms convened at 9:30 am, Friday October 15. Held in the Chueh-sheng International Conference Hall, it was attended by a total of 187 people, including TKU president, vice presidents, deans of each academic department, faculty heads, secretaries, and teacher representatives. The Seminar on Instructional and Administrative Reforms is a core component of TKU culture and tradition. It is the cornerstone of TKU’s ongoing process of upgrade, reform, and success. This spirit of instructional and administrative reform began when the university was established six decades ago. Almost 20 years ago, in 1991, the unwritten desire to continually improve and adjust was assigned to paper in the form of annual goals and objectives, which were discussed in the context of each year’s seminar. The theme of each seminar reflects TKU’s evolution and growth over the past two decades. This year’s theme was “A successful diamond jubilee – moving forward to create a new era of glory at TKU”. In essence, this was a call from the President of TKU, Flora Chia-I Chang, to come together and think about how to move forward and increase TKU’s competitive edge in the wake of its 60th anniversary. As a step in this direction, each department presented a detailed work plan outlining their goals for the following three years. Additionally, the three TKU vice presidents in charge of academic, administrative, and international affairs, each delivered a report in their respective fields on plans for medium to long term development at TKU. During the seminar, President Chang gave an opening speech on the topic “developing a new era at TKU”. In her speech, she commented on several challenges that TKU is currently facing, brought on by the age of discontinuity, the black swan event, a plummeting birth rate, and other such trends in tertiary education. She asserted that TKU’s medium to long term focus should be firmly placed on enhancing instructors' teaching skills, increasing students' opportunities for learning, improving students' research abilities, maintaining strict quality control processes, building a first class campus, and transmitting positive life values through community service initiatives. Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Yu Gwo-hsing, in his ad hoc report entitled “Forging the dawn of a new era in TKU academics”, emphasized the need to fully utilize TKU’s strengths and opportunities, and to closely monitor its weaknesses and possible threats. He formulated two separate seven-fold development plans in the areas of education and research for the period 2011 – 2013. He also set targets for the development of TKU’s academic standards, to be achieved by 2020. Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Kao Po-yuan, in his report “Development plan for 2011-2013”, stressed the significance of sustainability, efficiency, service, total quality management (TQM), and administrative support of education. Drawing on the principles of collective thinking, inter-departmental cooperation, and enterprise-oriented operation, he defined ten objectives for administrative development, which he hopes will create sustainable operation, optimal efficiency, and top quality service. The Vice President for International Affairs, Dr. Tai Wan-chin, presented a report on “the process of globalization; a development plan for 2011-2013”. The report defined eight essential objectives for globalization, three major tasks to be achieved in the process, six strategies for implementation, and a plan to achieve the projected goals by using the PDCA problem-solving process. In the afternoon section of the seminar, deans of several academic departments delivered reports on key development plans for 2011-2013. This was followed by a general discussion on each of the reports. It is hoped that through the participation of all TKU staff and personnel and the effective use of resources, the clear identification of KPI, more diligent application of PDCA, and the implementation of processes of benchmarking, Tamkang will stride forth and create a new era of academic glory.
Tamkang University Department of Architecture students, Huang Bo-yu and Xie Ci-hui, recently participated in a nationwide students’ picture book competition organized by the National Taiwan Arts Education Center. Competing against students with backgrounds in fine arts and design, they received top honors for their work entitled “The Gift”. The competition required participants to design a picture book suitable for children 3-12 years old, and to deliver the story in illustration format. Bo-yu and Ci-hui’s picture book describes a small rabbit that lives in a white, snow-filled country. One day, the rabbit stumbles upon a magical gift box. Anything placed inside the box miraculously becomes bright and colorful. In the end, the box gets ruined; but everyone works together, using the newly-transformed objects to create a vivid, multi-colored environment. The picture book adopts a mainly white motif, yet is sprinkled with famille rose and acrylic pigments throughout. The method of illustration used is pointillism, which is a way of painting in which fine, distinct dots of color are patterned into a complete image. Throughout the picture book, Bo-yu and Ci-hui use pointillism to generate a stunning contrast between the pure white of the snowy surrounds and the dynamic colors of the magical “gift box”. Xie Ci-hui says “the most time-consuming part was the brushwork.” Using a 0.28 mm gel pen, they patiently dabbed away, dot after dot, until their illustrations came alive. It was their first time taking part in this kind of competition, and a 1st placing has given them the confidence to continue trying a diverse range of drawing styles in the future. Huang Bo-yu has always liked drawing. She participated in the competition in the hope of creating life-long memories during her time at university. She explains “the moral [of the picture book] is to help children understand the importance of working together with others to solve problems.” Not only have they succeeded in vividly transmitting their message through dazzling illustrations, but their first placing in a national competition is a memory that will stay with them forever, and an honor for Tamkang University.
On Saturday 9th October, a ceremony was held to inaugurate the building of a very unique kendo hall at Tamkang University. The opening ceremony was hosted by the president of Tamkang University, Flora Chia-I Chang, and was attended by almost a hundred former Tamkang students. What makes the hall so special is that it is the only kendo facility in Taiwan to employ professional Japanese standards in its construction and design. The kendo hall was donated to Tamkang University by the Tamkang Kendo Association, a group of alumni made up of former members of the Tamkang Kendo Club or Tamkang kendo team. The donation was both a token of their deep gratitude to Tamkang University, for helping to nurture their academic and athletic skills, and a symbol of their support for Tamkang’s enthusiastic promotion of sports and martial arts. The Tamkang Kendo Association was formed in 1969. It boasts a venerable 41 year history and a sizeable affiliation of close to 200 members. Its three-fold objective is to support and safeguard the growth of the Tamkang Kendo Club; to propagate the spirit and traditions of kendo among members of the club; and to encourage greater personal interaction and mutual support between club members. Year in and year out, the Tamkang Kendo Association brainstorms ways in which they can give back to Tamkang University. Many years ago, the founders of the association, Dong Guo-zhang, Lin Zheng-xiong, and Wu Xiang-luo, conceived the idea of building a kendo practice hall. In 2004, the then Tamkang Kendo Club instructor, Wu Jin-pu, retired after 33 years of service. His retirement banquet was a grand affair, with almost 100 former and present members of the Tamkang Kendo Association in attendance. After the banquet, members of the association gathered in a nearby restaurant, and together they shaped, molded and formed the idea of a kendo practice hall into a concrete, tangible project. On the spot, they began to raise funds, and drafted plans for future fundraisers. And they waited, patiently, for the day that their dream would finally turn into reality. To ensure the quality and authenticity of building standards, the Tamkang Kendo Assocation handpicked a renowned Japanese craftsman to oversee the technical aspects of the project. The craftsman they hired is the president of the Japanese Traditional Technique Association, and has extensive experience in the building of martial arts halls. The Tamkang Kendo Hall was his first overseas project and is Taiwan’s only kendo practice hall built according to professional martial art hall standards. Tamkang University hopes that the building of the kendo hall will create more chances for sport-related interaction between Tamkang and its overseas sister universities, as well as local Taiwanese kendo clubs. In attempting to pool their resources and finish construction of the kendo hall in a mere three months, the Tamkang Kendo Association encountered a multitude of difficulties. Fortunately, they received the support of several related university departments and benefactors. The completion of construction signals the birth of Taiwan’s first authentic, professional kendo hall, a facility that can be used for both practice and formal competition. As of next year, students will take part in club activities as part of their compulsory cirriculum. Tamkang University strives to strengthen ties with overseas sister schools, but not only in an academic sense. It also hopes to enhance club and society-based interaction and exchange with overseas universities. It is hoped that in the future, the Kendo Club and other such clubs may serve as exemplars for all of Tamkang’s clubs and societies.
To facilitate greater interaction between Tamkang University’s local and exchange / international students, the Office of International Exchange has set up a Tamkang “Chat Corner”. Starting from the 4th of this month, the Chat Corner will be held daily, from Monday to Friday between 12 and 2pm, at the Language Learning Lounge in the College of Foreign Languages and Literature. It provides the opportunity for local and international students to interact and converse in a number of languages, including English, Japanese, French, Spanish, Russian, and Korean. Students can take advantage of the Chat Corner program to improve their foreign language ability and gain a better understanding of overseas cultures. For each chat activity, a ‘chat leader’ will prepare a diverse and interesting range of topics, which will be discussed in a lively conversational format. Topics discussed may include aspects of daily life, such as food, entertainment, travel, music, movies, leisure activities, and so on. Both local and international students will be invited to serve as ‘chat leaders’, and it is hoped that all students will enthusiastically participate to promote cultural interaction and to enhance conversational proficiency in their chosen foreign language(s). If you, too, wish to study foreign languages in a casual, conversational setting, make sure you do not miss this valuable opportunity. The initial phase of Chat Corner began on October 4. Registration for Chat Corner can be made between 12 and 2pm Monday to Friday at the basement level of the College of Foreign Languages and Literature. In the last couple of years, there has been a large increase in the number of foreign students studying at Tamkang University. The rapid rise in numbers of foreign students not only helps to promote and expand Tamkang University’s overseas presence, but also adds to the international feel at Tamkang University’s several campuses. Tamkang University spares no effort in looking after international students and making them feel at home. To this effect, Tamkang University has held Chinese singing competitions, provides ongoing Chinese lessons for foreigners, organizes symposiums for international and exchange students, runs Chinese teaching workshops, and has set up a comprehensive student course catalogue in English. Last semester, the Office of International Exchange began trialing the idea of Chat Corner. In the Language Learning Lounge of the College of Foreign Languages and Literature, local and international students exchanged language and culture, and built friendships. From the Lounge, the warm sound of laughter and lively discussion began to pour forth, as everyone chatted and conversed like one big family. It is hoped that students take this chance to improve their foreign language skills, and at the same time, help to firmly entrench Tamkang University on the path of internationalization.
FIRA is an abbreviation for the Federation of International Robot-soccer Association. As the name suggests, it is an organization that promotes robot-soccer competitions globally. The FIRA Cup, hosted annually from 1996, attracts robot enthusiasts and technology experts, who compete for prizes and share the fruits of their research among fellow technicians. This year, the FIRA Robot World Cup was held in Bangalore, India. Representing Tamkang University at the event, the Department of Electrical Engineering’s “robot research team” overwhelmed their opponents to claim a vast collection of medals and prizes. For the sixth time since 2003, they were crowned champions of the RoboSot competition – a game of robot soccer composed of intelligent, wheeled mobile robots. They also claimed top honors in the footrace subcategory of the HuroCup (Humanoid Robot World Cup). Their efforts earned them medals in a number of competition subcategories, including penalty kicks, basketball hoop-shooting (runner-up), rock climbing, marathon, and weightlifting (third place); achieving a final tally of three gold medals, two silver medals, and three bronze medals. Their overall score put them in equal first place with fellow Taiwanese contender, National Cheng Kung University. The robot research team was lead this year by Prof. Wong Ching-chang of Tamkang’s Department of Electrical Engineering, a man widely credited for Taiwan's glowing success in overseas robot competitions. The team itself consisted of 15 students from the Department of Electrical Engineering, including RoboSot team captain and second year PhD student, He Yang-yao, and HuroCup team captain and third year PhD candidate Hu Yue-yang. During the five-day competition, held from September 15 – 19, Tamkang’s contingent prevailed over teams from England, China, and Korea, amongst others, returning home as well-deserved victors. As always, Tamkang’s RoboSot team gave a dazzling performance. And this year, their robots boasted a number of noticeable improvements. For one, their overall appearance had been toned down and simplified. On the sides of their robotic shells, the representative letters TKU had been engraved. They weighed less than previous years, due to a series of technical modifications, which enhanced their speed and agility. The RoboSot competition is played with three robots to a side. The robot-soccer field is proportionately identical to a real-life soccer field, but scaled down to accommodate the robots’ limited mobility. “To date, our goalkeeper has not once conceded a goal!” He Yang-yao boasts. Meanwhile, the HuroCup team, hoping to successfully defend their number one placing in last year’s competition, unveiled their newly-designed 7th generation robot, which was built specifically for this year’s FIRA Cup. A dual-control chip design gave the robots greater balance and stability; while the use of newly-developed Industrial PC technology allowed for improved image processing capability and enhanced resolution. When combined, these technical nuances are the key to success. As Hu Yue-yang noted, the sleepless nights writing formulas and laborious testing and re-testing before the competition was all worth it. Their diligent efforts were also rewarded with a placing in the competition’s robot-marathon event, which in contrast to past years was held outdoors. In a natural outdoor setting, variations in ambient lighting hinder the robots’ ability to visually assess their surrounding environment. As a result, the robot-marathon devolved into a messy affair, with only three teams completing the course to reach the finish line. Hu Yue-yang excitedly explains “We’re very satisfied with the results of the event, but we’ve still got plenty of room for improvement. We’re looking to attain great results again next year, and to take Tamkang’s humanoid robots to an even higher level of sophistication.” Prof. Wong Ching-chang has been hailed by several leading magazines as “the man who earns Taiwan gold medals overseas; the impetus behind Taiwan’s robotic gold rush.” Prof. Wong humbly observes “we are improving, but others are also improving.” Robot competitions are won or lost in the blink of an eye. In any given moment, an unexpected variable may push the course of a match in either team’s favor. To increase their chance of success, students at Tamkang invest much of their time making improvements to their robot models. They hope to “learn through doing” and aspire to achieve even better results in future robot based competitions. With their industrious, never-say-die attitude, it is of little doubt that the Electrical Engineering Department’s robot research team will again claim the limelight in next year’s Robot World Cup.
In 2004, Professor Edward Prescott received the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics (along with his long-time research partner Finn E. Kydland). He was conferred this honor largely due to his contribution to the field of dynamic macroeconomics, which involved in-depth research on two aspects of economics in particular: the time consistency of economic policy as well as the driving forces behind business cycles. On Monday 20 September, Prof. Prescott came to Tamkang University’s Danshui campus to deliver a lecture on the current status of the global economy. Prof. Prescott was born in Glens Falls, New York, in 1940. In 1967 he received his doctorate in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University, and he is currently serving as a professor at Arizona State University and an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. During his career, Prof. Prescott has taught and held official posts at a variety of schools and institutions, including the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (1980-1998; 1999-2003), the University of Chicago (1998-1999); he served as the president of the Society for Economic Dynamics and Control (1992-1995), the president of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (1992-1994), the editor of publications such as Economic Theory and the Journal of Economic Theory, and an academician at the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Econometric Society. He also received the prestigious 2002 Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics. The focus of Prof. Prescott’s research has in large part centered on macroeconomics, general equilibrium theory, and economic development. The Nobel-winning paper that he wrote with Prof. Kyland was entitled “Rules Rather Than Discretion: the Inconsistency of Optimal Plans”, and was a treatise on the problem of inconsistency in short and long-term government policies. In it, he emphasized the primacy of economic policy rules over personal discretion to stimulate economic performance, a principle that then prompted many countries to establish independent central banks. Their second major contribution to the field came in their discourse on the driving forces behind business cycles. In this, they identified factors relating to market supply as the central force driving the ebb and flow of business cycles. Their dissertation even influenced economic methodology, prompting more and more researchers to use quantitative economic theory in their analyses of problems. Prof. Prescott came to Taiwan specifically to attend the 2010 Taipei International Conference on Growth, Trade, and Dynamics. During his trip, Tamkang University had the honor of a personal visit and scheduled lecture from the distinguished Nobel laureate. The lecture was given on a crucial topic explored in Prof. Prescott’s recent research, with the heading “Asia Booming, U.S. Depressed, and Europe Stagnating”. The occasion afforded Tamkang students the chance to rub shoulders with a renowned economic scholar, to come face to face with a mentor and teacher who relishes the process of teaching, and instructs in a humorous yet focused fashion. His much-anticipated lecture surpassed all expectations and was the ideal close to a highly edifying visit.
This year, Tamkang University is celebrating its diamond jubilee. To honor this historic occasion, the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center is hosting a major exhibit with the theme “Transmitting the Beauty of Art, Works Produced and Collected by CCFAC Consultants”. As part of the exhibit, the Art Center invited past CCFAC consultants to provide their own pieces, as well as works they have collected, for display in this historic exhibition. The pieces on display include works by major artists of the 20th century, such as Liao Chi-chun, Lan Yin-ding, Kuo Hsueh-hu, Li Shih-chiao, Hung Jui-lin, and Wu Guan-zhong. The Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center of Tamkang University has established a name for itself both in Taiwan and overseas. The CCFAC consultants invited to take part in the exhibit provided the Arts Center with guidance and advice, which assisted in preparation for the exhibit. The group of CCFAC consultants comprises several prominent figures in the fields of art management, music, fine arts, and art collection. Thanks to the participation of CCFAC consultants, the exhibit displayed a total of 85 pieces, with works provided by 13 separate artists, including sculptors, painters, and collectors. CCFAC consultants are artists renowned in local art circles. Their work is rarely if ever displayed in the one exhibition, which makes this, the Art Center’s exhibit, all the more incredible. The only non-professional painter among the participants, Mr. Bai Sheng-san, contributed to the exhibit with his vast collection of paintings, including pieces by Chen Deng-po, Liao Chu-chun, Lan Yin-ding, Kuo Hsueh-hu, Li Shih-chiao, Hung Jui-lin, and Wu Guan-zhong. These paintings brought an historical touch to the exhibit, infusing it with a deeper, more significant meaning, and helping to more effectively transmit the beauty of art.
Recent mainstream news has been filled with reports of juvenile disregard for authority. An elderly man catching public transport was beaten by a student when asking him to give up his seat; a high school student was shown guzzling down pieces of fried chicken on Taipei’s Metropolitan Rapid Transport system, on which eating and drinking is prohibited. These incidents have again steered public attention to one of society’s more irksome issues: the question of how to raise student’s character and their sense of social conscience. Tamkang University has responded by implementing a brand new community-based initiative, the Tamkang Youth Service Program. Under the new program, freshman students will take part in compulsory youth service activities, with an estimated 5,800 first year students stepping out into the community each year, to lend a helping hand. The number of participants involved makes this the largest community service initiative in Taiwan. The scheme involves a series of community service classes, and practical hands-on service activities, in which students will learn the value of giving back to the community and caring for others, and become astute, aware citizens. At the same time, the community itself will benefit from the loving care of 5,000 plus pairs of hands. At the Danshui Sports Park on September 16, Tamkang University signed a formal agreement with the mayor of Danshui, Tsai Yeh-wei, heralding the start of their collaboration in the youth service initiative. Tamkang Dean of Student Affairs, Ke Zhi-en, noted that by signing an official agreement with the Danshui Township Office, Tamkang University’s community service program – which aims to foster moral character in students and the general community through compulsory hands-on service activities – is officially underway. Tamkang University’s school theme for 2010 is “Reaching out to the community for a better tomorrow”. The community service initiative will require students to clean local community facilities and upkeep the Danshui Sports Park on a long term basis. Students will also assist in the preparation of cultural activities for the Danshui International Environmental Arts Festival. Moreover, aside from the formal collaboration with the Danshui Township Office, Tamkang has also called on local associations, elementary schools, and various local welfare institutions to provide resources and help facilitate the youth service program. By participating in the program, students will get a more in-depth understanding of local Danshui culture, gain new experiences, develop their sense of responsibility, glean the importance of philanthropy, of giving back to the community, and the virtue of mutual cooperation. At the same time, the initiative will expand Tamkang’s interaction with the local community, and represents a productive use of Tamkang’s resources for the good of the community.
For the fourth successive year, Global Views Monthly and 104 Job Bank have teamed up to produce a study that ranks Taiwanese universities according to demand for graduate students from the business sector. The study, entitled “2011’s Most Sought After Graduate Students”, surveyed a broad sample of variously-sized businesses, as well as high-level supervisors and managers. The results are in: Tamkang placed 1st among private universities in Taiwan. Overall, including both public and private universities, it came 7th. For four years in a row, Tamkang University has produced remarkable results, invariably topping Taiwan’s private university list and outperforming several top public universities, too. In the study, Tamkang graduate students entering the workforce ranked 6th in improved job performance. For improvements in job competency, they placed 4th; while for crisis management ability, rapid response to problems, and creativity, they slotted into 6th place. The study also analyzed seven broad academic fields offered in graduate schools across Taiwan. In four of these seven fields, Tamkang made it into the list of top ten universities. Having been established for 60 years, Tamkang University has nurtured over 220,000 talented graduates, whose footprints spread across the world and whose unique skills are applied in a variety of professions. Alumni living locally and abroad often return to Tamkang University to attend symposiums held by faculty directors, and to share their professional and career-related experience. Each academic department strives to strengthen and enhance interaction among former students of the department. They aim to inspire alumni, who live interspersed around the globe, to come together and forge a prosperous future, both for themselves and for Tamkang University.
Tamkang University’s 2010 EMBA Opening Ceremony was held at TKU’s Taipei campus on the 11th of September. The ceremony was organized jointly by Tamkang’s colleges of Business and Management, and was attended by almost 300 guests, including teaching staff, alumni, senior students, and first year students, from a range of TKU faculties and departments. While addressing the close to 300 guests, the TKU Vice President for Administrative Affairs, Dr. Kao Po-yuan, congratulated the new students for being accepted into the Tamkang EMBA program, adding that Tamkang University deeply respects its EMBA students. This can be seen from the fact that TKU only hires distinguished, full-time teachers, provides students with ample educational resources, and offers diverse, cross-discipline courses. During the ceremony, Vice President Kao also distributed awards for outstanding academic performance. Award recipients were students whose overall grades throughout the academic year placed them first in their respective faculties. The students’ efforts are especially praiseworthy because, while taking part in the EMBA program, they also held full time jobs. The Dean of the College of Business, Hu Yi-Jen, said that apart from striving to provide students with training in specialized fields of business and commerce, a series of lectures relating to business ethics and conduct would be implemented in future EMBA programs. The scheduled change will give students a more balanced grounding in technical areas of expertise as well as ethical concerns, in the hope of averting or, at the very least, effectively responding to financial crises in the future. The Dean of the College of Management, Wang Chu-Ching, hopes that the EMBA program can serve as a multi-purpose platform, a forum where knowledge is acquired and friendships forged, a diverse environment where students can apply their talents, and a context enabling both students and teachers to grow. Cai Chun-sheng, a senior from the Department of International Business, praised the lecturers’ teaching style and the group report format of classes. In this kind of learning environment, not only do classmates obtain specialized information, but they also get various opportunities to demonstrate their newly-acquired knowledge and expertise. Chun-sheng shared with the new students his experiences in the previous year, and reminded them of the old adage “there’s no substitute for practice”. The coordinator of Tamkang’s EMBA program, Lin Chiang-feng, noted that this year he will be working with the EMBA student association to hold numerous social events and networking functions. Such events will enrich students’ cross-discipline knowledge, expand their pool of contacts, and enable them to march on and attain unlimited success. Tamkang’s EMBA program has groomed countless groups of talented personnel who have earned widespread acclaim for their on-the-job performance. Despite the current economic downturn, Tamkang University’s EMBA program remains a popular choice among professionals hoping to gain further knowledge and work skills. Tamkang tries to inculcate in its EMBA students the value of lifelong learning. It is TKU’s foremost hope that EMBA graduates apply this mindset of lifelong learning to their careers, to benefit themselves, their employers, and society as a whole.
The “Hill of Victory” is a daunting stretch of steps that starts near the bustling center of Tamshui, Taipei County, and slopes upward, steeply, to the lush surrounds of the TKU Tamshui campus. Its Chinese name may be more literally translated as “The slope of overcoming obstacles”. This is a dual reference to, firstly, the arduous challenges faced during its initial excavation 57 years ago, and secondly, the persistence it takes to reach the top step. In recent years, the “Hill of Victory” walk has become somewhat of an annual ritual. Along with the opening ceremony and orientation lectures, it is now a compulsory activity for all new students. During the event, teachers and faculty staff lead freshmen up the 132-step slope, to teach the students a valuable life lesson: the importance of resilience in times of difficulty; and the need to face challenges head on, with a healthy body and courageous heart. In order to familiarize new students with Tamkang’s surrounds, from as early as mid-August, Tamkang began holding orientation activities for new freshman students, including a student and family symposium, a tour of the school dormitory, as well as freshman faculty camps. Aside from these activities, on the 9th and 10th of September, a Tamkang Clubs and Societies Expo was held at TKU’s Tamshui campus, bringing vibrant energy to the campus’ main street, where clubs and societies set up eye-catching stalls and vied for new members from the ranks of incoming freshman. Equally impressive was the Clubs and Societies Night held on the 15th of September, at which each of Tamkang’s 200 plus clubs and societies put on dazzling performances in the hope of attracting even more club members. This year is Tamkang University’s 60th anniversary. Therefore, this year more than ever, when the students take to the Hill of Victory, they take with them the most earnest hopes and expectations of the TKU teaching staff: that each and every freshman may enhance their intellect and character, and develop into well-rounded, forward-thinking graduates possessing a macro-level, international world view.