Each year, on the first day back from the long Chinese New Year vacation, Tamkang University holds a Lunar New Year Gathering to furnish the new year with an auspicious start. Thus, on Feb 7, 2017, TKU held separate social luncheons at each of its three campuses - Tamsui, Taipei, and Lanyang. Senior staff and faculty from each TKU college, department, and administrative unit assembled to celebrate the new year by catching up with co-workers and trying snacks laid out on carefully-placed tables - arranged in a semi-circle - replete with traditional symbols of prosperity and fortune: apples, mandarins, and dates. The Gathering was hosted by the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, who, in her opening remarks, thanked each of the staff and faculty for their hard work and dedication throughout the past year, especially in preparing for the 66th TKU Anniversary event, which was held on Nov 11 last year. President Chang also cited an important book that she read during the Chinese New Year holidays written by two Japanese writers, entitled "The Practical Wisdom of Innovation", which she feels underpins the challenge faced by tertiary institutions at present, and provides insights in how to overcome such challenges through closer and more meaningful collaboration among members of staff. She explained that Tamkang University is now in its fifth phase of development, and that the newly-built Shou-Chien International Conference Center, with its state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, represents a further advancement in Tamkang University's development, and reflects its commitment to internationalization.
The 2016-17 End of Year Gala was held today at the TKU Student Activity Center, Tamsui Campus. This year, the department charged with the job of providing entertainment was the TKU Office of Information Services, which put together a series of vibrant and colourful song and dance numbers, and displayed a range of previously unseen skills: dance skills, physical strength, creativity, and powerful voices. All TKU faculty and staff attended the event, including the TKU President, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the three TKU vice presidents, and deans and chairs from each college and department. To kick off the annual gala, President Chang delivered an opening speech in which she recapped some of the major achievements made by Tamkang over the previous year, including the obtainment of various formal college certifications, as well as the staggering milestone of having over 2,100 international and cross-strait students currently enrolled at TKU. During the gala, apart from the various dazzling performances, there was also a raffle draw – an annual gala tradition. However, this year, unlike previous years, the Section Leader of the TKU Office of Information Services, Lee Shu Hua, also provided several additional prizes, including an HTC10 smart phone, an iphone7, and an iphone7 plus.
Physics is the cornerstone of science and technological progress. It advances human civilization and opens our horizons, allowing us to learn about and understand unknown phenomena. Each year, to push physics further into the public eye, the Physical Society of the Republic of China (PSROC) holds an annual meeting. From Jan 16-18 at the Shao-Mo Memorial Gymnasium, Tamsui Campus, TKU hosted the PSROC Annual Meeting as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology Presentation Ceremony. Experts from 20 countries and regions around the world attended the event, including participants from America, England, Japan, Switzerland, Korea, Mainland China, and Taiwan, as well as over 1,700 students and faculty members. During the conference, attendees presented their latest research findings and talked about various issues and topics related to current scientific research. Chao-Hung Du, the Chairperson of the TKU Department of Physics, explained that the PSROC Annual Meeting is a once-a-year occasion in which physicists from around Taiwan gather to share their latest discoveries and discuss important topics in the domain of physics. Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, the President of Tamkang University, also attended the event and delivered the opening speech.
Each year, several TKU faculty members coordinate research and collaboration projects between academia and industry. In the process, they find that those involved in such projects tend to stick to their own respective spheres (either academia or industry), with few, if any, mechanisms in place to promote closer integration and cooperation. To counter this trend, in the last few years the TKU Office of Research and Development - which serves as a conduit between academia and business - has strived to strengthen ties between the two disparate sectors. Thus, on January 6, 2017, the Office of Research and Development held the first ever Forum for Academia and Industry Collaboration, hoping to forge new links, to brainstorm new areas in which to work together, and bolster future collaboration. The Dean of the Office of Research and Development, Dr. Bo-Cheng Wang, stated that in order to strengthen relations between academia and industry, the two sectors have to better understand the other's needs. The Forum featured presentations from business representatives on the present state of industry and current industry trends, and stalls were set up to allow participants a deeper understanding of related topics. Participants at the event, which was held at the Chueh-sheng International Conference Hall, Tamsui Campus, represented various prominent businesses, including Chunghwa Telecom, QNAP Systems, and Taiwan Secom Co., among others.
On January 4-6 at the TKU Taipei Campus, the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics Doctoral Consortium and Symposium 2017 was held. The event was organized jointly by the TKU Department of Accounting and the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics (JCAE), which is rated as an "A" grade journal by the Ministry of Science and Technology, ROC. The Symposium was attended by 120 scholars and researchers from various countries and regions, including America, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, Mainland China, and Hong Kong. Also in attendance was the President of TKU, Flora Chia-I Chang, who delivered the opening speech. Moreover, the Dean of the TKU College of Business and Management, Dr. Chiu Chien-Liang, gave a speech at the Symposium welcome dinner, in which he greeted and thanked participants from each country for their attendance. Yen, Sin-hui, the Chairman of the TKU Department of Accounting, said that the Journal of Contemporary Accounting and Economics is an international accounting and economics publication established jointly by the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Deakin University, and the University of Technology, Sydney. The JCAE focuses heavily on research issues related to Asian countries, and holds a symposium annually in various countries around Asia; a once-a-year event which draws the full attention of accounting scholars worldwide. This year's Symposium attracted scholars from a total of 16 countries and regions around the world, featured presentations of over 50 separate dissertations, and was attended by distinguished members of the Taiwanese finance sector and scholars from prestigious local universities.
On December 29 and 30, the TKU Center for Future Intelligence and Research (C-FAR) held a Strategic Foresight Training Workshop for senior executives from Everlight Chemical Industrial Corporation, a major Taiwanese high-tech chemical company. The Workshop was designed to help senior executives from Everlight Chemical glance into their company's future, and foresee possible future trends that may affect company growth in the coming decade. During the two-day event, the Director of C-FAR, Dr. Mei Mei Song, instructed attendees on the six pillars of future thinking, and invited the senior executives to envision an even greater future for their company. To help attendees better deal with an ever-changing world, the event placed a focus on long-term planning and construction of a future vision. The company chairperson, James Chen, marvelled at the concept of futures studies: "A while back, I saw that China had created economic blueprints for 2025 and couldn't fathom why they would try to think so far ahead into the future. But after meeting Dr. Mei Mei Song, I realized that the methods used in futures studies are very valuable."
On Dec 29, the TKU Graduate Institute of Futures Studies invited the founder of a notable online gaming website (www.gamer.com.tw) to deliver a speech on the topic "PC Gaming is not just PC gaming: my past future". The Graduate Institute of Futures Studies has closely followed the progression and rise in popularity of a culture known commonly as Otaku (a generalized Japanese term that can refer to fans of anime/manga, or fans of video games/gaming culture). Indeed, prior to this recent lecture, the Institute also previously held the 5th Otaku International Symposium in October 2016. The Gamer.com website has been in operation for two decades. It was the first social media website established in Taiwan to cater specifically for PC gamers. At present, website members exceed 250,000, and, according to Alexa - which is a subsidiary of Amazon.com - the website is ranked among the top ten largest websites in Taiwan. The story of the founder of Gamer.com (his name is Sega), is an inspirational tale of a young Taiwanese gamer who followed his passion and became the CEO of a PC gaming empire. Thus, the Graduate Institute of Futres Studies invited Sega to speak at Tamkang to share this intriguing journey, the bitter-sweet experience of chasing one's dreams. At the end of the speech, Sega concluded by reminding participants that life is not always like a marathon. Marathons tend to be fixed in length and take set or pre-arranged paths, most of them being linear running tracks where you continually move forward in the one direction. Life, on the other hand, can lead you in multiple directions. The key is to pursue your passions and be clear about the direction in which you are heading. At the end of the speech, Sega stayed behind to answer students' questions and interact with participants.
To date, Tamkang University has produced over 250,000 alumni from all walks of life who reside in various countries around the world. Many of these former students have achieved great success in their respective fields. Take Mr Jung Pin Wu, for example, the founder and chairman of QST International Corp., which produces automotive fasteners and metal parts used by the world's ten largest car manufacturers. Mr Jung graduated from the TKU Department of Mechanical and Electro-Mechanical Engineering in 1980. After 36 years away from his alma mater, on December 28, 2016, Mr Jung returned to TKU to deliver a special lecture on the topic of "Ego and Self" and to distribute scholarships. In attendance at the lecture were numerous members of TKU faculty and staff, including the TKU Vice President of Academic Affairs, Dr. Keh Huan Chao, the Vice President of International Affairs, Dr. Wan-Chin Tai, the Dean of College of Engineering, Prof. Hsu Hui Huang, and the Dean of the College of Foreign Languages and Litrature, Lucia Chen, among others. In the lecture on "Ego and Self", Mr. Jung explained that society is made up of various ‘individual egos’, and that at the core of all problems is the ‘ego’. This is why discussing the ‘ego’ is so vital. He emphasized the importance of knowing what one should do, how to do it, and of doing the right thing. You have to be inspired, he said, but don't just cling to a dream without taking the actions necessary to fulfil that dream.
On Dec 22, 2016, The TKU College of Foreign Languages and Literature celebrated Christmas with a range of festive activities. During this year's event, Santa Claus appeared and handed out candy to participants, and the Dean of the College, Lucia Chen, made a special entrance dressed as a Christmas princess. There was also singing and dancing, as teachers and students alike switched between six languages to interact and celebrate the season. The President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, along with deans and directors from various Tamkang colleges, joined in the festivities. During her opening speech, President Chang said that as she and the Dean of Academic Affairs, Cheng Tung-Wen, were making their way to the Christmas party, they came across a very enthusiastic master's student. The student told the president that he had already taken courses from six separate master's programs, and that, because he enjoys studying at TKU so much, he soon plans to enrol in a PhD program. She concluded her anecdote by noting "with excellent students like this, TKU's graduate institutions have a bright future!", eliciting laughter and applause from the partygoers in attendance. The event included a Christmas lunch, which featured foods from various cultures, as well as cocktails, musical performances, and fun-filled Christmas games. Lucia Chen, the Dean of the College of Languages and Literature, stated that "as Christmas draws closer, the air of festivity grows more palpable by the day." She hopes that students embrace the warmth of Christmas with a sense of joy.
This year, the 21st FIRA Robot World Cup was held in Beijing, China (Dec 14-18). The TKU Robot research team, made up of several students from the TKU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was led by department professor Ching-Chang Wong, assistant professor Shih-An Li, and post-doctoral candidate Chi-Cheng Liu. As in previous years, the TKU contingent sealed several top spots, clinching a total of four gold medals, one silver, and three bronze. Since 2003, the TKU team has performed particularly well in the RoboSot and HuroCup categories. To date, in the RoboSot category alone, it has amassed 12 championship titles, with 11 of them coming consecutively. In the HuroCup category, it has claimed a total of nine All Round championship titles, three of them in successive years. This year, entrants banded together to overcome various obstacles, such as uneven surfaces, differing interpretations of competition rules, and wireless interference caused by Wi-Fi devices on or near the competition grounds. In addition to the regular proceedings, this year, to recognize the contributions made to the annual FIRA contest by recently deceased TKU assistant professor Chi-Tai Cheng, a new scholarship program was officially established, known as the "Professor Chi-Tai Cheng Memorial Scholarship".
On December 9 and 10, 2016, the 2016 Camp on Innovation and 2017 Cannes Future Lions Competition was held at the Chung-ling Memorial Hall, Tamsui Campus. The Camp was a collaborative effort between the TKU Department of Information and Communication, and the official Taiwanese representative of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The final results of the competition trials were announced on December 12, with several TKU Department of Information and Communication students earning top spot, including third and fourth year students Peng Ke Chi and He Chia Xing respectively, who took first place in the Future Young Lions student category. Also among the winners were master's student Ting Ren Lin and alumna Fan Meng Ching, who claimed first place in the professional entrants category. Moreover, the team of above-mentioned students received a subsidy from the ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs to represent Taiwan in the final stage of the Cannes Young Lions competition from 17-24 June next year in Cannes.
With Christmas arriving soon, the festive spirit can be seen throughout the TKU Tamsui Campus. The leisure and culture area of the Tamsui Campus is often featured as the setting of popular movies and TV drama series, and is considered by many to be a romantic and artistic spot. In recent days, the trees here have been adorned with wonderful sparkling lights of all colors in preparation for this year's Christmas Lights Celebration. The theme of this year's celebration, held by the TKU Office of Academic Affairs, was “Shine Brightly; Light Up the Lives of those Around You”. Festivities commenced at 5:30 on 14th December, with various special guests in attendance, including the President of TKU, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang, as well as faculty and staff from every TKU college and department. The Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Chun-Hung Lin, stated that “in December each year, the spirit of festive celebration fills every street, every lane; and the Tamkang Campus is no exception. Thanks to the thoughtful design of the of this area by the Office of Academic Affairs, it is very different to previous years.”
Eight years is a considerable period of time. In eight years, a new-born baby has already grown into an elementary school student; a high school student has already matured into a fully-fledged member of society. For the past eight years, without exception, a group of enthusiastic TKU students have flown to Cambodia, to serve as local volunteers, teaching and mentoring Cambodian children in the hope that these children will gain the skills necessary for success. Over several days, the TKU volunteer service group teaches students Chinese language and technical computer skills, as well as interacting and creating bonds with the local kids. To share their experiences, the group this week is holding a Cambodia Volunteer Service Exhibition at the Black Swan Memorial Hall, Tamsui Campus. Chen Rih-E, the Section Chief of the Extracurricular Activities Guidance Section, said that “the Cambodia Volunteer Service Group was established based on the TKU triple objectives of ‘Globalization, Information-oriented Education, and Future-oriented Education’.
The TKU Department of Diplomacy and International Relations has set up a new course, named the Professional Knowledge Service Learning Program. The program is designed to complement the Ministry of Education's newly launched program ‘Today's Youth – Changing the World’, and aims to expand the horizons of participating high school students, to instil in these students the belief that they can make a global difference, and to use the latest technology to bridge the educational resource gap between city and remote rural areas. As part of the course, students from the Department of Diplomacy and International Relations will use webcam technology to interact with students from National Jhuo-Lar Experimental Senior High School, and provide this group of high school students with the chance to practice and improve their English. Cheng Chin-Mo, a TKU associate professor, noted that when he previously visited the participating high school, located in remote Miaoli County, he found the students had good basic English conversation, and thus were suited to this new English-learning program.
From 2016 to 2019, the ROC Ministry of Education is launching a series of government schemes to promote youths and their ability to make a global difference. As part of this ongoing initiative, the Ministry has collaborated with Tamkang University, which held a total of fifteen workshops from April - May, 2016 centered on the topic ‘Today's Youth – Changing the World’. In the second half of 2016, TKU also held several other related events, including a micro film contest, in which entrants were asked for submissions, and a photo exhibition. Subsequently, on Nov 26, 2016, a ‘Today's Youth – Changing the World’ presentation and award ceremony was held at the Tamsui MRT Station, which featured various dignified guests, including members of the Ministry of Education and the President of Tamkang University, Dr. Flora Chia-I Chang.
In the current age of mobile technology, the Internet of Things, and big data, higher education must adapt to the changing environment, and upgrade the way it provides information-based education and service learning opportunities to create a ‘smart campus’. How do we deal with the challenges and opportunities inherent in technological development? In recent years, this question has commanded widespread attention from scholars, researchers, and experts alike. To discuss such queries, and expand the discourse in this area, on Nov 23 Tamkang University held the International Conference on Smart Campuses and an Exhibition (abbreviated as ICSC&E). Participants at the conference included the TKU U9 League, the ROC Association of E-Learning, and the Taiwan Association for Institutional Research. The conference agenda involved presentations and discussions related to institutional research, as well as analyses of various new methods of study. The purpose of the conference was to try and achieve the perfect coalescence of technology and education. As former Nobel Peace Prize recipient Nelson Mandela put it: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
In recent years, China has pushed the ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy, hoping to expand their influence throughout the region. The US, on the other hand, has espoused a rebalancing strategy in Asia Pacific, trying to bolster its position, and contain the scope of China's ever-widening reach. Japan, for their part, has also strived to enhance its sway over the political-economic environment of East Asia. Aside from the usual competition displayed between powerful nations, bickering over territorial disputes in East Asia has increased, and renewed controversy over the 1992 Consensus has left Cross-Strait relations in uncertain waters. The backdrop for East Asian nations in the 21st century is fraught with challenges, but also opportunities. To discuss these challenges and opportunities, On Nov 4 and 9, the TKU College of International Studies held the International Conference on East Asian Regional Security and Development in the 21st Century, and the Tamkang International Forum respectively. Both events explored issues regarding East Asian security and future development trends.
To usher in the TKU 66th anniversary and help create a truly global college environment, the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, located on the Tamsui Campus, recently held a special event named the Carrie Chang International Art Exhibition. Guests from various countries came to view the artwork on display, including staff from TKU's sister universities in Mexico, as well as Taiwanese diplomats to El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, and Nicaragua. Among the dignitaries to visit the display were also previous directors of the Carrie Chang Fine Arts Center, and 76 local and international artists, including some from Japan, South Korea, Canada, and America. The display comprised 79 works of art of various styles, including oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, prints, and colored ink. The artwork showcased a diversity of nationalities, religions, environments, and ethnicities. On Nov 9, the Center held its opening ceremony, at which the President of TKU, Dr Flora Chia-I Chang, delivered an opening speech in front of numerous distinguished guests.
Information technology progresses at a startling speed: from the huge and clunky computer processors of the past, to the subsequent personal computers, and the current age of iPads and smart phones. Looking to the future, the nascent era of the Internet of Things promises to change our lives even more. On Oct 27 and Oct 28, The TKU Department of Computer Science and Information and the TKU Department of Innovative Information and Technology held the 2016 Future Forecast Forum at the Tamsui Campus (Oct 27) and the Lanyang Campus (Oct 28) respectively. Present at the forum were around 200 scholars and experts in the field of information technology in academia. During the Forum, attendees shared their views on the future development of information technology, as well as their vision for potential growth in this field, which touched on various topics, including the IoT, robots, and big data.
To celebrate the upcoming milestone of Tamkang University's 66th anniversary, and to reflect this year's anniversary theme of “Tamkang 66, Forever Splendid”, the TKU Department of Architecture invited internationally-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas. On the afternoon of Nov 8, Mr. Koolhaas arrived at the at the Taipei Fine Arts Museum to deliver a keynote speech in front of an audience of TKU students faculty, and alumni. Following his speech was a follow-up discussion panel and forum, where audience members were able to pose questions and interact with the master architect. Mr. Koolhaas is an architect and Harvard professor who is a previous recipient of the highest honor in the field of architecture, the Pritzker Architecture Prize.