HKUST Subsidized by Hewlett Packard (HP) to Explore New Approaches to Measure Effectiveness of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Teaching


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has received a grant of US$150,000 to participate in HP Catalyst Initiative, a global social innovation program designed to develop more effective approaches to worldwide education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

HKUST is one of the 35 educational institutions across 11 countries that have been selected by HP to receive the grant in 2010. As a member of the newly established “Measuring Learning Consortium” led by Carnegie Mellon University, HKUST will be collaborating with other partners to explore what the future of STEM learning and teaching can be.

With the grant from HP, HKUST is setting up a brand new teaching lab equipped with high-end computers for the use of students from the Computer Science and Engineering Department.

HP is building a global network of consortia to develop more effective approaches to STEM education. The HP Catalyst Initiative Program created five global consortia in 2010, each focusing on a specific innovation theme for transforming STEM education. The themes are: “Approaches to Teacher Preparation”, “Online Education”, “Using Technology to Measure Learning Outcomes”, and “Engaging Students in Global, Collaborative Learning Experiences.”

Member organizations were selected through an open and competitive global call for proposals. The criteria include status as an accredited educational institution, and the country of location.

“We’re excited about the impact of this initiative and the network of consortia in the long term. It’s fundamental that we get funding from companies like HP to be able to empower students to collaborate globally, and to deliver projects that will shape the way education develops and society evolves,” said Prof. Mounir Hamdi, Head of HKUST’s Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department, and Project Lead of the Project.

The project investigator, Prof Lei Chen from CSE said, “Thanks to the support of the HP Catalyst Initiative, we will address the needs for evaluating and improving the quality of education. Specifically, this project aims to model the quality of the course, and the quality of teaching, and learning. The proposed solutions can help teachers get real-time feedback, and adaptively revise course designs and teaching schedules so as to raise the attainment of STEM learners.”

Gabi Zedlmayer, Vice President, Office of Global Social Innovation at HP, said “The HP Catalyst Initiative underscores our vision of a world where innovation and collaboration are enabled by investments in technology and education. The program is designed to help foster potential solutions to society’s most critical challenges by educating and nurturing leaders. This will be critical in ensuring we develop new communities and find new ways of doing things.”

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(From right) Prof Mounir Hamdi; Director of HP Labs China Dr Min Wang; and Prof Lei Chen
(From right) Prof Mounir Hamdi; Director of HP Labs China Dr Min Wang; and Prof Lei Chen
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