Saturday, February 25, 2006


As if my research isn't bad enough, I finally got (after being here for several months) a mind-distracting machine from a colleague.

I don't really understand how they come up with this system of paying a "licence fee" to watch TV. I think we can guess how well the system is working when letters are continually delivered to the ex-tenant here (or ex-ex, or ex-ex-ex...) asking him to pay. "Sophisticated equipment" to detect whether you have a TV. Sounds quite interesting...

Monday, February 20, 2006


(1) One day I was flipping through an MSc application. It says the applicant has a term with GPA 4.0 in MIT, but clearly he has never studied outside of his third-world home country. After 5 seconds I realized that MIT stands for "Master in Information Technology"...

(2) Alan Smith:
When I looked, the leg was lying one way and my ankle
was pointing towards Hong Kong so I knew I was in
serious trouble



Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Exam meeting

We have the exam meeting today. No, I'm not going to tell you anything. Except that I possibly over-worried - our module (i.e. course) is perhaps the only one among third year modules that does not require the application of some continuous bijective mapping from a compact set to itself. These mappings are not arbitrary, e.g. they must be piecewise-linear, and have at least two fixed points, one more than the theoretical minimum. We discussed how to design mappings that optimize different objectives, e.g. the power mean of order 1, or the difference from the required statistical distribution.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Yum Cha

Today I go to Yum Cha with Thomas, his wife who is from Hong Kong, his daughter, and Rajeev.

We have it at Peking restaurant. I know it but have never been there since it is an expensive place. It looks like all staff there speak Cantonese. And for the food, it is very close to Hong Kong standards except maybe the Har Gow which tastes a bit strange.

Thomas's wife is an alumni of HKU. She lives in a very different spacetime from me: she asks "Is 黃麗松 still the vice-chancellor?" I list out all the vice-chancellors after 黃麗松, none of which known to her, and I keep on wondering "did I miss someone?"

Monday, February 06, 2006

becoming a student again

Today we have the first regular meeting of the course Postgraduate Certificate in whatever blah blah blah. I am given a student card. That's perhaps a good thing since there is no such thing called "staff card" here and I always wonder how people prove themselves to be a member of staff. And perhaps I will finally remember to purge the HKU student card, Octopus card, etc. out from my wallet.

The meeting turns out to be a discussion where participants complain about universities turning into vocational-training factories, business-oriented management of universities, taking more students and thus lowering the quality, and continental Europeans complaining the spoon-feeding system here etc etc. The instructor hopelessly, repeatedly mention something like "well that's very much a double-sided sword" etc. After all, isn't that the whole point of the course - to transform us into whatever they want us to be?