CityU computer science students excel in major regional IT competition

Michael Gibb

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Three final-year computer science students from City University of Hong
Kong (CityU) have achieved outstanding results in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region University Information Technology Project Competition, in which 200 universities too part. All three majored in the BSc (Hons) Computer Science programme in the Department of Computer Science.

Vicker Leung Chi-yiu and Chris Liang Li won the First Class Award, the Best Practicality Award, and the Best Presentation Award with “A Flash-based Web Builder (FLABER)”. FLABER was Vicker’s final-year-project, and Chris was drafted in to assist in the presentation of the award at the competition, which took place in Guangzhou between 30 June and 1 July.

FLABER makes building websites using Adobe Flash extremely easy. By using a simple drag-and-drop interface, users can exploit the full range of animation and interactive features available through Flash to create more dynamic and exciting web pages.

“You don’t need any prior knowledge of Flash,” Vicker explained. “Absolutely anyone can use this software. You don’t need to know any coding so using Flash is much easier.”

The software is hosted at, an online software development web site containing more than 100,000 projects with over 1,000,000 registered users. “FLABER is rated #130 on the site, which shows that it is proving very popular with thousands of users around the world,” Vicker said.

The project “Web Profiling and Navigation Path Analysis” by Lam Ming-yan won the Second Class Award at the same competition. “The aim of my project is to make the web browsing experience more personal,” Ming-yan said.

Ming-Yan’s project is basically a business intelligence project. It uses advanced artificial intelligence techniques such as data mining and clustering to analyze people’s surfing patterns for a particular website. This technique can predict a user’s future web browsing behaviour, based on previous choices of websites. In this way, a system can provide users with a more accurate set of web site recommendations by simply observing previous browsing behaviour.

Dr Andy Chun Hon-wai, an associate professor and the programme leader

for the undergraduate programmes in the Department of Computer Science, said he was very pleased with both projects.

“Our department prides itself on producing some of the best software professionals for Hong Kong. Winning first and second place from over 200 leading universities in this region emphasizes that our graduates are among the very best in this region, if not worldwide,” Dr Chun said.

The competition is one of the biggest of its kind in China and involves universities from nine provinces on the mainland plus Hong Kong and Macau. Each region selects only four finalists for the final competition. CityU had two finalists representing Hong Kong. Out of the 44 finalists, 18 winners were selected: three First Prizes, six Second Prizes, and nine Third Prizes.

Dr Wong Hau-san, an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and one of the supervisor’s for the award-winning CityU teams, said the competition gave CityU students invaluable experience. “It provides a very good opportunity for students in the Pan-Pearl River Delta Region to enhance their IT project design skills and to learn from each other.”

The CityU students were successful at the Competition because of CityU’s “applied research” focus, Dr Chun added.

“Being ‘applied research’ focused means we need to be aware of state-of-the-art technologies and technology trends. This is very different from traditional ‘ivory tower’ education which tends to focus more on fundamentals and theories. Because our students are exposed to these new ideas and new technologies, they can create even more exciting software applications and technologies,” he said.


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