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Public lecture on Prof Charles K Kao and Optical Fibre

     A free public lecture on "Prof Charles K. Kao and Optical Fibre" will be held at 3pm on December 4 (Friday) at the Lecture Theatre of the Hong Kong Central Library (HKCL). The lecture is a tribute to Prof Kao for his achievement in research on optical fibre communication technology and to commemorate his being awarded 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics.

     The lecture is organised by the Hong Kong Public Libraries of the Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Three scholars - the moderator, Prof Ching Pak-chung, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), and the two speakers, Dr Albert So, Adjunct Professor of the Department of Building and Construction of the City University of Hong Kong, and Prof Wong Po-choi, Professor of the Department of Information Engineering of CUHK - will share with the audience, especially the youngsters, their experience with Prof Kao and optical fibre communication technology.

     The lecture will be conducted in Cantonese. Admission is free. Admission tickets will be available from tomorrow (November 20) at the Reference Services Counter, 9/F of the HKCL. Seat reservations can be made by calling HKCL at 2921 0285 during office hours from Monday to Friday. Each person can request a maximum of two tickets on a first-come-first-served basis.

     A booklet containing a brief introduction to Prof Kao, contents of his talk at HKCL in 2002 and a resource guide on information about optical fibre communication technology in the Hong Kong Public Libraries will be distributed to participants at the lecture.

     Born in Shanghai in 1933, Prof Kao received his secondary school education at St Joseph's College in Hong Kong. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree and doctoral degree in electrical engineering at the University of London. In 1966, he published his paper outlining the key features of fibre-optic telecommunications technology. His pioneering work led to multiple honours and awards and he was named the "father of fibre optics". Prof Kao established the Department of Electronic Engineering in CUHK in 1970. He was the Vice-Chancellor of CUHK from 1987 to 1996. In October this year he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

     The moderator, Prof Ching Pak-chung, is also the Director of the Shun Hing Institute of Advanced Engineering at CUHK. He was a council member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) and past chairman of the IEE Hong Kong Section.
     The speakers are Dr Albert So and Prof Wong Po-choi. Dr So of the City University of Hong Kong is a registered professional engineer in Hong Kong and a chartered engineer in the United Kingdom. His research and development interests include intelligent building, applications of artificial intelligence in building systems, robotics, biomedical engineering and building services. Prof Wong of the Department of Information Engineering at CUHK is a renowned leader in the use of IT in education and was awarded a Medal of Honour by the Hong Kong SAR for his contributions to education in 2001. He also serves on a number of government committees, including the Education Commission, Family Council and IT in Education Steering Committee.

     The video clip of Prof Kao's speech at the HKCL in 2002 is now available to the public at the Multimedia Information System of the Hong Kong Public Libraries.

     For enquiries on the public lecture, please call 2921 0285 or visit the website:

Ends/Thursday, November 19, 2009

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