HKUST Hosts UCLA's First Research in Industrial Projects for Students in Hong Kong Elite US and Hong Kong Students Work with Industrial Sponsors Huawei, BGI and MetLife

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) partnered with UCLA to host Hong Kong's first Research in Industrial Projects for Students (RIPS), a summer research plus industrial internship and international education exchange program. RIPS had collaborated with Berlin and Beijing before, and this year it was being held in Hong Kong. RIPS-HK featured projects with a major mathematical component and was supported by prominent industrial sponsors Huawei, MetLife and BGI.

In 2011, UCLA's Institute of Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) offered RIPS-HK for the first time in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics at HKUST, its sole partner in Hong Kong. RIPS-HK's industrial sponsors and partners are first-rate players. Among them, Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology solutions provider with products and solutions deployed in over 140 countries and serving more than one-third of the world's population. Another partner is MetLife, a leading innovator and a recognized leader in protection planning, retirement and savings solutions, serving 90 million customers in over 50 countries. BGI, formerly known as Beijing Genomics Institute, is one of the leading genomics institutes in the world with its research breakthroughs being published in top international journals such as Nature and Science.

HKUST President Tony F Chan said, "HKUST is most delighted to partner with UCLA to host the first RIPS-HK in the city. It presents golden opportunities for US and Hong Kong students to learn how to formulate solutions and tackle real-life problems from the industries such as telecommunications, risk management and genomics. This adds a new dimension of discovery to their learning process and academic experience. Students learn to work as a group and acquire better understanding of basic science and its application. RIPS-HK demonstrates HKUST's international education and our spirit of 1-HKUST which emphasizes cross-school and cross-disciplinary education and research."

At RIPS-HK, each of the four teams comprised two US students chosen by IPAM in UCLA, and two students in Hong Kong selected by HKUST. US students come from prestigious institutions namely UCLA, Harvard University, Columbia University, Ohio University, University of Michigan, University of Maryland, Wellesley College and Harvey Mudd College. Each team was guided by a mentor from the industrial sponsor as well as an academic mentor. These 16 students had been chosen from hundreds of undergraduate applicants in the US and Hong Kong.

During the nine-week summer program between late June and late August, students were required to work on real-world research projects and find solutions using analytical and computational approaches and techniques. HKUST's Department of Mathematics provided support ranging from professional advice, lectures to Chinese classes.

Challenging problems presented to these talented undergraduates (for details, please refer to the RIPS-HK Fact Sheet):

Application of normalized cuts to SOAPdenovo (BGI)

Metagenomics (BGI)

Resource scheduling in heterogeneous networks (Huawei)

Risk aggregation modeling for life insurance (MetLife)

Apart from providing solutions, each team was required to submit a written report and attend an oral presentation to enhance report writing and public speaking skills. Students would receive a stipend upon successful completion, in addition to acquiring valuable experience and building friendships with talents overseas.

Launched by UCLA in 2001 by Prof Tony F Chan, founding director of UCLA's IPAM and current President of HKUST, RIPS is an innovative education program for senior undergraduate students to work on real-world research projects. Its industrial sponsors include IBM, Standard and Poor's, Pixar / Walt Disney Animation Studios and Symantec. Problems presented range from stitching images to analyzing cancer data.


Prof Shiu-yuen Cheng

Prof Shing-yu Leung

Chair Professor

Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematics

Department of Mathematics

Tel: 2358 7411

Tel: 2358 7414



Research in Industrial Projects for Students - Hong Kong (RIPS-HK) Fact Sheet

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