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Influencers in Education

Two SENG Professors Commended in HKUST Common Core Teaching Excellence Award 2020

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Prof. Andrew Horner (left) and Prof. Terence Wong received the Honorary Mentions for their dedication towards teaching and design of common core courses.
Prof. Andrew Horner (left) and Prof. Terence Wong received the Honorary Mentions for their dedication towards teaching and design of common core courses. [Download Photo]

Two faculty members of the School of Engineering, Prof. Andrew HORNER of Computer Science and Engineering and Prof. Terence WONG of Chemical and Biological Engineering, received the Honorary Mentions of the HKUST Common Core Teaching Excellence Award 2020. Their achievements were celebrated at the online award presentation ceremony today (August 9, 2021).

Prof. Andrew Horner’s COMP 1943 Creative Sound Design is an innovative, project-based experiential course that encourages students to take on the role of a film composer or sound designer to produce music videos and trailers for computer games and movies, linking the digital realm with the emotional power of music to spur learners to think critically and imaginatively.

Despite its musical focus, Prof. Horner opens the course for all with the help of his specially designed course app that provides access to high-level composition and arrangement techniques, giving those newbies and experienced musicians alike a novel opportunity to explore the artistic realm.

To boost self-learning, he skillfully adopts reflection and peer evaluation in the course. “One of the coolest discoveries in the class was having students to make a Director’s Commentary video of what they did and how they did it,” he said. “It is a great way to get the students to reflect on what they learned in a completely natural and unselfconscious way that is fun for everyone to learn from.” Students appreciated the capabilities to think, express, and present creatively that they gained, for both their professional and personal development.

Through the skillful design of BIEN 1010 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering, Prof. Terence Wong manages to not only convey a comprehensive view of bio-imaging, drug delivery, vaccines, immunity, cancer, and more, in a non-intimidating fashion, but also fire up enthusiasm, resulting in many top-caliber participants taking bioengineering as their major.

To cater for students from diverse backgrounds, he builds up from basic chemistry and biology to more specific bioengineering topics, and brings his subject alive through examples related to daily life, anecdotes, and practical pros and cons of biomedical procedures, such as MRI and PET scans.

“Teaching is exhilarating. It is a two-way learning and interactive process, which requires teachers’ and students’ involvement. My teaching philosophy is that if I try to do my best in preparing the course materials, am passionate about teaching, and care about and listen to students’ opinions/feedback, students can feel these efforts. They are going to work harder, pay more attention to the class, and participate in in-class activities actively. I believe self-motivation is always the best propeller for learning!” Prof. Wong successfully inspires all who join his course, not only high-flyers, to see the relevance of what they are learning and to enjoy the process of asking questions, undertaking self-driven research, and proposing solutions.

Established in 2012 as the Common Core Course Excellence Award, the Common Core Teaching Excellence Award aims to recognize outstanding common core course instructors who have made substantial contributions to the design and teaching of exemplary common core courses, and to promote these courses to students in the University community.