A visit to Hong Kong

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology recently celebrated its 25th anniversary, and I was on hand to help celebrate – and participate in the Times Higher Education Asia Universities Summit

I shared some thoughts on where NSF can have the greatest impact on fundamental scientific research in the future. This
is an exciting – and challenging – time for science. It is a time to nurture a mutually supportive
environment that will empower scientists and researchers, both as individuals
and teams, to search for new knowledge and create the new tools needed for future


While in Hong Kong, I also met with a group of U.S. students funded through NSF’s International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) program. By allowing U.S. students to conduct research abroad – and learn from and collaborate with international partners – IRES supports the development of a globally engaged STEM workforce here in the U.S.

These IRES students are spending the summer in Hong Kong studying applied mathematics. They are partnered with Hong Kong students, working to tackle problems posed to them by companies: everything from developing radar-based monsoon detection systems to building an intelligent artificial eye. 


I asked the students to explain their projects as a team, with each person building on the last, so that the goals were clear – they all performed admirably! 

Photo credits: Amanda Roy, NSF