HSBC Prosperity Hall organised its monthly SPECIAL Hall Night Talk on the 7th of November in Multifunction Hall C. This time, Dr. Herbert Chia Pun Kok, a very renowned name in the field of Big Data was invited to talk about Data and the future in the field. Dr Herbert, was the former Vice president and head of Data Committee of Alibaba Group, the largest e-commerce company and currently the Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China which controls $1.4 trillion USD stock market value.

The talk attracted an audience over 50 people, with a lot of walk-ins. It was an interactive talk and Dr. Herbert opened the floor to the audience and asked their opinions about Big Data. The audience mentioned about the 4 V’s of Big Data which include variety, velocity, veracity and volume. In general, the audience views big data as a form of more complicated data which needs special measures to be analysed. Dr. Herbert was impressed by the technicality of the responses and further explained about Big Data with various illustrations and cases of renowned companies like Amazon and Microsoft. He also shared his journey from working in HSBC to moving up to work at Sequoia currently, and how he learnt about Big Data and its importance over the years.

He describes Big Data as a discovery cycle, where “data gets more data”. Big Data fills in the gap and creates a lot more data from just little information provided. To explain his point he gave the example of a person searching for flights from Hong Kong to Shanghai from his phone, gets advertisements for restaurants in Shanghai. He explained that the server gets data about where one is going, and predicts what would be the next relevant action, give those advertisements and then takes feedback by the person’s click and then the cycle of Data →Prediction →Action →Feedback, repeats itself getting more and more information about the person’s preference and providing them with relevant information before they could even think about it.



After the informative and insightful talk, the speaker invited questions from the audience. Firstly, he was asked about how he made decisions, that made him so successful in his life. To this, he responded that he made a prediction about the future and formulated a strategy based on that and had a strong belief in his intellect and took charge of his growth. He advised that one should find a good mentor and take full responsibility of one’s growth and learn as much as they can from the mentor. He also said that before declaring something as your passion, think about the two crucial questions, do you believe in it and why do you want to learn more about it, and when you have a strong answer for both, don’t turn back. He discovered his passion and with the help of his mentor acquired the skills.

Since he is a venture capitalist, the audience also wanted to know what kind of business proposals are successful in the present times and what is the future of investment. Dr. Herbert said that he actively looks forward to proposals related to Data Security, since there’s so much data being produced, but little technology is available which ensures the protection and confidentiality of data. He said that a good business proposal, should have an introduction page which describes the problem and gives the treatment for the problem with the new product designed. He also mentioned that he focuses a lot on the personality of the budding entrepreneur, because without a strong belief in what one is creating, the greatest ideas can be unsuccessful.


Talking about the future of data, he highlighted the importance of learning coding and being a big data analyst in the coming years, and mentioned that big data wouldn’t be limited to just IT and Fintech, but take over all the existing services in the near future.

Overall, it was an informative and inspiring talk and the audience got in-depth insight to what Big Data is, its importance and its future along with tips on passion and choosing a career. Even after the talk was finished, students engaged in conversations with Dr. Herbert, who was very willing to address their concerns and give more insights in the field of Big Data and Computer Sciences.


Writer: Muskaan Gandhi, HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2)

Photographers: Deepanshu KALRA, HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2), XU Lantian, HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2)




“Change hopelessness into possibility”

Continuing the tradition, Hall 2 organised their monthly SPECIAL Hall night talk on the 11th of October in the Multi-function Hall B, which attracted a lot of students and staff members. The speaker for the talk: “Serve above self and reconstruct human body” was Dr Peter Pang Chi Wang, who is a plastic surgeon by profession, a Rotarian and has served as the district governor in the year 2015-16. He is also a recipient of the Hong Kong Humanity Award.

Even before the clock struck 9, when the talk was officially supposed to start, Dr Peter and the students had some interesting conversations. Dr Peter shared about his experience as a hall resident while he was studying medicine in the Chinese University of Hong Kong and was curious to know about the current life of residents in CityU. He was amazed to find out that the CityU Student Residence is like a little world in itself with residents from so many nationalities and various opportunities to learn about each other’s culture.

He started by talking about his desire of being an architect and how he eventually decided to explore the vast field of medicine and decided to be a doctor. The desire to build and construct still stayed and he decided to specialise in plastic surgery, and now instead of constructing on the ground he does it on the human body. He discussed more about the different areas that come under the field of plastic surgery. To the surprise of many, he also told how aesthetic surgery is just a very small percent of what they do. The talk gave students a new insight to what people seemingly think of as a luxury is what so many people need due to various medical reasons. He shared images of transformation and recovery of his several patients as well.

He used powerful words like choice, plan, time and smile to further dwell on the theme of the talk. He took this platform to create awareness about cleft deformities due to genetic factors which hinder such people to fully integrate into the society and also face discrimination but in reality are as good as any normal human. He talked about how we can effortlessly adorn our face with a smile, but people with cleft lip deformities cannot even think of it, unless they get plastic surgery. He reflected back on his past experiences and shared how he could change hopelessness into possibilities. He also emphasised how everyone can engage in humanitarian work. He said “there is always an overlapping area between what you are good at and what the world needs, and this overlapping area is exactly what you can focus on to be a gift to the world”



He also talked about the importance of exploring new things by saying “yes” to every opportunity that comes along the way and moving out of one’s comfort zone. He said “moving out of our comfort zone to move into the uncomfortable zone is the process of expanding our comfort zone”. Thus leaving no stones unturned.

Towards the end, the floor was open to questions. Most of the questions asked by the students were regarding time management and making choices in life, to which Dr Peter advised that one should clearly know their priorities and passion and then finding time for things that matter is not difficult. He stressed on the fact that being completely present rather than just physical presence should be maintained at all times, so that the learning can be maximised at each moment. He also recommended that we should take care of our health and humorously said “if you don’t take care of your health now, the doctor will take care of it 20 years later but with an expensive price”. Finally, Dr Ray, the Hall 2 hall master asked Dr Peter about his opinion of CityU students on the basis of the interactions so far. To that he replied that he finds CityU students to be very energetic and eager to learn, not just from books but from practical experiences.



The next SPECIAL Hall Night Talk would be held on 7 November and the speaker invited is Mr. Herbert Chia Pun Kok, who was the former Vice president and head of data committee of Alibaba Group, the largest e-commerce company and currently Venture Partner of Sequoia Capital China which controls $1.4 trillion USD stock market value. Join it to know about “Data and your future”.

Writer: Muskaan Gandhi, HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2)

Splash! Splash! It’s PEK’s Aquatic Time!

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18


Splash! Splash! It’s PEK’s Aquatic Time!

The much anticipated annual CityU Aquatic Meet was held with great success on the afternoon of 1 Oct 2017. Despite the almost nonsensical thunderstorm erupted that morning, the sky cleared up and the event was carried out smoothly. As usual, being a part of this proceeding was exciting. Filled with thrills and close finishes, the audience and cheering teams were kept on their toes right till the very end. Excellent sportsmanship and athleticism was displayed by our fellow hall mates and the best of the best earned their halls points towards the PEK Cup tournament:

[Men’s 4x50M Freestyle Relay]
Champion:               Jockey Club Humanity Hall (Hall 1)
1st Runner-up:         Jockey Club Harmony Hall (Hall 7)
2nd Runner-up:        HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2)
3rd Runner-up:        Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall (Hall 9)

[Women’s 4x50M Freestyle Relay]
Champion:               HSBC Prosperity Hall (Hall 2)
1st Runner-up:         Jockey Club Humanity Hall (Hall 1)
2nd Runner-up:        Jockey Club Academy Hall (Hall 4)
3rd Runner-up:        Hall 11

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

After the prize distribution ceremony, I had the chance to catch up with some of the swimmers from the women’s team from Jockey Club Academy Hall (Hall 4). Jemmima GONSALVES (Jockey Club Academy Hall, Year 2, Bioengineering, Oman) was overjoyed by their bronze medal win in the 4x50m relay competition. She shared that this was her first competition since high school and that she was nervous before, since she was intimidated by the tall participants from other halls. “I’ve been into a lot of sports since I was very young, and growing up sports has really been important to me and I love being in the water,” she explained.

I also had a chat with Hannah LI (Jockey Club Academy Hall, Year 3, Social Work), a U-team swimmer. Winning seven medals that day, she was tired and exhausted, but clearly still elated by her wins. “I wasn’t scared of our competition, I think we had confidence.” Talking about her swimming career, she said, “I started swimming when I was four, because I always got a runny nose and my mum thought that swimming would make me stronger.” She wasn’t the best student at such a young age and disliked competition, but picked up the sport more seriously in her primary school years, and has been swimming since. She enjoyed the competition but felt that more people could join the event in the future. She suggested that if there were more events with shorter distances, many more amateur swimmers would be interested to take part.

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

Writer:   Riddhi SUKHIA (Jockey Club Academy Hall)
Photographers:   REN Ling (Sir Gordon and Lady Ivy Wu Hall), Deepanshu KALRA (HSBC Prosperity Hall)






<男子4 x 50米接力泳>

冠軍:   賽馬會敬賢堂
亞軍:   賽馬會群萃堂
季軍:   滙豐業昕堂
殿軍:   胡應湘爵士伉儷堂

<女子4 x 50米接力泳>

冠軍:   滙豐業昕堂
亞軍:   賽馬會敬賢堂
季軍:   賽馬會群智堂
殿軍:   舍堂十一

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

在頒獎儀式後,我有幸追上了幾位來自賽馬會群智堂女子泳隊的泳者。Jemmima GONSALVES(賽馬會群智堂/生物工程系二年級,來自阿曼)表示非常開心能拿到4×50米接力賽的銅獎。她分享說,這是她高中之後的第一場比賽,賽前她一度非常緊張,因為其他宿舍的參賽者都身材高挑,讓她有些怯場。「我年紀很小時就非常喜歡各項運動,運動在我成長中有著重要的意義,而且我很喜歡待在水中的感覺。」她如是說。



PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

PEK Cup: Inter-hall Aquatic Competition 2017/18

文:Riddhi SUKHIA(賽馬會群智堂)
攝:任伶(胡應湘爵士伉儷堂)、Deepanshu KALRA(滙豐業昕堂)