25 January 2008

CUHK Professor of Geography and Resource Management Awarded
State Natural Science Award

Professor Leung Yee of The Department of Geography and Resource Management at The Chinese University of Hong Kong has won the second-class award of the 2007 State Natural Science Award with his basic theoretical research on modeling of geographical and remote sensing data, entitled “Fundamental theoretical research on data modeling based on cognitive and non-Euclidean framework”. His research team includes Professors Xu Zongben, Zhang Jiangshe and Peng Jigen from Xi’an Jiaotong University, and Professor Ma Jianghong from Chang’an University.

Professor Leung said, “The research capitalizes on the power of human intelligence and machine efficiency to model highly complex data through the integrated employment of methods in mathematics, statistics, non-linear analysis, and information science on the basis of cognitive and biological laws.”

The research has developed novel ideas and methods to analyze complex data. The theoretical results and algorithms can effectively discover, for example, seismic belts and active seismic episodes from spatial and temporal earthquake data. Identification of land covers, physical features and natural resources hidden in remote sensing and radar data can likewise be accomplished.

Furthermore, the research has constructed a theoretical framework for the development of novel neural network and evolutionary computation models for effective pattern recognition, classification of remotely sensed images, optimization of transportation and communication networks.

Professor Leung has also formulated a rigorous statistical framework for the analysis of uncertainty in measurement-based geographical information systems. It has corrected certain ambiguous and erroneous concepts in the current analyses of uncertainty in spatial information systems, and provided concrete algorithms for exact and approximate computations.

Professor Leung’s major fields of research are geographical methodology, quantitative analysis, urban and regional planning. He is a visiting professor of Beijing Normal University, East China Normal University, and Xi’an Jiaotong University. He has been a visiting professor and scholar of Johns Hopkins University, the University of California at Santa Barbara, USA, and University of New South Wales, Australia.

Professor Leung is an international authority on uncertainty analysis in geographical research, and a pioneer of fuzzy sets research in geography. He has been a leading figure in geocomputation and intelligent spatial decision support systems. He has made significant contributions to the innovative and systematic study of spatial data mining and knowledge discovery.

Professor Leung has published 6 books and over 140 papers that have been cited widely by publications in top international academic journals. Over the years, he has received 30 competitive research grants amounting to over 24 million dollars.

Organized by the State Council, the award is the highest honour given by the Central Government in recognition of advancement in basic research. A total of 39 research projects were presented the second-class prize and no first-class prize was awarded in 2007.

In the 2007 State Science and Technology Awards (SSTA), the Gastrointestinal Research Group of the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK led by Professor Joseph Sung won the 2007 State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (SSTPA) second-class award for its achievement and innovation in the treatment of peptic ulcer bleeding.

Over the years, a total of 8 CUHK professors have received the State Natural Science Awards (SNSA). Prof. Henry Wong, Prof. Wu Chi and Prof. Jimmy Yu of the Department of Chemistry, and Prof. Dennis Lo of the Department of Chemical Pathology received the SNSA second-class award, Prof. Thomas Mak of the Department of Chemistry and Prof. Tony Lee of the Department of Information Engineering received the SNSA third-class award, while Prof. Chan Hsiao Chang and Prof. Patrick Wong of the Department of Physiology received the SNSA fourth-class award.

Professor Leung Yee
Professor Leung Yee