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Explore the “secrets” of dental materials and digital dentistry together in the Materials in Oral Health MOOC offered by the best dental school in the world.

Register now!

Click here if you cannot access Youtube.

We all need healthy teeth, don’t we? Have you ever wondered why titanium, ceramics and some synthetic polymeric materials are the “materials of choice” in oral health care? What are the “secrets” that make these materials so special for dental implants and other restorative procedures?


HKU Dentistry ranking No. 1 in the World has the vision to bring together the expertise and best practices in dental materials and biomaterials in the rerun of the MOOC Materials in Oral Health. The course is taught by a professional team of 30+ local, regional and international dentistry professionals and experts in dentistry and dental materials. What does this course cover? This 4-week Oral Biomaterials course unveils the exciting and unique properties and clinical implications of some state-of-the-art dental materials, including titanium, zirconia and modern synthetic polymer-based composites. We are also going to look at the crucial roles of CAD/CAM technology and 3D printing in dental application and digital orthodontics.


Oral biomaterials today is an exciting area encompassing contributions from professional dentistry to biology, chemistry, physics, material science, mathematics and engineering. Whether you are dental practitioners and dental technicians, non-dental practitioners, dental students, university students from various disciplines, or senior secondary school students – this course will open your eyes to the magic of dental materials science. If you are a prospective university student, this course can open up new and exciting opportunities possibly leading to new career paths.


Join us in the upcoming Materials in Oral Health MOOC on 23 March 2018 (HKT)!

Register now!

Follow our Facebook pages: HKU Online Learning and Dental Materials Science, Faculty of Dentistry, HKU!

Learners’ Stories

Who are the Teachers in the MOOC course?

Week 1
Prof. Jukka Pekka Matinlinna (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – Introduction to Dental Materials: Metal
  • Ceramics – Introduction to Dental Materials: Ceramics, Zirconia and Alumina
  • Surface Treatment – An Introduction to Surface Treatment Methods; Surface Treatment Method: Acid Etching
Dr. Nikos Mattheos (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – Introduction to Materials used in Implant Dentistry
  • Ceramics – Dental Material Choice: Zirconia vs. Titanium
Prof. Niklaus Peter Lang (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – What does the Future Hold for Titanium and Its Alloys?
Dr. Justin Paul Curtin (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Titanium and Its Application – Titanium and Its Applications in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Edmond Ho Nang Pow (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Ceramics – Ceramic Materials Used in Restorative Dentistry, Introduction in Types and Indication
Prof. Timo Närhi (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Ceramics – The Development and Advantages of Glass Ceramics
Dr. Hamdi Hosni Hamama (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Surface Treatment – Acid Etching: Bonding to Enamel and Dentine
Week 2
Prof. Damien Walmsley (The University of Birmingham, UK)

  • Modern Composites – Choice of Dental Fillings: Silver or Composites
Prof. Pekka Vallittu (The University of Turku, Finland)

  • Modern Composites – An Overview of Fibre-Reinforced Composite (FRC) in
    Dentistry; Fibre-Reinforced Composite (FRC) : Chemistry, Properties, Fibre Types and Orientation; Applications of Fibre-Reinforced Composite (FRC) in Dentistry
Prof. Jukka Pekka Matinlinna (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Modern Cements – An Introduction to Dental Cements
Prof. Cynthia Kar Yung Yiu (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Modern Cements – Introduction to Glass Ionomer Cements (GIC) and Resin-modified Glass Ionomer Cements (RMGIC)
Prof. Josette Camilleri (The University of Malta)

  • Modern Cements – Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Properties and Modifications; Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Radiopacifier; Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Modifications in Mixing Liquids and Additives; Tricalcium Silicate-based Endodontic Cements – Hydraulic Properties and Bioactivities
Dr. Manikandan Ekambaram (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Clinical Material of Choice – Classification and Composition of Resin Dental Adhesives; Resin Adhesion to Tooth Tissues; Indications of Resin Dental Adhesives
Week 3
Dr. James Kit Hon Tsoi (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – Introduction to Digital Dentistry
Dr. Walter Yu Hang Lam (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – 3D Digital Stereophotogrammetry; Intraoral Scanner
  • Other Digital Techniques – Shade Matching
Prof. Michael Bornstein (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – Introduction to Oral Radiology; The Basic Principles of Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Dr. Andy Wai Kan Yeung (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Digital Imaging – Cone Beam Computed Tomography (CBCT)
Dr. Henry Wai Kuen Luk (The University of Hong Kong)

  • CAD/CAM and Digital Technology in Crown Fabrication, Digital Orthodontics and OMFS – CAD/CAM Technology in Crown Fabrication – An Introduction
Dr. John Yung Chuan Wu (The University of Hong Kong)

  • CAD/CAM and Digital Technology in Crown Fabrication, Digital Orthodontics and OMFS – Orthodontics – Diagnosis and Treatment Methods
Dr. Winnie Wing Shan Choi (The University of Hong Kong)

  • CAD/CAM and Digital Technology in Crown Fabrication, Digital Orthodontics and OMFS – Digital Dentistry in the Field of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Dr. Dominic King Lun Ho (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Other Digital Techniques – Digital Probing
Dr. Will Wei Qiao (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Other Digital Techniques – 3D Printing
Week 4
Dr. Tian Tian (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Adhesion Test and Bond Strength – Adhesion in Restorative Dentistry
Dr. Xiaozhuang Jin (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Adhesion Test and Bond Strength – A Finite Element Study on Dental Bond Strength Tests
Dr. Prasanna Neelakantan (The University of Hong Kong)

  • Adhesion Test and Bond Strength – Impact of Root Canal Irrigants on Root Filling Materials
Prof. Will Palin (The University of Birmingham)

  • Spectroscopy – Introduction to Spectroscopy
Prof. Edwin Kukk (The University of Turku, Finland)

  • Spectroscopy – Surface Analysis: What is a Surface?; Methods to Study the Surfaces: ESCA; ESCA Study of Titanium
Dr. Sari Granroth (The University of Turku, Finland)

  • Spectroscopy – ESCA Study of Titanium

Sneak Previews
Have a taster of what will be taught in this course!
(Sneak preview playlist here.)

The Application of Silicon and Silicon Compounds in Dentistry – Prof. Jukka Pekka Matinlinna
- “Silicones find a wide range of biomedical applications…”

Dental Material Choice: Zirconia vs Titanium – Prof. Niklaus P. Lang
- “Shortcomings with titanium are mostly aesthetic in nature…”

What is Digital Dentistry? – Dr. James Tsoi
- “Digital dentistry is one of the emerging fields in dentistry…”

Materials used in Implants – Dr. Nikos Mattheos
- “Osseointegration is a remarkable story of scientific discovery…”

More sneak previews here.


Week 1 Teaser
Week 1 Teaser
Week 2 Teaser
Week 2 Teaser
Week 3 Teaser
Week 3 Teaser
Week 4 Teaser
Week 4 Teaser
Week 5 Teaser
Week 5 Teaser
Week 6 Teaser
Week 6 Teaser

Register now! 課程登記指引

HKU Online LearningWhatever you know and wherever you are we invite you to join us on a journey to consider how the local and the global intersect to make Hong Kong cinema an integral part of popular culture around the world as well as a leading force in the development of world cinematic art.




Highlights of the course

  • Develop your critical and historical thinking skills through analyzing the interconnected relationship between the global scene and local lives in HK films;
  • Broaden your perspectives on identity issues through finding the familiar in the foreign in Hong Kong cinema;
  • Deepen your perspective on the impact of globalization on your own society through analyzing Hong Kong cinema.


  • 通過分析香港電影業的本地市場與國際舞臺之間的關係,培養您的批判和歷史思維能力;
  • 在香港電影中不熟識的場景尋找熟識的細節,從而拓展您對身份問題的了解;
  • 通過分析香港電影業,讓您更明白全球化對社會的影響。

The course was awarded the 2017 MOOCr Awards – Bronze Award (Course Management and Promotion) in the 4th Greater China MOOC Symposium.


Follow us on Facebook for more updates!


Further Reading

  1. Gina Marchetti, Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Stacilee Ford (2017, March). Enter the Future: Behind the Scenes of a New MOOC, Viewfinder (No. 106), pp.8-9.
  2. Gina Marchetti, Aaron Han Joon Magnan-Park and Stacilee Ford (2018, January). MOOCs Turn Local into Global, AsiaGlobal Online. Retrieved from http://www.asiaglobalonline.hku.hk/moocs-turn-local-into-global/
  3. Film Matters Magazine (9 February 2017). New HKU MOOC: Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens Premieres on 7 February 2017.
  4. 翟啟豪:港大免費網上課程 全球視野看港片影響力 [Translation: Free HKU online course - Hong Kong Cinema Through A Global Lens] (HK01, 9 February 2017)
  5. Amy Nip. Switch onto movie action with HKU online course. (The Standard, 7 February 2017)
  6. Enid Tsui. University of Hong Kong launches MOOC to teach film buffs how Hong Kong cinema conquered the world (South China Morning Post, 6 February 2017)
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Fostering stronger inter-collegiate links and sharing of knowledge expertise have always been high priorities in the World’s No. 1 Dental Faculty in the World. From January 29 to February 2, 2018, Dental Materials Science of the Faculty of Dentistry collaborated with HKU TeLi to run a winter programme in Applied Oral Sciences (AOS) at Prince Philip Dental Hospital.

AOS is a 5-day blended learning programme which aims to share (i) innovative methods and best practices in dental materials science research and on-campus instructions, as well as, (ii) technology-enriched pedagogies in teaching and learning, in particularly, in MOOCs and MOOC-based teaching and learning design to dentistry and medical faculties in mainland China and Korea.

AOS participants included 80+ students and teachers from 22 dental and medical schools from Korea and China, The list of institutions of the participants are as follows: BengBu Medical University , China Medical University , Chonnam National University , Fujian Medical University , Guangxi Medical University , Harbin Medical University , Hunan University of Medicine , Huzhou University , Jinzhou Medical University , Jiujiang University , Kunming Health Vocational Institute , Nantong University , Pusan National University , Qinghai University , Shijiazhuang Medical College , Taishan Medical University , Tangshan Vocational and Technical College , Tianjin Medical University , Wenzhou Medical University , Wenzhou Medical University Renji College , Wuhan University , and Xingtai Medical College.

The programme was packed with intensive knowledge sessions of featured lectures, as well as, experiential learning and interactive workshops.

Professor Jukka Matilinna introducing the newest endeavours of Dental Materials Science Faculty.

Dr. James Tsoi talked about teaching and learning in Dental Materials Science.

Deepening Knowledge in Dental Materials Science Research

Through featured lectures conducted by Dental Materials Science faculty, students gained insights in some popular Applied Oral Health research areas including Biomechanics in Orthodontics, Biomaterials for Our Life and Current Approaches and Future Challenges in Dental Pulp Regeneration. These face-to-face sessions also allowed participants to interact with leading academics and dental professionals, as well as, peers from different universities.

Experiencing E-learning and Innovative Pedagogy

All the participants were enrolled in a customized version of the MOOC course for AOS. This enabled the participants to experience the courseware, in particular, the learning activities and bite-sized pedagogy, as well as, the newest science in Dental Materials Science education through videos such as close range surgery demonstrations, stereo-photogrammetry and digital rendering of oral cavities in authentic clinical cases.

A sneak peek of the MOOC: Materials in Oral Health!

TeLi colleague’s sharing of MOOC development.

A platform to Scale MOOC Learning Initiatives beyond the Region

In addition to experiencing the educational methodologies in the MOOC course, educators and teachers from visiting institutions were engaged with a practical session – learning how to deliver content using MOOCs and integrating trending technology in teaching. TeLi shared experiences in MOOC development and production with the teachers, and guided them through the course framework and various key components of the course. Among the topics discussed were pragmatic skills in storyboarding and video production, managing schedules and resource requirements. Many teachers were eager to ask questions and some also shared their own experience and challenges encountered in blended learning and online courses.

The sharing with mainland educators and students enabled TeLi and the Dentistry faculty to transfer our experience to future e-learning creators in professional Dentistry, and empowered the participants to pass on their new experience to more people in the mainland.

It is our hope to inspire more inter-institutional and interdisciplinary collaboration in teaching oral health care, and possibly e-learning pedagogical design and research.

Contact us if you are interested in creating knowledge exchange opportunities with us!


Further reading

MOOC experience sharing with delegates of Anhui Medical University


Trailer and sneak previews


About this course
“If history is our guide, we can assume that the battle between the intellect and will of the human species and the extraordinary adaptability of microbes will be never-ending.” (1)

Despite all the remarkable technological breakthroughs that we have made over the past few decades, the threat from infectious diseases has significantly accelerated. In this course, we will learn why this is the case by looking at the fundamental scientific principles underlying epidemics and the public health actions behind their prevention and control in the 21st century.

This course covers the following four topics:

  1. Origins of novel pathogens;
  2. Analysis of the spread of infectious diseases;
  3. Medical and public health countermeasures to prevent and control epidemics; and
  4. Panel discussions involving leading public health experts with deep frontline experiences to share their views on risk communication, crisis management, ethics and public trust in the context of infectious disease control.

In addition to the original introductory sessions on epidemics, we revamped the course by adding:

  1. new panel discussions with world-leading experts; and
  2. supplementary modules on next generation informatics for combating epidemics.

You will learn:

  1. the origins, spread and control of infectious disease epidemics;
  2. the importance of effective communication about epidemics; and
  3. key contemporary issues relating to epidemics from a global perspective.

Who is this class for
This is an introductory course suitable for all learners, with no prerequisite required.

Join the fight against epidemics now.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for more updates!

(1) Fauci AS, Touchette NA, Folkers GK. Emerging Infectious Diseases: a 10-Year Perspective from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Emerg Infect Dis 2005 Apr; 11(4):519-25.

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“Knowledge Transfer” has long been described as the “third mission” of higher education institutions, with teaching and research being the first two missions. HKU TeLi has been actively engaged in the sharing of knowledge, including technology, expertise and skills with global, regional and local institutions in innovations in methods and pedagogies for the enhancement of efficient teaching for teachers and effective learning of students.

On January 25, 2018, 30 delegates of teachers, students and young professionals from the Anhui Medical University (AHMU) gathered at the Prince Philip Dental Hospital for an introduction to Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and an intellectual exchange on MOOC-based learning and HKU examples of MOOC development.

MOOCs which make use of the concept of bite-sized learning, are efficient in sharing knowledge to a critical mass of learners, any time, anywhere and with any device; encouraging self-regulated learning, as well as, lifelong-learning. The global interest for MOOC’s potential is on the rise, and China’s MOOC market has expanded exponentially in recent years. Our team illustrated HKU’s endeavours in e-learning with two of TeLi’s professional MOOCs, Materials in Oral Health and Implant Dentistry, addressing how MOOCs couple innovation with technology and on-campus teaching pedagogy i.e. PBL brings global learning to the next level.

Explaining the advantages of MOOC over chalk-and-board education.

During the session with our guests, TeLi showed and demonstrated how MOOC videos serve as one of the core vehicles in delivering contents and information. We demonstrated how frontier technology can be incorporated into course materials to make learning more visual and effective. This includes 3D rendered scans of mouth cavities, 3D printing, stereo-photogrammetry, as well as, close range video demonstrations of step-by-step surgery techniques. Our guests were also guided through the MOOCs’ online courseware on Coursera, navigating and observing the design of an online course and its integrated components. Some features new to our guests are prompting questions embedded in videos (used to check the learners’ understanding), forum questions built by the learner community, and authentic clinical implant cases based on on-campus problem-based learning (PBL).

Showing our guests the use of close-range suturing demonstrations in MOOC videos.

The two-hour session was not only a great opportunity for us to share and showcase HKU’s experience in professional MOOC development and production with dental practitioners and educators at AMHU, it was nonetheless, a meaningful intellectual exchange with mainland institutions. We hope that our visitors are empowered to build their own MOOC courses, and are encouraged to inspire others in China’s teaching and learning community to explore MOOCs. May this exchange lead to a better teaching and learning experience for all.
Contact us if you are interested in learning more about MOOC production, MOOCs based learning or in producing your own MOOC!


Click here if you cannot access Youtube.


Introduction to the course (Course outline)
University Teaching is an introductory MOOC on teaching and learning in tertiary education, designed by staff at CETL and offered through Coursera. Whether you have just started your first university teaching post, you are thinking about becoming a university teacher, or you just have an interest in understanding the essentials of university teaching, this course is definitely for you.

University Teaching will help you to address the following questions:

  • What is it like teaching in higher education?
  • What does research evidence tell us about effective teaching in higher education?
  • How can we ensure that our instructional design helps our students achieve their intended learning outcomes?
  • What pedagogic options do we have to make our teaching successful?
  • What assessment and feedback practices can help our students learn effectively?

With input from instructors, guest speakers and interviewees, including teaching award winners, students and experts in the fields, you will be exposed to research evidence in relation to effective university teaching and instructional design. Throughout the course, you will learn from teachers whose teaching has been judged to be excellent, and you will see many examples of their teaching in practice.

After completing the learning tasks in this course, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the teaching and learning context in higher education and reflect on the challenges and opportunities you might encounter as a university teacher.
  • Explain key teaching and learning concepts and relevant evidence in relation to effective university teaching.
  • Analyse the relationships between various aspects of teaching and student learning.
  • Identify a range of instructional strategies to support effective student learning.
  • Apply key concepts to the structuring of course outlines and lesson plans in order to support successful student learning.

Join our professional development community on Facebook
Check out our University Teaching Facebook page for updates and extra content on teaching and learning!


We are excited to share some highlights of Technology-Enriched Learning Initiative’s (TELI) involvement in HKU The Review 2017!

#Innovative #Testing New Waters

TELI Vision
Online content and new technology are becoming ever more prominent in university education, creating alternatives to standard lectures such as flipped classrooms. TELI strives to help teachers explore new ways to teach. We support and promote e-learning across HKU, for example by developing games and apps with teachers and producing online learning materials. We also:

Produce courses

  • Eight Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) through the edX and Coursera platforms in 2016-17
  • Six on-campus Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) that blend MOOC-style online learning with on-campus classes


  • A University Grants Council (UGC) funded project to produce 10 SPOCs with three local universities, namely the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The content (general education or common core-type course) will be shared among the four universities.
  • A new mode of collaboration: a commission from Mass Transit Railway Corporation to produce videos about its operations for public consumption.

Encourage innovative teaching

  • Professor Ricky Kwok (who oversees TELI) launched a summer edition of his Common Core course, Everyday Computing and the Internet, creating an opportunity for students to experience flipped classroom in Peking University. It was a brand new experience for our students. It included three weeks online learning and two intensive weeks at Peking University with Mainland students.

Want to know more about e-learning or teaching in innovative ways? Contact us at enquiry@teli.hku.hk! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


How do you measure success? Many researchers, when evaluating Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), tend to measure the success of a course with a single metric, i.e. the completion rate. However, MOOCs generally have a large audience, and given the diverse background of MOOC learners, every learner differs in goals and level of engagement with the course materials. It may not be comprehensive enough to evaluate learner success by simple looking at whether he/she has finished the course; and the overall course completion rate alone may not suffice in evaluating the success of a MOOC.

This is what we learnt from a seminar entitled “Demystifying Learner Success: Before, During, and After a Massive Open Online Course”, delivered by Dr Elle Yuan Wang, a Research Scientist at EdPlus Action Lab, Arizona State University on August 1, 2017. Organized by the Faculty of Education, this seminar offered us a different perspective on how to measure success of a MOOC, an ongoing debate among researchers.

Learner Success in terms of Post-Course Career Development
Dr Wang believes that learner success can take many different forms – traditional assessment scores, or in other forms of post-course development, such as career development. In her 2014 study, she measured the post-course development of a group of MOOC learners two years after the end of the course using two metrics: whether learners (i) joined a relevant professional society; and/or (ii) submitted a paper in a relevant conference. By comparing learners’ post-course career development and in-course performance, she set out to investigate the relation between the two. The ultimate goal is to find out how career advancers differ from other learners in terms of their in-course performance.

The research targeted learners of the first iteration of The Big Data in Education MOOC, a postgraduate-level 8-week course offered on Coursera in 2013. Dr Wang was one of the teaching assistants of the course. (The subsequent iterations of the course have been offered on edX.)

The study revealed that:

  • Career advancers who joined a professional society or submitted a paper earned better scores and were more likely to complete the course than non-advancers.
  • Career advancers also demonstrated more frequent engagement with course components including course pages, lecture videos, assignment submissions, and discussion forums. For example, the page viewing activities of people who joined a professional society were much higher than non-members.
  • However, even though career advancers tended to have more post-reading actions, they were not significantly more likely to post, comment, or vote than their peers.

Significance of the Research
This study enriched our understanding of how MOOCs potentially impact learners’ career development and the possible association between student behaviors and positive developments. All these findings are crucial for educators in developing and improving their MOOCs in the future.

A Special Note of Thanks
Hereby we would like to thank Dr Wang for not only sharing with us her research endeavours and findings, but also inspiring our work in learning analytics in HKU. Our colleague, Dr Leon Lei, completed The Big Data in Education MOOC on Coursera in 2013 and is now applying principles learnt from the course in developing our own MOOCs in HKU. Thank you, Dr Wang, for inspiring us. We look forward to more opportunities to further explore learning analytics and educational data mining with fellow researchers in the future.

*Note: Dr Wang’s research was conducted in collaboration with Ryan Baker, University Pennsylvania, and Luc Paquette, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For further details, please refer to the original research paper: Wang, Y., Paquette, L., Baker, R. (2014). A longitudinal study on learner career advancement in MOOCs. Journal of Learning Analytics, 1(3), 203-206. [PDF]


Professor Sun Kwok, a world-renowned astronomer, devotes his waking hours to exploring the wonders of the Universe. Why did he choose this path, and how did it work out for him? On 27th September, we visited Professor Kwok at the Laboratory for Space Research in Cyberport. In an interview with him, we got to know Professor Kwok as a scientist, an insightful educator, and an astronomy enthusiast brimming with passion.


When did it all begin?
It was not Professor Kwok’s childhood dream to become an astronomer. Instead, when he was studying engineering at university in Canada, one day, as he read Frontiers of Astronomy by Fred Hoyle, he found out that astronomy has much to do with physics, chemistry and biology. He realized that science are tools enabling him to understand the patterns and motions of stars, and the fascinating unknown of their composition, structure and evolution. The idea of investigating the Universe with physics was exciting, and he was inspired to pursue astronomy, eventually making important discoveries and leaving a legacy.


Curiosity and hard work paid off
For Professor Kwok, the Universe is still full of mysteries awaiting him to unveil. Despite hurdles, his curiosity and desire to solve mysteries drive him forward and help him overcome difficulties. Professor Kwok also adds it is all down to diligent preparation and effort, as one would never know when that eureka moment happens. His formula to reaching his goals is constant work, determination and hard work; not so much about natural talent or luck.

His efforts paid off. After countless ventures into deep space through telescopes, Professor Kwok is now the proud discoverer of many nebulae and stars. When asked how does he name his discoveries, Professor Kwok said, “it’s usually because of what they look like. In the case of cotton candy (nebula), it’s because of its shape!”

Places for stargazing
Professor Kwok has made a lot of professional observations on Hawaii’s Mauna Kea. The telescopes on its summit stand 4200 metres above sea level, where the skies are clear and the clouds are well below the observer. It is the location that Professor Kwok considers his favourite to observe celestial wonders.

But is Hawaii the only good place to go stargazing? Many often complain that it is difficult to see stars in Hong Kong due to severe light pollution. Professor Kwok remarks that even in Hong Kong it is not impossible to see, but people just turn a blind eye to them. In fact, Professor Kwok adds, it is extremely easy to see a planet even in Hong Kong, and people are always bewildered when he points to Venus at twilight. Professor Kwok suggests us all to go to the countryside, far away from the city lights, and marvel at the gifts of nature to rekindle our interest for our environment, because “it is all what our ancestors did. Everyone should see the Milky Way once in their lifetime.”


The next adventure
An inquisitive mind enabled ancient people to develop science and make technological advancements. Where is Professor Kwok’s curiosity leading him next? Currently, Professor Kwok works on astrobiology and is studying organic matter in space. He also believes that the integration of different fields of knowledge, such as chemistry, biology and geology, will create a multi-disciplinary perspective and be the future of astronomy.

Professor Kwok always encourages young people to pursue their dreams. “Because at the end, it is your life, and you have to have a career that is fulfilling”.


Professor Kwok was featured in the 5th episode of RTHK’s series Our Scientists. It explores Professor Kwok’s journey in becoming an astronomer, his visions in education, as well as his recent research in organic matter in space.

Follow Our Place in the Universe’s Facebook page for video clips of our interview with Professor Kwok and other astronomical facts and interesting articles!

With the rerun of Hong Kong Cinema Through a Global Lens, the course team decided to bring the discussion of cinematic culture back into a cinema once again. Professor Gina Marchetti, Dr. Aaron Magnan-Park, Dr. Stacilee Ford and over 30 Hong Kong movie fanatics gathered at the Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei on September 9, 2017 to “look at how Hong Kong is defined by world cinema and how it pushed back against those definitions.”


Globalization is one of the most important messages that the course team wants to highlight throughout the 6-week course. Through examining Hong Kong movies, the course team would discuss the triangle relationship between Hong Kong, Hollywood and mainland China, and how Hong Kong movies are digested and defined in Europe, particularly through film festivals like Cannes or the Venice film festival. Learners can expect to learn not only about Hong Kong films, but “what global issues are involved in Hong Kong cinema.”


Among the audience were some that had experienced the golden age of Hong Kong film industry. With vivid reminiscence of the good old times, one audience member wondered why Hong Kong movie productions of these days cannot seem to match the quality in the past. Professor Marchetti explained that over the years, the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement (CEPA) has made it much easier for Hong Kong filmmakers, primarily producers and directors, to make films in mainland China. As a result, filmmakers found it “much more lucrative to make movies across the border.” However, Dr. Ford reminded the audience that “even if people are critiquing the film industry from an aesthetic standpoint or arguing that it has had to sell out to the mainland, as a historian these films continue to do really, really important work.”

bannerThe course team was joined by over 30 Hong Kong movie fanatics

Let’s see what the course team shared on each week of the MOOC:
Week 1: Jackie Chan
“Wonderful example of what Jackie Chan is known around the world for: spectacular stunts, timing, Martial Arts choreography…death defying…high wire [acts]. [They are] amazing and recognized around the world.”

Week 2: Bruce Lee and the Global Kung Fu Craze
“For so long, Bruce Lee was the only non-white superstar. People who are used to seeing Hollywood action stars always being white men, they could finally see someone that was like them, not white. Even with Caucasians, they saw in Bruce Lee something as an alternative to the dominant ideologies that we were getting about masculinity.”

Week 3: Melodramas of Migrations: Mabel Cheung Yuen Ting’s An Autumn’s Tale
“There is this proud tradition of women filmmakers telling…or building on their own stories in particular ways and it opens up the conversation of US history as well as global history…. The discussion of identity is not just about politics, it is about survival, it is about storytelling, it is about history.”

Week 4: John Woo’s Heroic Bloodshed Films: Hong Kong vs. Hollywood
“The triad films of John Woo emphasize this idea of friendship, especially this kind of an unexpected friendship because John Woo’s gangster triad assassin becomes best friends with a police inspector. Technically they’re on opposite sides of the law, they should never become friends, but they share a kind of a chivalric ethos that they recognize in each other and so they bond as friends that way. The argument I make is through these triad films we have the possibility of recreating Confucian virtue in Hong Kong society from the bottom moving up. As long as Confucian friendship remains, the Confucian virtuous project and social harmony still has a chance to happen in Hong Kong.”

Week 5: Hong Kong on Postmodern Screens: Infernal Affairs
“To just give you a little idea of something else that makes the MOOC unique is the fact that we had the opportunity to talk to many of the filmmakers who actually produce these films. I was lucky enough to speak with Andrew Lau about the making of the film.”

Week 6: Hong Kong Cinema as World Cinema: In the Mood for Love
“Now when we look at In The Mood For Love, in the film, I talk quite a lot about not simply the chemistry between Maggie Cheung and Tony Leung but also about the way in which it reveals a certain understanding of Hong Kong’s position in the world, not just in the 1960s when it is set, but also in the years following the handover.”

Sign up for the course here to learn more.

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