The Education University of Hong Kong
Recent publications
In accordance with global economic prosperity, the frequencies of food delivery and takeout orders have been increasing. The pandemic life, specifically arising from COVID-19, rapidly expanded the food delivery service. Thus, the massive generation of disposable plastic food containers has become significant environmental problems. Establishing a sustainable disposal platform for plastic packaging waste (PPW) of food delivery containers has intrigued particular interest. To comprise this grand challenge, a reliable thermal disposable platform has been suggested in this study. From the pyrolysis process, a heterogeneous plastic mixture of PPW was converted into syngas and value-added hydrocarbons (HCs). PPW collected from five different restaurants consisted of polypropylene (36.9 wt%), polyethylene (10.5 wt%), polyethylene terephthalate (18.1 wt%), polystyrene (13.5 wt%), polyvinyl chloride (4.2 wt%), and other composites (16.8 wt%). Due to these compositional complexities, pyrolysis of PPW led to formations of a variety of benzene derivatives and aliphatic HCs. Adapting multi-stage pyrolysis, the different chemicals were converted into industrial chemicals (benzene, toluene, styrene, etc.). To selectively convert HCs into syngas (H2 and CO), catalytic pyrolysis was adapted using supported Ni catalyst (5 wt% Ni/SiO2). Over Ni catalyst, H2 was produced as a main product due to CH bond scission of HCs. When CO2 was used as a co-reactant, HCs were further transformed to H2 and CO through the chemical reactions of CO2 with gas phase HCs. CO2-assisted catalytic pyrolysis also retarded catalyst deactivation inhibiting coke deposition on Ni catalyst.
To understand how distraction influences children’s arithmetic performance, we examined effects of irrelevant sounds on children’s performance while they solve arithmetic problems. Third and fifth graders were asked to verify true/false, one-digit addition problems (e.g., 9 + 4 = 12. True? False?) under silence and sound conditions. The sounds began when the problems started to appear on the screen (Experiment 1; N = 76) or slightly after (Experiment 2; N = 92) and continued until participants responded. The results showed that (a) children solved arithmetic problems more quickly in the sound condition than in the silence condition when the sounds started with problem display (phasic arousal effects); (b) children were slower on the arithmetic problem verification task when the sounds was played slightly after the problems started to appear on the screen (distraction effects); (c) phasic arousal effects were found only in third graders, whereas distraction effects were found in both grades, although their magnitudes were smaller in fifth graders; (d) distraction effects increased with increasing latencies in third graders but did not change across the entire latency distribution in fifth graders; and (e) distraction effects on current trials were smaller after sound trials than after silence trials in both age groups (sequential modulations of distraction effects). These findings have important implications for furthering our understanding of effects of irrelevant sounds on arithmetic performance as well as cognitive processes involved in children’s arithmetic.
Brain informatics is a novel interdisciplinary area that focuses on scientifically studying the mechanisms of human brain information processing by integrating experimental cognitive neuroscience with advanced Web intelligence-centered information technologies. Web intelligence, which aims to understand the computational, cognitive, physical, and social foundations of the future Web, has attracted increasing attention to facilitate the study of brain informatics to promote human health. A large number of articles created in the recent few years are proof of the investment in Web intelligence-assisted human health. This study systematically reviews academic studies regarding article trends, top journals, subjects, countries/regions, and institutions, study design, artificial intelligence technologies, clinical tasks, and performance evaluation. Results indicate that literature is especially welcomed in subjects such as medical informatics and health care sciences and service . There are several promising topics, for example, random forests, support vector machines, and conventional neural networks for disease detection and diagnosis, semantic Web, ontology mining, and topic modeling for clinical or biomedical text mining, artificial neural networks and logistic regression for prediction, and convolutional neural networks and support vector machines for monitoring and classification. Additionally, future research should focus on algorithm innovations, additional information use, functionality improvement, model and system generalization, scalability, evaluation, and automation, data acquirement and quality improvement, and allowing interaction. The findings of this study help better understand what and how Web intelligence can be applied to promote healthcare procedures and clinical outcomes. This provides important insights into the effective use of Web intelligence to support informatics-enabled brain studies.
This study explored whether children's second language (L2) vocabulary, syntactic awareness, and reading comprehension contributed to the growth of each other. A total of 184 Chinese primary school children (91 girls) aged 8–10 years old in Hong Kong participated in the pre-test of this study. Among them, 88 were in Grade 3 and 96 were in Grade 4. One year later, 178 of these children also participated in the post-test. These children learned English as an L2 at school. They completed a series of English language tasks. The results from a cross-lagged panel model show that vocabulary predicted the growth of syntactic awareness and reading comprehension. Syntactic awareness predicted the growth of vocabulary and reading comprehension. Reading comprehension facilitated the growth of vocabulary, and it also predicted the growth of syntactic awareness in Grade 4 students but not in Grade 3 students. Implications for teaching children an L2 are discussed.
High lipid content and excellent CO 2 fixation capability of microalgae by photosynthesis have made microalgal biodiesel (BD) a promising carbon-neutral fuel. Nonetheless, the commercialization of BD has not yet been realized because of expensive and energy-intensive cultivation, pretreatment, and BD conversion processes in reference to 1 st generation BD production. To resolve the issues, this study comprehensively reviewed the current technical developments of microalgal BD production process and suggested promising future studies. Current microalgal BD production processes highly rely on the processes developed from 1 st generation BD process, namely base-catalyzed transesterifications. However, the base-catalyzed suffers from saponification reaction and low production yield due to high water and free fatty acid contents in microalgae. Vigorous pretreatments such as dewatering, drying, esterification of free fatty acid, and purification are required for high yield of microalgal BD production, making this process economically not attractive. As efforts to construct new transesterification platform, novel approaches tolerant to impurities such as thermally induced non-catalytic transesterifications were suggested. The thermally induced reactions allowed in situ conversion of microalgal lipid into BD (≥ 95 wt. % yield) within 1 min of reaction at ≥ 350 C. This process resists to presence of water and free fatty acids and does not require lipid extraction process. To make this process more promising, it was suggested lowering reaction temperature for thermally induced transesterifications. In addition, pilot study, in-depth life cycle assessment, and economic analysis were suggested to assess economic viability and environmental impacts.
Governments across the globe have made repeated attempts to reform their health systems in recent decades with the purpose of improving access while containing costs. What is the role of government in contemporary health policy in achieving these somewhat contradictory goals? This paper conceptualises this role as one of "active stewardship" wherein the government is a central actor steering and coordinating the sector through a portfolio of diverse policy tools. In this conceptualisation, the government is not a passive participant-in merely financing, delivering, or regulating the sector-but a steersman at the helm that sets policy objectives and actively pursues them. We argue that active stewardship is central to achieving contemporary health policy priorities of universal healthcare. We apply this conceptualisation to China's recent healthcare forms and show that the role of the government in governing the sector has changed substantially over time, particularly since 2009, and the changes are showing promising results. China's experience suggests that governments need to more actively guide and shape the behaviour of both public and private players in order to achieve the goals of universal health coverage. It also suggests that a high degree of policy capacity is essential if active stewardship is to be effective.
Background In face of large-scale disasters, persons with fewer assets are at greater risk of persistent poorer mental health than persons with more assets. Everyday daily routine disruptions and financial hardship could mediate this association. Methods This prospective population-representative study in Hong Kong aimed to investigate the relation between assets during the acute phase of COVID-19 (February–August 2020, T1) and persistent probable depression from T1 to March–August 2021 (T2), as well as the mediating effects of daily routine disruptions and financial hardship on the assets-depression association. Results Low assets at T1 prospectively related to persistent probable depression from T1 to T2. Primary routine disruptions (i.e., healthy eating and sleep) at T1 and financial hardship at T2 were found to fully mediate the association between T1 assets and persistent probable depression. Limitations Persistent probable depression reported on the PHQ-9 should be further verified with clinical diagnoses/interviews. Conclusions The COVID-19 pandemic was accompanied by a global economic downturn. Persons who have fewer assets could be at greater risk of depression during this period. Our findings suggest a need to provide behavioral and financial assistance to persons with fewer assets in the short run and a need to ensure that everyone has adequate assets to mitigate the mental health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in the long run.
This paper establishes the mapping properties of pseudo-differential operators and Fourier integral operators on the weighted Morrey spaces with variable exponents and the weighted Triebel-Lizorkin-Morrey spaces with variable exponents. We obtain these results by extending the extrapolation theory to the weighted Morrey spaces with variable exponents. This extension also gives the mapping properties of Calderón-Zygmund operators on the weighted Hardy-Morrey spaces with variable exponents and the wavelet characterizations of the weighted Hardy-Morrey spaces with variable exponents.
The efficiency of photocatalytic pollutant removal largely depends on the ability of the photocatalytic system to produce hydroxyl radicals (•OH). However, the capability of photocatalyst to produce •OH is not strong at present. Advancing the capacity of photocatalytic system to produce •OH has always been a tough problem and challenge in the field of environmental science. In this research, it was found that introducing nitric oxide (NO) into the graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) photocatalytic system could memorably enhance the ability of producing •OH group. This study provides a new idea for improving the capacity of photocatalytic •OH production.
This study examines the roles of cognitive flexibility and reading motivation in explaining the longitudinal link between teacher-student closeness and reading achievement. The investigation is motivated by the fact that cognitive flexibility and reading motivation have been shown to be correlates of teacher-student relationship and reading achievement, yet their mediating roles are less well understood. The current study uses a sample of 17,342 students (8463 females; mean age = 73.42 months) from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study with different ethnic backgrounds. A declining trend of teacher-student closeness from kindergarten to Grade 2 was found. Teacher-student closeness at kindergarten was positively associated with reading achievement at Grade 4 and the effect was mediated by cognitive flexibility and reading motivation at Grade 3. Declining closeness from kindergarten to Grade 2 was not related to the other associations. Consistent with the extended attachment view, these findings highlight the importance of an early supportive teacher-student relationship in promoting flexibility in thinking and interest in reading. This enhances subsequent reading performance in the middle elementary school years.
This study investigated the performance of prosodic sensitivity among Chinese students from nine to fifteen years as well as its contribution to reading comprehension. For this study, we recruited 181 Chinese children with typical development from 9 to 15 years in Taiwan. Fifty-five were 9–10 years, 53 were 11–12 years, and the other 62 were 13–15 years. They were tested for prosodic sensitivity, phonological processing, Chinese character reading, and reading comprehension. Our results indicated clear age differences in two prosodic sensitivities: – the youngest group performed significantly worse than the other two groups. Additionally, our results showed that prosodic sensitivity significantly contributed to reading comprehension for only the two older groups. Theoretically, our results shed light on the role of prosodic sensitivity, especially above the character level, in Chinese reading comprehension. Teachers and instructors should consider prosodic sensitivity when preparing interventions for reading comprehension.
17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) is an anthropogenic estrogen that is widely used for hormone therapy and oral contraceptives. It was reported that EE2 exposure induced reproductive impairments through processes affecting reproduction behavior and inducing ovotestis. However, the effects of continuous EE2 exposure on the reproductive performance remain largely unknown. In this study, adult marine medaka fish (Oryzias melastigma) were exposed to EE2 (85 ng/L) for one (F0) and two (F1) generations. Our results indicate that continuous EE2 exposure reduced fecundity and sperm motility. The testicular transcriptome, followed by bioinformatic analysis revealed the dysregulation of pathways related to steroidogenesis, sperm motility, and reproductive system development. Collectively, our findings indicate that continuous EE2 exposure directly affected sperm quality via the alteration of steroidogenesis and dysregulation of reproductive system development. The identified key factors including DNM1, PINK1, PDE7B, and SLC12A7 can serve as biomarkers to assess EE2-reduced sperm motility.
Gaining wide prominence in the global health arena, scaling-up increases the coverage of health innovations emerging from pilots and experimental projects to a larger scale. However, scaling-up in the health sector should not follow a linear “pilot-diffusion” pathway in order to better facilitate local adaptation and policy refinement. This paper puts forth “scaling-up through piloting” as a distinctive pathway for the strategic management of scaling-up in the health sector. It analyzes the recent development of provider payment reforms in China, focusing particularly on the ongoing pilot program, namely diagnosis-related groups (DRGs) and diagnosis-intervention packet (DIP) that are being piloted in a dual-track fashion since 2020. Data were drawn from extensive documentary analysis and 20 in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, including decision-makers and implementers. This paper finds that scaling-up through piloting helps Chinese policymakers minimize the vast uncertainties associated with complex payment reforms and maximize the local adaptability of provider payment innovations. This pathway has forged a phased implementation process, allowing new payment models to be tested, evaluated, compared, and adjusted in a full spectrum of local contexts before national rollout. This phased implementation creates a “slower is faster” effect, helping reduce long-term negative consequences arising from improperly managed scaling-up in a complex system. Error detection and correction, and recalibration of new policy tools can support national level policy refinement in a more robust and dynamic fashion. Several key factors have been identified as crucial for strategic scaling-up: necessary central steering, a pragmatic piloting design, strong technical capacity, and effective policy learning mechanisms.
Taking credit for digitalization and platformization, China has initiated its open science infrastructure implementation and made an effort to focus on open access (OA) journals and data sharing over the past two decades. With the continuous development need, issues and concerns have caught in attention, including data accessibility, research transparency, general population awareness and communication of science, public trust in science, and scientific research and innovation efficiency. This paper has unfolded the maze of open science stance in China and elaborated on its current economy, openness and freedom extents, and future innovation potential towards a global open science community, within depth and scope of both the Chinese and Western scholars’ interpretations.
Plasticity enhances species fitness and survival under climate change. Ocean acidification (OA) poses a potential threat to copepods, a major zooplankton group that serves as a key link between the lower and higher trophic levels in the marine environment, yet the mechanisms underlying different adaptive responses remain poorly understood. Here we show that despite elevated CO2 can exert negative effects on reproduction of Paracyclopina nana, multigenerational plasticity can enable recovery after three generations. By integrating the methylome and transcriptome with the draft genome, and undertaking DNA methylation treatments, we demonstrate the vital role of epigenetic modifications in OA responses, and identify regions associated with reproductive resilience. Our results demonstrate that DNA methylation might play an important role in enhancing species fitness of copepods, and that failing to consider phenotypic plasticity could lead to overestimate of species’ vulnerabilities.
Large imbalance often exists between the foreground points (i.e., objects) and the background points in outdoor LiDAR point clouds. It hinders cutting-edge detectors from focusing on informative areas to produce accurate 3D object detection results. This paper proposes a novel object detection network by semantical point-voxel feature interaction, dubbed PV-RCNN++. Unlike most of existing methods, PV-RCNN++ explores the semantic information to enhance the quality of object detection. First, a semantic segmentation module is proposed to retain more discriminative foreground keypoints. Such a module will guide our PV-RCNN++ to integrate more object-related point-wise and voxel-wise features in the pivotal areas. Then, to make points and voxels interact efficiently, we utilize voxel query based on Manhattan distance to quickly sample voxel-wise features around keypoints. Such the voxel query will reduce the time complexity from O(N) to O(K), compared to the ball query. Further, to avoid being stuck in learning only local features, an attention-based residual PointNet module is designed to expand the receptive field to adaptively aggregate the neighboring voxel-wise features into keypoints. Extensive experiments on the KITTI dataset show that PV-RCNN++ achieves 81.60%, 40.18%, 68.21% 3D mAP on Car, Pedestrian, and Cyclist, achieving comparable or even better performance to the state-of-the-arts.
Teachers' adaptive expertise (TAE) has received increasing attention in the current English as foreign language (EFL) teaching field, however, it has seldom been examined with adaptive practices by teachers in on-going classes among existing literature. Adopting a mixed-method design with data triangulation, this study was conducted to explore the complexity of teachers' adaptive expertise (TAE) and adaptive teaching practices that an EAP writing teacher demonstrated in academic writing courses, from a Complex Dynamic Systems Theory (CDST) perspective. Semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and questionnaires were arranged to collect qualitative and quantitative data from an EAP writing teacher and 43 EFL learners in a Chinese university. Thematic analysis and SPSS were mainly used in the current work for data analysis. Our findings confirmed (1) the complexity of TAE and ATP with specific features of non-linearity, interconnectedness, and self-organization, which are classic CDST characteristics; (2) the TAE evolved with meta-cognitive, cognitive, affective and social components that are intertwined and contributed to the teacher's adaptive teaching practices (ATP) in her academic writing course; (3) being facilitated by TAE, the teacher's adaptive teaching practices significantly enhanced EFL learners, learning motivation of academic writing and their learning efficiency. Findings of the current work pave the way for future studies in researching TAE and ATP with a thorough consideration of language teachers, students and contexts from the CDST perspective. Moreover, pedagogical contributions are highlighted through the detailed examinations of the EAP writing teacher's ATP, including the class design, teaching plans, and methods, which would be fruitful for the development of tertiary EAP writing research.
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Sedat Gümüş
  • Department of Education Policy and Leadership (EPL)
Delin Sun
  • Department of Psychological Studies (PS)
Hei-hang Hayes Tang
  • Department of Education Policy and Leadership (EPL)
Zaheen Ahmed Iqbal
  • Department of Health and Physical Education (HPE)
Esther Lau
  • Department of Psychology
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