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April 2024

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Issue No. 132
April 2024

1st Seed Funding Digital Humanities Faculty Project Completed!

We are excited to announce the completion of our 1st Digital Humanities Seed Funding project ( Through collaboration with Professor Jin Huan from the Division of Humanities and two students – Lau Ming Kit Jack from BEng in Computer Engineering and Yip Sau Lai Sherry from BSc in Data Science and Technology – the project team studied the rhetorical formula and linguistic style in early Chinese novels, specifically “Zheng He’s Voyages to the Western Sea”《三寶太監西洋記》.

During the Fall and Winter Term from September 2023 to January 2024, our team used a range of methods, including but not limited to text mining, statistical approach to quantitative linguistic analysis and AI methodologies, to investigate the patterns related to vocabulary, syntax, grammar, and discourse in several Ming dynasty era novels. By examining the similarities and differences in their linguistic styles, we aimed to uncover insights into the rhetorical formula and linguistic style employed in early Chinese vernacular novels.

The findings from this project provide a solid foundation for future research and will contribute to a scholarly paper authored by Prof. Jin Huan. We are actively pursuing further RGC funding opportunities to continue this work and drive progress in our research.

In addition to our research findings, we have utilized a selection of our findings to create a network graph to provide visual representation of the character interactions within this novel, a multi-layered map that highlight the geographical aspects of “Zheng He’s Voyages to the Western Sea”, and pages with full text of each chapter that highlighted important entities such as location names, personal names, pronouns, and numbers. This allows readers to easily identify and understand these elements, deepening their comprehension of the novel, bringing the narrative and geographical landscapes to life.

By integrating computational approaches with the expertise from humanities, this project demonstrates the transformative potential of interdisciplinary collaboration. The involvement of student helpers from the fields of computer engineering and data science enriches the research process with fresh perspectives and innovative methodologies.

Their technical skills, combined with Prof. Jin Huan‘s deep understanding of early Chinese vernacular novels, creates a dynamic cooperation that drives the investigation forward. This project showcases the power of collaboration across different domains. By leveraging the strengths of both humanities and technology, the team aspires to pave the way for new approaches in literary analysis.

Furthermore, we are pleased to announce that we will be launching the 2nd round call for proposals in April/May 2024. We invite professors from the School of Humanities and Social Science to submit their proposals. Stay connected through our website for further updates!

Our Most Popular Books

The Library has a growing collection of popular books to support reading for fun. Interested to know what the most checked-out pop book titles are? Let’s do a quick scan.

For English, in descending order:
1. A game of thrones / George Martin
2. The big short : inside the doomsday machine / Michael Lewis
3. And then there were none / Agatha Christie
4. The girl with the dragon tattoo / Stieg Larsson
5. Steve Jobs / Walter Isaacson
6. Murder on the Orient Express / Agatha Christie
7. Monkey business; swinging through the Wall Street jungle / John Rolfe
8. What I wish I know when I was 20 / Tina Seelig
9. The economic naturalist: why economics explains almost everything / Robert Frank
10. The time traveler’s wife / Audrey Niffenegger

For Chinese, the top titles are:
1. 三体 I-III / 劉慈欣
2. 白夜行 / 東野圭吾
3. 解憂雜貨店 / 東野圭吾
4. 嫌疑犯X的獻身 / 東野圭吾
5. 最後的貴族 / 章詒和
6. 放學後 = 放課後 / 東野圭吾
7. 畢業 : 雪月花殺人遊戲 = 卒業 : 雪月花殺人遊 / 東野圭吾
8. 宿命 / 東野圭吾.

The overall pattern shows our readers’ passion for sci-fi, fantasy, and crime and mystery novels. 東野圭吾 is no doubt our best-loved author.

April iTalk by HKUST Alumnus

Mr. Charles Cheung (HKUST alumnus, BBA Marketing 2013) is the Co-Founder in Catty and Tael Production and the Executive Chef in Catty and Tael Private Dinning. On April 11, he will share his captivating journey of how a business graduate courageously abandoned spreadsheets in favor of woks, embracing traditional Cantonese culinary arts to eventually craft a unique food and beverage venture.

His talk, 從商業理論到餐桌:廚師創業的故事 / From Business Theory to Table: The Entrepreneurial Chef’s Tale, will explore the blend of academic knowledge and hands-on kitchen experience that serves as the recipe for successful entrepreneurship in the hospitality industry.

Video recording will be uploaded to: ( and the Library YouTube channel (

Collection Spotlight: Scite

Scite is a powerful research tool that helps you better understand the context of citations. Key features include:

Smart Citations: Citations are classified to indicate whether they support, mention, or contrast the claims of the cited paper. This allows you to search for papers on a topic and sort results by the most supported or most contrasted, helping you quickly identify key arguments.

Scite Assistant: An AI chatbot that provides answers with real paper sources. It can help you discover relevant studies, find competing evidence, or find a source for a sentence.

Reference Check: Upload your manuscript or grant and let Scite help you check the reliability of its references. This allows you to easily identify if any cited references have been disputed or retracted.

Speed up your research process with Scite! Check out our Research Bridge blog to learn more tips.

LibQUAL+ Insights & Action Plan

We are pleased to share some insights gleaned from the LibQUAL+ survey completed last November. The 2,825 completed questionnaires offered us a detailed understanding of your perspectives on our library services. Thank you for taking the time to help.

Approximately 61% of respondents were UG students, 21% were PG, 4% faculty, and 14% other staff. Upon thorough analysis, several notable findings have emerged, including that UG students were significantly less satisfied than the other groups.

UG students emphasized a heightened need for user service, quiet and individual study space, and a desire for more staff to manage noise and seat hogging. PG students notably provided detailed written feedback, offering valuable insights.

The courteous demeanor of our staff received consistent praise from PG students, faculty, and staff. Faculty also emphasized the need for more easily accessible e-resources from home or office. Unlike students, they expressed less need for physical study space.

The Library is taking action in response to specific areas highlighted in the survey. Targeted training sessions will focus on language and communication skills to enhance communication with UGs. Intensified efforts will be made to promote library services and engagement through various channels, to improve understanding of how to utilize library services and resources effectively.

Addressing recurring difficult issues such as noise disturbances, the shortage of individual study spaces and seat hogging, we are implementing several initiatives, including increased patrols during peak hours and examination periods, additional “Quiet” signage, scheduling noisy construction works in nonpeak hours and expediting the opening of LG5 and prioritizing it for study use, and rearranging furniture to alleviate some space constraints.

Regarding library collections, we remain committed to enhancing remote access, expanding e-book platforms, and procuring additional journals within budgetary constraints. Efforts will also be made to increase the visibility of new resources.

Be assured that the Library takes your feedback and suggestions very seriously, while balancing the needs and interests of all stakeholders. Interdepartmental meetings are underway and details action plans will soon be in place. We are actively developing short, medium, and long-term solutions to effect meaningful improvements.

For more detailed information on our initiatives and progress, we encourage you to visit our website at

User Behavior – Respect Each Other

We have modified the demerit points system to reflect changes in user behavior in the Library. You can find the updated table at

Photo of a Seat Hogging ExampleThe most notable problems are:
• Seat hogging
• Leaving personal belongings in bulk
• Excessive downloading of e-resources

The Library is always a very popular and heavily used space. Most users are considerate and treasure the Library as an important hub for study, social, and cultural activities. Think about the impact of your actions on other students and staff.

Seat hogging causes other students real inconvenience and annoyance. It is rude and inconsiderate.

Treating the Library as a luggage storage zone is likewise troublesome for people looking for a place to study.

And abusing e-resources can cause the entire campus to be locked out of a popular subscription, like WisersOne.

See our general guidelines for user behaviour for more details:

The demerit points system allows us to highlight and correct inappropriate behaviour and differentiate the seriousness of each.

Cherish and respect yourselves, and other library users – physically and online – and all will benefit.

Embrace Diversity / Inspire Inclusion

HKUST is proud to be a home for talents from many different cultural and educational backgrounds and one of our strategic objectives (2021-2028) is be a champion of diversity (

Companies around the world are also putting increasing efforts in embedding DEI (diversity, equality, and inclusion) into their business goals and strategies. In March, the Library organized activities to foster understanding, embrace diversity, promote equality, and inspire inclusion.

The iTalk 企業趨勢:多元共融和無意識偏見 (Enterprise Trend: Diversity & Inclusion and Unconscious Bias) was held on March 21, the annual International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as declared by the United Nations in 1966. Mr. Bosco Ng, founder of award-winning social enterprise WEDO GLOBAL, explained examples related to multiculturalism. Through interactive discussion and sharing of anecdotes, participants gained a deeper understanding of unconscious bias and how to achieve diversity and inclusion in both educational and workplace environments.

Responses from participants were very positive, they found the following aspects most valuable:
• Sharing of thoughts towards unconscious bias
• Real case sharing
• Need to change some stereotype
• Respect different people

As suggested by participants, we hope to organize similar events and follow-up workshops.

In addition, two collection displays were held to highlight books & media items on DEI (diversity, equality and inclusion):
IWD 2024: Celebrating Women’s Achievements & Inspiring Inclusion (March 1-17)
Celebrate Cultural Diversity & Eliminate Racial Discrimination (March 19 – April 1)

Using Print Quota In The Library

The Library and ITSC have been working together to bring some ITSC Satellite Printers to the Library – so that you can use your campus print budget here.

The first ITSC Satellite Printer/Copier/Scanner is now available in the far end of the ground floor. You can tell the difference just by looking at it – Octopus Printers are white, and Satellite Printers are black.

Using Satellite Printers requires a physical HKUST ID card, with print budget. Students start the year with some, faculty and staff need to buy some online.

Alumni, JULAC card holders, staff dependants, and visitors must use the Octopus Printers.

This summer and fall the Library will expand this service, adding ITSC Satellite Printers in more areas of the building while consolidating Octopus provision.

LG5 In Use!

The Library’s new LG5 space and entrance has been up and running for several weeks, and is proving quite popular. So far, we frequently see 50-60 people study there plus those in the three heavily booked study rooms.

There are also more people than expected using the entrance/exit to go between LG5/LG7 and the Library – this is great!

The Library plans to hold some open events there and see how the space works for book talks and other activities. The furniture is all movable and adjustable so many options are available.

But for now – just enjoy the space. Here are a few pics taken on a lovely sunny day…

Photo of LG5 Library entrance and corridor    Photo of patio area from inside Library LG5  Photo of tables and chairs along LG5 walkway


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last modified 08 April 2024