Understanding Systems Systematically
Always intellectually curious, Chin Bowen had wanted to major in a programme that allowed him to gain experience in various disciplines. On the basis of his profound interest in Mathematics, he decided to join the family of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM) at CUHK.
Four years ago, Bowen chose SEEM as his major since he was deeply impressed by the design of the curriculum, which aims to provide students with flexibility in choosing the courses. Bowen recalled, ‘Unlike other traditional engineering disciplines, SEEM navigates between technical engineering focused disciplines, such as Mathematical Optimization, Financial Engineering and Systems and Algorithm Design, and management focused disciplines, such as Service and Project Management. In this department, I was granted the flexibility to explore my interests and passion within this broad field. The programme is well positioned to prepare students with the knowledge and perspective to leverage the financial and technological industry landscape in Hong Kong as well as the world.’
According to Prof. Jeffrey Yu, Chairman of the Department of SEEM, there are four streams that students can specialize in, namely, Business Information Systems, Financial Engineering, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and Service Engineering and Management. Though each of these streams has different foci, they all share the same foundation of using data and information to create and disseminate knowledge and technologies of systems engineering and engineering management in this ever-changing society. By the end of the programme, students will be able to apply technical knowledge in mathematics, science, and engineering to create, manage and optimize complex systems in various industries.
While the diversity of the courses offered enabled Bowen to gain extensive knowledge, the teaching staff enhanced his experience by offering timeless insights and guidance. ‘The teaching approach here strikes a balance between theory-teaching and course project investigation. We have assignments that consolidate our technical and engineering foundation. Meanwhile, we have the chance to work on projects that reflect real-life industry. This hands-on approach enables us to apply what we have learned during the course critically and analytically. Also, the 19 teaching staff members in the programme enhanced my learning experience by sharing real-life examples and experiences that are inspirational and valuable to our learning.’
SEEM admits around 60 newcomers each year. In his freshman year, Bowen got excited in knowing his peers: They all had strong background in mathematics, and were interested in information technology. Although the class size was not small, Bowen still managed to establish a strong bonding with his classmates. ‘Although we are pursuing different directions, we share the same interest in technology and engineering. My fellow students hail from various backgrounds with different passions but I believe that this adds to the experience of learning with one another and enriching each other with diverse perspectives.’
To solidify students’ knowledge in the field, various internship and exchange opportunities are given. Students can join the Placement and Internship Programme (PIP), Work-Study Programme, and student exchange programmes from the Faculty of Engineering.
When asked what his plan after graduation would be, Bowen answered, ‘This programme has enabled me to think analytically and systematically, I want to utilize this by leveraging information and technology to solve real-world problems that would have an eternal impact in the world.’
‘SEEM is a modern discipline that supports the pillar industries in Hong Kong economy,’ added Professor Yu, ‘Our students can choose to work in banks, consulting firms, logistics firms, IT companies, etc. They may also pursue postgraduate studies in Hong Kong or overseas in various areas such as business analytics, computer science, financial engineering and industrial engineering.’
Admission scholarships are available for students with academic merits. If you are still considering whether to make SEEM your major, Bowen has several words for you:
‘If you would like to explore and potentially work in some of the most relevant industries in Hong Kong, then this programme is definitely for you. And, if you would like to expand your perspective and develop both technical as well as analytical skills and knowledge, apply for this major and be hungry to explore and learn!’
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2018