A “quiet please” sign is something you always see in libraries. But there is an exception – an unusual children’s library designed by Professor Peter W. Ferretto and his team Condition_Lab, where kids can read and play simultaneously.

A library where kids read, play and explore

The Pingtan Children’s Library is in the Dong minority village of Pingtan, Hunan province. It stood out among 772 entries to win World Interior of the Year, one of the four highest accolades at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) 2022, as well as the Best Use of Natural Light Prize. It sets a new paradigm for rural village libraries in China, as a place where kids read, play and explore.

Children read at the library.

This “made for children” library follows the design of a traditional Dong house, with a tiled pitch roof and a mortise-and-tenon timber construction system of interlocking columns and beams. The three-storey-high building has no floors or rooms and consists of two interwoven spiral staircases. Sunlight shines into the library during the daytime, and children can sit on the staircases and enjoy reading; at night, the library is brightly lit, like a beacon in the village.

Kids play outside the library.

The library opened in late 2021. WAF judges applauded the project’s “deep level of personal engagement [with] local traditions of crafts and construction”.

Two scholars selected as 2022 New Cornerstone Investigators

Professor He Xuhua from the Choh-Ming Li Professor of Mathematics of the Department of Mathematics and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Professor Liu Renbao from the Department of Physics were selected as 2022 New Cornerstone Investigators for their outstanding academic research. They will each receive up to RMB15 million from Tencent to conduct basic research for five years.

Professor He Xuhua

Professor He’s research interests include algebraic groups, representation theory and arithmetic geometry. In 2022, he became the first Hong Kong scholar to receive the AMS Chevalley Prize in Lie Theory from the American Mathematical Society, in recognition of his contribution to the advancement of Lie theory.

Professor Liu Renbao

Professor Liu’s research interests are quantum physics, quantum optics, quantum information science and technology, and nonlinear optics. He has been awarded the Huang Kun Prize and the Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics. The New Cornerstone Investigator grant will support Professor Liu in establishing a theory of quantum many-body lasers.

Engineering scholars gain global accolades

Five scholars from CUHK’s Faculty of Engineering have earned international honours for their consistent, profound contributions to the fields of information theory and network coding, integrated photonic neuromorphic processors, optimisation theory, electronic design automation, and small-scale robotics.

Professor Raymond Yeung Wai-ho

Professor Raymond Yeung Wai-ho, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Information Engineering, and Co-Director of the Institute of Network Coding, has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI).

Professor Huang Chaoran

Professor Huang Chaoran, Assistant Professor in the Department of Electronic Engineering, has won the Optica (formerly OSA) Foundation 20th Anniversary Challenge for pioneering research on an integrated photonic neuromorphic processor.

(From left) Professor Zhang Li, Professor Evangeline Young Fung-yu and Professor Anthony So Man-cho

Professor Anthony So Man-cho from the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, Professor Evangeline Young Fung-yu from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Professor Zhang Li from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering have been elected Fellows of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the class of 2023.