Exams at HKUST

[Repost from my old blog] Many people complain about exams at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology – too many, too difficult, too competitive. I will go over the courses I have taken in the first half of my studies there in a course-by-course-manner, and I’ve only included exams that account for at least 20% of the course grade. Exam here means that it is a written test which is held at a specific time with all of the students enrolled in the course present.

Fall 2011 [first semester]

  • ACCT2010 – Principles of Accounting I – 1 Midterm Exam, 2 Quizzes, 1 Final Exam = 4
  • ISOM2500 – Business Statistics – 2 Midterm Exams, 1 Final Exam = 3
  • MATH1003 – Calculus and Linear Algebra – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • LANG1410 – Latin and the Roman Empire – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • LABU2050 – Language for Business – No Exams
  • MGMT2010 – Organizational Behavior – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2

Spring 2012 [second semester]

  • ECON2103 – Principles of Microeconomics – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • ISOM2010 – Information Systems – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • ISOM2700 – Operations Management – 2 Midterm Exams, 1 Final Exam = 3
  • MARK2010 – Marketing Management – 2 out of 3 Quizzes = 2
  • FINA2303 – Financial Management – 1 Midterm Exam, 1 Final Exam = 2
  • SOSC2740 – Gender and Society – 2 Quizzes = 2
  • GBUS2010 – Global Business Case Analysis – No Exams

Fall 2012 [third semester, including winter course]

  • ISOM3710 – Management Science – 2 Midterm Exams, 1 Final Exam = 3
  • MGMT2120 – Business, Society and Individual – No Exams
  • GBUS3020 – Global Business Case Analysis – No Exams
  • HUMA2635 – Cultural Diversity in China – 1 Final Exam = 1
  • HUMA1000 – Cultures and Values – No Exams
  • UROP1100 – Research – No Exams
  • ISOM4740 – Enterprise Resource Management – 1 Final Exam = 1

If we look at the average of these figures we can get a clearer picture:

  • Semester 1:  13 exams in total, 2.2 exams per course, or 2.6 exams per course that has any exams.
  • Semester 2: 13 exam in total, 1.9 exams per course, or 2.2 exams per course that has any exams.
  • Semester 3: 5 exams in total, .83 exams per course (excluding UROP1100), or 1.7 exams per course that has any exams.
  • Total: 31 exams in total, 1.6 exams per course, or 2.2 exams on average among those courses which have exams.

But what does that really tell us? Are there too many exams? Does it hinder how we learn? I’d be glad to hear your comments 🙂

Love in the Puff (2010) & Love in the Buff (2012)

Love in the Puff and Love in the Buff are two movies from 2010 and 2012, respectively, directed by Hong Kong’s Pang Ho-cheung (彭浩翔). Their Chinese names are 志明與春嬌 and 春嬌與志明, and they can be best categorized as romantic comedies.

Via Media Asia

Via HKHeadline


The two movies’ plot fundamentally revolves around Jimmy’s (志明) and Cherie’s (春嬌) love-story, all the while poking fun at and criticizing both Hong Kong and Mainland Chinese society.

(Love in the Puff, Part I) Due to the indoor-smoking ban passed by the Hong Kong government in 2007 many office-workers and salespersons had to resort to “outside-gatherings” to get their quick nicotin-fix, and subsequently used these short breaks from work for socializing and chit-chatting. Jimmy and Cherie met at one such gathering. At the time Jimmy was working in an advertising agency, and he had just broken up with his girlfriend. Cherie on the other hand was a salesgirl in a cosmetics-shop. During the course of the first movie the two of them become a couple.

(Love in the Buff, Part II) Unlike with Love in the Puff, the sequel Love in the Buff’s scenes in Hong Kong are very limited, and almost the entire movie is set in Beijing. After Jimmy and Cherie had been in a romantic relationship for several months already (they had moved in together, laughed together, argued with each other) Jimmy received an offer to go to Beijing – and the two of them broke up (in fact, there is more to their break-up, but I don’t want to spoil any relevant details). What about Cherie? Due to Cherie’s head-company pulling out of Hong Kong she also is transferred to Beijing: What could possibly go wrong? What could possibly happen?

Acting Performance

When talking about actors’ performance in these two movies I believe Miriam Yeung’s (楊千嬅) and Shawn Yue’s (余文樂) stellar performance is what will likely stay in people’s minds the longest. On top of that, both Jimmy’s and Cherie’s friends are played by fantastically hilarious supporting actors and actresses, albeit at times on the borderline to rude and dirty humor – but isn’t that what makes Hong Kong what it is?

In the second part Love in the Buff it is Yang Mi (楊冪), Jimmy’s girlfriend in Beijing, whose performance I feel compelled to elaborate on further: Not only is she fabulously beautiful as Youyou, but I also like how she doesn’t fail to win over the audience in this modern movie (though her historical dramas are worthwhile watching, too!)

Director and Conclusion

In my view direcotr Pang Ho-cheung (彭浩翔) has in no way failed to deliver to the Hong Kong audience two extraordinary comical yet deep and subtle movies. For anyone interested in Hong Kong society I believe that watching these two movies can be very meaningful, particularly the first part: Love in the Puff might very well allow you to develop a deeper understanding for this city which so many people love and hate at the same time.

Rainbow Village in Taichung

What? The Rainbow Village is actually called the Hun An Military Dependents’ Village 春安眷村, or 台中彩虹眷村] . It features several painted walls and a painted ground. For more details and background information I recommend you to go over to The Daily Bubble Tea. Naturally, the bright colours make it an amazing photo opportunity.


When to go? As the artist is still living there himself I would discourage you from going too early or too late. Naturally that means that you should go during the daytime. More importantly, the colors will likely shine brighter on a sunny day.

How to get there? Via Google Maps you can find the Rainbow Village’s locationGetting there by public transportation from Taichung Station is possible on buses 30 and 27 (and possibly others). For more details you can check Google Maps, which is a resourceful tool at your hand in Taiwan: It has all the routes, departure times, and even guides you step-by-step.

Would I recommend it again? It’s probably not the first on your list if you’re in Taichung. However, if you have time, it’s definitely worth a location worth paying a visit. More importantly, it’s a nice day-time activity, and you can always check out Feng Chia University at night.

Questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me. 😉

A Case of Fantastic Public Relations Work regarding Working in PR

I recently stumbled across Nicole Reaney’s article on PR Daily describing “6 moments that can incite a love affair with PR.” The list, which is obviously targeted towards those either in or interested in the PR-industry, goes as follows:

  1. Seeing your media stories published and aired.

  2. Your idea for a publicity campaign brought to life.

  3. Post-event drinks with the organizing crew.

  4. When your client sees the difference PR is making to their business.

  5. The growth of a social media community.

  6. The successful pitch.

I do recommend the article for those interested in the PR-industry, especially since it goes into a bit more detail about each of these “moments”. However, reading it from a cold-hearted, analytical and non-PR-person point of view, it seems to me that the moments mentioned in the article all have a common denominator: Success.

Moments 1, 2, 4, and 5 all more or less are indicators of a PR-firm’s success. Moment 3 (post-event drinks with the organizing crew) relates to success, too, because the organizing crew is surely more inclined to have some drinks if the event went down well. And moment 6 even mentions success.

I believe it is fairly safe to say that on the inside everyone loves to experience great success, to see the fruits of one’s work, and to be proud of the work of which one previously took ownership. Great PR-work then seems to make a difference when communicating these insights to the outer world. The seasoned PR-professional (and Ms. Reaney’s track record surely makes her one) senses what sits idly in many peoples’ minds, related to and elaborates on such notions, and creates buzz about it – even to the point that a lowly hobby-blogger like me feels compelled to contribute to the noise.