Sat, Aug 22, 2015 - Page 3 News List

Ministry touts ‘top universities’ results

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

The Ministry of Education yesterday showcased results in the fields of humanities and social sciences from its “top universities” project and demonstrated how research in the two fields can benefit from technological trends, such as big data and wearable devices.

Speaking at a press conference in Taipei, Minister of Education Wu Se-hwa (吳思華) said that the ultimate goal of the project is to foster talented people who can contribute to society and pursue careers overseas.

To achieve this goal, one must develop a solid basis for humanities, compassion for the international community and a good understanding of the world, he said.

Presentations given by school faculties at the press conference indicated that recent research in the humanities and social sciences were conducted with the help of technology.

National Tsing Hua University literature professor Yang Chia-hsien (楊佳嫻) presented a computerized map of China highlighting the areas from which Confucian scholars who participated in ancient imperial tests came.

The map indicated that in China, the uneven distribution of educational resources dates back to the Ming Dynasty, which was founded in the 14th century.

The information was made available after historical records containing personal information of test-takers was collated and imported to a database using big data technologies.

Yang said that a similar approach can be applied to analyze social problems in Taiwan, such as the unequal distribution of healthcare resources between cities and rural areas and the lack of educational resources for Aborigines.

National Chengchi University professor Tsai Tzu-chieh (蔡子傑) said the school participated in the Ministry of Science and Technology project to develop applications in wearable devices.

The university has developed sensors that, after being attached to users’ limbs, summon a circus elephant portrayed in computer graphic imaging (CGI), which is controlled by users to perform a range of tasks.

This is achieved by a computer picking up and processing Bluetooth signals sent out by the sensors, which allows the virtual elephant to imitate users’ movements before being projected.

Tsai said the elephant is just one of the CGI characters in the interactive game, and that the game is used to educate children about the importance of environmental and animal protection.

The top universities program subsidizes a total of NT$50 billion (US$1.52 billion) to a list of 12 universities across the nation, with the current phase to end in December next year.

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