Winner of the President's Award for Excellent Performance and Achievement in Teaching 2009/10

  Dr Grace Ngai

Department of Computing



Dr Grace Ngai, Associate Professor of the Department of Computing, joined the University in August 2002 and has since proved to be a passionate teacher who cares deeply about her students and the impact of her teaching on them.

Grace is always looking for different and better ways to teach. She has strong convictions about teaching and is willing to put her ideas into practice. She has introduced new initiatives into her courses, especially in the use of innovative technologies, workshop-style interactive teaching methods, and peer- and self-evaluation. The time and energy that she has dedicated to her teaching, as well as her creativity in the delivery, have been highly appreciated by her students. This is evidenced by their positive comments and high SFQ scores, despite the fact that the subjects that she teaches are known to be among the toughest in the department!

Grace believes that education is more than learning an academic subject. She is a strong supporter of service learning, which stems from her faith in the transformative power of an all-rounded education to achieve social equality and justice through participation in providing services to the needy. She has organised students to serve the children of refugees detained in Hong Kong – from Sri Lanka, Somalia, Congo, and some other war-torn countries in the world. Her projects have brought her students to the Chinese Mainland six times, to help students from rural areas and orphans who have been abandoned by their families; and to Cambodia, to work for young children from poor families who could not afford to go to school and young girls rescued from forced prostitution. She believes that through these projects, the students have learned invaluable lessons from serving others.

To Grace, teaching is more than what happens during her face-to-face contact with students. She actively pursues research in developing the curriculum, teaching methods, and innovative software and technologies such as wearable computer systems and robotics for use in teaching and community service. Her experiences in teaching and community service have also given her creative ideas for her research, which in turn feeds back into her teaching and services. Her research has been recognised through publications in prestigious conference proceedings and journals, as well as numerous citations by others.

While she strives to be creatively different, Grace teams up well with her colleagues in teaching, research and services. She has set up the Department’s popular eToy Laboratory with four colleagues, and collaborated with other colleagues to introduce a multi-module joint project that incorporates topics from three different subjects. Apart from collaborating with several colleagues in a number of service learning projects, she has worked with another team of colleagues on the exciting research projects on wearable computing and computer–human interaction.

For Grace, teaching, research and services are all integrated and equally important parts of her career. In all of her contributions and efforts, Grace seeks to inspire students and colleagues to aim for excellence in learning and teaching