HKBU to confer honorary doctoral degrees upon four distinguished persons

Thursday, 10 November 2022

Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) will confer honorary doctoral degrees upon four distinguished persons for their outstanding professional achievements and remarkable contributions to society.

At the Conferment Ceremony, which is to be held later this month, Professor Anil Kumar Jain and Professor Timothy John Mitchison will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa; Ms Chloe Suen Yin-wah will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa; and Dr Olga Nawoja Tokarczuk will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters, honoris causa.

Professor Anil Kumar Jain (Doctor of Science, honoris causa)

Professor Anil Kumar Jain is a renowned computer scientist known for his contributions to the fields of pattern recognition, computer vision and biometric recognition. He is currently a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Michigan State University.

Over the years, Professor Jain has received a long list of international awards including the W. Wallace McDowell Award, the highest honour awarded by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Humboldt Research Award, and the IAPR King-Sun Fu Prize. He is a member of the United States National Academy of Engineering, a Foreign Member of the Indian National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences. In 2019, Professor Jain was elected as a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Professor Jain’s publications include the Encyclopedia of Biometrics, the Handbook of Face Recognition and the Handbook of Fingerprint Recognition, all of which are widely used by students and academics in computer science worldwide. He has published over 280 papers and his citation impact is the highest among computer scientists around the globe. He has supervised some 50 doctoral students, many of whom are from overseas, including China. Professor Jain also holds several patents, most of which deal with apparatus and methods for recognising fingerprints.

Professor Timothy John Mitchison (Doctor of Science, honoris causa)

Professor Timothy John Mitchison is an acclaimed cell biologist and systems biologist. He is currently the Hasib Sabbagh Professor of Systems Biology at Harvard University.

Professor Mitchison is also the director and co-founder of the Institute for Chemistry and Cell Biology at Harvard, in which he and his colleagues first piloted phenotype-based drug-screening techniques, whose “high-throughput” volume established the necessary “knockouts” of unwanted genetic constituents, hence accelerating prototyping for therapeutic development. He is duly credited as the creator of the tools of perturbation used to document patterned responses in subcellular environments as well as for their refinement for therapeutic applications. In 2011, he helped found the Systems Pharmacology initiative at Harvard which pursues the design and testing of innovative drug therapies for the challenging demands currently faced by patients, doctors, and biotechnology companies throughout the world.

In 1997, Professor Mitchison was elected to the Royal Society (UK) for his substantial contributions to the improvement of natural knowledge. In 2008, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences conferred life membership upon him. He is also a past president of the American Society for Cell Biology, the body which awarded him the Keith R. Porter Lectureship in 2013. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the US in 2014.

Ms Chloe Suen Yin-wah (Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa)

Ms Chloe Suen Yin-wah is a passionate entrepreneur and philanthropist, as well as a dedicated patron and promoter of the arts and culture.

Ms Suen is the Chair of the Simon Suen Foundation, which she helped to establish 10 years ago alongside her parents, Dr and Mrs Simon Suen, with the goal of promoting, preserving, and advancing Chinese arts and heritage, and nurturing the next generation of artists and scholars within the artistic and cultural landscape of Hong Kong. The Foundation has made great strides towards its mission since its establishment by supporting a diverse set of projects related to Chinese arts and culture, including the founding of the Sun Museum in 2015, one of the very few non-profit, privately funded art museums in Hong Kong that is open to the public for free.

Ms Suen devotes much of her time and energy to public service. She serves on the Advisory Committee on Built Heritage Conservation, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Advisory Committee, and the Museum Advisory Committee as well as its Art Sub-committee. She is also the Vice-Chairperson and Convener of the Appreciation and Education Working Group of the Sha Tin Arts and Culture Promotion Committee. Furthermore, she serves on the boards of a variety of schools and non-profit organisations. 

Dr Olga Nawoja Tokarczuk (Doctor of Letters, honoris causa)

Dr Olga Nawoja Tokarczuk is one of Poland’s most celebrated and beloved authors. She is also the first female Polish prose writer to be bestowed with a Nobel Prize in Literature, which she received in 2018.

Dr Tokarczuk is a writer of poems, novels, and shorter prose works. One of her main goals in writing is to seize life as it unfolds through incomplete stories and dreamlike tales that show up from afar in odd, dislocated panoramas. Her literary achievements have been widely recognised. Her novel Flights won her the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, as well as her country’s highest literary honour, the Nike Literary Award in 2008. She won the Nike Literary Award again for her novel The Books of Jacob in 2015. Dr Tokarczuk has also won the Nike Readers’ Choice Award five times, and her novel Primeval and Other Times was the first-ever recipient of the Award. In 2015, she received the German-Polish Bridge Prize for her contributions to mutual understanding between European nations. And in 2020, she was named an Honorary Citizen of Warsaw in recognition of her literary achievements.

In all, Dr Tokarczuk is the author of eight novels and two short story collections, and many of them have been translated into almost 40 languages, making her one of the most translated contemporary Polish writers.


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(From left) Professor Anil Kumar Jain, Professor Timothy John Mitchison, Ms Chloe Suen Yin-wah and Dr Olga Nawoja Tokarczuk