Director's Message

Professor David Yao

Welcome to the CityU Institute for Advanced Study.

The IAS that we envision is an institute that will gather some of the best minds in science and engineering, to pursue curiosity-driven ideas and studies, and to conduct unfettered research based on free and deep thinking; an institute where the goals are to seek truth, to advance knowledge and to better humanity.

With the minds of scholars liberated, as Abraham Flexner, the founding director (1930-39) of the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, once so aptly said, “they will be free to take advantage of surprises, and someday an unexpected discovery, apparently leading nowhere, will be found to be an indispensable link in a long and complex chain that may open new worlds in theory and practice.” In other words, the fruits of deep scientific discovery can only fall from the evergreen tree of liberated minds.

Following this spirit, we are confident the intellectual and scholarly activities at the IAS will contribute fundamental knowledge and innovative ideas to the frontiers of science, engineering and technology. We believe the endeavors at the IAS will sharpen our understandings of and approaches to some of the grand challenges of our time, such as energy and environment; smart urbanism; precision medicine; quality- and efficiency-driven healthcare delivery; data, information, computing and decision. To do so will require basic and applied research across disciplines that include mathematical and physical sciences, economics and social sciences, and life sciences. Pursuing vigorously all these fronts, we expect the IAS to further raise the global profile of the science and engineering community at CityU and other academic/research institutions in Hong Kong and Greater China.

The IAS will appoint Senior Fellows from the ranks of scholars and researchers who are internationally recognized leaders in their fields. The IAS is committed to fostering an environment that provides them ample opportunities to work with and mentor other research fellows and students in problem areas of their choice. The IAS will also, from time to time, designate certain thematic thrust areas and call for participations and proposed activities and events.

May the gravitational force of excellence always be the curvature of the IAS space-time induced by the great minds it attracts.


Professor David D. Yao
Director and Senior Fellow
CityU Institute for Advanced Study