Excellent Teaching Assistant Award 2013-14
Mr Cheung Pak Leong
PhD student of Department of Mathematics
Mr Cheung received Faculty Excellent Teaching Assistant Award 2013-14, for his contributions in outstanding performance in providing teaching support and interaction with students.
"Teachers are students’ windows to an area of knowledge and appreciation of the wisdom of mankind. In a sense, they are their own field’s spokespersons or salespersons. Meaningful or nonsense, splendid or tedious, enlightening or not, teachers have some influence over students’ impression of the subject. They therefore shoulder natural responsibilities to both students and their own professions, and somehow to the human race.”
Mr Cheung received his BSc in Mathematics (Pure Mathematics Option) with First Class Honors from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and his MPhil in Pure Mathematics from The University of Hong Kong under the supervision of Dr T W Ng of the Department of Mathematics.
Before joining HKU as a postgraduate student, Mr Cheung had been a secondary school teacher for three years. Drawing upon his classroom experiences with teenagers, he tutored foundational courses University Mathematics A, Linear Algebra and Multivariable Calculus, and advanced ones Analysis II and Functional Analysis. No matter what the subject matters and levels were, his bounden duty was to offer lessons that are worth students’ time and effort, as driven by his guiding principle ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.
Greatly influenced by G Pólya, a renowned Hungarian mathematician and mathematics educator, Mr Cheung believes that in addition to mathematical literacy, nurturing mathematical thinking skills and problem-solving strategies are also the ultimate goals of mathematics education. Besides standard instruction methods, he incorporates questioning techniques into teaching to engage students in deep mental activities, thereby fostering the aforesaid qualities.
Being an enthusiastic teacher, Mr Cheung always regards developing effective teaching skills as lifelong challenges. He is now serving in the secondary education sector as a frontline worker again, where he continues and spreads his passion for mathematics and teaching among youngsters.