College Initiatives

[OBITUARY] Professor Chen Tien Chi

Professor Chen Tien Chi, former Head of United College, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, passed away on 6 October 2023, at the age of 95. The College is deeply saddened by the loss of Professor Chen and extends our heartfelt condolences to his family.

In 1979, Professor Chen was invited by the Department of Electronics at The Chinese University of Hong Kong to serve as a visiting professor. In 1980, he was appointed as the Professor of Computer Science and Electronics, and in 1988, he became Chairman of the Department of Computer Science. Under his leadership, research and development flourished. Professor Chen retired in 1992 and in 1997 he was made Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Engineering. In 2003, he was awarded as Honorary Fellow of The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

From 1980 to 1988, Professor Chen served as the fifth Head of United College. During his headship, he devoted himself to cultivating students’ independent thinking and judgment skills and laid the foundation for the college’s “non-formal education” with a broad perspective, enabling students to develop beyond the traditional classroom setting and foster a proactive and independent attitude towards learning.

Professor Chen has always provided guidance for the development of general education at CUHK. He personally supervised and taught multiple general education courses, establishing a new course in general education entitled “The Universe, Knowledge, and Life” based on a systematic approach, aiming to broaden the horizons and perspectives of students.

Professor Chen’s outstanding achievements in computer science research, his broad knowledge encompassing both Eastern and Western cultures, and his deep respect and devotion from students and colleagues have earned him great admiration. His noble character and contributions to the College and the University in various aspects will forever serve as an example for us to follow.

The Committal Service of Professor Chen was held in San Jose, California, on 17 November 2023 in the afternoon, local time on the US West Coast. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the “Prof Chen Tien Chi Memorial Fund” at the United College, CUHK for the development of Tien Chi Microcomputer Laboratory and scholarships. The family has also set up a Facebook group to capture the fond memories of Prof Chen: .

In memory of Professor Chen, the United College has set up a condolence corner for members of the university, alumni and the public to pay their last respects to Professor Chen.  Details are as follows:

Date:     13 November (Monday) to 18 November 2023 (Saturday)
Time:     9:30am – 4:30pm
Venue:   Shum Choi Sang United College Archives, G/F, T C Cheng Building, United College, CUHK

Enquiry: Ms Ophelia Chan (Tel: 39437576/ Email: