9 April 2018

Two CUHK Engineering Projects Win Awards from FinTech Hackathons
Innovative FinTech AI solutions Promote Hong Kong Smart City Development



The rapid growth of science and technology boosts financial services around the globe.  Teams from the Faculty of Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) have won the Championship in the Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK) FinTech Hackathon and received First runner-up in the UHackFin, organised by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).  The team led by Dr. Gabriel Fung from the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management (SEEM) proposed a new platform named ‘A.I. Stock Analyser’ that digests huge amounts of market information and provides personalised stock analysis to meet the rising demands of investors.  The other team, ‘Expeditioner’, formed by students, focused on the past performance of initial coin offering (ICO) for improving the future of financial services. 

A.I. Stock Analyser 

The team ‘Lab Viso’, included Dr. Gabriel Fung, lecturer of SEEM and research fellow of the Key Laboratory on High Confidence Software Technologies (Sub-Lab, CUHK), Ministry of Education, and Dr. Keith Wong, lecturer of SEEM, won the Championship in the ‘FinTech Group’ of the BOCHK FinTech Hackathon in March 2018.  The challenge theme was ‘Future Bank and AI’.  Participants were required to propose a cutting-edge investment application to equip investors with customised analysis and information, and seize investment opportunities according to the customers’ risk attitudes, financial situation and investment experience. 

‘The analysis from current online stock investment platforms are quite limited. They only provide general information of a stock in the market, such as the overall trading volume, the number of investors, etc., but lack of customised information, such as the investment preference of people with similar risk appetite on particular stock. Our proposed solution uses artificial intelligence to analyse the financial market in real-time. It enables banks or financial institutions to launch personalised investment advices to their investors so as to improve service level, bring better investment opportunities for investors and bring revolutionary innovation to fintech. This will further enhance the competitiveness of Hong Kong's financial industry,’ said Dr. Gabriel Fung. In addition, there has been discrepancy in analysis and forecasting between different stockbrokers. The team has therefore addressed the discrepancy and established a new platform to scientifically analyse the most recent five-year broker reports using big data, machine learning and natural language processing (NLP).  The platform can also customise investment solutions for every customer, based on their own risk appetite and investment experiences. This way, customers will not have to spend a long time observing the daily trading volume and the huge amount of inconsistent market information. With this assistive analyser, they are able to make investment decisions rapidly and efficiently. The winning team just applied Cyberport Incubation Programme, targeting to launch this application in the near future. 

A.I. Evaluation of ICO 

Another team, ‘Expeditioner’, composed of four engineering students, received the First runner-up in the UHackFin – a FinTech Hackathon organised by HKUST last year. There were a total of 27 teams competing.  Participants were required to propose an innovative solution for improving financial services in the future, within 24 hours.  The CUHK team proposed a new platform ‘Icovisor’ for evaluating the performance of initial coin offering (ICO). ICO is a fundraising mechanism offered to investors in exchange for cryptocurrency, such as bitcoin or ethereum, to fund projects for development and operation. Its concept is similar to an initial public offering (IPO), which means issuing shares for financing from the stock market. However, investors easily suffered losses because of insufficient understanding of ICO and the absence of clear guidelines from the financial regulatory bodies and legislation. 

In view of this, ‘Icovisor’ is designed to generate detailed analysis regarding the past performance of each ICO to help investors make wiser choices.  The use of the latest technologies like big data, machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) has been recognised by the judging panel. Given the high potential for its application, the winning team is planning to apply for the Cyberport Creative Micro Fund to further develop this proposal. 

About CUHK FinTech Programme 

The first 4-year FinTech undergraduate programme in Hong Kong, offered by the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK from the academic year 2017-18, covers a broad range of finance, engineering, law, economy, and social science topics.  It aims to educate and equip students with the essential knowledge and capabilities to apply technological innovations to financial services, and nurture leadership and entrepreneurship in the next generation of financial talents, in support of Hong Kong’s endeavor to grow to an international FinTech hub.  The programme collaborates closely with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) to offer internship and overseas exchange opportunities for its students.

Dr. Gabriel Fung (left) and Dr. Keith Wong, lecturers of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK.
Dr. Gabriel Fung (left) and Dr. Keith Wong, lecturers of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK.

Dr. Gabriel Fung (2nd right) and Dr. Keith Wong (2nd left), lecturers of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK won the Championship in the ‘FinTech Group’ of the BOCHK FinTech Hackathon in March 2018.
Dr. Gabriel Fung (2nd right) and Dr. Keith Wong (2nd left), lecturers of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK won the Championship in the ‘FinTech Group’ of the BOCHK FinTech Hackathon in March 2018.

(From right) Ying Yau Kit Stanley, year 3 student of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, and his team members Lam Wing Yip and Wong Wai Chung, MPhil students of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK.
(From right) Ying Yau Kit Stanley, year 3 student of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, and his team members Lam Wing Yip and Wong Wai Chung, MPhil students of the Department of Systems Engineering and Engineering Management, CUHK.

‘Expeditioner’, composed of four engineering students, received the First runner-up in the UHackFin organised by HKUST last year.
‘Expeditioner’, composed of four engineering students, received the First runner-up in the UHackFin organised by HKUST last year.