Bridging Information Technologies with Business: Dr. Ye LUO

Motivated by interest

Interested in applied mathematics and social science, Dr. Luo had majored in economics with the aspiration of understanding the world with quantitative methodologies. Influenced by the rich academic culture of his alma mater, Dr. Luo had taken the academic path after graduation.


While scholars enjoy a great amount of freedom in research, Dr. Luo states that the process could be very arduous. Developing new knowledge is like searching in the dark. Failure is common and great patience is required. Dr. Luo believes that having faith in the importance of your research is the key to prevent yourself from giving up. Having a good adviser will be a huge bonus, as he can support you both technically and emotionally when facing setbacks.


Painstaking it may be, the joy of successfully creating knowledge conducive to the world is very satisfying. To Dr. Luo, being a researcher is a privilege as it is an honor to contribute to the development of mankind. Therefore, he strongly encourages students aspiring to change the world to become scholars.


The global market trend

Accumulating rich consultation experiences over the years have Dr. Luo believed that possessing work experiences is conducive to research and teaching. R&D on fintech requires a large amount of raw data such as those related to financial activities and behaviors of social media users. Only through collaborating with mega firms and public organizations could researchers gain access to them. In addition, experiencing firsthand on how technologies are deployed in business operations and understanding their limitations could enable teachers to deliver quality content in class.


Work experiences also have Dr. Luo realized that the market demand for specialists in the joint fields of data science and finance are growing exponentially. In mainland China, the US, and the EU, financial institutions are hiring data scientists in the thousands to develop business AI. In the global financial market, there are millions of job vacancies in this field. As financial services are increasingly digitalized, Dr. Luo believes that the back office will be increasingly dominant. The world is changing and HKU Business School will continue to equip their students with multidisciplinary skills in order to make them as versatile and competitive as possible. 


To become a regional fintech center

While Hong Kong is lagging behind in innovation and technology, Dr. Luo sees great potential in Hong Kong in developing fintech. After all, fintech needs to follow the logic of finance and meet all the regulations to maintain stability in the financial market. Hong Kong as an IFC has the financial resources and a sound legal framework to support the R&D on fintech. Coupled with local universities’ internationally renowned research capabilities and their supply in talents with multidisciplinary skills, Dr. Luo is confident that Hong Kong possesses both the “fin” and the “tech” to become a regional fintech center.


Dr. Luo thinks that Hong Kong is lucky as her status as an IFC enables her to be embedded in the entire Asia-Pacific financial markets. Their ever-growing demand on financial products would be a powerful external boost to stimulate the growth of Hong Kong’s local fintech industry.


Fintech opens up new markets

Dr. Luo observes that the development of AI has enabled niche markets, such as micro-loans, to open up. While the demand for micro-loans on daily consumption, such as borrowing money for phone purchasing, has always been around the corner, heavy administration costs have dissuaded large financial agencies to explore them. However, as business AI can greatly reduce the costs in service delivery by automating the lending process, large financial agencies are now capable of competing with small financial institutions in supplying micro-loans.


Big data technology is another game changer. As the development of cloud technology has made record management increasingly accurate and comprehensive, platform companies like Alibaba and Tencent have applied data science on their rich customer database to conduct risk assessment and deliver online banking services. As their default rates are significantly lower than traditional banks, their debut as mobile banks will instigate more competition in the banking sector.


Way forward

Joining HKU, Dr. Luo aspires to produce in-depth knowledge in machine learning and AI. He is ready to offer his expertise to aid the university’s crusade on becoming the leading business AI research institution in Asia. Surprised by local students’ fascination towards technologies, Dr. Luo greatly enjoys his pedagogic role in HKU.


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