The University of Macau (UM) is dedicated to nurturing professionals with innovative thinking and international competitiveness. In recent years, many of the university’s postgraduate graduates have been active in the international community, with contributions in their respective fields. This year, Samuel Zeng, a master’s degree graduate from UM, has entered the MIT Technology Review’s list of ‘35 Innovators Under 35 in China’, one of the most authoritative lists of talented young people in technology and innovation, for developing unmanned retailing technology. Innovators who made the list in the past include Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Yahoo founder Jerry Yang, and Linux creator Linus Torvalds.
UM Rector Yonghua Song is very pleased that UM graduates like Zeng have made a positive impact in the world, saying that Zeng’s inclusion in the list shows international recognition of UM’s model of education, faculty, and research capacity. Song adds that postgraduate education at UM places great emphasis on helping students develop innovative skills and international competitiveness as well as providing a platform for research collaboration between top universities and corporations. The UM Macao Talent programme, launched by the university recently, aims to recruit outstanding postgraduate students and produce future leaders for society.
Zeng was included in the MIT Technology Review’s list of ‘35 Innovators Under 35 in China’ in the visionaries category, for his creation of Tao Cafe, the first unstaffed cafe in China, which uses new technologies to realise a new mode of payment and demonstrates a model of the ‘new retail’ strategy for the first time.
After receiving a master’s degree from UM, Zeng joined the translation platform team of the Alibaba B2B technology department. Later he joined Ant Financial Services Group’s product technology department and focused on the integration of the Internet of Things and new retail technology. While a master’s student at UM, he participated in a project on PCT, the first Chinese-English-Portuguese trilingual machine translation system in Macao. The system is now widely used in education authorities and other government departments in Macao.
Looking back on his research career, Zeng says he is very grateful to Faculty of Science and Technology professors Wong Fai and Chao Sam. He adds that UM is a very special university and the open learning environment allowed him to meet people from different parts of the world. ‘I think UM is among the top universities in our country in terms of the resources it devotes to the students.’ says Zeng. ‘UM students have ample opportunities to attend academic conferences overseas or go on exchange programmes. UM professors are not only very professional in their own disciplines, but they also put great emphasis on all-round education to help students develop comprehensive capabilities.’
Every year, MIT Technology Review selects a list of most promising innovators around the world under the age of 35, across five categories, namely investors, entrepreneurs, visionaries, humanitarians, and pioneers.