To Inspire. To Be Inspired. – 30 Stories on HKUST Faculty, Alumni and Students

Give everything you do, everything you’ve got. That’s a belief that Data Science and Technology student Kevin Leung embodies wholeheartedly. A desire to give back has seen him create valuable innovations, while also showcasing immense academic achievement. Kevin Leung’s enthusiasm for coding and programming started when he was just 13 years old. He taught himself using YouTube videos, and at the time, had no inkling of the incredible, lifechanging ideas he would conceive thanks to his knowledge of technology. Years later, he enrolled at HKUST and co-founded the “YouVoice” collective with his classmates, to provide technological solutions to children with speech-development delays. Kevin was inspired by spending time with a young relative who has Down’s syndrome. She would speak in a jumbled word order, which was well understood by those close to her, but required correcting 57 for others who didn’t comprehend her unique way of speaking. Kevin thought there must be a way technology could help, such as a chatbot app that would do this automatically. Looking into it further, he discovered that many, many children around the world have speechdevelopment delays or challenges, for a myriad of reasons, and that an app could have a far-reaching impact to help encourage and develop their speech. In his final year of study at HKUST in 2022, Kevin set his sights on broadening his skillsets and understanding. He received a 300K scholarship from a local bank to put towards a study-abroad exchange at the University of California, Berkeley, where he further consolidated his research. As well as consulting teachers, special educational needs students, and speech therapists, he learned more about natural language processing and technology.