Highlights of Research Publication

The Teahouse under Socialism: The Decline and Renewal of Public Life in Chengdu, 1950-2000
(Cornell University Press, 2018, Winner of the Best Book Award for 2019 from the Urban History Association).

To understand a city fully, writes Di Wang, we must observe its most basic units of social life. In The Teahouse under Socialism, Di Wang does just that, arguing that the teahouses of Chengdu are some of the most important public spaces―perfect sites for examining the social and economic activities of everyday Chinese. Wang looks at the transformation of these teahouses from private businesses to collective ownership and how state policy and the proprietors’ response to it changed the overall economic and social structure of the city. He uses this transformation to illuminate broader trends in China’s urban public life from 1950 through the end of the Cultural Revolution and into the post-Mao reform era. In doing so, The Teahouse under Socialism charts the fluctuations in fortune of this ancient cultural institution and analyzes how it survived, and even thrived, under bleak conditions. Throughout, Wang asks such questions as: Why and how did state power intervene in the operation of small businesses? How was “socialist entertainment” established in a local society? How did the well-known waves of political contestation and struggle in China change Chengdu’s teahouses and public life? In the end, Wang argues, the answers to such questions enhance our understanding of public life and political culture in the Communist state.

Profit Sharing Agreements in Decentralized Supply Chains: A Distributionally Robust Approach

How should decentralized supply chains set the profit sharing terms using minimal information on demand and selling price? We develop a distributionally robust Stackelberg game model to address this question. Our framework uses only the first and second moments of the price and demand attributes, and thus can be implemented using only a parsimonious set of parameters. More specifically, we derive the relationships among the optimal wholesale price set by the supplier, the order decision of the retailer, and the corresponding profit shares of each supply chain partner, based on the information available. Interestingly, in the distributionally robust setting, the correlation between demand and selling price has no bearing on the order decision of the retailer. This allows us to simplify the solution structure of the profit sharing agreement problem dramatically. Moreover, the result can be used to recover the optimal selling price when the mean demand is a linear function of the selling price.

Online social networking and subjective well-being: Mediating effects of envy and fatigue

The primary goal in this exploratory study is to test the theoretical relationships between social networking tools (i.e., Wechat), envy, fatigue and emerging adults’ well-being. We conducted a survey of 503 Chinese university students who are regular Wechat users. Using structural equation modeling, we found that the extensive use of Wechat had both direct and indirect effects of their well-being and that the association between Wechat use and subjective well-being was mediated by envy. These findings contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms through which the use of online social networking tools is related to subjective well-being and suggest the need to attend to the psychological consequences of the extensive use of social networking tools.

BRCA1 Deficiency Impairs Mitophagy and Promotes Inflammasome Activation and Mammary Tumor Metastasis

Their findings present that BRCA1 plays important roles in maintenance of a healthy mitochondrial network and regulation of microenvironment of mammary tumor. It suggests that Inflammasome inhibition could serve as a therapeutic target for the treatment of BRCA1-associated breast cancer. This study has been published as a cover article in the well-known international journal Advanced Science.

The breast cancer susceptibility gene 1 (BRCA1) is a major tumor suppressor gene and is most frequently mutated in hereditary breast cancer. BRCA1 plays a critical role in many biological processes, especially maintaining genomic stability in the nucleus, yet its role in the cytoplasm remains elusive. Here, it is revealed that BRCA1 maintains a healthy mitochondrial network through regulating mitochondrial dynamics, including fission and fusion. BRCA1 deficiency causes dysfunctional mitochondrial dynamics through increased expression of mitofusin1/2. With mitochondrial stress, BRCA1 is recruited to the mitochondrial outer membrane, where it plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy mitochondrial network. Consequently, BRCA1 deficiency impairs stress-induced mitophagy through blocking ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM)-AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK)-Dynamin-related protein 1 (DRP1)-mediated mitochondrial fission and triggers NLRP3 inflammasome activation, which creates a tumor-associated microenvironment, thereby facilitating tumor proliferation and metastasis. It is further shown that inflammasome inhibition can prevent tumor recurrence and metastasis. This study uncovers an important role of BRCA1 in regulating mitophagy and suggests a therapeutic approach for fighting this deadly disease.

A toll-like receptor agonist mimicking microbial signal to generate tumor-suppressive macrophages, Nature Communications

Switching macrophages from a pro-tumor type to an anti-tumor state is a promising strategy for cancer immunotherapy. Existing agents, many derived from bacterial components, have safety or specificity concerns. Here, we postulate that the structures of the bacterial signals can be mimicked by using non-toxic biomolecules of simple design. Based on bioactivity screening, we devise a glucomannan polysaccharide with acetyl modification at a degree of 1.8 (acGM-1.8), which specifically activates toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) signaling and consequently induces macrophages into an anti-tumor phenotype. For acGM-1.8, the degree of acetyl modification, glucomannan pattern, and acetylation-induced assembly are three crucial factors for its bioactivity. In mice, intratumoral injection of acGM-1.8 suppresses the growth of two tumor models, and this polysaccharide demonstrates higher safety than four classical TLR agonists. In summary, we report the design of a new, safe, and specific TLR2 agonist that can generate macrophages with strong anti-tumor potential in mice.

Curso de Direito da Família

Curso de Direito da Família (Chinese Version), original was written by Francisco Manuel Pereira Coelho and Guilherme Freire Falcão de Oliveira, and translated by Paula Ling, The book is one of the publications of Portuguese Legal Classics Project of Faculty of Law of University of Macau. It is mainly devoted to exploring Portuguese marriage law and paying close attention to the systematization and partial amendments of the marriage law in the Portuguese Civil Code. The basic concept of family law was expounded, and different family relationship systems in marriage relationship were analyzed besides parental relationship. The book deliberates sociology, studies the constitutional principles of family law, and outlines some of the characteristics of the family’s non-civil rights, family law, and family rights.

The Methodology in Civil Adjudication

Integrating the legal arguments and empirical studies, this monography is nationally recognized as the methodological paradigm of legal scholarship, thus being listed as the required reading by many prestigious law schools.

External environment and internal state in relation to life-history behavioral profiles of adolescents in nine countries
Journal:Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences

In this paper, Prof Chang Lei, chair professor and head of the Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Macau, lead a team of international researchers from 10 countries to report on a 15-year longitudinal research project. This is also one of the longest funded research by the National Institute of Health, USA. In this paper, the research investigates children and adolescents’ life history in relation to various environmental, physiological, and psychological factors. This work contributes to the understanding of child development and human evolution. The participating universities include Duke University, Temple University, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, King Abdulaziz University, Fudan University, University of Massachusetts, University of Naples, University of Rome, Ateneo de Manila University, Chiang Mai University, University West, Maseno University, Hashemite University, Emirates College for Advanced Education, and Universidad San Buenaventura.

Broad Learning System: An Effective and Efficient Incremental Learning System Without the Need for Deep Architecture
IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems

The paper aims to offer an alternative learning in deep structure is proposed in this paper. The proposed incremental learning algorithms in BLS are effective and efficient (in much less time-consuming) compared with multilayer perceptron and deep structures. Moreover, it greatly reduces the training time for remodeling when additional nodes are needed and when the input data entering to the neural networks continuously.

Transcending the slow bimolecular recombination in lead-halide perovskites for electroluminescenceSqueezed metallic droplet with tunable Kubo gap and charge injection in transition metal dichalcogenides

Metal-halide perovskite is a new type of semiconductor for electroluminescence. What is the limiting factor for further improving the efficiency? How to transcend this limitation? Researchers from UM revealed that the slow bimolecular recombination is a fundamental limitation for electroluminescence. By probing the microscopic carrier dynamics with femtosecond laser spectroscopies, the slow bimolecular recombination limitation was shown could be transcended by tailoring the three-dimensional perovskites into van-der-Waals-coupled perovskite multi-quantum-wells. High efficiency electroluminescence can be achieved with this new type perovskites. These findings will facilitate the perovskite electroluminescence for commercialization.

Robust Subspace Clustering with Independent and Piecewise Identically Distributed Noise Modeling

In this work, we propose an independent and piecewise identically distributed (i.p.i.d.) noise model, where the i.i.d. property only holds locally. We demonstrate that the i.p.i.d. model better characterizes the noise encountered in practical scenarios, and accommodates the traditional i.i.d. model as a special case. Assisted by this generalized noise model, we design an information theoretic learning (ITL) framework for robust SC through a novel minimum weighted error entropy (MWEE) criterion. Extensive experimental results show that our proposed SC scheme significantly outperforms the state-of-the-art competing algorithms.

A Reconfigurable Bidirectional Wireless Power Transceiver for Battery-to-Battery Wireless Charging

Extended journal paper of ISSCC publication that received 2017 Takuo Sugano Award for Outstanding Far-East Paper

Integration of Air Conditioning and Heating into Modern Power Systems

This book focuses on the integration of air conditioning and heating as a form of demand response into modern power system operation and planning. It presents an in-depth study on air conditioner aggregation, and examines various models of air conditioner aggregation and corresponding control methods in detail. Moreover, the book offers a comprehensive and systematic treatment of incorporating flexible heating demand into integrated energy systems, making it particularly well suited for readers who are interested in learning about methods and solutions for demand response in smart grids. It offers a valuable resource for researchers, engineers, and graduate students in the fields of electrical and electronic engineering, control engineering, and computer engineering.