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Department of Physical Education Renamed as the Department of Sports Science
On February 13 NTHU announced that the Department of Physical Education will be renamed as the Department of Sports Science, and next year will begin recruiting two groups of students : the Althletic Competition Group and the Sports Science Group. Those intending to join the Sports Science Group can apply on an individual basis by submitting the results of the university entrance exams in particular subjects, and won’t be required to take an athletics ability test. The Sports Science Group is intended for those with a strong interest in such areas as artificial intelligence (AI), human factors engineering, neuroscience, materials development, and sports management.
 
The Athletics Competition Group is intended for promising athletes and will focus on performance and coaching. Amongst those planning to apply to this group are the star archers Tan Ya-ting and Lin Shih-chia.
 
President Hocheng said that the field of sports science draws on the insights and approaches of physiology, psychology, management, electronics, mechanics, materials, and even aesthetics, and that its range of application is continually expanding. President Hocheng further indicated that NTHU has a long tradition of athletic excellence, and is now planning to give increased attention to the integration of sports and technology.
 
Multiple admission channels
 
The Department of Physical Education was added to NTHU as a result of the merger with National Hsinchu University of Education (NHCUE). The director of the Department of Sports Science will be Professor Chiu Wen-hsin, who is currently the director of the Department of Physical Education. Chiu said that the global sports industry is growing rapidly, and that in the United States the sports industry is several times bigger than the automobile and film industries. He also said that there is a growing need for education and research in sports science, as can be seen in the recent establishment of departments of sports science at such top universities as Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Waseda University in Japan.
 
High school students who are interested in applying to the Sports Science Group for the 2019 school year can submit an individual application to the Department. This is the first time that the Department will be accepting applications without the standard performance exam.
 
Director Chiu also said that the students in the Althletic Competition Group and the Science Group will be required to work together on an eight-credit graduation project, which might focus on such topics as athletic training, sports equipment development, or performance analysis. Chiu said that graduates of the Department will be qualified for such work as managing sports venues, designing new sports venues, developing sports equipment, and serving as agents and analysts.
 
Enhancing performance with technology
 
Chiu said that a number of the courses for the Science Group will be taught by NTHU faculty specializing in life sciences, electrical engineering, and computer science, and that the Department will work closely with the Sports Technology Center established at the end of last year. Courses offered by the Department include sports management, sports biomechanics, and sports psychology, and students in the program are also required to take courses in life sciences, electrical engineering, and computer science.
 
One of the Department’s faculty members is Professor Ma Hsi-pin, who also teaches in the Department of Electrical Engineering. A research team led by Ma has developed a pitcher training system using sensors and pressure gauges embedded inside a baseball to measure the trajectory and rotational speed of pitches, as well as the strength of the pitcher’s fingers, helping the pitcher to adjust the force and angle applied when using various pitching techniques. Professor Ma is also planning to develop a kind of biosensor IC technology for instantly measuring such physiological functions as heartbeat and breathing, which can be used by a baseball player to assess his psychological state, concentration level, etc.
 
Also teaching in the Department of Sports Science is Prof. Lee Yun-ju, who also teaches in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management. She specializes in biomechanics and human factors engineering, and in her work at the Sports Technology Center
 
she has developed a system for improving batting technique by monitoring the batter’s center of gravity and angle of vision by using ground force plates and eye trackers.
 
Training world-class athletes
 
Director Chiu said that students in the Althletic Competition Group will be admitted based primarily on their athletic skill, and will be encouraged to gain some degree of expertise in one or more areas of sports science, such as human factors engineering, biomedical science, sports equipment, or information technology.
 
Amongst the star athletes already appointed to teach in the department are baseball player Lin Kun-han and badminton player Hsu Jen-hao, and additional appointments will be made in accordance with the students’ specialties.
 
Hsu compared the training methods typically used by athletes in the past to the backyard smelting furnaces used in China during the Great Leap Forward, and said that today’s training regimens are very high-tech.
 
Amongst those planning to apply to the Competition Group are award-winning archers Tan Ya-ting and Lin Shih-chia, both of whom were encouraged to apply by their coach, Ni Dazhi. Both Tan and Lin already have master's degrees related to sports science, but are convinced that joining NTHU's program will both enhance their performance and open up future career possibilities.
 
 
 

Amongst the star athletes appointed to teach in the Department of Sports Science is baseball player Lin Kun-han.

Amongst the star athletes appointed to teach in the Department of Sports Science is baseball player Lin Kun-han.

President Hocheng said that NTHU is planning to give increased attention to sports technology.

President Hocheng said that NTHU is planning to give increased attention to sports technology.

Prof. Ma Hsi-pin (left) of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Prof. Lee Yun-ju of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management will also be teaching courses for the Department of Sports Science.

Prof. Ma Hsi-pin (left) of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Prof. Lee Yun-ju of the Department of Industrial Engineering and Engineering Management will also be teaching courses for the Department of Sports Science.


Badminton champion Hsu Jen-hao will also be teaching in the Department of Sports Science.

Badminton champion Hsu Jen-hao will also be teaching in the Department of Sports Science.

 

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