Jon Mark Wei, 69, is one of Canada's leading computer scientists and multimedia experts. He is in Hong Kong to attend a University of Science and Technology workshop on networking. Professor Mark emigrated to Canada from Taishan, southern China, when he was 14. Since 1970 he has been a faculty member and chairman of the University of Waterloo's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in Ontario, Canada's top engineering school. What's on your mind? I'm working on information technology for wireless networking. Wireless has primarily been about voice and the challenge is to turn it into a multimedia. The idea is to provide a wide range of information on multimedia for subscribers anywhere, anytime. What we're interested in is a hybrid wireless network that allows mobility, enabling the user to move from his home base to anywhere else. This will not be ready in the next year or two, but sometime in the next century. Will the new technology free us or enslave us? Technology should enhance society. Multimedia will allow us to move information at a faster rate. But if the individual or the mass population becomes hooked, I don't think it's a good thing. It'll probably make us more lazy. I feel that if you enclose yourself in a pigeon hole whereby you can reach the world on your phone or computer and you don't need to go out, you give up something within you. Many mathematicians ultimately become philosophers, although I'm just a scientist. Has the computer world become a glamour science like physics before it? High-profile companies like Microsoft help to raise our visibility to a certain extent. And the media and the industry do help bring a certain glamour. But ultimately people go into particular disciplines because they find challenging problems that interest them. The people we're interested in are those who understand general principles and can identify problems and find solutions.