Palm-top PCs will be given to engineering students of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in a year-long trial. The university has allocated $2 million to the Faculty of Engineering for networking the Ho Sin Hang engineering building with wireless local area networks (LANs). Professor Joseph Hui Yu-ngai, of the Department of Information Engineering, said the experiment would feature real-time communication during lectures. 'There's only a one-way communication traditionally. But with palm-top computers, students can give feedback straight away which creates a stronger tie between lecturers and students,' he said. 'By giving students a test and getting instantaneous analytical results, we can better know their learning process and adjust our teaching style and speed. 'Students can connect to the Internet without time and place limitation so they can browse the information and e-mail to friends and teachers conveniently.' There will also be a 'gather talk' facility to enable voice conferencing. 'At the same time, we strongly encourage students to develop new applications or software with their creativity for maximising the use of the wireless computers,' Professor Hui said. 'The success of the experiment will be a milestone for quality education.' About 120 final-year information engineering students will be given priority to use palm-top computers in the new academic year. The Department of Computer Science Engineering will be given dozens of palm-top computers and notebook computers equipped with wireless LAN cards. Professor Hui expressed the hope that the tetherless computing campus would be expanded to other faculties and to schools after the experiment.