Taipei, Dec. 12 (CNA) The inventor of an earthquake early warning system and a pioneer in digital learning in Taiwan jointly received this year's Executive Yuan Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Contribution on Thursday.
Wu Yih-min (吳逸民) and Chan Tak-wai (陳德懷) received the award from Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) that day.
Wu, who is head of the Department of Geosciences at National Taiwan University, spent over 10 years developing an earthquake early warning system called the "P-Alert Strong Motion Network."
The system uses low-cost sensors, which are set up in over 700 stations across Taiwan, to detect earthquakes, and is able to provide alerts 10-30 seconds before an earthquake hits, according to a Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) press release.
Taiwan's public warning system, which issues text alerts when earthquakes above a certain strength occur, uses information detected by the system, MOST minister Chen Liang-gee (陳良基) said.
Chan Tak-wai, a chair professor at the Graduate Institute of Network Learning Technology at National Central University, is a pioneer in digital learning in Taiwan, the ministry said.
He is the creator of EduCities, which claims to be the world's first education network city, and leads the digital learning project Schools of Tomorrow, and its associated online learning platform, Planets of Tomorrow.
The platform offers interactive classes in writing and math, and allows students to record and share their progress with peers and teachers. Students can also recommend books they have enjoyed in a virtual bookstore.
It is currently being used in 811 schools, including many in rural areas, according to the ministry, and has benefited over 600,000 students and teachers.
Chan has worked to narrow the digital divide between rural and urban schools, and has contributed greatly to the innovation of Taiwan's education system, Vice Premier Chen Chi-mai (陳其邁) said at the ceremony.
The Executive Yuan Award for Outstanding Science and Technology Contribution was established in 1976, with the objective of honoring and encouraging research that positively contributes to society.