Hongxue (Harris) Wang Hongxue (Harris) Wang, PhD
Associate Professor
School of Computing and Information Systems
Athabasca University

Member of ACM
Member of IEEE and IEEE Computer Society

Good day! Welcome to my home page at Athabasca University. I am originally from China, but before I came to Canada I studied and worked in Australia for about seven years, which was long enough for me to fully enjoy the hot yet nice weather. By now I have worked at Athabasca University for some years already, which is also long enough for me to learn about Alberta's cold winter. But, I still enjoy it. "It's so cool!", once I told my friends in Australia.

Education Background

  1. Ph.D.,Computer Science, The Australian National University, Australia, 1999
  2. M.Sc., Computer Software, Jilin University, China, 1988
  3. B.Sc., Computer Systems and Architectures, Jilin University, China, 1985

Work Experience

I have been an educator for all my years, though I worked and collaborated with people in industries and governments in many occasions. I like my career. I like to be a teacher because I felt really good when I saw my students have learned.

Current Teaching Duties

Since I came to AU in 2000, I have developed six online courses. Most of these courses were developed either entirely or partially using EduPalace, an integrated e-learning system for Web-based distance education. To assist students in taking these courses I have written some additional contents, called lecture notes for the courses I developed. These lecture notes are intended only for AU students who are currently registered in the respective courses. The courses I have currently teaching are:
  1. Comp 266 - Introduction to Web Programming. You may find additional information about the course at Comp 266 lecture notes
  2. Comp 347 - Computer Networks I You may find additional information about the course at Comp 347 lecture notes
  3. Comp 466 - Website Technology This 400 level course will teach you how to develop Web sites for enterprises and for doing some real business. After this course you will be capable of developing personal home pages, business home pages, Web-based e-learning systems, Web sites for e-commerce and e-business. The Web site technologies you will learn and use include HTML, JavaScript, CSS, DHTML, MySQL, PHP, XML, Java Servlets and JSP. Before taking this courseStudents should have studied computer networks, databases and at least two Java programming courses and have some good programming skills in general. You may find additional information about the course at Comp 466 lecture notes.
  4. Comp 604 - Enterprise Computer Networks You may find additional information about the course from Comp 604 lecture notes when they became available.
  5. Comp 660 - Enterprise Information Security You may find additional information about the course at Comp 660 lecture notes when they became available.

Research Interests

  1. intelligent systems modelling, design and implementation The generic intelligent system model I developed and presented at IJCAI'97 is called constrained object hierarchy (COH). In this model, an intelligent system is a binding of some agents and a world, and for the agents the world consits of some objects, which can be worlds themselves, some defined methods the agents can use to act in or upon the world, and constraints representing the relationships between objects and the methods. Further in this model, constrants are classified as identity constraints, goal constraints, and trigger constraints. Identity constraints define the identity of the world; goal constraints set the goal for the agents to achieve; and the triggering constraints tell the agents under what conditions some defined actions should be taken.
  2. universal logic (UniLog) for knowledge representation I will describe UniLog in more detail later when I have time.
  3. network security: computer viruses, firewalls, security protocols, policies and formal methods for analysing network protocols and policies
  4. enabling-technology for electronic commerce
  5. agent systems including multi-agents and mobile agents
  6. object-oriented programming methodology and language (GISMO for Generalized Intelligent System Modeller)
  7. enabling-technology for e-learning: this is the area I have been working on since I came to this university.

Recently Completed projects

  1. EduPalace - an integrated system for Web-based distance education Since I joined AU in year 2000, my biggest undertaking in research is this project. I have designed and implemented EduPalace, an integrated system for Web-based e-learning and e-science.
  2. DigOL I have also been working with a student on a project called "data mining algorithms and techniques for discovering learning objects on the Web" , which was funded by the university as a mission critical research. The final goal of this research is to develop an intelligent Web minging system that can be used to discover learning objects for a given teaching topic, and automatically generate entries in learning object repositories. You may get the latest release of the Web mining package by reading through this user manual. The original project proposal can be found here. To get the bottom of the technical details you should read the technical report, and you are invited to send me your comments and suggestions.

Proposed Research Projects

  1. Topic map discovery and management
  2. Automatic learning object discovery
  3. Learning objective based course authoring
  4. Intelligent course authoring system
  5. Comprehensive student assessment with EduPalace
  6. Knowledge representation with constrained frames
  7. Develop software agents with constrained frames
  8. User authentication for multi-role and multi-module Web-based systems

Publications and presentation

Over the years, I have done research in several different areas, as can be seen my education and work experience above.
Papers in Distance Education, intelligent agent and intelligent systems
  1. Hongxue Wang, Develop online courses with EduPalace, in proceedings of The Tenth Global Chinese Conference on Computers in Education (GCCCE), June 205, 2006, Beijing, China
  2. Hongxue Wang, C-Frame: Constrained Frame as a General Knowledge Representation Scheme, in proceedings of the 2006 International Symposium on AI?50 Years' Achievements, Future Directions and Social Impacts (ISAI'06) Aug. 1-3, 2006, Beijing, China
  3. Hongxue Wang, Running virtual schools with EduPalace, in Proceedings of ED-MEDIA - World Conference on Educational Media, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Montreal, Canada
  4. Hongxue Wang, Using simulation and demonstration in teaching computer networking and network programming, in Proceedings of ED-MEDIA - World Conference on Educational Media, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, Montreal, Canada
  5. Hongxue Wang, A Web-based platform for teaching programming in distance education, in proceedings of The IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology (ICET), July 5-7, Calgary, Canada
  6. James Patras and Hongxue Wang, DigOL - a system for mining learning objects from the Web for e-learning, in proceedings of the first International workshop on Advanced Technologies for e-learning and e-science (ATELS04), Beijing, September 2004
  7. Hongxue Wang, XEML - an extensible educational markup language for e-learning, in proceedings of the 7th IASTED International Conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education (CATE04), Kauai, Hawaii, USA, August 16-18 2004
  8. Hongxue Wang, Pete Holt, Developing mobile agents for Web-based distance education, in proceedings of the Fourth IASTED International Conference, Banff, Canada, June 27-29, 2001.
  9. Hongxue Wang, Pete Holt, The design of a course update mobile agent for Web-based distance education, accepted for publication at The Second Asia-Pacific Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology (IAT-2001), Maebashi TERRSA, and Maebashi City, Japan. October 23-26, 2001.
  10. Hongxue Wang, Pete Holt, A course update mobile agent for Web-based distance education, to appear in Proceedings of Fifth IASTED International Conference, Mexico, 2002.
  11. Hongxue Wang, Pete Holt, Designing an integrated system for course delivery on the World Wide Web, in Proceedings of Fifth IASTED International Conference, Mexico, 2002.
  12. Hongxue Wang, Pete Holt, Security issues in Web-based distance education, accepted for WebNet'2001, Orlando, Florida, 2001.
  13. Peter Holt, Hongxue Wang, et al., A Distributed Adaptive Learning Environment, submitted for The Third International Conference on Web-Age Information Management, Beijing. August 2002.
  14. Hongxue Wang, Pete Holt: The Design of an Integrated System for Web-based Distance Education. In proceedings of 2002 International conference on E-Learn. Montreal, Canada, October 15-19, 2002.
  15. Larbi Esmahi, Pete Holt, Hongxue Wang et al., An essay in e learning tools categorization, in Proceedings of the IASTED International conference on Computers and Advanced Technology in Education, Cancun, Mexico, May 2002.
  16. Hongxue Wang: Using Java to develop Web-based geographic information systems, in proceedings of International Conference On Computer Graphics and Spatial Information System's2002, Aug.6-8, 2002 Beijing P.R.China
  17. Hongxue Wang, Yan Lang, MSDL-A Language for Describing Scripts of CAI System in Multimedia Computing Environment, in Proceedings of International Conference on Electronics Higher Education, 1993. This decade-old paper was listed because in which I proposed an idea for teaching scripts markup in CAI systems, which is similar to that we are now using for the Web.
Papers in E-Commerce, Internet and Information Security
  1. Hongxue Wang, An Access Control Scheme for Web-Based E-Learning Systems, in proceedings of the 7th international conference on information technology based higher education and training, July 10-13, 2006, Sydney, Australia
  2. Hongxue Wang, Vijay Varadharajan, A new approach to reasoning about accountability in cryptographic protocols for E-Commerce, in Proceedings of first workshop on security and privacy in E-Commerce, Athens, November 2000. "
  3. Hongxue Wang, On Mobile Agent Based Schemes for E-commerce on the Internet, in Proceedings of International Conference on Intelligent Information Processing, IFIP, 2000.
  4. Hongxue Wang, Vijay Varadharajan, A generic logic for the specification of security policies in distributed computing environment, in Proceedings of SEC2000: International Conference on Information Security, IFIP, 2000.
  5. Hongxue Wang, Vijay Varadharajan, Yan Zhang, Towards a unified logic for analysing cryptographic protocols, in Workshop Proceedings of The 20th International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, IEEE Computer Society, April 2000.
  6. Hongxue Wang, Vijay Varadharajan, Yan Zhang, Reasoning about Accountabilities in Cryptographic Protocols for E-commerce using a Generic Belief Logic, in Proceedings of First CollECTeR (USA) - Conference on Electronic Commerce, Breckenridge, Colorado, USA, April, 2000.
  7. Hongxue Wang and Yan Zhang, Two facets of Internet security, in Proceedings of Asian-Pacific Web Conference, 27-30, Sept., Hong Kong, US CSREA publisher, 1999.
  8. Hongxue Wang, Yan Zhang and Vijay Varadharajan, A secure communication scheme for multi-agent systems, in Proceedings of The First Pacific Rim International Workshop on Multi-Agents, pp.174-186, Springer, 1999.
  9. Hongxue Wang, Using Dynamic navigation panel to enhance the quality of Web page browsing, in Proceedings of International Conference on Internet Computing, US CSREA Publishers, 2000.
  10. Hongxue Wang, The Design of an Intelligent Agent for Collecting Information over the World Wide Web, in Proceedings of Asia Pacific Web Conference (APWeb98), International Academic Publishers, 1998.
  11. Hongxue Wang, an Investigation into the Mechanisms of Multiple Infection of Marijuana Virus, Journal of Microelectronics, No.7, 1993. This paper is listed because it represents my early work in network security.
Papers in Object-Oriented Design, Modelling and Programming
  1. Hongxue Wang, Vijay Varadharajan, John Slaney, Towards Perfect Objects, in proceedings of the 32nd International Conference on Technology of Object Oriented Languages & Systems (TOOLS-32 Pacific'99), IEEE Computer Society, 1999.
  2. Hongxue Wang, John Slaney, GISMO: a language for modelling and developing agent-based intelligent systems, in Proceedings of the Fourth Australian Workshop on Distributed Artificial Intelligence, Springer, 1998.
  3. Hongxue Wang, extended first order logic for quantitative reasoning, in Proceedings of the International Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 2000.
  4. Hongxue Wang and John Slaney, Towards Knowledge Encapsulation, in Proceedings of the 21st Australasia Computer Science Conference, pp.193-204, Springer, 1998.
  5. Hongxue Wang, Constraint Resolution within Object Hierarchies, in Proceedings of the Eleventh Australian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Springer, 1998.
  6. Hongxue Wang, Constrained Object Hierarchies - an architecture for intelligent systems, Doctoral Consortium Abstract, in Proceedings of the twenty-six International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 1997.
  7. Hongxue Wang, John Slaney, Distributed Scheduling with Constrained Object Hierarchies, in Proceedings of International Symposium on Operations Research and its Applications (ISORA'98), World Publishing Cooperation, 1998.

Professional Service

Other things you may or may not want to know about me

I like to fix things. If you have something broken please don't hesitate to bring it to me. I also like to read WuXia novels especially those by Jin Yong (金庸). As for sports, jogging, cycling and table tennis are my favourite.

If you still want to know more about me, please send me a message and I will redirect you to my personal homepage somewhere in the cyberspace. I can be reached at

Hongxue (Harris) Wang
School of Computing and Information Systems
Athabasca University
1 University Drive
ATHABASCA AB T9S 3A3

Email: harrisw@athabascau.ca
Canada/US Toll-free : 1-866-301-6337
Fax: (780) 675-6148



This page was last modified on November 29, 2005.