On the morning of January 9, the Seminar on Strengthening Cooperation between SYSU and CMU was held in the SYSU-CMU Joint Institute of Engineering (JIE) building on East Campus of Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU). The attendees included Mr. Chen Yunxian, Vice Governor of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province; Dr. Subra Suresh, President of Carnegie Mellon University (CMU); Mr. Huang Xizhong, Chief Executive of People’s Government of Shunde District; Prof. Zheng Detao, Chairman of the University Board of SYSU; and Prof. Zhu Xiping, Vice President of SYSU. The seminar was hosted by Prof. Wei Minghai, Vice President of SYSU.
Vice Governor Chen Yunxian pointed out that SYSU is a top research-oriented university under direct administration of the Ministry of Education in China. It has contributed significantly in passing on Chinese culture and serving local development. CMU, where America’s first school of computer engineering and drama school were founded, is crowned as the “cradle for innovation”, and has been leading the rest of the world in aerospace technology, robotics, computer science, smart city management and many other areas. SYSU and CMU have made substantial progress in the training of talents and scientific research in the field of electronics and computer engineering. The SYSU-CMU joint project of Guangdong Center for Integrated Circuit R&D and Incubation (“Guangdong IC Center”), which is in partnership with Foshan municipal government, Shunde district government, and Guangdong Science and Technology Department, has been moving forward quite smoothly. This is a shining example for how comprehensive and productive cooperation between Guangdong higher education institutions and leading overseas universities can be. It bears far-reaching significance in Guangdong’s effort to foster the consortium of education, industries and research, and to make more ground-breaking technologies. Currently, Guangdong’s economy has shaped a new normal, standing at another turning point of the development path. It will be extremely meaningful for us to forge closer ties with top class universities like CMU. He hoped that CMU with its so many strong fields could bring in a group of outstanding R&D and innovation talents to Guangdong province and help enhance Guangdong’s scientific and technological cooperation. In particular, the joint “Guangdong IC Center” program will be helpful as Guangdong is ready to take its IT and information industry into a new level.
Prof. Zheng Detao said that SYSU and CMU have maintained close cooperation and accomplished many achievements in engineering education, scientific research, technological development and faculty training. Since 2014, with considerable support of Guangdong provincial government and Shunde district government, SYSU and CMU have further deepened our cooperation in various fields, and in particular have made breakthroughs in promoting the cooperation between industries, universities and research institutions. Guangdong Science and Technology Department, Foshan municipal government, Shunde district government and SYSU have jointly raised fund for the construction of the joint IC center program. SYSU also signed a MOU with CMU and Shunde district government which set the overall goals of and laid a solid foundation for our future cooperation in the R&D of integrated chips. We have steadily advanced our joint programs, provided technological support for carrying out high quality cooperation between universities, industries and research institutions as well as the industrial incubation and upgrading in China. We are moving towards a bright future by reinforcing each other’s strengths. In the years ahead, SYSU and CMU will work together to further enhance our cooperation in offering dual degrees at the undergraduate level. We are aiming to provide high quality engineering education covering both undergraduate and graduate levels for students both at home and abroad so as to produce talents for the development of technology and innovation-driven industries in Guangdong and China at large.
Dr. Subra Suresh thanked China’s Ministry of Education, Guangdong provincial government and Shunde district government for their strong support, and the faculty and students at both CMU and SYSU for their efforts in the joint collaborations. He said that the SYSU-CMU Joint Institute of Engineering (JIE) building and the SYSU-CMU Shunde International Joint Research Institute (JRI) building are physical symbols of the intellectual connections between the two universities, and also connections between Guangdong Province and CMU.The two buildings also provide facilities that will benefit faculty and staff from both institutions. In addition, CMU and SYSU have explored new opportunities to further our collaborations. There is significant strength in brain research at CMU, and significant strength in medical school at SYSU. CMU and SYSU will also make sure that the aspirations for chip design will come to fruition. He believed that there are tremendous opportunities for both institutions in creating new educational, research and innovation opportunities for all of our colleagues.
Mr. Huang Xizhong said that JRI is a collaborative innovation platform jointly constructed by Shunde district government, SYSU and CMU, and also a core program of Shunde’s plan to build an Intellectual Valley in South China. JRI will provide an important base for JIE and the Pittsburgh-based CIRC to connect with industries and develop and transfer technologies. JRI will also serve as a platform for the commercialization of research results and pre-incubation for startups, and provide technical support and services for industrial transformation, upgrading and incubation in Guangdong and even across China. He hoped that with joint efforts, JRI will be developing into a platform for international education, introducing and gathering high level research and innovation teams, providing technological and talent support for Shunde’s industrial transformation and upgrading. He also hoped that the construction of the “Guangdong IC Center” will be accelerated.
Prof. Zhu Xiping gave a report on the collaborations between SYSU and CMU, including the collaboration model, JIE faculty and students, JRI research teams and research outcomes.
Also present in the seminar were Dr. Nathan Urban, Interim Provost of CMU; Dr. Jimmy Hsia, Vice Provost for International Programs of CMU; Dr. James Garrett, Dean of College of Engineering of CMU; Dr. Jimmy Zhu, Co-Director of JIE; Mr. Liu Wei, Deputy Director General of Guangdong Science and Technology Department; Mr. Yan Bingchen, Director of Cross-Border Education Division, Department of International Cooperation and Exchanges, Ministry of Education in China; Mr. Feng Xinglei, Director of Exchange and Cooperation Division, Department of Education of Guangdong Province; Prof. Li Wenjun, Assistant President of SYSU and Co-Director of JIE; and Prof. Tan Hongzhou, Co-Director of JRI.
After the seminar, the CMU delegation had a tour of the JIE building and the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou. Prof. Yuan Xuefeng, Director of National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, invited the delegation to watch a video on Tianhe-2 and then led the guests to visit the supercomputer room.
It is learned that SYSU and CMU began exploring the possibility for collaboration in engineering and information sciences education in October 2009. In November 2011, the two universities signed the agreement of collaboration. And one year later in December 2012, China’s Ministry of Education approved the SYSU-CMU Joint Institute of Engineering (JIE). The SYSU-CMU Shunde International Joint Research Institute (JRI) was also established. In November 2013, the CMU-SYSU Collaborative Innovation Research Center (CIRC) was founded on the Pittsburgh Campus of CMU. This three-part approach has strength in providing engineering education, encouraging high-level academic research, developing new technology in electronics and computer engineering, and leading the development of related industries. With the assistance of CMU, the JIE began recruiting faculty members in 2013 and admitted the first cohort of students in August last year. JRI began recruiting faculty members and enrolling graduate students in 2014. Faculty members of the JIE and JRI have accomplished research achievements. In August 2014, SYSU signed a framework agreement with CMU to collaborate in CMU’s Brain Initiative. SYSU and CMU will jointly recruit and train young scientists, and allow scientists, engineers and clinicians in the relevant fields at both universities to conduct cooperation on cross-disciplinary research. In September 2014, in the presence of Mr. Zhu Xiaodan, Governor of the People’s Government of Guangdong Province, SYSU, CMU and the People’s Government of Shunde District, Foshan City signed a MOU in San Francisco on cooperation in integrated circuits and systems.
On January 8, 2015, representatives from SYSU, CMU and People’s Government of Shunde District gathered together in JRI building to attend the CIRC Annual Review Meeting. The researchers presented 12 cutting-edge research results in the field of electronic information technology for industrial application or incubation in Shunde. On the morning of January 8, CMU delegates held a discussion with SYSU representatives on the “Guangdong IC Center” project and the brain research project respectively. CMU delegates also had a discussion with SYSU experts in neuroscience. On the afternoon of January 8, Prof. Ming Dao, MIT principal research scientist and member of the CMU delegation, visited Zhongshan School of Medicine of SYSU. On the morning of January 9, SYSU and the People’s Government of Shunde District held the Signing Ceremony of SYSU-Shunde Development Fund in Shunde. The donation will support the joint projects of SYSU and Shunde. On the afternoon of January 9, SYSU and CMU held the 4th JIE Executive Committee Meeting and a discussion for undergraduate program.