Introduction

Tsinghua Xuetang Special Pilot CS Class (Yao Class) was founded by Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, world-leading computer scientist in 2005 with a view to nurture promising undergraduate students in the field of computer science, who are to become top talents like students from MIT, Stanford and other prestigious universities. Yao Class has set up a model for cultivating innovative talents in accordance with their aptitude and developed an extensive international teaching program. With the great effort of Prof. Yao, Yao Class model and achievements have won full support from high-ranking officials of the Chinese government and the Ministry of Education. It has been a successful example in China’s endeavor to cultivate innovative talents. Yao Class students are now making remarkable achievements in the field of computer science.

n Tsinghua Xuetang Special Pilot CS Class (Yao Class)

Ø Chair Professor: Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao

Ø Goal: to cultivate top innovative talents in computer science

n Top Undergraduate Students and Best Undergraduate Program

Ø About 30 students are enrolled each year, most of whom are participants of the Mathematical, physical and Information Olympic gold medals or top freshmen in Tsinghua University.

Ø An international faculty team headed by Prof. Yao has been set up.

n Courses Prepared and Taught by Prof. Yao

Ø The teaching program adopts advanced teaching methods from MIT, Stanford and Princeton.

Ø Core courses, all delivered in English have been prepared with focus on fundamentals of computer sciences. Among them, 6 courses are taught by Prof. Yao.

n Multidimensional Academic Exchange Platform

Ø Joint program with MIT: each year, four top Yao Class students will join the student exchange program at MIT for one semester.
Ø Joint program with UMichigan: each year, four top Yao Class students will join the student exchange program at Michigan for one semester.
Ø Joint program with Aarhus: each year, two top Yao Class students will join the student exchange program at Aarhus for one semester.
Ø Joint program with Waterloo: each year, two top Yao Class students will join the student exchange program at Waterloo for one semester.

Ø Advanced international talent cultivation model: each year, top students will go to Upenn, Princeton, MIT and other prestigious universities for academic exchange; all junior students will go to Hong Kong for Winter School; students are funded to participate in top international academic conferences; and pre-graduate students will have the opportunity to go to world-class universities in Europe, America, Australia and Japan for short-term visit.

n Pre-graduate Program

Ø The most potential and promising students will join a pre-graduate class for individual cultivation.

Ø Pre-graduate students will take part in Institute research projects with individual supervision.

Ø Top pre-graduate students will be recommended to join IIIS graduate students.

n Senior Students’ Research Activities at Renowned Scientific Research Institutes

Ø Senior students conduct research activities at such renowned scientific research institutes as Princeton, MIT, Upenn, the University of Hong Kong, Tsinghua University, MSRA, Google and IBM for a whole year.

Ø Teaching has been successfully combined with practices for students, who have published papers on top academic conferences and journals such as SOSP, IEEE GLOBECOM and Theoretical Computer Science and are ready for further academic pursuit.

Yao Class has created a dynamic academic environment for top undergraduate students. Its distinctive talent cultivation model has been highly acknowledged and strongly supported. Most of Yao Class students pursue further studies upon graduation. Yao Class welcomes aspiring young students who are interested in computer science to join the program.