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President Susan Hockfield’s Remarks at the Inauguration Ceremony of Tsinghua-MIT

June 21,2010

Thank you President Gu for your kind remarks. We greatly enjoyed your recent visit to MIT with the Tsinghua delegation in April. The increasing number of important collaborative initiatives has strengthened the already very strong bond between Tsinghua and MIT. I’m honored to join you and Professor Sung of the Chinese University of Hong Kong for the dedication of Tsinghua-CUHK-MIT joint center for theoretical computer science.


I want to thank Vice Minister of Education, Mr. Xi Chen for taking the time to join us this morning. You presence shows how deeply Chinese leadership values advanced scholarship.


I want to particularly acknowledge Professor Yao, whose remarkable academic achievements are as well known in Cambridge, Massachusetts as they are here in Beijing. We are delighted that this new joint center for theoretical computer science will reunite Professor Yao with the MIT faculty on which he served briefly more than 30 years ago. At the same time in his current faculty role at both Tsinghua and CUHK, his leadership brings MIT together with two institutions that are inspiring partners for MIT.


The joint center reflects an increasingly close relationship between our institutions. Already three of MIT’s distinguished faculty members in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science also hold appointments at Tsinghua’s Institute for Theoretical Computer Science.


The three institutions in this joint center represent the very best in theoretical computer science research in their respective regions. And the research overlaps in the areas such as algorithms, cryptography, information security, quantum computing and computational biology. The joint center will open the door to a new era of three-way cooperation and intellectual dialogue in this critically important field.  


I have no doubt that the joint center will drive important advances in computing theory. But most immediately we welcome the undergraduate and graduate student exchanges at all wide. Over time we expect the center grow further to faculty exchanges and joint research with funding from the National Science Foundation of China, the Research Grants Council from Hong Kong and the National Science Foundation in United States. We also look for additional cooperative support in theoretical areas of computer science, those areas that meet applications.


Under Professor Yao’s leadership and with all his outstanding colleagues and students from all three institutions, joint center promises to be a resounding success. On behalf of my MIT colleagues, we are very pleased to participate this important event. Thank you!