The International Academic Review on Computer Science and Technology of Tsinghua University (THCST) took place as scheduled on August 19 to 20, 2010. As one of the efforts made by Tsinghua to compete at the top level internationally, leading computer scientists are invited to conduct diagnostic studies of the education, research, faculty and facilities of THCST. The review committee is made up of Prof. John Hopcroft (Chair) from Cornell University, Prof. Wendy Hall from the University of Southampton, Prof. Frans Kaashoek from MIT, Prof. Jun Murai from Keio University, Prof. Nadia Magnenat-Thalmann from the University of Geneva, Prof. Guangrong Gao from the University of Delaware and Prof. Ming Li from the University of Waterloo. Through presentations, group discussions and tours, they made an objective evaluation of THCST and proposed several suggestions for its further development.
Group photo of review committee members and THCST faculty members
In his remark at the opening ceremony on August 19, Prof. Heping Hu, Secretary of the CPC Committee at Tsinghua University extended warm welcome to all committee members and emphasized the significance of academic review in promoting Tsinghua’s efforts in building a world-class university and the commemoration of its centenary anniversary in 2011. He wished that all committee members could put forward their valuable advice to THCST. Prof. Jiaguang Sun, Dean of School of Information, Tsinghua University, Vice Chairman of NSFC and member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering also pointed out the importance of the academic review for THCST to become a world first-rate discipline.
Secretary Heping Hu remarks at the Opening Ceremony
Prof. Andrew Yao gives the SAR
Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao, ITCS Director, presented the self-assessment report on THCST (2005-2006) covering its education, research, faculty and facilities while answering several questions from the committee. Committee members also took a visit to ITCS and listened to the research report by ITCS faculty members and postdoctoral research fellows. The committee was impressed by its research results, achievements and lab layout.
Review committee members visits ITCS Lab
Review committee members also listened to the presentations of eight core courses, including Mathematics for Computer Science by Prof. Yao. Interactions with faculty members, students and core administrative members were also organized to provide committee members a first-hand experience of THCST.
Prof. Yao presents Mathematics for Computer Science, one of Yao Class core courses.
On August 20, at the feedback meeting joined by Prof. Si Yuan, Vice President of Tsinghua, Prof. John Hopcroft, review committee chair, pointed out that all the research groups at Tsinghua are functioning at the world-class level as the academic program of computer science and technology has made tremendous progress in the past five years. The committee is very impressed by the creation and progress of the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science under Prof. Andrew Yao. The committee also hopes that the positive impact of ITCS on THCST in its endeavor of becoming a world-class program will continue.
Among the suggestions for THCST to become an international leader in computer science, committee members suggest it to develop a long-term strategic hiring plan, make salaries competitive, and increase PhD ratio. They will present a final review report in several weeks.
Feedback meeting of the academic review
The International Academic Review of THCST has provided a great opportunity for ITCS to have a systematic self-assessment since its inception. Feedbacks from the committee will surely promote the development and progress of ITCS.