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Doing Research in a Foreign Country

November 19,2009

On the evening of September 3rd, 2009, three pre-graduate students from ITCS, Chenggang Wu, Guang Yang and Wen Yuan, arrived at Boston Airport in USA, which symbolized the beginning of their more than three-month’s visit and study in MIT.

In an alien land, everything is different, different environment, different food, different friends as well as different research visions. One would be overwhelmed by so many fresh things. However, after the intense registration and lodgings, the three students have completely got used to the life in MIT in the first month of their arrivals, with their study and research being on the right track as having been arranged before.

CSAIL has arranged mentors for them respectively, providing one-to-one instruction for them. Every week, they would meet their mentors, discussing the progress of their research as well as the problems they have come across. Chenggang Wu is now doing research in the field of Computational Biology with his mentor, Prof. Bonnie Gerger. At present, he has been engaged in two research projects: one is concerned with the metabolism of mycobacterium tuberculosis cells, the other is to study the comprehensive network in the field of Computational Biology. Under the guidance of his mentor, Professor Silvio Micali, Guang Yang has read several books on models of Game Theory, and attended classes on advanced algorithms, which enable him to have a deeper understanding of linear programming and approximation algorithms. Now, several new thoughts have occurred to him with respect to the mechanism of combinatorial auction. Wen Yuan has joined the research group led by his mentor, which is to program a parallel quicksort algorithm. Guided by his instructor, he has shifted his research objective to Radix Sort, and is now trying to modifying the related algorithms and procedures.

In MIT, they have met a lot of seniors graduated from Tsinghua University, and from them, they have got many useful and practical help. In their spare time, they have also participated in all kinds of activities in CSAIL, such as CSAIL’s traditional festival “Corn Festival” on September 16th, and CSAIL Student Workshop (CSW) on September 27th. These activities have not only enlarged their horizons, but also brought them closer into the life in CSAIL.

The initial expectation and excitement will eventually be transformed into a sense of accomplishment. We believe that the three students would achieve a lot in MIT, and would enjoy their research life abroad. We also believe that these experiences would lay a solid foundation for their next year’s graduate study.