On May 7, 2010, Dr. David W. Leebron, president of Rice University in Houston, Texas, together with his wife, Ms. Y. Ping Sun paid a visit to ITCS. Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao held a friendly talk with them.
Pres. Leebron left the deanship of the Columbia University School of Law to become the seventh president of Rice University on July 1, 2004. He first shared his experiences in China. Both Prof. Yao and he have been impressed by the groundbreaking changes took place here in past three decades.
Speaking of higher education in China, Prof. Yao said that the Chinese government puts it on high priority. Tsinghua University, Peking University and other top universities in China have witnessed rapid development and will approach a phase change to catch up with world-class universities. Pres. Leebron agreed on this point and shared his experiences during the China-Rice Advanced Leadership Forum in 2007.
Prof. Yao and Pres. Leebron then shared their ideas on current development models and programs of top universities in China and the West. Prof. Yao said that many institutes at Tsinghua University enjoy the flexibility to promote their own ideas in a vibrant research environment. And students are involved in merit-based competitions and exposed to cutting-edge research results.
Pres. Leebron also introduced the cooperation between Tsinghua University and Rice University. And computing researchers at Rice University also launched a joint research initiative with electronics specialists at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University. Prof. Yao believed that ITCS shares common research interests with the research center and a more productive cooperation will be expected in the near future.