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September 19,2008

Invited by the Department of Computer Science and Technology, Tsinghua University, Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao from ITCS (Institute for Theoretical Computer Science) had an exceptional informal discussion with the students on Sep. 19th in the Multi-function Room FIT Building with every seat occupied. Prof. Maosong Sun, Director of Department of Computer Science and Technology hosted the discussion.



The A.M. Turing Award winner Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao

After receiving his Ph.D. degree in computer science from University of Illionis in 1975, Prof. Yao started his research in theoretical computer science until now. He had been undertaking teaching and research as a professor in many renowned universities, such as MIT, Stanford, UC Berkley and Princeton. As the winner of A.M. Turing Award in 2000, Prof. Yao is the first Asian scientist and the only foreign citizen of Chinese origin so far who won this top honor in theoretical computer science area, on a par with the Nobel Prize. In 2004, Prof. Yao resigned from Princeton to serve as a full-time professor in University, and established the Institute for Theoretical Computer Science in 2007.

At the discussion spot, the students raised many questions on the issues of interest. Prof. Yao gave devoted answers combining his personal experience and understanding.



At the spot of “Meet the A.M. Turing Award winner Prof. Andrew Chi-Chih Yao”



The students gave a big round of applause to Prof. Yao’s excellent answers

According to the question “what qualifications are required to achieve A.M. Turing Award”, Prof. Yao said “first you need to find your own interest of research, meanwhile diligence, patience, and a good academic atmosphere are also indispensable.” Prof. Yao also admonished the students that the desire of success cannot get beyond the interest of academy. Only living as a scholar can lead you to the achievement in academy.

On the question raised by the students on the gap between Chinese and foreign universities, Prof. Yao answered confidently: “it’s an undeniable fact that there is still a gap between Chinese and foreign universities, but the more important thing is how we deal with this problem. Many faculties in Tsinghua are as good as those in foreign famous universities. The truth one needs to know is how to be a first-rate talent. In my opinion, the biggest obstacle is oneself. No more obstacles can stop you if you have first-rate mind, ambition, and the willing to do first-rate job.”

After the discussion, Prof. Maosong Sun presented the souvenir of this activity on behalf of the Department of Computer Science and Technology, and expressed his gratitude to Prof. Yao.

This informal discussion held by the Department of Computer Science and Technology provided opportunities for the students to meet the celebrated scientist Prof. Yao in computer science area, inspired the students’ passion to research and creative thinking, and benefitted the students greatly.