It can never be amazed for one, who are quite familiar with me, of knowing the Changshu Institute of Technology. It is a small school focusing on engineering and science majors, locating in a small town near Suzhou. To mention it here in my blog means nothing to its contribution to the academic and industrial world, but purely that as my mother school where I spent my first two years of college life.
An Invited Presentation
This revisit, unlike a self-conducted behavior that I used to adapt, is following somewhat informal invitation from the Department of Mathematics. The vice dean, Mr. Yu, who, at that time, was my lecturer for calculus, posted this invitation to me. In fact, this invitation has been done for years while it never came into practice. Things are that curious since the invitation were mostly received when I had been in Wuhan, and one time in US for an academic symposium.
The timing this time, unlike those previous instances, is quite appropriate. It is fortunately arranged on the time before my leave for Lancaster. However, the topic that I shall promote for the presentation make me paralyzed. According to the basic need and willing from Mr. Yu, a presentation on my personal experience, focusing on my life from leaving this school in 2005, to the present stage, as a coming PhD student at Lancaster with fully funded offer. Anyway, such willing can hardly be satisfied since, it greatly conflicts the basic principle that a scholar should carry, and the necessary calm a student should have.
An alternative topic that they can accept, lays on the choice for postgraduate admission exams. It has been quite a long history for this school on high support for these activities. In fact, I have received quite benefit when participating my own exams to Nanjing Normal University in 2005. These benefits includes free material offering, very low price training on specific courses, and mental support from others. Nowadays, the students there are obviously getting more. They even have the usage of air-conditioned meeting rooms during the summer.
However, this topic is somewhat rigid for me. The choice on whether to work or to fight for the graduate admissions should never been easily recommended. Such recommendation should be carefully and highly regarded, and taking the individual factors into account. After all, I get a compromising solution. Based on the empirical literatures that I have read in past few years on Chinese stock market, I delivered a professional presentation that covers the advantage that a student with the major of math would have if he/she is devoted into this field. The result, or say, the feedback, is quite under my expectation. That is, they don’t know what I am talking about, though they have had a good way to announce it. For the news article on their website, please click here.
Its Good & Bad
Dingding is still always that busy, and taking dinner with him and his wife, including some other friends, has been a tradition for my visit to Changshu. That is, my trip to Changshu has been extended from a one-day trip to a two-day one. The big difference this year is that, Xie, a good friend and teacher of mine, is too busy as well for his new position in League. This time, I would have to travel with my own plan, besides taking meals with him. But such arrangement brings me quite more free time to talk with others.
In that dinner with Yu, I met some other teachers. And after meal, I took a good talk with Tang in his office. He used to be my calculus during the first semester, and at that time, he was devoting to the books on database management. While later, he became a leader for the modeling team, and received quite some prize nationally. In fact, he used to be a student in computational mathematics, and modeling should be his advantage and interest. Also, I have a good talk with Zhang, who at that time taught me marketing and finance, it is good that his unique foreseeing sight remains, and his courage retained.
Comparing to the school that I joined five years ago, it has been largely improved, both on its equipment and its environment, including the student’s attitude, though the students obviously have not learned the spirit of questioning. However, most of the lecturers in that school remains to be lecturer for many years, if they are taking a similar position in some other better universities, they would have been associate professors, professors, postgraduate tutors and even doctoral supervisors.
But the chat with other younger teachers bring me some concern on their perspective. Lacking the environment for academic discussion and cooperation would largely mitigate their competence on coping with the steps of the mainstream within the area that they are interested in, and such mitigation would prevent them from publishing good papers, which is, no matter where you are, are highly regarded as a key criteria for promotion and high salary. Maybe they only want a quiet life rather than such contributions.
My Thanks to This School
Though not a good school comparing to the later ones that I participated, it provides me good education on mathematics and opportunity of learning necessary computer skills from my roommates. It is what I learned here bring me great convenience on my exploring to the empirical world, and indefinitely promote my admission to Lancaster. Heartedly, wish it goes well.