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My Experience on Research Collaboration with China Songwu Lu UCLA Computer Science.

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Presentation on theme: "My Experience on Research Collaboration with China Songwu Lu UCLA Computer Science."— Presentation transcript:

1 My Experience on Research Collaboration with China Songwu Lu UCLA Computer Science

2 Outline My experiences – DragonStar program – CSC funded Ph.D. students – MSRA – UCLA-PKU Joint Research Institute – New US-style Research Center: PKU CECA – Misc. Some observations – Misperceptions on Research in China – University vs Industry – Strategy: Short term, Long term, Best of both?

3 DragonStar Program First experience at USTC in 2005 200+ graduate students from various regions of China Good: Excellent program to introduce US style graduate course education to China Headache: too much work; not enough time to touch base on research Suggestion for next-step: – Establish research summer camp A group of US researchers PhD students who have worked on research topics One-one research interaction on topics students work on for 3~4 weeks Joint effort by NSF and NSFC?

4 CSC Funded PhD Students Worked with 5 Ph.D. students + 2 young faculty members from three top Chinese Universities for one year each Good: 3 worked out well Bad: 4 did not work out as expected Lessons: – Helper not lead: Team up with our senior PhD students – 1 year is not enough – Students work out better – Say NO to some Chinese professors on student rec

5 MSRA 1-year+ sabbatical during 2007~2008 Best experiences so far – 3+2 top conference papers over time Tips: – Work best with those with solid background but a little hazy on directions & research styles Keep track of top conferences, work – US-styled research environment in China – Natural hierarchy with one or two junior talents – Do NOT bring your own students with you Easy to go back to old areas

6 UCLA-PKU JRI Joint research institute started in 2009 Sent students to PKU for summer interns Establish ties with PKU professors 1~2 visits to each campus Good: leverage local infrastructure & undergraduate resource at PKU, long-term driven Hazy: span many areas, CS is only a small part

7 US-styled research center at PKU, headed by Prof. Jason Cong at UCLA Strong support from PKU leadership Funding from PKU and local companies 15 faculty slots (tenure-track system) Global recruitment mainly from US-educated fresh PhDs Advise PhD students from the start PKU student interns in the summer US tenure evaluation 4 adjunct faculty members so far from US schools as mentors Research Focus: Green computing More info: Center for Energy-efficient Computing and Applications (CECA) at PKU

8 Other Activities Regular interactions with people @ Tsinghua – field trials of green 3G & 802.11n this summer – Guest lecture in courses Organizing conferences Local companies in China – Industry research project, consulting, …

9 Strategy for Short Term Best short-term practice Can see immediate results Research centers/labs by US/European companies – 100+ of them in Beijing and Shanghai – Leaders are mostly US educated PhDs – Similar research culture and technical language – Very focused, hard-working and talented local PhDs Best local PhDs tend to go to industry rather than stay in academia

10 Strategy for Long Term Best long-term: Chinese University Research centers start to show signs of problems – US/European faculty visitors – Student interns (best talent kept in schools now) – University research quality improving Unique features of Chinese university research – Half research, half engineering More deployment, field trial opportunities, more accessible to operation traces – Rich and flexible funding support – Top schools are trying hard to improve their ranking in the world stage Be patient with multi-dimensional uncertainty factors

11 Best of Both? New US-styled research centers within Chinese university systems – Similar to the 4 “Special Economic Zones” in China established 30+ years ago – Very flexible policies and US-style management/evaluation systems – Examples in CS: Andrew Yao’s center @ Tsinghua, CECA @PKU

12 Misperceptions US & china are complementary in research – “Lots” of (cheap) students in china: not any more – Lots of equipment funding: facility management is @early stage – Infinite deployment/trial possibilities: policy/political issues Shortcuts – Experimental versus theoretical research – Top journals versus conferences – IP cores owned by China: Industry standards, patents etc. – Priorities: national prize, inner circles, …

13 Industry vs Academia? Interesting contrasts: – Best local PhD graduates go to industry – US trained PhDs join Chinese universities Chinese companies are another source for collaboration – Local companies set up research centers in US – More funding for US schools – Some of the best talents – More aggressive work style

14 Misperceptions Results – “Easy” & “productive” collaboration on the surface Very welcomed by local universities Speak the same terms/buzzwords, but mean different things Local people love the hot topics in US we tell them Much nicer local receptions each time Different national and regional programs to support overseas researchers visiting China Ease of local funding support – You help on the proposal, they get the funding and credit, you get the various honorary positions/titles offered by various programs in universities

15 Things we can do Send your own PhD students to Chinese universities after graduation – The best group to work with in the future Identify complementary interest/expertise Be more patient – When working with Chinese universities – Finding the right person is challenging Senior versus junior people People with resources are not hands on any more – Taking time to build “personal” relations on top of technical collaboration

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