In 2014, ShanghaiTech and University of Chicago established a university-level partnership based on academic, scientific and cultural cooperation, including a joint education 3+1+N program, exchange programs for faculty, PhD students and postdoctoral scholars, joint research projects, participation in workshops and academic conferences, mutual visits and short-term activities.
Under the agreement, ShanghaiTech’s first batch of 13 undergraduates arrived at University of Chicago on July 26thto begin their 5-week summer school. Meanwhile, two exchange students from UChicago chose to do research at ShanghaiTech’s School of Physical Science and Technology.
Kirk Lancaster is a sophomore at University of Chicago working on a double major in chemistry and law and Ryan McGillicuddy just finished his 4-year undergraduate study in chemistry and will pursue a PhD degree at Harvard University. Both of them chose to do research at ShanghaiTech because of their passion for physical sciences and love of Chinese culture. “I’m surprised by the scale of projects being undertaken at ShanghaiTech and the labs here are pretty nice with advanced equipment and facilities, “said Ryan. Kirk added, “ShanghaiTech is a brand-new university with so much potential and it will certainly make great strides in the future. This experience is incredibly valuable for me and has helped me to consolidate my research background, establish international relationships, enhance cross-cultural understanding and shed light on my career path.”
“ShanghaiTech doesn’t have traditional departments, which enables people to communicate with each other in groups and facilitates cross-disciplinary collaboration,” Ryan observed. “In addition, the student-faculty relationships here are very close because we share the same rooms and work together on projects. Compared with U.S students, Chinese students seem to be very diligent. [They] tend to spend more time staying in the lab,” he added.
Kirk’s research involves improving the performance of a certain material that converts heat to electricity under the instruction of Professor Ning Zhijun, while Ryan was excited to study about increasing the efficiency of a light-converting material with the help of a protein made by bacteria. It’s a joint project initiated by Professor Zhong Chao and Professor Mi Qixi, which aims to address physical science problems using biological tools.
ShanghaiTech leadership paid a visit to University of Chicago last November and has entered into a partnership with Career Advancement to provide students from University of Chicago with internship opportunities. As the university develops, the campus is thriving with international academic activities and cultural events, making ShanghaiTech an ever-growing global community.