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Opening ceremony for Turing Class held at Peking University

OCT . 31 2017
Peking University, Oct. 21, 2017: On the afternoon of October 17, 2017, Peking University held the opening ceremony for the first Turing Class in Jingyuan Courtyard No.5, marking the official start of PKU's reform on computer science education. School officials and other guests attended the ceremony.

Professor Hopcroft is the 1986 Turing Award winner who made a groundbreaking contribution to the field of algorithm design and analysis. In May 2017, PKU appointed Professor Hopcroft as a visiting professor and invited him to host the Turing Class. Professor Hopcroft always regards his students' successes as his greatest achievements, and is willing to make every effort to help students.

In his speech, he thanked the university and colleges for their strong support for the first Turing Class, and gave a full recognition to the talents and abilities of Peking University students. At the same time, he also put forward two expectations for the first cohort of Turing Class students: firstly, he hoped that no matter where the students might choose to further their studies, they would come back to China to make contributions to the country and impart the same spirit to the next generation. Secondly, he hoped that regardless of what their career paths may be, they would follow their interests and do what they truly wish to do.

Professor Hopcroft delivering a speech

On behalf of the university, PKU Vice President Gong Qihuang spoke highly of Professor Hopcroft's great academic achievements and his contribution to China's education. He was particularly grateful for Professor Hopcroft’s love for Peking University and hoped that with the help of Professor Hopcroft, Peking University will be able to further attract and cultivate talents in forefront areas such as artificial intelligence.

Gong Qihuang delivering speech

Group photo

The Turing Class was established this year in the PKU School of Electronics Engineering and Computer Science. Students are personally taught by the winner of the Turing Award, who is also involved in teacher recruitment and curriculum design. The relaxing atmosphere and superior conditions of the seminar are aimed at attracting the most outstanding students and providing better studying experiences. The Turing Class aims to fundamentally improve the computer science education of Peking University and other universities in China, cultivating China's future Turing Award winner.

From July to August 2017, Professor Hopcroft taught a short course named "Mathematics in Information Science" at Peking University. He also interviewed students in person. He selected the first 24 Turing Class students from nearly 80 undergraduates. From this year on, about 30 freshmen will be selected into the Turing Class every year. The first Turing Class students have already started studying four new courses in September.

After the opening ceremony, Professor Hopcroft also delivered an academic report for the first cohort of Turing Class students, briefly describing the important basis of artificial intelligence.  At the end of this semester, Professor Hopcroft plans to guide Turing Class students in carrying out practical research, the preliminary outlines of which were also introduced.

Written by: Qian Kang
Edited by: Fu Wenyun, Karen Xu