In 1977, Yang Shiqiang graduated from the Department of Computer Science and Technology (DCST) at Tsinghua University and stayed to serve as a teacher. Since that time, he spent for 40 years at Tsinghua and never left. In 2016, he took home the third “Mentor Prize”. In his view, this award is the highest honor for a faculty member because the votes came from the students and represent their recognition for their teachers. When it comes to the “Mentor Prize”, Professor Yang said, “Helping graduate and undergraduate students is not the same thing. You need to help graduate students to make academic achievements.”
Academically, Professor Yang helps students to build confidence in scientific research, to be a thorough researcher and guides them to seek a breakthrough in academic terms. He often encourages his students to make contributions in all areas. Professor Yang, along with other teachers have taken a series of measures to encourage postgraduate students to publish papers with higher impact factor. Over the past five years, his postgraduate students have won 10 international paper awards. For example, 2008 class doctoral student Wang Zhijin under Professor Yang’s guidance was awarded the best essay of ACM Multimedia 2012; and his another doctoral student Pang Yi was awarded the annual essay of the journal IEEE TCSVT 2010. Professor Yang said cheerfully: “It is influential in the international academic world.” As the chairman of DCST academic degree committee, Professor Yang said, “Our philosophy has always been which discipline is the core, academics is the foundation and quality is life. It is our common interest to cultivate students and help them to produce high-quality papers. This for us is an honor.”
Professor Yang is also very concerned about students’ career development. During his time as the Party secretary of DCST, Professor Yang launched the “Gardener Plan” which is a plan used to encourage doctoral students to teach in universities after graduation. In the 3 years since 2007, almost 30 students including his own 5 doctoral students started their career as a faculty member. Professor Yang is also the “quiet mentor” for the doctoral students from the PLA. He said: “These students, who work in the army find it difficult to adjust back to campus life and gain back their initial academic confidence. I keep an eye out on them since I want to help them to find that spark more quickly so that they can produce high-quality papers.”
Professor Yang said the quality of postgraduate education is an important indicator of a world-class university. He hopes that more and more Tsinghua postgraduates will be able to work in world-class universities.
Note: This article was adapted from the website: