The 5-day long 2023 Spring School on Frontier and Interdisciplinary Sciences for the Overseas Students in IC-UCAS, funded by the International College of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and the Alliance of International Science Organizations under the Belt and Road Initiative (ANSO) Scholarship Program and hosted by the Hangzhou Institute for Advanced Study (HIAS) and International Centre for Theoretical Physics Asia-Pacific(ICTP-AP) has been successfully concluded on May 19th. This event focused on the integration of science and education, emphasizing interdisciplinary research and cultural exchanges. It attracted over 40 international students from more than ten countries and various disciplines, who actively participated in the program.



The expert team for the Spring School consists of senior scientists and young scientists fromHIAS. Academic lectures given by distinguished professors covered multiple fields, including physics optoelectronics, life and health, and ecological environment, which emphasized the importance of interdisciplinary academic exchanges, reflecting multidisciplinary development of HIAS and its efforts in exploring and promoting cross-disciplinary studies.

Professor Dai Ning from the School of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineering delivered a lecture titled "Matter, Numbers, and Mathematics," which explored the importance of numbers in our lives and modern science from the perspectives of mathematics and physics. The lecture combined natural sciences and theoretical research. Professor Chen Luonan from the School of Life and Health Sciences presented a report on "Dynamics-based Data Science and AI," showcasing research progress in interdisciplinary fields such as bioinformatics, molecular systems biology, and AI learning. The report sparked students' interest in cross-disciplinary research. Associate Professor Li Lingxiangyu from the School of Environment, drawing upon her research experience in the environmental processes of nao pollutants and health risks, delivered a lecture titled "What, where, and why are nano pollutants in the environment?" The lecture explored the sources, environmental behaviors, transformations, and biological effects of nano pollutants, highlighting the interdisciplinary integration of environmental science with physics, biology, and chemistry. In addition, Professor YueMin from the School of Life and Health Sciences, Associate Professor Yang Xuezong from the School of Physics and Optoelectronic Engineeringand Associate Professor Jin Rong from the School of Environment shared their cutting-edge research achievements in their respective fields through presentations titled "A moving target for zoonotic transmission," "Advanced sodium guide star lasers based on Raman conversion," and "The risk of POPs—Even the white bear cannot escape from"respectively.

Reports on Physics Optoelectronics, Life and Health, and Ecological Environment

(From left to right, top to bottom: Dai Ning, Chen Luonan, Yang Xuezong, Le Min, Li Lingxiangyu, Jin Rong)

International students delved into the research hotspots of various fields, gaining a deep understanding of interdisciplinary knowledge structures. This event has not only broadened their horizons but also played a positive role in enhancing their professional competence and fostering their innovative thinking. As part of the activities, laboratory visits were arranged for the overseas students in particular, namely, the Taiji Laboratory, Environmental Laboratory, and Systems Health Laboratory, which allowed the students to experience the unique features and charm of different disciplinary platforms on site.

Laboratory visiting

Cultural integration

Cultural diversity is the inexhaustible driving force for human progress, and the exchange and mutual learning of different civilizations are the common aspirations for people from all countries. The Spring School has also organized several cultural exchange activities as a bridge for mutual cultural understanding and appreciation.

Researcher Wang Ningyuan from the Zhejiang Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology delivered a presentation titled "New Discoveries and Research on the Liangzhu Ancient City." From the perspectives of water conservancy systems, altars and aristocratic tombs, jade civilization, and developed agricultural handicrafts, Professor Wang talked about the connotations of the Liangzhu civilization and elaborated on its significant importance of early world civilizations and Chinese civilization. Professor Fra, an Italian professor at the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music, gave a lecture titled "Chinese Music in a Cross-cultural Context: Reflections and Perspectives in a Transnational World." He shared how immigrants from Wenzhou, China, spread traditional Chinese music in Milan and Amsterdam and integrated Western instruments into the traditional Chinese music form called "Wenzhou Drumming and Chanting." The lecture delved into the development of Chinese music in a cross-cultural context. Professor An Rongquan, a member of the Hangzhou Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government Decision-making Advisory Committee, presented a comprehensive overview of Hangzhou's cultural heritage, innovative capacity, and overall development. He explored the historical significance of Hangzhou as a city, its influence on the process of Chinese civilization, the city's spiritual characteristics, and its impact on the world. Through this in-depth analysis, international students gained a deeper understanding of Hangzhou. They realized that Hangzhou is a modern, open, and vibrant city rooted in cultural prosperity, driven by innovation, and continuously moving towards the future.

Through these lectures, students have the opportunity to delve into  Chinese culture and learn about Hangzhou’s unique culture. In the process of cross-cultural exchange, they gain a deeper appreciation for the importance of different cultures in learning and understanding.

Series of Lectures on Chinese Culture

From left to right: Wang Ningyuan, Fra, An Rongquan

Cultural experience

In order to provide international students with an immersive experience in Hangzhou's culture and to let them feel the spirit of the 19th Asian Games, the Spring School alsoplanned a series of field trips. Students visited the Liangzhu Museum, which is rich in prehistoric cultural heritage, and closely watched the modern facilities of the Huanglong Sports Center, one of the venues for the 19th Asian Games, and participate in cultural exchange activities related to the event. These activities not only provided students with the opportunity to experience and appreciate the charm of Hangzhou's culture but also offered volunteers a platform for practical learning and personal development. Practice is the best form of education, and through these experiences, students not only forged international friendships but also deepened their understanding of Hangzhou's culture and the spirit of the Asian Games.

Visiting the Liangzhu Museum and Huanglong Sports Center

Worshop on the Education of Chinese National Conditions for University Administration Staff

This spring school is simultaneously conducting a national education study course for administration staffs in CAS institutes, which is designed to expand the knowledge horizons of administration staffs, enhance national education awareness, and improve the management skills and overall quality of administration staffs in CAS institutes. Through the content and practical sessions, education officials will gain an in-depth understanding of China's history, culture and current social development, strengthen their ability to communicate and cooperate with international students and explore effective educational management strategies. The five-day workshop covers English communication skills enhancement salon, international student education management experience exchange, national education experience exchange, lectures on Hangzhou's local geography and customs, Hangzhou culture practice course and Asian Games theme practice course.

The national study course for administration staffs will help improve their education management ability, and promote international education development in the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. By expanding the international perspective, administration staffs can better understand and respond to the needs of students from different cultural backgrounds and provide a more inclusive and diverse educational environment. At the same time, deepening local characteristics and practices will enable administration staffs to better understand local culture and social development, better integrate into the local environment, and provide students with education and teaching close to reality. This will further promote innovation and enhancement of education, improve the quality of education, and cultivate outstanding talents with international competitiveness and comprehensive quality.

At the opening ceremony of the spring school, Wang Tangrong, Director of the Education Division of the Institute of Urban Environment of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, passed the banner of the study course to HIAS on behalf of the previous course organizer.

Clash of viewpoints

During the roundtable discussion among Chinese and international students, three international students and three volunteers from the HIAS engaged in a retrospective and exploration of the cultural integration and interaction during the activities. Drawing from their diverse cultural backgrounds, they discussed the importance and challenges of cross-cultural learning. When discussing their academic experiences, they highlighted the frequent need to draw upon knowledge from other disciplines to solve problems within their own fields, emphasizing the necessity and value of interdisciplinary research. They also shared how their respective traditional cultures and literary arts provided inspiration and assistance in their scientific research and studies. This discussion not only showcased the criticality of cross-cultural exchange but also enhanced their global perspectives, broadened their cognitive boundaries, and strengthened their abilities to understand each other.

Roundtable Discussion and International Student Friendship Salon

The successful organization of this Spring School event is of great significance in promoting the internationalization of HIAS as well as enhancing its influence. Zheng Chonghui, the Vice Executive President of HIAS, stated that "the Spring School is a vivid manifestation of our educational philosophy and a significant attempt to promote the integration of science and education, expand international perspectives, and strengthen international education. We will continue our efforts to advance the internationalization of HIAS and create a more diversed international academic atmosphere in HIAS."

Certificate of Completion

Closing Ceremony

The Spring School for International Students in Frontier and Interdisciplinary Sciences is an innovative program for international students funded by the International College of the University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and Alliance of International Science Organizations in the Belt and Road Region (ANSO) Scholarship Program, and is open to all UCAS students. The spring school will focus on the relevance and cross-cutting nature of the program and the deep integration of science and education. The University of Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) is promoting the integration of science and education, the model of integration of institutions, and building a center of excellence in science and education integration together with CAS institutes. The establishment of the International College aims to further take advantage of the scientific and educational resources of CAS, accelerate the pace of international development of UCAS and CAS, create a diversified international academic atmosphere, and promote the development of international student education. The International College will uphold the tenet of "common, shared governance, shared development" and the philosophy of "international, open, comprehensive and forward-looking", and strive to make the International College a unique, integrated and internationally renowned college.

Author: Written by Zhang Jiahao (Academic Affairs Office,HIAS)

Photographer: Academic Affairs Office,HIASInternatioanl College of UCAS