College of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota
College of Science and Engineering
http://cse.umn.edu/

China 2011

Jun 3, 11

Day 17-18

Alright everyone, this is my last post! Don't cry.. it'll be okay. So, on the last day in Shanghai, we visited Shanghai Jiao Tong University. It's actually a sister school to the Xian Jiao Tong University that we visited earlier on the trip and they were once the same school. We toured their research facilities and learned about their computer science and electrical engineering departments. Tony, Karla, and Ysa all gave brilliant presentations to the students (Ysa covered these in greater detail on a previous post). A few of us bonded with some of the students and did karaoke with them later that evening.
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Karaoke
Before going to karaoke, the whole group went out for one final group dinner. It was kind of sad because it was like saying goodbye, but it was also a great bonding experience.
The next day we left for the airport and got to take the magnet train. It went 432 kilometers per hour! (Roughly 200 mph).
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At the airport, we said goodbye to our tour guide Cassandra and got on our 10 hour flight home! I know we will all miss each other, but our bonds wont be broken and we will definitely be seeing each other in the future.

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Jun 3, 11

Day 18: Last Day In China

So this is it. Perhaps my last blog entry.
The journey has now come to an end, but the memories will last a lifetime. China has taught us a lot of things, the lessons we learned, experiences we had, the relationships we built will sure be a part of us.

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With our awesome tour guide, Cassandra Fan.

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Jun 1, 11

Day 17: Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Today is our last full day in China. We visited one of China's best engineering schools called Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Yes, the name sounds very similar as its name sounds like a university we've visited in Xi'an called the Xi'an Jiao Tong University (XJTU).

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SJTU welcomes University of Minnesota students!

At night, we had our last group dinner with Prof. Sobelman.

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May 31, 11

Day 16: TechImport & IBM

We visited TechImport in the morning and IBM in the afternoon. During our free time, a few of us went to the market and haggled our way to good deals.

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The group at IBM China

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May 31, 11

Day 15-16

Wow! Shanghai has been such a rush! I haven't had time to keep up with the blog. Sorry everyone, but I guess today is going to be a long one. So, on our 15th day, we visited Fudan University and toured their research facilities and two of their campuses. One of their more interesting projects was on enhancing the ability to detect vectors from electromagnetic waves. Another one of their cool projects was on cognitive radio. Here's a really awesome video to help you all know what it's all about:

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On day 16, we visited two companies, TechImport and IBM. TechImport is a fairly small company which is centered in Sweden. However it has grown greatly in the past year due to demand for it's products. TechImport produces machines that can recycle things such as light bulbs and cars. It breaks them down into their components for reuse in future light bulbs and cars. TechImport in Shanghai is just starting up but they are already very successful and have a lot of interest. I could go on and on about the cool projects they are working on putting in place with biomass and other bioproducts but I don't want to nerd out on you all! At our visit to IBM we learned about their improvements on computer chips and their introduction of the eDRAM and how it is more efficient and more reliable the the normal sRAM.
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May 30, 11

Day 15: Fudan University

We visited both campuses of Fudan University during the day.

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Network systems setup at one of Fudan University's research labs

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May 29, 11

Day 14: Sunday in Shanghai

During the day we all went our own ways discovering the city. At night, several of us went to see Shanghai's famous acrobat show.
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Lady balancing trays of goblets on her nose bridge

Also, a raw video of one of the acts is posted.

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May 29, 11

Day 13-14

We arrived in Shanghai! I was instantly in love with the city. It's a beautiful mix of old English style houses and modern skyscrapers. Everyone else was also fascinated by the city and it's amazing size. The night of our 13th day and our entire 14th day were free and we took the opportunity to explore the city. I will try to put as many pictures as possible on this blog post to try and show you all the beauty of the city. Some of us wandered down to the river to get a good look at the city and go down the pedestrian street. We watched as the city lit up and came to life.
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May 28, 11

Day 13: Arrival at Shanghai

We are now in Shanghai--China's most modern city! We got here around 15:00 this afternoon and we're staying at the Howard Johnson Business Club Hotel.

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May 27, 11

Day 12: Xi'an Jiao Tong University

Things we did today:

1. Campus tour of XJTU
2. Bike ride at the Xi'an City Wall
3. Water fountain of Xi'an

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Xi'an Jiao Tong University's main building

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May 27, 11

Day 11-12

Oh boy, so I have a lot to fill you in on. Yesterday, on day 11, our group went and saw the terracotta army. They were built for the dead emperor to assist him in the afterlife, but they were attacked during a rebellion and were destroyed. Since their discovery by a farmer in the 1970's they have been under the process of being restored. So far three pits have been uncovered. The first is the largest and has 1000 warriors in it. The only downside to the trip was the heat, but it was definitely worth it.
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Today, day 12, we visited Xian JiaoTang University. There, we learned about their research on interconnection networking on computer chips, energy-constraint signal/image/video coding,and object extraction. I found the object extraction to be very interesting. They take, lets say, a picture of a horse and take the horse out of the picture automatically. After learning about their research, we had lunch at the University and toured the campus after which we returned to the hotel.
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Travis having fun with one of the statues at the University

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May 26, 11

Day 11: Terracotta Army

We visited the Terra cotta Army, a local art museum and watched a show only known to Xi'an.
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Raw video of the White Sleeve Dance is posted.

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May 25, 11

Day 10: Xi'an

Xi'an, China here we come.

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May 25, 11

Day 10

Hey everyone! Jennifer is back after being out of commission due to illness. Sorry for the inconvenience.
So, today we left Harbin and landed in Xian. Xian is the old, original capital of China and represents a lot of it's history. It still has tombs of emperors that have not been opened since their creation! Xian is also the only city in China with a complete wall around the inner city, including an outer moat. Our hotel is right across the street from the south gate to the inner city, an ideal location for exploring Xian.
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May 24, 11

Day 9: Harbin Institute of Technology

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A wish hung at H.I.T.'s Wish Tree

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May 23, 11

Day 8: Harbin Institute of Technology

Our first day at the Harbin Institute of Technology or H.I.T.

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Representing the U!

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May 22, 11

Day 7: First Day in Harbin

Sunday Lazy Day.

We didn't really have plans for today. So everyone just went their own way exploring the city.

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The concierge of our hotel

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May 21, 11

Day 6: The Great Wall of China

We visited the majestic Great Wall of China in the morning, and travelled to Harbin in the evening.

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Our last day in Beijing with our awesome tour guide, Li Xu Man

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May 21, 11

Day 6

Today we traveled north of Beijing to the Great Wall of China. We took a gondola up to the Great Wall and after roughly 2 hours of walking the steep terrain of the Great Wall we took a toboggan down. We all had a lot of fun and were completely worn out from walking the Great Wall. After soaking in the Great Wall, we had dinner at a local resteraunt and then headed to the airport to catch a plane for Harbin. Once we arrived in Harbin, it was cold and rainy, kind of like Minnesota! However, the hotel we are in now is very nice and we are eager to explore the city.
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May 20, 11

Day 5: Forbidden City

Today instead of visiting a university or a research facility we visited a historical site. For many Chinese people and if there is one place they need to visit in their lifetime, it is the Forbidden City (or what they call the Palace Museum).

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After the long tour of the Forbidden City, we ate lunch with a local family at the hutongs--an old Beijing neighborhood.

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May 20, 11

Day 5

Today we immersed ourselves in the history of China by visiting Tian Men Square and the Forbidden City. I found the idea of the whole city being governed by fungshui to be very cool. Fungshui has to do with the flow of energy due to the position of things and structures in the house or, in this case, the palace. Although we were told that the Forbidden City was large, I'm pretty sure we all underestimated just how large it is. Fortunately, after the Forbidden city we were able to relax and ride rickshaws through the old streets of China. The rickshaws took us to local families who invited us into their home and made us a meal. It was very cool to see a family that had lived in the same 200 year old house for 4 generations and how they lived. Visiting the family may be the experience that I will be least likely to forget.
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On a side note, throughout our China trip, we have encountered and tried (at least some of us) quite a few strange foods.
Strange Foods to Date:
-fish eye
-sheep stomach
-century egg
-krill (with head and tail and feet)

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May 19, 11

Day 4

Today we visited Microsoft Asia and I'm not gunna lie, it was one of the coolest places ever. At Microsoft Asia in Beijing, we caught a glimpse of their fundamental research projects. At Microsoft, interns and faculty can work on fundamental projects which basically means that you do research in whatever area you have interest in (however it must be related to your field). For example, one person at Microsoft is working on a project which involves using your hand and arm as a keyboard rather than a mouse and keyboard set, which is not easily portable. These projects may or may not reach the market, but they do produce valuable data for future projects. What was even more cool about the company was that the internships also allow foreigners to apply. I'm sure a few of our computer science and electrical engineering majors will apply to see if they can be apart of the fundamental research.
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May 19, 11

Day 4: Microsoft Research Asia

Today was the first time we've seen clear blue skies since we landed in Beijing.

We visited Microsoft Research Asia, toured their facility and learned more about some of their ongoing projects.

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In the afternoon, a few of us went to the Silk Market while the rest went to the Summer Palace.

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May 18, 11

Day 3: Peking/Beijing University

Good evening (Wǎnshàng hǎo) for us and good morning (Zǎo ān) for you!

Today we went and visited Peking (Beijing) University--a university known for its beautiful campus.
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Spot the bee!

Three of us also visited the Bird's nest, Water Cube and the CCTV building in the night time, while the rest decided to take a long nap.

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May 18, 11

Beijing, China Days 1-3

Hello everyone! Due to quite a few technical issues my part of the blog has been out of commission. However, the computer gods finally smiled upon me and allowed me access to my email and the blog. My name is Jennifer Johnson and I am going into my Sophomore year at the U of M majoring in Bio-products Engineering and Chemistry. Now, let me fill you in on the last few days.

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May 17, 11

Day 2: Tsinghua University

"... the MIT of China."

We visited Tsinghua University, one of the top Universities in China, also known as "the MIT of China" due to its strong science and engineering program. For the most part of the day we went on touring their university with some of the computer science undergraduate students. While on our way to the university, Ysa and Jenn presented some facts about Tsinghua University. To see their pamphlet, click here.

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The original Facebook is in Tsinghua University. It is believed that touching the nose will make one smarter.

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May 16, 11

Day 1: In Beijing

We have arrived in China!

The ride was a little bumpy towards the end, but the authentic Chinese dinner compensated for that. We are now settled at the Penta Hotel in Beijing, where we'll be staying for five more days. Most of us have been practicing our Chinese through Prof Sobelman and our tour guide, Li Xu Man.

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Apr 15, 11

Digital Technology in China

May 15 - June 2, 2011

We plan to visit large research universities in Beijing, Harbin, Xian and Shanghai which may include Peking University, Harbin Institute of Technology, Jiao Tong University, Fudan University and others.  We also plan to learn about R&D projects at high-tech companies like Microsoft Research Asia.

Cultural visits include the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, the Terra-Cotta Warriors and more.

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