My Graduation Story – More than a persistent programmer
Chris Edwards | 06/03/2020

In the tenth year of our existence, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) has been supported by its three pillars of “Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship.” As our student community has passed through our campus over the years, they have excelled in many areas.

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) has hosted many outstanding students throughout her short history. Few could reach the peaks that Yi LIU (’20, CSE) has reached in the four years he spent on campus. With numerous internships under his belt at top companies across China, Yi LIU will be a force to be reckoned with for years to come.

Yi LIU came from Chongqing in central-west China and was of the top two students in the municipality. He received a scholarship to SUSTech as a result. He was touched by the idea of education reform and innovation from the 2014 documentary, “Fire Thief.” Given SUSTech’s mission for reforming higher education in China, it was his only choice for a university.

For a tutor, he opted to take guidance from CSE Assistant Professor Yepang LIU. As his life and academic tutor, Yepang LIU would listen to Yi LIU’s flights of fantasy. They would discuss different ideas while providing resources for Yi LIU to investigate his dreams.

With these opportunities, Yi LIU could explore a wide range of research opportunities while improving many other skills.

In his sophomore year, Yi LIU decided to study software engineering, under the guidance and advice of his tutor Yepang LIU. His experience in software engineering was one that was meant to be, with him taking internships at Baidu and Amber AI Group. Most impressively, he was selected into Tencent‘s Rhino-Bird Elite Training Program in 2019, as one of just 57 candidates from around the world.

However, computer science is not the only thing for which Yi LIU should be recognized. While computer science cultivated his logical thinking skills, his interest in archaeology saw him get involved in high-level research in the Center for Social Sciences. During one summer semester, he took an elective called “Discovery of World Archaeology,” by Dr. Zhichun JING from the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). His scientific background attracted Yi LIU, who had spent a lot of time watching the Discovery Channel since childhood.

The class amazed Yi LIU with its scientific and modern archaeological methodologies. He became a follower of Dr. Zhichun JING, and from there, was introduced to Chair Professor Jigen TANG‘s major project – the reconstruction of the Panlongcheng Turquoise Animal Face. Yi LIU developed a system to help the fragments back together. He was also invited to take part in the Shanghai Archaeology Forum as an attendant, where the world’s most prominent archaeologists spoke passionately about their profession.

Yi LIU, on reflection, thanked SUSTech for providing him with the platform to explore his interdisciplinary interests and design a flexible curriculum.

He is a competitive young man, having fought in many software testing competitions. The team was highly competitive, and he has developed many high-quality relationships with top competitors from other teams.

When planning for his post-undergraduate direction, he wanted to complete his doctoral studies but was unsure where. Yi LIU referred back to his tutor, Yepang LIU. They communicated for quite some time to discuss his future direction before Yepang LIU recommended a potential direction at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Following through with this recommendation, Yi LIU was accepted into NTU and will head there to complete his Ph.D.

There are many people that Yi LIU wants to thank for the four years at SUSTech. Dr. Zhichun JING from UBC provided a new perspective on the rise and fall of civilization while providing a new fire of inspiration. Zhixin College Dean Lingjun WANG and Shude College Dean Ying MA provided him with the motivation to work on skills beyond academia. He must also thank Student Affairs Yuan LI and Kefu HUANG from the Office of Teaching Affairs.

His tutor Yepang LIU deserves special thanks for having a far-sighted approach to education but imbuing him with high moral standards. His support strengthened his postgraduate choices with just a few words, and it has given him a positive outlook for his future as a programmer.

2020, 06-03
By Chris Edwards

From the Series

Graduate Stories

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Translated and Adapted By SUSTech Newshub

Proofread ByYingying XIA

Photo BySupplied, Yan Qiu


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