Princeton establishes partnership with leading Chinese university
In a step aimed at fostering academic exchange, Princeton University has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) to promote collaborations across scientific areas including fusion energy and plasma science.
The agreement establishes a framework to explore academic and scientific cooperation between Princeton and USTC, one of China's foremost science and technology universities. The arrangement will enable the exchange of students, faculty and academic staff, while fostering collaboration on instructional and cultural programs.
"One of the first benefits of the program will be collaborations between experts from both universities in the area of plasma physics and fusion energy research," said A. J. Stewart Smith, dean for research and the Class of 1909 Professor of Physics. "And going forward, the mutual strengths and interests of our institutions in several areas including materials science and mathematics provide a natural foundation for broader cooperation," Smith said.
"As a clean, safe and inexhaustible resource, fusion energy may be the final solution to the global deficiency of energy, which is arousing wide concerns worldwide," said Jianguo Hou, president of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), who signed the memorandum with Princeton University President Shirley M. Tilghman on Tuesday.
"We identified several areas of shared interest and common strength, where we believe collaborative research and educational exchange initiatives would be especially fruitful," said Pablo Debenedetti, Princeton's Class of 1950 Professor in Engineering and Applied Science and acting dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. "These include quantum computing and materials science challenges involved in the practical implementation of fusion technologies."
"It is an honor to have a special relationship with such a distinguished university," said Jeremy Adelman, Princeton's Walter Samuel Carpenter III Professor in Spanish Civilization and Culture and director of the Council for International Teaching and Research. "We are excited about the ability to create more opportunities for collaboration and exchange."
Princeton's informal association with USTC dates back several decades, with the University having been the workplace one of USTC's founders and first director of its Department of Mathematics, Hua Loo-Keng during the late 1940s. Several graduates of USTC serve as Princeton faculty members, including: Stephen Chou, Princeton's Joseph C. Elgin Professor of Engineering; Weinan E, professor in the Departments of Mathematics and Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University; Kai Li, Princeton's Paul M. Wythes '55 P86 and Marcia R. Wythes P86 Professor in Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science; and Hong Qin, a lecturer with rank of professor in the Department of Astrophysical Sciences at Princeton University, principal research physicist at PPPL, and professor in the Department of Modern Physics at USTC. Another USTC graduate, Guo-yong Fu, is a principal research physicist at PPPL.
The partnership follows an earlier agreement in August 2012 between the U.S. Department of Energy Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), which is managed by Princeton University, and Chinese institutions to establish the Collaborative Innovation Center for Advanced Fusion Energy and Plasma Sciences. The Center enables academic exchange between PPPL, University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), and the Institute of Plasma Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ASIPP).
USTC is located in Hefei, a city of about 7.5 million in central China.