TBSI welcomes incoming graduate students

On September 1, Tsinghua-Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI) held its First Assembly for incoming graduate students.

TBSI Co-Directors Gao Hong, Connie Chang-Hasnain, Associate Co-Directors Wai Kin (Victor) Chan, Lin Liwei, Slawomir W. Hermanowicz, Dean’s Assistant Song Yan, faculty representatives and students attended the event that was held both virtually and on campus.


A scene from the TBSI First Assembly

In her welcome speech, Gao Hong praised students for their courage, patience and efforts during this special period. She highlighted the missions and goals of TBSI, which is to gather top faculty members from around the world, provide students with a superior research environment, encourage innovative thinking and creativity, and foster an international and culturally inclusive campus.

As students start a new journey at TBSI, Gao expressed hopes that they will exchange with faculties and fellow students from different cultures and disciplines, explore the vibrant city of Shenzhen, and embrace uncertainty and challenges in their lives. “Think big, aim high and strive for excellence,” she said.


Gao Hong giving a speech

Professor Connie Chang-Hasnain looked back on the development of TBSI and described it as “transformative, translational and transdisciplinary”. She gave three suggestions to incoming students. First, to be inclusive, to learn to accept and understand differences of others regardless of culture, nationality and religion. Second, to be an ambassador for their own beliefs and culture. Third, to be considerate, to do their best and shoulder the responsibilities of leading the future and improving the world.


Connie Chang-Hasnain giving a speech

 Professor Victor Chan encouraged students to persist when doing research, overcome difficulties and strive to exceed themselves. “In every interesting research, there will be moments that are tiresome and seemingly useless. However, as long as you are confident and patient, your efforts will pay off,” he said. He hoped that students can prepare themselves to face new challenges and lead a new era.


Speech by Professor Wai Kin (Victor) Chan

Lin Liwei and Slawomir W. Hermanowicz, spoke to students remotely from the United States. They were very glad to meet new students and encouraged students to keep learning, make full use of shared resources between the two universities, and to visit UC Berkeley during their studies at TBSI.


Lin Liwei (left), Slawomir W. Hermanowicz via remote connection

Prof. Ma Yi from the TBSI Data Science and Information Technology Research Center, and Prof. Gong Xiaohua and Prof. Seung-Wuk Lee from the Precision Medicine and Public Health Research Center also attended the ceremony remotely.


From left to right: Ma Yi, Gong Xiaohua and Seung-Wuk Lee

This year, TBSI is welcoming its largest incoming class of 171 students from 17 countries.  During orientation week, students will participate in a series of activities, lectures and sharing sessions to gain a deeper understanding of the programs and opportunities at TBSI.  




PIs from the three TBSI research centers meeting new students



Photos: Fei

Editors: Karen Lee, Paula Kelleher