Experts and students call for strengthening basic education at forum
Tsinghua University Distinguished Professor Shing-Tung Yau advocated for a shift from the traditional drill-and-practice method in basic education towards nurturing curiosity, safeguarding creativity, and imagination at the S.-T. Yau Science Forum designed for high school students in Tsinghua University on Sunday.
Emphasizing the importance of not studying solely for examinations, Yau said, "We must not only learn various tools but also enhance our curiosity and interest in academia." Over the past decade, Chinese fundamental science has achieved remarkable development, and he hoped that the cultivation model of the High School Science Awards could integrate with university education, encouraging more students to remain in China and become the country's reserve research talents. "Our expectation is to achieve world-class academia in China, and we are confident in achieving this," he said.
The forum was followed by the announcement of the 2023 S.-T. Yau High School Science Awards, in which A total of 89 teams from around the world competed, resulting in 61 major awards across six disciplines: mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, computer science, and economic-financial modeling. Yau, who is also chairman of the competition, expressed gratification, highlighting the 16-year journey of the S.-T. Yau High School Science Awards that witnessed the enhancement of knowledge structure and skill levels among domestic high school students. Drawing from his personal growth journey, he encouraged students to learn from top-tier scientists involved in the evaluation process, seek inspiration, set lofty goals, delve into academic pursuits earnestly, and swiftly grasp a wide array of fundamental tools. He praised both domestic students and their counterparts from Singapore, India and Thailand for their impressive performance of creativity and imagination which shows a great success of basic education.
Five eminent scientists from various related fields—economics, physics, mathematics, and chemistry were also present at the forum and the awarding ceremony.
Professor Peng Gang, a member of the Tsinghua University Party Committee and Vice President, extended warm congratulations on behalf of Tsinghua University. Peng highlighted the crucial phase for the growth of such talents in children and adolescents, stressing the significance of studying and exploring the growth patterns, selection criteria, and training methods for these technological innovators. He also expressed gratitude to Mr. Yau for providing a platform for showcasing the research potential and creativity of high school students, encouraging them to uphold the enthusiasm for science, curiosity about the mysteries of nature, and evolve into a new generation passionate about scientific research and serving the country.
Yu Hanzhang, recipient of the Mathematics Gold Award and Science Gold Award, displayed a keen interest in projective geometry. Her research explored new applications of Desargues' Involution Theorem in problem-solving, offered fresh proofs for existing theorems, and enhanced Casey's solution to Apollonius' problem using involutions. She expressed gratitude for the Awards, citing the proverb "Friends at home, yet close as neighbors" to express her appreciation for the platform uniting numerous students worldwide who share the same passion for mathematics and science. She and other recipient students pledged to continue exploring and discovering the unknown within the kingdom of mathematics.