How do the students of world-class universities learn?

How do students in

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world-class universities learn?

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world famous universities are not only the place where masters gather, but also the palace where masters are cultivated.

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Shi Yuzhi

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A. from the quality of graduates, the university level

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measure the level of a university, one is to see its scientific research results, the other is to see its students’ quality. I think an important indicator of the quality of a university’s students is the number of graduates who have won the Nobel Prize and other top international awards. The ranking of

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world universities is very varied, because they are based on different standards. So far, I haven’t seen any ranking list that takes graduates’ winning top international awards as the evaluation criteria. In fact, the academic performance of undergraduates or postgraduates trained by a university can better reflect the educational level of the University, and better explain whether the educational concept of a university conforms to the educational law.

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are the world’s recognized first-class universities with strong teachers and excellent graduates. According to the number of Nobel Prize winners, the top five universities in the world are

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. Harvard University has 76 Nobel Prize winners. The second place of

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is Cambridge University. 65 of its graduates have won the Nobel Prize. The third place of

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, Columbia University, has 44 graduates who have won the Nobel Prize. The fourth place of

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is MIT, with 34 graduates winning the Nobel Prize.

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are the fifth place. The University of California, Berkeley, has 32 graduates who have won the Nobel Prize. I have been to the universities of

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and have seen their campus culture. Stanford University has a relatively short history of founding, and only 13 graduates have won the Nobel Prize. However, more than 20 of its current teachers and research teams have won the Nobel Prize, especially since the new century, 11 of them have won the Nobel Prize, ranking first in the world. In recent years, Stanford University’s undergraduate enrollment competition has been more intense than Harvard University and so on. Its students’ quality can be imagined.

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are some other world-famous schools, which are also based on the cultivation of many outstanding talents. In 2008, I went to Germany to have a meeting and visited Heidelberg University. Only when I got there did I know that 17 of the graduates of Heidelberg University won the Nobel Prize, and more than a dozen of the teachers won the prize. There are also better universities in Germany, such as the University of Humboldt and the University of Munich, which have cultivated a lot of outstanding talents.

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look at Asia alone. According to the standard of the number of graduates who have won the Nobel Prize, Tokyo University in Japan is the first, 11 of them have won the Nobel Prize; Kyoto University in Japan is the second, 6 of them have won the Nobel Prize; Nagoya University in Japan and Hebrew University in Israel are the third, 5 of them have won the Nobel Prize. These data show that the number of Nobel Prize winning graduates is a reliable and stable indicator to measure the level of a university.

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B, the “honor examination system” with full trust in students,

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integrity are related to the success or failure of education and affect the cultivation of outstanding talents. The first characteristic of the students in the world’s first-class universities is to be honest.

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there are a few famous universities in the United States that carry out the “honor examination system”. Stanford is one of them. This system requires that students should not be supervised by teachers, but fully trusted. During the exam, the teacher handed out the papers and left the exam room. The teacher who is far away from the office, moves a stool to sit outside the entrance examination hall, and the students come out to ask if they have any questions. The teacher who is near the office will go back to his office, and the students will go to the office to ask the teacher if they don’t know. Students can take whatever they have to the examination room, including workbooks, textbooks, dictionaries, etc. there is no limit. Moreover, they can put whatever you like, even next to their own examination papers. In the middle of

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examinations, students want to go to the toilet, or even think of the outdoor ventilation. They don’t need to ask anyone for instructions or make any registration. After the students have finished the examination, they can leave it on the table, and then the teacher will collect it. A lot of people will think, won’t this be a mess? In fact, in a society of good faith, this practice is more stressful and terrifying than having a invigilator or a camera to monitor people. It makes you feel that all the students around you are “invigilators”. Any improper behavior will attract contempt.

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and “honor examination system” are to fully trust the students and think that every student is honest and excellent. Then, every student should also use their own actions to maintain their dignity and reputation. During my Ph.D. study at Stanford, I experienced many closed book examinations. I didn’t meet one cheating incident, nor did I hear that someone cheated, let alone was punished by the school for cheating. Stanford students are very silly, very simple, no one will think about it. We usually study hard, and we will prove our true ability when we take the exam. This kind of seemingly insipid things, but with extraordinary results, let everyone in a relaxed and pleasant environment to play their ability to the extreme.

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in 2010, during my visit to Stanford, I studied modern algebra, an undergraduate course in the Department of mathematics. There is a mid-term examination in this course. The place and time of the examination are chosen by the students themselves. It doesn’t occupy the classroom time at all. The way of examination is surprisingly free. The teacher will publish the examination questions on the teaching network of this course in the school one week in advance. The students can choose a place by themselves and complete the questions in two hours. On the specified day, the students will give the answers to the teacher. During this visit to

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, I also studied information theory, which was set up by computer department. Not in this courseThe closed book examination is to evaluate the scores according to the three major assignments in normal times. On the day the students handed in their homework, the professor who taught the course printed out the answers to all the questions and put them on the platform. Before class, the professor announced: “students who hand in their homework today can take an answer back for comparison to see how well they answer, while students who can’t hand in their homework today will take the answer next time.”

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students who can’t hand in their homework on the same day will consciously take the answer when they hand in their homework next week. Teachers don’t worry about those students who haven’t finished their homework borrowing their classmates’ answers to copy back, and students won’t think of this idea. This is a kind of trust contract. It is the most sacred thing in the minds of teachers and students. No one will violate it.

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C, the mental outlook reflected by classroom seats and meal time

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can be seen from the students’ choice of seats in the classroom. After so many years of classes in Singapore and dozens of universities in China, I found that there were no students in the first two or three rows of seats, and the most seats in the last few rows. At Stanford, the opposite is true: the first few rows have the most people, followed by fewer. On the one hand, it shows students’ enthusiasm for learning; on the other hand, it shows that students only take classes they really like.

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make full use of eating time to study, which is also a common phenomenon of world-class universities. Here is an experience I had in Standford. One lunchtime in February 2011, I packed my meal and sat alone on an empty table. An Asian student asked me if I could sit at the same table with me. It’s also a courtesy of Americans. In this case, I need to ask for the advice of the first person to sit down. Of course I agree. At that time, I was wondering if this student would take out the book and read it while eating. Sure enough, this classmate immediately took out a book as soon as he sat down, eating and watching, until I left, he still kept his head down. This kind of thing is normal here.

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in the summer of 2011, when I visited Princeton University, I saw a street art in a small garden at the school gate, called “lunch time”. It was a bronze statue. A student sat on the ground, holding a sandwich just bit in one hand, and reading it attentively with a book in the other hand. This bronze statue is a freeze frame for the study and life of world-class university students. Perhaps, the habit of reading while eating is not good, but it reflects the study fashion of world-class university students.

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Stanford’s campus is large and beautiful, full of stools and flowers, which should be the most suitable place to talk about love and love. But I have lived in Stanford for so many years. When I arrived at night, the campus was quiet, and I never saw the phenomenon of cuddling and intimacy.

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D, students in the “Professor clinic” queue to ask questions,

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first-class university students are good at thinking, so there are bound to be such learning problems, and it is a special landscape of famous universities to actively and frequently find teachers to ask questions. Stanford professors spend two regular hours a week in the office, solving students’ learning problems. At the door of the professor’s office, there are often several stools, because students often come to ask questions. If the professor can’t receive them for a while, he will let the students sit at the door and wait in line, one by one, to solve their problems. This is the real “Professor clinic”!

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in addition, the managers of world-class universities all know that only the technical workers engaged in mass production can be collectively trained and mass produced, while the high-end talents need to be repeatedly polished and carved. Therefore, they all carry out small class education. I have counted the teacher-student ratio of several famous universities, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Princeton University, Massachusetts Institute of technology and California Institute of technology. The ratio of teachers to undergraduates is generally 1:5, plus graduate students, and the ratio of teachers to students is not more than 1:10. The most successful model of

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is Caltech. The total number of undergraduate and graduate students is just over 2000. There are about 300 teachers in Caltech. However, it has made remarkable achievements and cultivated many famous scholars. Among the graduates, 20 have won Nobel Prize, even more than Harvard University. Qian Xuesen, an outstanding scientist in China, received his doctorate from the University.

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can also see their educational ideas from the propaganda strategies of world-class universities. In one of Stanford University’s advertisements, it is particularly noted that about 70% of its undergraduate classes are under 20 students, which means that students have more opportunities to contact teachers and the quality of teaching can be guaranteed.

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E, with an international vision, as soon as possible contact with the cutting-edge scientific issues

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, the world’s first-class universities pay great attention to training students’ international vision, so that they can understand the cutting-edge scientific issues as soon as possible.

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first of all, let the world-class masters of our school stand on the front line of teaching, so that the students just entering the school can have zero distance contact with the world-class masters, and eliminate the sense of mystery, which is conducive to enhancing the confidence of students and setting up lofty aspirations. Secondly,

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encourage students to actively participate in high-level international conferences organized by the University. During my visit to Stanford University in 2010, their department of chemistry held an annual academic conference. The qualification of the reporter was Nobel Prize winner. The number of people who made the report was only about 10, and many people listened. In addition to reporting on their latest research results, these participants also discussed with you what are the most cutting-edge issues in this field. If one can get in touch with these outstanding scholars during his study and start to think about the most cutting-edge issues in this subject, it will certainly be conducive to making revolutionary achievements in the future. Once again,

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frequently invited the most outstanding scholars from other well-known universities to give academic speeches. During my visit there, I heard about the mathematics departmentAnd Physics Department lectures, invited guests are many fields prize and Nobel Prize winners. Besides

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, American universities attach great importance to the cultivation of students’ vision and mind. The president’s speech at the opening ceremony and graduation ceremony of the famous universities embodies their teaching ideas. In the occasion of school opening or graduation ceremony, these university presidents always put out the most challenging problems in the world to let students think, such as climate warming, energy crisis, and so on, and encourage students to have the courage to meet the challenges.

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in this kind of speech, principals often talk about a topic, which is to cultivate students’ free spirit, risk-taking courage, international vision and intelligent development. It’s not hard to understand that students trained in this vision are more likely to become world-class masters.

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in order to cultivate students’ international vision and broad mind, Stanford University has a variety of funds, which can support students to visit overseas every year. I know an undergraduate. She said that in her four years at Stanford University, every summer vacation she can apply to the fund to study abroad, so she has been to many countries. The student has studied Japanese in Japan and Chinese in China. He speaks both languages fluently. The students trained by this way of education will have different experience.

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F, various academic groups and reading clubs

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classroom are just a part of university learning. Various activities organized by various academic groups in world-class universities have also become an important part of learning. Every academic group in every department of Stanford University organizes academic lectures almost every day, such as computer department. There are academic lectures in every time period from 12:00 to 6:00 in the afternoon. These academic activities are divided into different levels. Some are aimed at a small number of experts in the same direction, some are aimed at all teachers and students of the Department, some are open to the whole school and even the community.

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are lectures aimed at the public, which can be understood by ordinary people even in mathematics, physics and biology. My experience is that no matter what lecture you listen to, you will get more or less. During the visit of

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in 2010, I participated in an academic group called “complex systems research group”. This academic group has 50 or 60 participants in each activity, including senior professors, undergraduates and postgraduates. Participants have all kinds of background, from biology, chemistry, physics, linguistics, psychology and other departments, as well as from literature, history and other traditional humanities. The organizers are enthusiastic and open their arms to welcome every new comer, no matter which subject you come from or which country you come from. Every new comer and organizer will ask you to leave an email, and you will be informed of all activities after that. This research group started as a few people, and then as a snowball, it grew bigger and bigger, and now it has become a university skill group of hundreds of people. This kind of academic group in

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universities is completely spontaneous and out of interest. There is no instruction or distribution of any school leaders, no utility plan. At most, they apply to the school for a little activity funds, buy some snacks and drinks for meetings, or pay the transportation fees of experts from other schools. Organizers invest a lot of time and energy, often without any economic return. This kind of voluntary dedication is indispensable on the road of scientific exploration. The founders of these groups are both teachers and students. We should never underestimate such activities. They are likely to be an opportunity for a major scientific discovery.

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and a group of Chinese children organized a study group of “the Analects of Confucius”. There were 120 people who could not understand the original Chinese text, so they learned the English translation and met every Wednesday evening to exchange their learning experience. When they heard that I had written a Book Confucius and their disciples, they asked me to have a discussion with them.

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impressed me deeply. Many department students have an hour of “good time” reunion every Friday afternoon to exchange their reading experience this week. Because everyone reads different documents, understands from different angles, and speaks a variety of feelings and experiences, this kind of activity not only broadens their horizons, but also inspires them, and greatly improves their learning efficiency.

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g, large enough living and learning space

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mental labor need a large enough living and learning space. The crowded environment and noisy atmosphere have a great impact on mental work, so world-class universities pay special attention to providing students with enough learning and living space. The accommodation of

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is very important. It is not only a place for students to rest, but also a place for students to study. Stanford University is a room for two undergraduates, a room for postgraduates, and a small villa for postgraduates with family members. When I was studying for Ph.D. in Stanford, I took my family with me. There were two rooms on the upper floor of the student dormitory assigned to me. Downstairs was a living room and a kitchen, as well as a balcony and a back garden. Such housing conditions can ensure that students do not interfere with each other, and students with family members can also concentrate on their studies. I have also been to the University of California, San Diego, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, all of which have the same living conditions as Stanford University.

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decent universities in the United States provide offices for graduate students. In 1993, I went to the University of California, San Diego, where the graduate student is an office of two. The computer department of Stanford University is the place with the most talents. It has trained a large number of it elites, which is inseparable from their learning conditions. I have been to their department, and every doctoral student has an office. Even the visiting scholar I visited temporarily for a year, Stanford University also provided a small office, which greatly improved my study efficiency. My book why China can’t be a master was written in this office.

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are easy to be ignored in learning, that is, space. This includes space for restOnly with the space of discussion, eating and walking can we guarantee the students’ ideological space.

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H studying in university is a journey of exploration, not visiting the park

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. I teach in many universities. Students often ask me “can I give them a piece of advice”? My answer is, “think of College as an adventure, not as a park trip.” The business schools of

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Stanford University are also among the best in the United States, cultivating many big entrepreneurs. Professor Robert Jones, the old Dean, gave a report to the students of the school of economics and management. One of the advice was “don’t stay in a comfortable environment for too long”. Indeed, if one wants to achieve a certain career, he must have a bit of the spirit of not living with himself and dare to challenge himself. There is a statistic of

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. Among the Nobel Prize winners, the vast majority of them are B in University. Newton and Einstein are even regarded as problem students by teachers. They are not good students in Teachers’ eyes. However, those with a-scores seldom know what to do later. This is normal. Those students who dare to challenge themselves are easy to be regarded as deviant, and they generally don’t show themselves in their achievements, and the discovery of scientific truth is exactly in favor of such deviant.

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at the opening ceremony of Yale University in 2010, President Richard Levin warned freshmen: “Yale University has more than 2000 courses for you to choose from, but you have to miss 98% of them. But I want to urge you to try different courses. Each subject represents different human experience. Any subject can provide you with different windows to appreciate the cultural accumulation of nature and society, so that you can see the world from different perspectives. If I can give you a piece of advice to choose a course, I will try my best to have a wide range of interests and to cover as many subjects as possible. Don’t always hold the belief that the subject you chose before you came to university is the most suitable for you. Take courses that are completely beyond your previous knowledge and experience. In this way, you can not only expand your knowledge, but also discover the huge potential that you are not expecting, which can even change your life. ”

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