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Why Go to Graduate School? C Professor Xinlei Wang from UIUC Gives a Lecture for BEFS Undergraduates

Date2018-04-16 | Visitcount1160

On the evening of April 12th, 2018, Prof. Xinlei Wang from UIUC visited BEFS and gave a lecture entitled why go to graduate school in Auditorium D416. Over 100 undergraduates attended.

Prof. Wang is currently the deputy director of Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Hes in charge of the Departments graduate programs and has been constantly promoting UIUC-ZJU 3+2 cooperative education program.

Prof. Wang began with an overview of UIUC. He briefly introduced the campus location, facilities, colleges, departments, inventions and alumni of UIUC.

Prof. Wang then led the students to ponder deeply on the differences between graduate and undergraduate education and the reasons for going to graduate school. Taking the fundamental mathematics education as an example, Prof. Wang demonstrated the importance of undergraduate general education courses. He also pointed out that graduate education is more specialized, advanced, competitive and research-oriented. Comparing to undergraduate education, graduate school requires a much larger commitment and better time management skills. Speaking of the reasons for going to graduate school, Prof. Wang affirmed the students ideas about graduate educations importance on a better job and a higher social status. He said that graduate education can help largely improve students research and social skills while providing more opportunities to reach the top experts and the most advanced technologies and equipment in the field. Furthermore, it transcends the learning of existing knowledge at undergraduate stage and makes it possible for students to actually contribute to the worlds knowledge.

High-quality graduation requires efforts from both faculty and students. In addition to diligence, conscientiousness and innovation, Prof. Wang specially emphasized the essentialness of integrity in graduate education. He also pointed out that, as mentors and advisers, faculty are expected to be fair and open in the course of providing intellectual guidance, research methods, knowledge of the current frontiers and opportunities for students. Prof. Wang listed 8 advising styles and gave instructions on the selection of advisor that suits a student most.

Graduate education in the US treats MS and PhD programs as parallel rather than progressive. Prof. Wang gave suggestions to students who are still wondering if pursuing a PhD is right for them: compared to MS degrees occupational orientation, PhD is more research-oriented with more personal interest, enthusiasm and creativity. Prof. Wang introduced the admission and graduation requirements for different degrees and shared on major concerned questions including the writing of recommendation letters and the arrangement of graduate courses. After the lecture, Prof. Wang had a cordial discussion with the undergraduates who want to go aboard for further studies.

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