In 2012 Zhiyuan College and Microsoft Research Asia (MSRA) launched a joint Ph.D. program with Cornell University. The purpose was to provide talented students with an opportunity to study abroad at a world class university as well as to intern in industry at a well-known international research company.

Each year MSRA sponsors 1-2 Ph.D. candidates majoring in computer science to take their first year of graduate courses in the Computer Science Department at Cornell. The credits they receive there are transferred into SJTU credits. They will need to earn other credits required by SJTU after they come back and complete their 1 year internship at MSRA. Ph.D. dissertations will be supervised by advisors from SJTU, Cornell and MSRA, respectively.

Between Aug. 2013 and May 2014, Xuezhi Cao, a student majoring in Computer Science, Zhiyuan College, has become the first Ph.D. student of the joint program, he completed six doctoral courses with excellent academic scores at Cornell University.

“The courses given by the Cornell University are more closely related to the state-of-art researches. Studying abroad is the perfect chance for improving the ability to be independent. For me, this year has been a fruitful year, in both studying and the living.”

——Xuezhi Cao