2017 Summer Research Program at Cornell



June 25 - July 23, 2017

Number of Participants



  • Course Arrangement:
  • Programming Language & Logic: by David Gries
  • Distributional Consensus: by Elaine Shi

Brief Intro

On June 25, 2017, 29 Zhiyuan Computer Science (CS) students arrived at Cornell University to attend the month-long summer research trip. This is the 4th year that Zhiyuan College sends CS students to Cornell University to participate in research program. After three years’ success on project cooperation on personnel training mode and specific mechanism, the influence of Zhiyuan College in Cornell University have significantly improved. The high quality of the research internship program had also attracted talented students from IEEE Class of SJTU, Tsinghua University, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology.

Apart from attending courses taught by well-known professors, Zhiyuan students were also able to communicate and conduct researches under the guidance of senior professors from the Department of Computer Science, Cornell University. The trip to Cornell University not only enhances Zhiyuan CS students’ professional knowledge, but also enables them to have a deeper understanding towards the cultures and histories of the United States.

Comments from the participants

I.Comments and Thoughts on Courses

“This year, there are two courses, one is Distributional Consensus taught by Professor Elaine, the other is Programming Language and Logic taught by Professor David.

Distributional Consensus based on black chain, telling how to build a de-centralized distributed system. Professor Elaine started from bitcoin, to byzantine problem, which introducing us a totally new theory of the distributed system. The advantages of de-centralized is apparent and there are more and more lights spotting on that areas. We could expect the large progress of it.

Programming Language and Logic is a very interesting course. It is about the loop invariant, which give us a new horizon of evaluating, thinking and proving the computer programming problem. I have heard of that in the book Introduction of Algorithm and I am not quite understanding it in that moment. I have gradually understand how beautiful the loop invariant is. I have learned a new math tool which can describe the logic of the programs.

Besides the courses, Elain and Jessie also hold many Enlightening Talks and Social activities, which give us a lot of chance talking with the Phd students and professors. Among the talking with the professors and students, we have learned much about some new field in the computer science. I am really impressed by the talk given by Jon, Kleinberg. He use machine learning to help the judgers to judge the extreme sentences. In that talk, he showed us how to analyze the research problem.” –Provided by Yiwei Bai

II. Comments and Thoughts on Activities

In order to enable the students to experience the variety of Cornell life, the students were provided with a series of extracurriculum activities: Niagara Tour, Community Concert, Bowling Night, Ice Cream Social, Pizza Party, Picnic etc.

1)Trip to Niagara Falls

“When mentioned the unforgettable life in Cornell University, I was most impressed by the trip to Niagara Falls. When I sat on the boat and saw about one hundred meters waterfall pouring down, which was magnificent spectacular, I cannot help to think of Li Bai’s famous poem, flying down three thousand feet, suspected galaxy descending from ninth heaven. High waterfall collided with the lake and resulted in a huge mist. As a result, it seemed that we were in a heavy rain. However, when we looked up, we found that the sun was still high hanging. It is really a magical scene. After we got off the boat, professor Yu and we began to step on the adventure and went down as the waterfall. Surrounded by trees and creek, it looks like a paradise on the earth. Everyone took pictures and admired the gods of nature.” –Provided by Jiaheng Zhang

“The trip to Niagara falls, which are one of the most famous natural wonders in the world. In the trip, we went downhill to take the tour boat. Burst water gushed forth. Everyone on the boat was drenched in breathtaking scenery. This trip reminded me that in the world, there were a lot marvel for me to explore. And I was determined to visit more places in the future.” –Provided by Lingkun Kong

2)Lightening Talks

“Academic activities were another thrilling part of the program which benefited us a lot. The excitement of meeting Prof. Jon Kleinberg and Prof. Eva Tardos at present is still lingering in my mind, both of whom are one of the greatest researchers of theoretical CS _eld in history and authors of classical textbooks we had studied. I felt unreal when I talked to Prof. Eva in face, but I still gained my courage to ask a few questions regarding my own research. Though confused by her accented English speaking, I still could see the calm atmosphere around her and her spirit of master. It was such a precious opportunity that I will not forget forever.” –Provided by Zun Li

3) BootCamp

“In this activity, we are lucky to take part in the BootCamp of IC3, which is one of the most significant activities in the cryptocurrency field. During the event, we met many famous people from Ethereum and respected professors from different schools. Listening talks every morning is very exhausted and I often can’t understand the talk completely. But I found that after which torment it brings me, it hide joy of harvest when I glance back emotional. For me, it is an unforgettable experience.” -Provided by Yunqi Li

4) Bowling Night

“Although I am not good at playing bowling ball, it was an enjoyable and unforgettable experience to take part in the game. Pizza and drinks are also provided, we really enjoyed ourselves talking and playing with Cornell Ph.D. students and Professor David Gries. ” -Provided by Xueyuan Zhao

5) Other Activities

“Socializing plays a very important role here. You socialize not only with professors and PhD students, but also with Uber drivers and someone you meet in the elevator, or even someone you see when walking the road. The workshop provided us lots of opportunities to socialize with professors and PhD students. It would be a great waste if you just sitting there eating pizza or ice cream. You can know how their life is and take it as a reference of your future PhD life. Sometimes, you’ll learn messages only known by insiders, for example, someone is going to the assistant professor somewhere, preparing to recruit lots of PhD students. Talking to strangers is also beneficial. It makes the moment no longer embarrassing. It let you know the place you live now. And at least, it helps with your spoken English.” -Provided by Lequn Chen