Dongrun-Yau Science Award initiated by renowned mathematician Shing-Tung Yau and sponsored by Dongrun Foundation is ready to welcome this year’s competitors. On-line registration for the 2017 competition is now open at http://www.yau-awards.science/www.yau-awards.org. Instead of the usual exam-like contests, Dongrun-Yau Award adopts a new form of competition which encourages Chinese high school students from around the world to work as teams and think outside the box. There are no exam papers and standard answers. The students compete with research papers and presentations. It is designed to promote science education among young people as well as help Chinese high school students to discover the fun of scientific research and learn to be creative.
16 students admitted to top universities abroad
The participants are intrigued by this new form of competition. They set out to explore their fields of interest and produced a large number of excellent research results with innovative ideas. Their works won compliments from leading figures in academic circles. Chen-Ning Yang, Nobel Laureate in physics, Eric Maskin, Nobel Laureate in economics, Zhixun Shen, Professor of Physical Sciences at Stanford University, Xiaodong Wang, Director of National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, Xinnian Dong, Xinnian Dong, Professor of Biology at Duke University, Junying Yuan, Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School and other masters of science highly praised Dongrun-Yau Award. They believe that to enhance the development of science in China, it is important to train more students with creative minds, and the Award has created an ideal platform for students to work freely with their talents in the world of science.
1153 teams from China, U.S., Singapore and other countries signed up for the 2016 Dongrun-Yau Science Award, and over 110 students made it to the finals. After rounds of intense competition, 20 teams from Guangdong Experimental High School, Guangzhou 6th Middle School, the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, Beijing National Day School and other schools won the gold, silver and bronze awards in the categories of Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Biology.
Judges at the final competition are renowned scientist from home and abroad
The competition invited over 30 famous scholars from home and abroad to serve as judges at the finals, including Moses W.H. Chan, member of the United States Academy of Sciences, professor at Penn State University; Hao Wu, member of the United States Academy of Sciences, professor at Harvard Medical School; Junying Yuan, fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, professor at Harvard Medical School; Jinquan Yu, winner of 2016 MacArthur Fellowship, professor at the Scripps Research Institute; Mark Stern, professor at Duke University. Over one hundred scholars from top universities around the world helped to guide the students and review their works during the competition.
Participants of 2016 Dongrun-Yau Award gather for a group portrait
With the idea of review works with an open and tolerant mind and encourage the students to do research on their own, Dongrun-Yau Science Award select the best from the best, creating a platform of communication for scholars from elite universities and winners of prestigious awards to offer guidance to the students. The Award aims at training outstanding high school students with richly accumulated knowledge, passion for science and persistence in the pursuit of truth, helping them to discover the fun of scientific research as well as the creative power within themselves. The young participants described the competition as a whole new experience. Here they can focus on research areas they are interested in, work on their own initiative and forget about what they call the “sea of repeated exercise”, and constantly push themselves to think creatively and improve their practical ability.
2016 Gold Award winner in Chemistry Lan Zhuang making oral defense at the finals
As they do their presentation and oral defense at the final competition, the students face a panel of famous scholars from around the world. It is a rare chance to receive valuable advice in their areas of research as well as to improve the ability of expressing their ideas. Shuangyi Zhang from Nanjing Foreign Language School was one of the physics finalists. He said afterwards that the biggest difference between Dongrun-Yau Award and the other competitions he had been to was its total openness. Participants here have the chance to choose topics freely, work on their own, and present their own findings. Zhang had on behalf of his school participated in many physics competitions in China and other countries, all of which would have a list of research topic for the participants to choose from. But Dongrun-Yau Award was not like that, he pointed out, “It provided the absolute freedom of research.”
Well-designed competitions can help the students to be better prepared for future challenges and achieve personal development. According to statistics from Dongrun Foundation, among the 2016 Dongrun-Yau Award finalists, so far 16 students has been accepted by top universities under Early Decision programs, including Shuangyi Zhang from Nanjing Foreign Language School, admitted to Yale University; Lan Zhuang from Beijing National Day School, admitted to Duke University; Yibing Du from the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, admitted to Stanford University; Yibin Zhang from Hangzhou Foreign Languages School, admitted to Columbia University; Yiran Xu from the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, admitted to University College London; Shun Li from the Affiliated High School of South China Normal University, admitted to Duke University; Jianing Fang from Beijing National Day School, admitted to Johns Hopkins University; Yunan Yan from Beijing National Day School, admitted to University of California, Santa Barbara; Wanzheng Zheng from Beijing National Day School, admitted to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Shengzhuo Wang from Tsinghua University High School, admitted to Grinnell College; Jiyu Hu from High School Affiliated to East China Normal University, admitted to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Xunjing Wei from Shanghai High School, admitted to Duke University and Cornell University; Ziyi Wang from the High School Affiliated to Renmin University of China, admitted to Duke University; Xiaohe Jia from Beijing National Day School, admitted to the University of Chicago; Minqi Fu from Beijing National Day School, admitted to Rice University; Leiyu Gong from Guangdong Experimental High School, admitted to the University of Chicago and University of California, Berkeley.
Now as registration opens for the 2017 Dongrun-Yau Science Award, we sincerely look forward to see more students with a passion for science joining the competition. In December this year, Tsinghua University will witness another round of scholarly communication between brilliant students and great masters.