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Wang Qi: Top Young SUSTech Teacher and his multiple roles

Mar 4, 2019 Special Report

In the final days of 2018, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) ran its third Young Teachers’ Teaching Competition. Assistant Professor Wang Qi from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) was declared the winner for his outstanding performance. He believes that this honor is attributed to the high standard of education in the Department.

CSE undertakes a full teaching load with high standards on how to best carry out their educational tasks. In his mind, this award is not just for him, but it is also an affirmation and motivation for CSE.

Wang Qi sits at the front line of educating as a young man who takes on many roles as an educator in order to learn from his teaching experiences.

A passionate teacher

Wang Qi has had the privilege of encountering many teachers with a tireless passion for teaching, all of whom had an incredible influence on him. When he came to SUSTech to teach, he was able to deeply understand his new colleagues’ efforts in teaching and cultivating students. Influenced by them, Wang Qi wanted to work hard to impress and motivate students with enthusiasm and focus.

Wang Qi has now been teaching at SUSTech for more than four years. He teaches five courses including computer programming foundation, computer system and design, discrete mathematics, cryptography and network security, information theory and coding. At the same time, he also served as a tutor at Zhicheng College. His sincerity and concern for the students, as well as the seriousness and professionalism of his teaching, are recognized by the students.

One of his students, Wen Weihuang, a student from the class of 2014, said "I have done many of Mr. Wang’s classes. He teaches basic programming courses as well as more abstract discrete mathematics, information theory and even cryptography. Although the contents are different, I can feel that the teacher is very serious in preparing lessons. “

“The lectures are done very carefully, the handouts are prepared thoughtfully, and the regulations are clear. But it is not easy. It is obvious that Professor Wang, in addition to pursuing the accuracy of the lectures, has spent a lot of time looking for a better teaching methodology. He has carefully considered what problems students will encounter and how to make students better understand and absorb the content. Generally speaking, it's really great to meet such attentive teachers in our study and life."

Perhaps in the future, Wang Qi’s students will also have such a group of people, with the same enthusiasm, standing on the podium, affecting another generation of students who are eager for knowledge.

 

To become a guide in the academic journey

Wang Qi is very proud of the students at SUSTech. He believes that the SUSTech students have strong personalities and are not afraid to try and challenge traditional view. This is a very necessary and valuable quality for academic research.

He often tells his classmates that daring to think and do is really good, but at the same time, we should guard against arrogance and rashness. They should make full use of SUSTech's rich resources and superior conditions, in order to lay a solid foundation to realize their ideals.

Wang Qi believes that teaching and communicating with students is not limited to the classroom. More importantly, building good trust and interacting with students is a key component of it.

Confusion is a key word for many students after they enter the university. Dealing with confusion greatly affects the impact of their learning during the whole time at university. Computer courses, especially abstract basic theory courses, are difficult for most students who lack basic knowledge than other courses, and it is not easy to generate interest in learning.

Wang Qi admits that many students are attracted by the fashionable term "computer" and the expectation of "good employment", but when they come into contact with computers, they will be afraid of difficulties.

In order to let students really understand computers and be truly interested in them, Wang Qi prepares a general framework for students in the first few weeks of their first semester. He pays special attention to the consistency and transformation of content, clarify the logical relationship between teaching content and other courses, and answer the students' why and how of learning. In this way, students develop an overall understanding of the curriculum and planning, thereby maintaining their motivation to learn.

Wang Qi also introduces specific examples that give students a very intuitive impression of this course. Students will gradually be inspired by these examples to explore the real world behind the computer.

Wang Qi opened up about his role as an academic guide. He said "In addition to the content of the basic course of computer programming in the first year of general education, I will introduce all aspects of computer science as much as possible, and provide a reference for everyone to choose a major. In the basic course of discrete mathematics for sophomore majors, I will provide more contact with all areas of computing specialty to lay a good foundation for follow-up professional courses. While helping students to fully understand, I hope they have the ability to make their own choices. I will also combine my own study experience to speak about my own confusion at their age. It is normal to feel confused. What we need to do is to find answers through learning and practice, and gradually clarify our interests and directions."

Excellent class teacher

Often a student would ask Wang Qi, "Why do I feel like I can understand in class, but I don't know how to solve the problem when I encounter it?" In order to inspire students to think and improve their ability to solve problems, Wang Qi will use the way of asking questions of him in class to improve students' enthusiasm and autonomous learning ability, so that they can solve problems together as a group.

The constant research, thinking and continuous improvement of teaching have made Wang Qi's teachings well received by his students. Zhang Zhaoxu, a student from the class of 2016, said that Wang Qi is a rigorous and serious teacher. In the course of teaching this semester, he patiently prepares each lesson carefully. Every detail is carefully crafted in order to accurately describe each knowledge point to the students. He combines innovative teaching with traditional teaching methods. For complex calculations, he must work hard on the blackboard. For the key points and difficulties, he will repeatedly confirm the students’ knowledge, while answering questions and ease their doubts. His students find him caring and unbiased. He can always observe the changes in his students and talks to them to help them adjust. Wang Qi’s lectures are humorous, creating an active and positive class atmosphere.

2015 student Xie Daning commented on Wang Qi, who is always concerned about his students. Wang Qi spends time with the students to find out any problems and provides advice. He also emphasizes that students should be independent thinkers, encouraging everyone to read the textbook carefully instead of just looking at the content in the courseware. When it comes to coursework and exams, Professor Wang provides prompt and detailed feedback to every student, and invites students to discuss the outcomes of each piece of work. These discussions help me understand the key points I am missing and ensure that I make constant corrections and progress.

Wang Qi wins Excellent Teaching Award at 2017 SUSTech Teachers’ Day Awards

Wang Qi said that in the process of teaching, he deeply realized the benefits of teaching. “At the same time, my students provide positive feedback and suggestions, which has driven my continual improvement. Many courses in CSE are electives. For example, the discrete mathematics course can take up to 300 students split into 2 large classes. Teaching so many students creates a large amount of pressure, but that pressure comes with the motivation that so many students want to take the course. I will explain some of the difficulties in the course from the perspective of the students in as simple a way as possible. The challenges and experiences in my daily teaching also influence the way I do other academic work.”

As a young scholar, Wang Qi has not only gained a good reputation among students but made substantial achievements in scientific research. He has published nearly 20 SCI academic papers in internationally renowned journals in fields such as combinatorial mathematics, coding and cryptography. He is one of the backbone forces of teaching and scientific research in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. He has also attracted students to his research in applications in cryptography, error correction coding, combinatorial design, and pseudo-random sequence design. Based on the current phenomenon of “computer fever”, Wang Qi believes that SUSTech’s general education provides its students with enough time to think about their interests. He hoped that students would think carefully about their decisions, lay a solid foundation and develop their critical thinking skills in order to become far-reaching scientists.

Source: Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Text: Liu Hui

Translated and Adapted: Chris Edwards

Proofread: Wu Yiqiu, Xia Yingying

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