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China Theory Week 11 Kicks Off

"China Theory Week" is an annual workshop that has been arranged every fall since 2007 at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. The workshop series was initiated by Turing prize laureate Andrew Yao and has a very simple concept: To bring together the twenty most accomplished PhD students within theoretical computer science worldwide, and let them interact with one another and with local PhD students for a week.

2011.10.10 | Jan Frederiksen

This year, the workshop is held outside of China for the first time. It takes place at Aarhus University from 10th to 14th October. It is arranged by CTIC, the Sino-Danish Center for the Theory of Interactive Computation funded by the Danish National Research Foundation and National Science Foundation of China. This virtual center is a collaboration between Aarhus and Tsinghua Universities, and the fact that Tsinghua has lent the workshop to Aarhus this year is a sign of the closeness of the collaboration.

For Aarhus University arranging China Theory Week is extremely beneficial. On one hand, the local PhD students within theoretical computer science get an opportunity to interact with the future leaders of the field. On the other, these future leaders get a unique experience at Aarhus University that the university will benefit from for many years to come.

The concept of China Theory Week is so simple and strong that the question "Why are other universities not doing something similar?" begs itself. The local organizer, Professor Peter Bro Miltersen, does not have a very good answer to this, but notes that lending a well-known brand like "China Theory Week" is much better than starting a similar event from scratch. The elite PhD students who have been invited knew about the event and the brand beforehand, and many were hoping for the invitation. Thus, it was easy getting the invited students to accept coming to Aarhus, even though they may have been slightly surprised about the new location of the event.

It is perhaps tempting to joke about the fact that "China Theory Week" is held in Aarhus. While the organizers do not mind such jokes, and consider them good advertising for the event, they point out that the Chinese name of the workshop has no geographical restrictions: "L?lùn jìsuànj? k?xué míngrì zh? x?ng ji?oliú huì" literally means "Seminar for the rising stars of Theoretical Computer Science".