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UW-Madison and China: Strengthening Ties. Chancellor Martin travels to China, spring 2010

UW-Madison forges strong bonds to China through research, partnerships

1,235 current UW-Madison students are from China – more than from any other country.

As of 2009, there were 425 scholars (faculty and researchers) from China working at UW-Madison – an increase from 97 a decade ago.

Every semester, more than 300 students study Mandarin and Classical Chinese. In 2007-08, 178 students spent time studying in China.

At least 1,663 UW–Madison alumni currently live in China, including both returnees and American expatriates. Since 2007, the Wisconsin Alumni Association has opened chapters in:

Following is a partial list of projects, programs and partnerships involving UW-Madison and China:

Air quality research

Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor James Schauer (also of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene) has been a guest professor at Peking University since 2004 and has collaborated with researchers at the State Key Joint Laboratory of Environmental Simulation and Pollution Control in the College of Environmental Sciences at Peking University. These collaborations have led to a number of studies that have been conducted in Beijing and the Pearl River Delta. The results of these studies are being used to develop effective and efficient control measures to mitigate air pollution in China.

Business school exchange

The Wisconsin School of Business has a long-standing exchange program with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, exchanging three to five students each year since 1997-98. The school also has a new exchange agreement with Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management (TSEM) under the umbrella of the campuswide exchange program. The first three UW students are there this spring, and TSEM will be sending students to UW in the fall.

Climate change research

In collaboration with the Institute for Earth Environment-Chinese Academy of Sciences, UW-Madison geography professor Joseph Mason is studying changes in climate and the East Asian monsoon during the last 25,000 years. The researchers use climate records found in wind-blown sediments and sand dunes in northern China to understand past, present and future links between the monsoon cycle and East Asian climate.

Collaborative cancer research

The UW Carbone Cancer Center (UWCCC) has focused on establishing collaborations with cancer research institutions in China in recent years. It has developed a close relationship with the U.S.-China Against Cancer Association (USCACA) through Li Yan, the USCACA managing director. In 2009, a delegation representing three U.S. experimental therapeutics programs including the UWCCC visited six major Chinese cancer research hospitals. Efforts are now under way to have faculty from the Chinese institutions visit the UWCCC in an educational exchange program.

Confucius exhibition

Julia Murray, a UW-Madison professor of art history, East Asian studies and religious studies, has co-curated an exhibition on Confucius with the director of the Shandong Provincial Museum in Jinan, bringing objects from China to the China Institute Gallery in New York. Nearly 100 objects are included in the exhibition, including hanging scrolls, album leaves, bronze vessels, stone carvings, jade ceremonial implements, wood-block prints and textiles, on loan for the first time in the U.S. from the Shandong Provincial Museum and the Confucius Museum in his hometown of Qufu.

Engineering summer program

The UW-Madison College of Engineering expanded on an existing relationship with Zhejiang University in Hangzhou by initiating a summer program there in 2008. A UW faculty member accompanies the group of students and teaches two courses each summer for six to eight weeks. Local students are also welcomed into the classrooms, which facilitate cultural exchange and a unique opportunity for UW participants to gain insight into the field of engineering in China. In addition, through technical visits related to the engineering course, UW-Madison students have had the opportunity to visit local factories and speak with management.

Environmental and conservation officials

The UW-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs hosted 19 provincial Chinese officials in charge of environmental protection, soil conservation, city and county administration, meteorology, personnel and farming in 2007. A three-hour briefing included speakers from UW-Madison’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies; the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; and the Environmental and Public Health Network of Chinese Students and Scholars.

Environmental study and research

The La Follette School of Public Affairs hosted a conference for more than 25 Chinese scholars studying in the United States. They explored ways to attack global environmental problems. They have established the Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars to promote discussion on public health and environmental issues, and they plan to meet several times a year. This is a group of the brightest doctoral and postdoctoral Chinese students from the best universities in America who are joining together to study and research what they can do for China while they are here.

Family medicine exchange

Department of Family Medicine (DFM) faculty travel to China each year in an annual exchange program with Beijing's FuXing Hospital and its affiliated Yuetan Community Health Services Center. In 2009, they visited community health centers in Beijing and Inner Mongolia, participated in a national community health symposium and, most important, had the rare opportunity to influence — and be influenced by — the health care system of the world's most populous country. Physicians from China have also visited UW-Madison, learning more about how family practice is taught and practiced in the United States.

Global real estate

The Wisconsin School of Business is launching a Global Real Estate Master (GREM) Program that features partnerships with three of the top business schools in Asia, Europe and Latin America. In China, the program will start American and Chinese students at the business school at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and then bring all of the participants together for a final semester at UW-Madison. In the first phase of the program, students will earn an MBA or master of science in a business field such as economics or finance. Then they will come to Madison for intensive real-estate coursework and practical training.

Influence of Confucianism on family businesses

Two UW-Madison undergraduate students, sophomore Rita Jiang and senior Debbie Cheung, researched the influence of Confucianism on family businesses in China in 2009. Both grew up in China, and both of their immediate families own family businesses. The students hope businesses in Wisconsin will garner a better understanding of how to partner with Chinese businesses from their project.

Interior architectural design

UW professor Wei Dong specializes in comparing and contrasting Chinese and American interior architectural design process and applications. He has been awarded extensive funding to research the nearly vanished, historically significant courtyard and cave houses of some of the traditional ethnic groups in China, as well as several current issues in design. Additionally, his knowledge of traditional Chinese feng shui has drawn international attention. He has been invited by more than 10 universities in China to give lectures and workshops.

Library and information studies

The UW-Madison School of Library and Information Studies has an informal but longstanding relationship with Sun-Yat Sen University in GuangZhou, Guangdong Province. UW-Madison has hosted several library science Ph.D. students, several faculty and one master's student for study or as honorary scholars. One current and one emeritus faculty member also work with the Evergreen Education Foundation, speaking at its conferences and workshops on libraries and the global knowledge society and performing a remote service learning activity with one of the libraries sponsored by Evergreen in Gansu Province.

Municipal government

In 2005, the UW-Madison La Follette School of Public Affairs collaborated to host regional Mayor Xu Guowen, of the Caohejing District of Shanghai, when he was in Madison to study aspects of municipal government in the U.S. Xu studied all aspects of government, from the role of nongovernmental organizations to courtroom practices, lobbying techniques and campaign finance reform. In turn, Xu invited La Follette’s Terry Shelton and the Department of Natural Resources’ Jeff Smoller to China, where they visited for 10 days that October.

Printmaking exhibition and workshops

The UW-Madison School of Education’s Tandem Press will participate in an exhibition of American Printmaking at the National Art Museum of China (NAMoC) in Beijing in the fall of 2010. Ten major print publishers will be represented. NAMoC will co-sponsor workshops with the Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA), having master printers giving demonstrations or conducting workshops on the CAFA campus during the exhibition.

Program for Chinese dairy leaders

In 2009, the UW-Madison Babcock Institute hosted a group of 20 Chinese professors, government members and dairy managers, organized by Chinese Agricultural University. This six-day program included visits to the World Dairy Expo in Madison and lectures from UW professors. The group also visited several farms and UW’s Arlington Research Station. These visits gave them an opportunity to experience Wisconsin dairy firsthand, while Wisconsin businesses will benefit from communication and interaction with international dairy communities.

Protecting the endangered taimen

UW-Madison biologists are part of a five-year, $2.3 million initiative, largely backed by the Global Environment Facility, that aims to protect the endangered taimen by encouraging sustainable fishing practices. To that end, the researchers want to learn everything about the giant fish, from its migration pathways to spawning locations and population levels. The biologists’ work took them to China, Mongolia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Australia.

Sino-U.S. Dairy Research and Development Center

In 2004, the UW Babcock Institute and the China Agriculture University (CAU) saw the fruit of years of collaboration in the creation of the Sino-U.S. Dairy Research and Development Center. The center's goals are to improve the yield per cow of high quality milk in China in line with the needs of population. Delegations from UW-Madison have visited China each year since creation of the center for the Sino-U.S. Dairy Development Seminar series.

Studies of large mammals

UW’s George Schaler is a field biologist who specializes in studies of large mammals. He is best known for his studies of snow leopards, but he has also done extensive work with pandas, golden monkeys, takins and Marco Polo sheep. Schaler is an adjunct professor at East China Normal University in Shanghai and at China's Center for Nature and Society at Peking University in Beijing. He was the 2008 recipient of China's Baogang Environment Prize.

Technology transfer

In the late 1990s, UW-Madison conducted two-week short courses for at least 40 Chinese research leaders interested in learning more about the process of moving research results out of the lab to benefit society and, at the same time, generating new income streams to fuel future research. Although the course is not currently being offered, it may be revived in the future.

Traffic in Shanghai

TrafficCast Inc., a company co-founded by Chinese native and UW-Madison civil and environmental engineering professor Bin Ran, signed an agreement in 2004 to create a traffic information nerve center to monitor traffic problems and ease gridlock in the city of Shanghai. TrafficCast analyzes real-time data from expressways and major arterials as well as information from secondary and tertiary roadways, weather conditions, roadway incidents and events, construction, historical traffic patterns and more, to provide the most accurate traffic information and travel-time forecasts available.

Urban and regional planning

The UW-Madison Department of Urban and Regional Planning has had a relationship with the School of Economics of Southwest University for Nationalities (SWUN) in Chengdu, Sichuan, International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training, for nearly 40 years.

Water quality in Lake Taihu

UW-Madison engineer Katherine McMahon is integrating her expertise in wastewater engineering and in biological systems to study the bacterial community in three different eutrophic lakes, one of them in China, to learn more about how those bacteria affect phosphorus cycling. Her collaborator from the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, will sample Lake Taihu. Ultimately, it is hoped that this research will contribute to a future solution to excess phosphorus in any lake.

UW Press translations and journals

The UW Press disseminates research and scholarship to a worldwide audience, including China. At least 16 books published by UW Press, many of them authored by UW faculty, have been licensed to Chinese publishers for translation in recent years. In 2009, UW Press showcased several of its journals in China through an initiative to bring American journals to the attention of the National Science and Technology Library. Current subscribers to UW Press journals in China include the National Library of China, Fudan University Library, Sun Yat-Sen University Library, Huazhing University of Science and Technology Library, Donghua University College of Foreign Languages Library, Chinese Academy of Science (CCAP) and Peking University (EEPC).

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