The first “iSpark” class was established in 2007. In 2017, this first group of students who have just graduated from their doctoral degree have begun to show their true talents in their respective fields. This talent class is derived from “Scientific and Technological Innovation” - the full name being Tsinghua University Students’ Innovative Talent Training Program. This talent class is also known as “iSpark” since a spark is all that is needed to start something big. Jointly sponsored by the student affairs office and various other units, recruitment is mainly targeted at the sophomores. The training mode of “Four stages - Five cycles” aims to integrate all kinds of related teaching resources to cultivate a new generation of top innovative academic talents.
On the evening of May 27 this year, “Tsinghua University Student Innovation Talent Training Program’s 10th Anniversary Annual Conference” welcomed the gathering of the proud alumni. With “iSPARK Eventful Decade” as the conference theme, the achievements made by the students during the past decade were showcased in four segments.
In October 2007, when faced with the bottleneck of scientific research and innovation in the undergraduate students, Tsinghua decided to use the available resources to start a plan in cultivating talents. As the first batch of the most senior students, Guo Ping, the assistant professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and 2005 Alumni from Tsinghua’s Department of Automotive Engineering, shared with all the earliest and fondest memories of the special talent class.
During the past ten years, the class has gained great results. Opportunities to boost international experience has been made available for students at Tsinghua including all research and development resources. The “Top Open” program and an “iSpark” club were also established.
At the annual meeting, students presented their academic achievements as gifts to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the program. 2011 alumni Yao Song shared his achievements in deep learning hardware acceleration as co-founder of an electronic engineering company. 2015 alumni Zhang Ao from School of Materials Science and Engineering and 2015 alumni Wang Haoyu from School of Humanities respectively displayed their research work.
Ten years of the “iSpark” program is more than just a spark since it will surely continue for the next 20-30 years and more.