Southern University of Science and Technology (China) SUSTech’s Efim Zelmanov gives keynote speech at 2022 X-Lake Forum

On November 15, the 2022 X-Lake Forum, sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, and hosted by the Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality and the Nanshan District People’s Government, opened at the Conference Center of Shenzhen University Town.

This forum was held concurrently with the 24th China Hi-Tech Fair (CHTF). Chinese and foreign experts and scholars were invited to discuss the development of openness and integration, and share cutting-edge scientific and technological innovation achievements and the mission of technological self-reliance and self-improvement.

Zhigang WANG, Minister of MOST, Jiachao LI, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Yicheng HE, Chief Executive of the Macao Special Administrative Region, Fanli MENG, Deputy Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee, and Ciyong ZOU, Managing Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, delivered speeches at the forum.

Xi WANG, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, attended the opening ceremony, which was presided over by Weizhong QIN, Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government.

Efim Zelmanov, Chair Professor of the Department of Mathematics and Director of the Shenzhen International Center for Mathematics, gave a keynote speech on the application of mathematics in daily life, the relationship between mathematics, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data, and spoke about the bright future for SUSTech and Shenzhen.

In his keynote report, Prof. Efim Zelmanov said that mathematics is a very old subject that has gone hand in hand with technological advances for thousands of years, and is one of the main subjects in any educational curriculum.

He emphasized that AI and big data development at this stage have an important connection with mathematics.

Shenzhen and the entire Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) need first-class mathematics education, including junior and high school education, mathematics education in top universities, and stronger comprehensive mathematics research capabilities.

The sustainable development of the future will be closely related to science and education. Shenzhen needs first-class universities, and he believes that SUSTech can make important contributions to the city’s future development.

“First-class mathematic universities and mathematic teaching can contribute to the development of Shenzhen’s information industry. Therefore, I hope that Shenzhen International Center for Mathematics can provide more innovation and support for SUSTech to become a new type of research university,” Prof. Zelmanov added.

Prof. Zelmanov acknowledged Shenzhen’s progress in higher education by comparing it with the example of the University of California in the United States.

He said that as a young city, Shenzhen entered the track of building a first-class university later than other cities, which is why Shenzhen must work harder than other cities and needs to mobilize more high-quality resources to be able to rank among the top.

Through discussing California’s GDP, he said it can be found that the main contribution comes from the high-tech industry, which is inseparable from the resources of California’s top universities.

“I believe that the situation in Shenzhen coincides with the situation in California. I am delighted that SUSTech’s mathematics program has been rated as a first-class program, on par with a handful of programs at top Chinese universities.”

He hopes that more international activities can be carried out in the future. Through government support and talent introduction measures, the Shenzhen International Center for Mathematics can become a world-class research center, talent training center, and international exchange center within the next ten years.

The 2022 X-Lake Forum will hold 13 forums in Shenzhen, Hong Kong, and Macao covering the six major areas of science and technology, education, industry, talent, finance, and Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao collaboration.