Jilin University held a conference to promote the construction of the School of Artificial Intelligence (SAI) on April 21 to have an in-depth understanding of SAI construction and strive to solve the problems encountered in the construction under the guideline of ‘Several Opinions on the Construction of “Double First-Class” Universities to Promote the Integration of Disciplines and Accelerate the Cultivation of Postgraduates in the Field of Artificial Intelligence’ which jointly formulated by the Ministry of Education, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Finance. President Zhang Xi, Vice President Zheng Weitao and Vice President Zhao Hongwei, experts from the Advisory Group and Working Group of Artificial Intelligence Science and Technology Innovation of Jilin University and Heads from President’s Office, Division of Development and Strategic Planning, Graduate School, Office of Undergraduate Education, Office of Undergraduate Education, Office of Human Resources and Social Security, Financial Department, Talents Office, Office of Global Engagement, Department of Assets & Logistic Management, the Admission Office, and the representatives from SAI were in attendance. The meeting was chaired by Zheng Weitao.
Chang Yi, Dean of SAI, reported on the progress of SAI construction since its establishment, the target orientation of undergraduate enrollment, the necessity of building artificial intelligence interdisciplinary disciplines, and the problems which are now pretty much the agenda for SAI construction. Experts discussed and exchanged views on how to accelerate the development of the school and AI disciplines, and put forward opinions and suggestions. According to the division of responsibility, the different departments put forward suggestions and solutions on how to solve relevant problems.
Zhao Hongwei said that SAI should speed up the recruitments, accurately locate the cultivation objectives, establish an independent curriculum system as soon as possible, and condense the direction of discipline construction and scientific research based on preliminary research and cooperation.
Zhang Xi said that SAI has made important achievements in faculty construction, talent cultivation system, scientific research, and system & mechanism innovation in less than two years. On behalf of Jilin University, he expressed his sincere thanks to the faculties for their efforts and the strong supports of relevant departments. He pointed out that the government attaches great importance to AI. It is required to build a training system to cultivate multi-talented professionals with strong basic theoretical and “AI + X” ability, to explore a new mode of discipline construction and talent cultivation with deep integration, and to improve the level of the cultivation of postgraduates in the field of AI. JLU should follow the guideline which is jointly formulated by the Ministry and Commission to start the preparation of AI interdisciplinary and explore the interdisciplinary and talents cultivation mode of AI.
In terms of the faculty construction, Zhang Xi said that JLU should continue to support the recruitment of outstanding young scholars under the probationary period and life tenure system, integrate the scholars engaged in AI from other colleges according to needs and strengthen the faculty construction by means of flexible personnel policies such as part-time and double-employment. Relevant colleges should start from the overall situation of discipline construction to support the SAI construction. In terms of discipline construction, Zhang Xi pointed out that SAI should combine education with talent cultivation to meet the needs of future AI development. Concerning interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary cooperation, Zhang Xi believes that the premise of cooperation is complementary expertise with the effect of simplifying problems and improving efficiency. Jilin University can support cross-disciplinary research projects to promote interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research. The University should advocate the formation of good academic ecology, create a good cultural environment, appreciate and support each other. Zhang Xi pointed out that priority should be given to solving the problems in the development of new colleges such as SAI and to ensure the necessary space for office and laboratory. As for how to cultivate AI interdisciplinary talents, the School should be careful to verify while making bold attempts, accurately grasp the dynamics and trends of AI, and constantly improve the cultivation scheme of AI talents. Zhang Xi emphasized that the central task of the School is talent cultivation, which is necessary to provide sufficient talent support for seizing the forefront of the world’s science and technology and to realize the breakthrough of leading original achievements in the field of AI.
School of Artificial Intelligence
26 April 2020