Ms. Kaoru Ota, a second year student of the Doctoral Program of the Graduate School of Computer Science and Engineering at UoA has finished her three-month research (from December 17, 2009 - March 11, 2010) at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China on UoA's Overseas Study Program "Medium Term Overseas Study Program" for Academic Year 2009.
Here are reports on her research and daily life in China.

After finishing her three-month research at Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Ms. Kaoru Ota

February had brought us the winter break and many students gradually left for their home from our campus. In our lab, most members went their home as well and only 3 PhD students including me remained since they had to finish papers before the Chinese New Year. During that period, I reviewed papers on ICDCS (International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems) as one of lab activities. ICDCS is one of top international conferences in my research field (wireless sensor networks), so that this was a very good experience for me. Through the paper review, I had discussions with Prof. Guo and other PhD student and learned a lot such as how to write a good paper and how to do valuable research.

During my visiting in China, I experienced the Chinese New Year which is one of the biggest festivals in China, which is celebrated more than the New Solar Year (January 1st) and lasted about 1 week from February 14th for this year. It was impressive that, as shown in a picture, I saw ornaments with inverted "福" everywhere in Shanghai. I asked one of my Chinese friends why "福" is inverted and the reason is: "福"(fu) is fortune, and "upside down" is "dao" in Chinese, which also means "is here". So,"dao fu"means "fortune is here". That is very interesting and makes me willing to know more about Chinese word cultures.

A new semester begun almost soon after the Chinese New Year and our campus came back to life. I only had less than 2 weeks after getting into the new semester; however, I decided to attend 2 kinds of courses as an auditor student. One is Crypto Engineering for a master-student class taking in English. Not many students tried to ask questions, but some of them asked hard questions sometimes. The other is Chinese courses for international students and especially I attended conversation classes at beginner's levels. I was surprised that many students from western countries were there and enjoyed the classes in happy harmony. I wished I could have stay in SJTU longer since I became familiar with life in China and remember some Chinese. Through all in my stay, I was touched off a lot by Chinese people with positive attitudes forward anything, so that I would like to encourage students in the University of Aizu to visit China if they have a chance.

A regular report from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (January 28, 2010)

Ms. Kaoru Ota

Almost one month has passed since I came to Shanghai, China, and I am getting used to be here. Before I came here, I heard that it is as cold as in Tokyo; however, I actually feel it is colder than expected. It is easier for me to live here during a winter season than to live in Aizu because there is no snow and less rain here. Although I have been in Taiwan for a conference, this is my first time to visit China so that many things make me confused. For example, it was the toughest for me to take a subway for the first time. As soon as a train arrives at a platform, everyone races to get into the train. They usually do not wait for people to get out from the train. So, I always have to concentrate on getting in and getting out from a train; otherwise I could not arrive anywhere I want to go. This story shows the Chinese seem to like "racing". However, in contrast, I saw young people offer their seat to elders and persons holding a baby in a train many times, while we can hardly see such a scene in Tokyo. The gap between these two stories makes me think "China is very interesting".

I have studied in Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU), which is one of top universities in China (even in the world) and is especially famous for fields of science and engineering. It won first prize in AMC programming contest in the past. SJTU has five campuses in total around Shanghai city and I live in Minhang campus located at a suburban area. Our campus is very big so that we can take a school bus from a dorm to a working place. One desk has been assigned to me in a lab and I work on a research there everyday. It makes me less anxious for living in China that my host professor, Dr. Minyi Guo was a professor in the University of Aizu a few years ago. The first picture shows some lab members including professors sitting in the first row and students in the second row. Besides those three students, our lab has many students from juniors to PhDs. They all are so kind for me such that they help me to go through procedures of the university and to search information I want to know. Some of them are interested in Japanese and we teach Japanese/Chinese each other. For lunch and dinner, we always go to the nearest restaurant from our lab on campus. What surprised me is that I can be full enough if I pay about only 100 yen. We can use a student ID card (IC card) for pay in any restaurant and supermarket on campus. I wish the University of Aizu also would have such a cashless system, which must be convenient for us.

During the only one month, I have had a lot of valuable experiences that I cannot write all here. I would like to express my appreciation for all people supporting me in regard to my visit. I also want to enjoy the rest of my visit about two month.