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Qian Yingyi: the students we currently train are likely to be won by AI

QIAN Yingyi: the students we currently train are likely to be won by AI

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original title: Qian Yingyi: the students we currently train are likely to be won by AI

AI works through machine learning and deep learning, and a very important part of this learning process is image recognition, It is a large amount of recognition and memory of existing knowledge accumulation. In this way, it can replace or even surpass those who master knowledge by rote memorization and doing a lot of questions. And rote memorization and a large number of questions are the usual practice of our current students

on June 9, 2017, the Counselor's lecture, CO sponsored by the public policy research center of the Counselor's office of the State Council and Xinhua Sike, officially opened. Qian Yingyi, counselor of the State Council and Dean of Tsinghua University School of economics and management, delivered a keynote speech on the theme of "innovative talent education". During his speech, President Qian raised five questions about the education of innovative talents. He scientifically and comprehensively analyzed the current situation of innovative talents in China and the direction of future education reform from the aspects of international background, the reasons for the lack of innovative talents, the source of creative thinking, and the direction of education reform

in Qian Yingyi's view, the core of innovation is creative talents, the core of creative talents is people's creative thinking, and education is the most important in the process of cultivating people's creative thinking. He believes that it is not enough for the education of innovative talents to rely solely on knowledge accumulation. Education must go beyond knowledge. For the education of innovative talents, Qian Yingyi said that three factors are very important: knowledge, curiosity and imagination, and value orientation

this article is sorted out according to the actual record of the speech:

Hello, everyone, I feel very honored to be the speaker of the first phase of the Counselor's lecture

2017 is the 40th anniversary of China's resumption of the college entrance examination. I was very lucky to become the first college student after the resumption of the college entrance examination in 1977, and was admitted to Tsinghua University majoring in mathematics. It should be said that the college entrance examination 40 years ago changed the fate of many people, including my own. The topic I'm talking about here today is about education. Of course, it's also related to the college entrance examination

the theme of my speech today is "education of innovative talents". This topic has two meanings. One is the education of innovative talents. I want to talk about some problems in the cultivation of innovative talents; The second is innovative talent education, which means that we need innovative methods and innovative reforms in talent training

first of all, today's speech is based on my educational practice as Dean and professor of the school of economics and management of Tsinghua University in the past 11 years. As we all know, economic management is a popular major. According to the index of college entrance examination results, the undergraduates of Tsinghua University of economics and management are very prominent not only in Tsinghua University, but also in Colleges and universities across the country

over the years, I have taught courses for thousands of students in Tsinghua, and also had in-depth exchanges with hundreds of students, so these questions I am talking about today come from the latest observation and thinking of reality

secondly, I am not an educator, nor have I received systematic training in educational theory. My thinking is more influenced by the perspective and methods of economics. Today, I don't want to use some economic models to study education issues, but more is the phenomenon I observed in practice, using the perspective and ideas of economics to analyze, and put forward suggestions

question 1: why do we have so few creative talents

In the first part, I want to talk about the education of innovative talents. I want to put it in the context of our country and the world. So what is the big background? Next year (2018) marks the 40th anniversary of China's economic reform and opening up

since the reform and opening up, China has changed from a low-income country to a middle-income country, and has become the second largest economy in the world. Our next step is to move towards high-income and medium developed countries. It is a consensus that "innovation driven development" is the key to entering the new stage, and there is no dispute

there are many factors for innovation, including technical factors, business model factors, capital factors, market factors, etc. of course, there are also accidental factors. But in my opinion, the core factor of innovation is creative talents, and the core of creative talents is human creative thinking. To cultivate people's creative thinking, education is the most important driving force. This is my basic logic to connect economic development with innovation and education

back to a question raised by Qian Xuesen in 2005, which is now called "Qian Xuesen's question". He asked, "why can't our school always cultivate outstanding talents?". Although he was mainly talking about scientific research, especially natural science research, I think this problem can be extended to all fields, that is, why are so few creative talents coming out of our education system

I think this is a very meaningful question. First, analyze our national conditions. China is the country with the largest population and the largest number of students in school in the world

in 2017, 9.4 million people participated in the college entrance examination, and more than 7 million people will be admitted to undergraduate or junior college. Now there are more than 27 million students in our colleges and universities, and nearly 37 million students in Higher Education (including on-the-job students), all of which are the first in the world

compared with such a huge population and educated group, the problem we think about is: whether it is the scientific and technological achievements, humanistic and artistic contributions, or new products, new brands, new business models, our innovative talents are not absent, but too few

of course, I think we should also see that we are making continuous progress, especially in recent years. According to the data quoted by the international journal Nature, the number of research papers published in China accounted for 13% of the global total in 2005, and increased to 20% of the global total in 2015, second only to the United States. There has indeed been great progress in quantity

although the number of papers has ranked second in the world, the outstanding achievements of scientific research are still not high enough, I think this is also the consensus of everyone

for example, in Japan, there were 17 Nobel prizes in natural science from 2000 to 2016, with an average of one every year. Of course, as economists, we will not make such a simple comparison, because although the total level of economic development in China is large, the per capita GDP may be equivalent to that in Japan in the 1970s, so the direct comparability is not strong. However, I noticed that three people in Japan had won the Nobel Prize for science before 1980, and three people had won the prize in the 20 years before 2000. So far, only one person in China, Tu Youyou, has won the Nobel Prize for science. Judging from the Nobel Prize for science alone, the gap in innovative talents is obvious

not only the Nobel Prize, but also the fields prize in mathematics is another indicator. So far, no scholars in mainland China have won the fields prize, while mathematicians in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Iran have won the fields prize, so this is another small evidence. Of course, we cannot take the Nobel prize or fields prize as the only indicator, but they are strongly symbolic. This is the first part of my talk about how the problem was raised

question 2: why should we reform the existing education system

First, China's education has its own characteristics, which implies our strengths. First of all, the investment of individuals, families, governments and society in education is actually quite a lot. This investment is not only the investment of money and resources, but also the investment of students' and teachers' time. This is quite a lot, which is determined by our cultural tradition and the degree of emphasis

second, the emphasis on knowledge is the whole society. Teachers' teaching of knowledge points and students' mastery of knowledge points are not only more, but also early and extensive. Therefore, Chinese students' mastery of basic knowledge presents a "high average", which is horizontally compared with other countries

I think it is important to recognize these two strengths, namely, more investment and better mastery of knowledge points. This can explain: first, the economic growth of our country in the past 40 years is impossible without these advantages of education; Second, now some countries in the world, including some developed countries, want to learn from us. For example, I saw a report that British middle schools invited middle school teachers in Shanghai to help them improve their math level. We do have strengths in these two areas

so I think it is more meaningful to reflect on the problems in education on the basis of understanding the advantages of Chinese education. I think there are many problems here. Combined with my topic today, I think one of the key problems is that we have a systematic deviation from education, from cognition to practice. This deviation is that we equate education with knowledge and limit it to knowledge

teachers' teaching knowledge is their own work, and students' learning knowledge is what they should do. The college entrance examination is also an examination of knowledge. It is an important knowledge point, which is the basic content of the college entrance examination. Therefore, knowledge has become almost the whole content of education. The saying "knowledge is power" is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people. It cannot be said that it is wrong. Of course, knowledge is very important. We also say that knowledge is power, knowledge changes destiny, and so on

but can the education of innovative talents only rely on knowledge accumulation? My answer is no, just relying on knowledge accumulation is not enough, so education must go beyond knowledge. This is my core idea on China's education, especially the education of innovative talents, and it is also a very important starting point for us to put forward suggestions on education reform

Einstein's following sentence, as well as the background of his speech, impressed me very much, and I have quoted it many times in my articles and speeches

Einstein paid his first visit to the United States after winning the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921. Did he ask what the speed of his voice was? Einstein refused to answer, and said that I would not answer your question, because you can find the answer in any physics book. Then Einstein said a famous sentence later, he said, "the value of college education is not to remember many facts, but to train the brain to think". This is a sentence nearly a hundred years ago. At that time, many facts can be found in books. Today, more facts can be found. In the future, more knowledge and facts will be found by machines. So this sentence is worth pondering at present and in the future

on the issue of "education is limited to the accumulation of knowledge", I am not denying the usefulness of knowledge, but that it is not enough to stay at the level of knowledge. Today, the consequences of this problem are more serious than ever before. Why? I think there are two basic reasons

first, major changes have taken place in the development stage of China's economy. In short, we should rely more on innovation driven from the past development model to the future. And innovation driven is to rely on creative talents, and creative talents are not what we usually think of as reading well

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