Another year and another class of graduating students will say goodbye to their alma mater and start a new journey. The four years spent at UIC is some of the best years of their life. How many stories and sceneries have been treasured along the way? How much hard work has paid off? Following is the sharing of Year 4 Statistics student, Chen Xin.

I am Chen Xin, a Chengdu native who is also a graduating student from the Statistics Programme. UIC's humanistic care and rich resources gave me full energy, which made me come out of the anxiety and confusion when I first entered the College. I slowly recognised myself and found the joy of learning. During my four years at UIC, I have not only mastered professional skills but also gained a peaceful life attitude.


Chen Xin

When I first entered college, my major was Finance. It was when I was in the first semester of my sophomore year that I transferred to the Statistics programme in the Division of Science and Technology (DST), hoping to lay a more solid mathematical foundation. 

In the past, I was a little afraid of mathematics. Throughout the summer vacation of my freshman year, the teachers from the Statistics Programme gave us a 21-day professional course, including linear algebra and calculus. At that time, I felt a little difficult, but the teachers not only allowed me to understand mathematics but also gave me excess care, which made me feel very special and full of knowledge.


Chen Xin (first from right in the front row) with teachers and students of the MCP (Mentor Care Programme)

I owe thanks to so many teachers for helping me quickly adjust my mentality and catch up with the progress of professional learning. The faculty members that I would like to thank include Dr He Ping, Programme Director of Statistics, as she cares about my study and life; Prof Fang Kaitai, who is rigorous, knowledgeable and like a father figure; Dr Ye Huajun, whose classes are quite appealing; Dr Deng Yuhui, who answered questions regardless of the time of day; Prof Tsang Kang-Too, who gave us an extra hour of Python lesson per week; Dr Ahmed Elsawah, who helped us review our work and forgot his dinner; Dr Wang Xiaohang, who missed the College bus to answer our questions; Dr Peng Xiaoling, who always replies to emails promptly; Dr Cheung Chin-Wing, who helped me develop a habit of weekly pre-review.

The supervisors of my Final Year Project (FYP) were Prof Fang Kaitai and Dr He Ping. Prof Fang is an internationally well-known statistician. He is very strict and has given me a lot of guidance, from scholar spirit and academic attitude to writing norms and the use of punctuation marks. Every week, Prof Fang would organise several of our research representative students to give reports and give us one-on-one feedback and suggestions. 


Chen Xin (right) with Professor Fang Kaitai (third from left)

Before going to college, I was afraid to communicate with my teacher and passive and shy. But after coming to UIC, I like the feeling of communicating with UIC teachers. When I encounter problems, they will sincerely give me suggestions and advice, but the final decision is made by me. I like this feeling of equality and respect.

I have successively passed IELTS, TOEFL and GRE since my sophomore year and I am excited to continue my studies. UIC's full English teaching is of great help in preparing for the language test. It not only provides abundant English learning resources but also saves me a lot of time.

The faculty members not only guided me in academic research but also paid close attention to my future development. During the application process, faculty members, including Dean of DST Prof Huang Huaxiong and Dr He Ping, gave me many suggestions. The first semester of senior year was the stage when everyone concentrated on applying for graduate studies, but at that time I was busy preparing for the mid-term exam, and the progress of FYP was not very smooth which put me under great pressure. 

Dr He has been encouraging me by guiding me to relax and use the experience of previous seniors to cheer me up and she wrote a recommendation letter for me, which has given me a lot of confidence. I got a postgraduate admission letter from Columbia University, University of Toronto, University of Pennsylvania ($10,000 scholarship), University of Michigan--Ann Arbor, and Johns Hopkins University ($8,000 scholarship). Considering the impact of the global pandemic, I plan to go to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to pursue a postgraduate course in business analysis.


Chen Xin (third from left in the second row) with classmates from her Emotional Intelligence class

At UIC, I also harvested the most precious gift, which was a peaceful mindset, and I also want to thank the teachers for guiding me. When I first went to college, I was a little anxious and confused and easily panicked when I was in trouble. Through the emotional intelligence class of Whole Person Education, I began to learn to perceive my emotions.

Later, I further minored in Applied Psychology courses. This is a decision that has greatly benefited me. This subject is like a friend, accompanying me in my study and life. It teaches me how to deal with emotional fluctuations from the fields of society, biology, cognition, etc. so that I can face difficulties more calmly. At the same time, the study of psychology courses also helped me greatly improve my reading ability and ability to find and summarise information.


Like my dream university, UIC provides a friendly environment, rich resources and a life full of variety, laying a solid foundation for my future. I won’t forget my days looking up materials in the library, talking in the professor's office, and walking and chatting with classmates on campus. These will be the precious memories that I will remember in my life. In the future, no matter where I go, I will never forget that I am a student of UIC and that this is my home.

Translator: Lauren Richardson
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Covee Wang