[Editor's note] As we enter college admissions season, we hope to provide an insider’s account of the College of Engineering. In order to do so, we interviewed current students about their life at Peking University. The series will contain six interviews.
Yingjie Liu is a senior majoring in engineering structure analysis. He is the former vice president of the COE Student Union and first prize winner of National Physics Competition for Collegiate Students. Liu is the recipient of the Boeing Scholarship, PKU Wusi Youth Scholarship, PKU Social Work Award and the Undergraduate Practice Opportunity Scholarship.
Q: Why did you choose COE?
A: I have a passion for mathematics and want to do something practical, so I chose the Engineering Science.
Q: What kind of platforms has COE provided for your studies and research?
A: When I was a freshman, COE organized many networking events with senior students. These are good ways to help us settle [in] more quickly and good opportunities to learn about the available majors and courses.
COE emphasizes hands-on skills and lab works. Many labs in COE are able to take in sophomore students. To help us find the most suitable lab, COE organizes a series of lab tours, so that we literally went into the labs, saw the lab staff handling the facilities and equipment, and got our questions answered.
Q: Does COE care about the students’ after-school life?
A: Yes. We have a tight course schedule and sometimes bear great pressures. COE organized a variety of extracurricular activities such as card games, trips and visits to help enrich our lives. COE also arranges networking events with other colleges such as schools of arts, so that we have good contacts with students outside the engineering field.
Q: How have you grown since you entered Peking University?
A: I have grown a lot, but I think my biggest growth is in academics and research. The intensive courses in the first three years laid a very solid theoretical foundation. In the subsequent lab work, I found them very useful and adequate to address many of the problems I encountered. In the meantime, I have developed a mathematical way of thinking through the several years’ studies, so I now have a clear logic in scientific research, and a right approach to problem solving. Based on these, I got a lot of offers in my application for doctoral studies in the United States universities.
Q: What advice do you have for incoming freshmen about university and major selection?
A: I recommend basic disciplines, such as mathematics, mechanics and physics, etc. for undergraduate studies, as they give you a good foundation for a long-term development. As for major choosing, do not follow suit. As far as I know, the majority of high school students don’t actually have a clear concept about majors. It is better to choose some basic disciplines so that you will have a wider choice for future development.