Logo: University of Southern California

First Ming Hsieh Scholarship Winners Named

Students from Harbin Institute of Technology and Shanghai Jiao Tong University Receive Awards
eric mankin
June 14, 2007 —

The first winners of Ming Hsieh Scholarships have been announced.  They are Ning Cao, a 22-year old electrical engineering student born in Suzhou; and Ruoruo Zhang, a 22-year old budding signal and image processing specialist from Tianjing.

The two will begin classes at the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering in Los Angeles this fall. The scholarships were created by the department's namesake Ming Hsieh to enable promising  engineering  students from China to pursue masters degrees at  the Viterbi School Ming Hsie Department of Electrical Engineering.

Ning Cao

Cao, who has worked in China as an English-Chinese translator, was a winner of the Chinese national Olympic Physics competition  for high  school  students. At Shanghai Jiao Tong University he ranked in the top three in his subject every year, and was one of only four in his class selected to become a research associate at the SJTU Institute of Wireless Communication Technology.  His undergraduate thesis was on "Carrier Synchronization of Digital Video Broadcastng-Handheld Systems."

Throughout his academic pursuits he maintained a strong interest in Chinese culture, including practicing calligraphy and painting, and was part of the Friends of the Environment student group.  Cao says he plans, "after obtaining my M.S. degree, to work in the technology industry to apply what I have learned into practical use to serve people and society."

Ruoruo Zhang
Zhang was an outstanding student at the Harbin Institute of Technology, ranking number four out of 111 classmates in communication engineering during her undergraduate career and winning the highly competitive "First Scholarship" for three consecutive years. As a sophomore she joined the Harbin Institute System and Control Laboratory, where she developed an interest in video coding and compression.

This led her toward the Viterbi School, and its Signal and Image Processing Institute, one of the first research centers in the world dedicated to image processing.  Zhang calls USC "my dream university" and hopes to have a chance to continue as a competitive volleyball player while she earns her master’s degree.  Afterward she plans to pursue a Ph.D. and then go into private industry.

"These scholarships will continue to strengthen the already strong bonds between China and USC's Viterbi School, said Sandy Sawchuk, systems chair in the Ming Hsieh Department. "I welcome our two new student-ambassadors."