Duke Kunshan and Lenovo formalize strategic collaboration | Duke Kunshan University

Duke Kunshan and Lenovo formalize strategic collaboration

December 20, 2020

Duke Kunshan signed a strategic partnership with Lenovo Group on Dec. 4 during the Duke International Forum 2020, which was hosted by the university and focused on industrial innovation driven by artificial intelligence (AI).

Al Bloom, executive vice chancellor; Scott MacEachern, vice chancellor for academic affairs; and Li Xin, associate dean of research and director of the Data Science Research Center, represented Duke Kunshan at the signing ceremony.

Rui Yong, chief technology officer and senior vice president of Lenovo Group; Fan Jianping, vice president of Lenovo Group and head of the Lenovo Research AI Lab; and Wang Lei, general manager of the Lenovo China Business Solutions Center, attended on behalf of Lenovo.

Initiated by Lenovo Research and Duke Kunshan’s Office of Research Support and Technology Transfer, the collaboration will focus on teaching, research, academic exchanges, short-term academic programs, and student internships and employment, with a particular emphasis on Lenovo Brain, an AI open innovation platform and speech technology.

“Through collaboration with Lenovo, we hope not only to partner with Lenovo Brain AI open innovation platform but also to establish extensive collaboration with industry in cutting-edge fields and create opportunities for students to work with professors and researchers on research projects,” said MacEachern. “Duke Kunshan students will expand their global horizons, understand the similarities and differences between academic content and real-world applications, and develop curiosity and problem-solving skills in practice.”

Yong said he expected Lenovo Brain to become a starting point and important area of collaboration with Duke Kunshan.

“Lenovo Brain focuses on core AI technology and solutions,” he said. “I hope that our industry-specific AI platform will support teaching and research at Duke Kunshan, helping students to understand, access and learn to apply artificial intelligence technology. I expect more collaboration in different fields with Duke Kunshan.”

Lenovo Brain will support the university's teaching and research of AI and data analysis. Five faculty members and more than 20 graduate and undergraduate students have already paid visits to the Lenovo Shanghai Center for learning exchanges. In addition, based on the Lenovo Brain platform, Duke Kunshan plans to develop a big data summer camp with Lenovo in 2021.

As a high-level research university, Duke Kunshan focuses not only on the immediate needs of industry and technology development but also on the future needs of China and the world. These concepts are reflected in the university's liberal arts education, which allows students in the undergraduate degree program to fully explore their interests in its interdisciplinary curriculum and research centers, and declare a major toward the end of their second year.

Duke Kunshan is among the first universities in China to offer a data science major. The field of interdisciplinary data science deals with data analysis problems related to economics, biology, health care, global health, environmental science and humanities. The master of science in electrical and computer engineering program has strong advantages. Students are required to take foundational courses in business and management in addition to developing core engineering skills. The program is designed to develop outstanding engineering talent with knowledge, leadership, and the creative problem-solving skills necessary for a successful career in global technology.

Duke Kunshan and Lenovo Research have previously worked together on speech recognition technology. At Interspeech 2019, the world’s largest conference on the science and technology of spoken language processing, Duke Kunshan-Lenovo systems ranked top in the Computational Paralinguistic Challenge.

With their strategic partnership, Duke Kunshan and Lenovo are looking forward to closer collaboration on Lenovo Brain and on speech processing and application.