BXAI Summer Program 2017 Highlight Video

This past August, 117 AFLSP Scholars from our 16 partner universities in Asia gathered at Taiwan University’s campuses in Taipei and the Xitou Nature Education Area for our annual summer program.  Check out our newest video, which captures some of the highlights. Enjoy!

KIM Minsam

Born and raised in South Korea, Kim Minsam is currently pursuing a Master of Philosophy degree in Computer Science and Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

He joined the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program in 2015 and is currently a quantitative research intern at Credit Suisse.

During the Tokohu study trip, Minsam was interested in learning about seismic time-series data, wondering the ways that it could be utilized for long-term earthquake prediction or analyzing the regression of tsunami heights.

As an engineer, Minsam admits that he didn’t initially have a strong interest in the Summer Program’s social entrepreneurship aspect.  However, the conversations he had during the Program inspired him to apply his expertise, data science, towards helping solve social issues.

YE Seul Chae

Evelyn graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Biology, and continued her studies at Zhejiang University’s MPA program in 2014.

While enjoying what she’d learned from China, Evelyn plans to apply to a medical graduate program in New York in order to meet her lifelong dream of working in the medical field.

However, this wasn’t an easy decision to make. Evelyn said it felt like leaving behind her peers who had already started their career.  Under such pressure, Evelyn has tried to keep herself busy.  Along with taking prerequisite science courses, she is currently working part-time at a doctor’s office as a clinical assistant.  Here she helps provide pre and post clinical procedure care for patients and medical chart documentation.

“I enjoy helping patients and obtaining patient care skills. Being able to help some patients with my Chinese is also a great joy.” Evelyn says.

Drawing and swimming are her ways of releasing stress and staying motivated. Evelyn says, “I think taking more time for preparation before making a greater leap forward is very essential.”


Wan Yan is an Bai Xian Scholar who graduated from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology with an MPhil degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering in 2016.  Currently, he is working as a software engineer in the Software Technology and Optimization division of Intel Corporation in Shanghai.

In his position, Wan Yan is focused on developing the BigDL, a distributed deep learning library for Apache Spark by Intel.  It is designed to accelerate procedures for developing open-source applications through artificial intelligence support.

The technology behind it is called “deep learning artificial intelligence”, which heavily relies on computer calculations.  “An immense amount of numbers are required to be ‘learned’ by the algorithm.” Wan Yan said.

His interest in developing artificial intelligence comes from his dream of building a pet-like robot that understands, empathizes and reciprocates human emotions.  “I hope one day the robot can facilitate human relations, empathize with our emotions, and express appropriate responses.”

When asked about what motivates him to follow his dream, Wan Yan regards the knowledge and friendships gained during his study abroad experience as important inspirations for his life and work.  “The knowledge I learned in my graduate school set the infrastructure of my current job, and the friends I met in BXAI continue to enlighten and energize me. I always feel accompanied and surrounded”.

GAO Tianqi

GAO Tianqi joined the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program in 2014. After graduating from Kyoto University with a Master’s in Agriculture in 2016, he travelled with his friend Stephen Njehia to Kenya in September.

Gao Tianqi and Stephen Njehia have known each other since their very first day at Kyoto University.  Sharing the same laboratory and research interests, they quickly became close friends. After graduation, Stephen invited Gao to visit his hometown in Kenya, an offer that Gao accepted immediately: “I had heard so many exotic stories about Kenya from Stephen.”

In Kenya, Gao was warmly welcomed by Stephen’s family.  Together they visited Aberdare National Park, attended a traditional marriage ceremony and joined a Japanese bamboo research group in a 3000 meter altitude highland close to the Equator.

Following his return from Kenya, Gao will soon start his work at SHIBUYA SEIKI CO., LTD, a Japan-based company that provides industrial technology for processing and packaging fruits and vegetables.  “I hope that my work in agricultural science will benefit Asian countries, and contribute to Africa-Asia relations. In particular I hope to focus on relations with Kenya, as it’s a place that I hold a deep affinity with.”

(Photo credit: GAO Tianqi )

AFLSP Scholars Visit Hiroshima

Our AFLSP Scholars and buddies from Waseda University’s School of Political Science and Economics visited Hiroshima under the guidance of Prof. Araki Kazunori, Prof. Paul Andre, Prof. Willy Jou, and Mr. Hikaru Honda.

They visited several destinations including the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Kure Maritime Museum and Etajima Naval Academy to understand the historical significance and impact of World War II on present-day Japan.

Thank you to our Scholars and Waseda professors for sharing their experience with us.


Japanese Yenching Scholar, Mio Sato, is a student of many talents and backgrounds.  She is a double graduate in China Studies from Peking University’s Yenching Academy, and a graduate from the School of Culture, Media and Society at Waseda University.  Having previously studied in Korea and China through exchange programs, Mio holds a deep interest in Asian cultures.  Her remarkable language skills speak to this passion: Apart from her native tongue of Japanese, Mio is also fluent in Korean, Chinese, and English.

As an award-winning jazz singer, Mio previously led a choir comprised of both Japanese and Chinese singers to promote Sino-Japanese relationships.  This choir once had the opportunity to perform for the Japanese ambassador.  She’s also organized a “Free Hugs” event with the purpose of healing Sino-Japanese tensions through friendship.  Additionally, Mio holds a passion for social work.  During the Summer Program she was particularly inspired by lectures on social entrepreneurship and helping the underprivileged.

“I want to make a community in which people always pay attention to people who are suffering,” said Mio.

Mio’s future plans are twofold.  She hopes to promote cultural exchange between East Asian countries through cultural and educational means.  At the same time, Mio hopes to continue pursuing her musical career as a jazz vocalist.  Perhaps these two passions can come together one day, working towards a peaceful East Asia.

AFLSP Orientation Session at Kyoto University

We were pleased to take part in the AFLSP Scholars orientation session at Kyoto University which two cohorts of AFLSP Scholars attended.

On 5 April 2017, organized by the International Education and Student Mobility Division Office, the orientation was kicked off by Prof. ZHAO Liang and Dr. HAN Liyou, both AFLSP faculty from Kyoto University.  Here they introduced the wide array of on-campus academic seminars and other enrichment activities provided for AFLSP Scholars.

We then introduced some key elements of BXAI and the AFLSP, including our mission and vision, as well as an overview of upcoming BXAI Summer Program 2017.

A big thank you to all the faculty and Scholars from Kyoto University who make this a successful event.  It was wonderful meeting all of you!

During this trip, we also had the chance to see cherry blossoms alongside the Kamo River and the beautiful historic district of Gion.

Management Update

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Board and all the staff at Bai Xian Asia Institute (BXAI), I regretfully announce that our President, Professor Woo Chia-Wei, will leave the Institute having completed his term of service.  As BXAI’s Founding President, Professor Woo’s experience and insight have been instrumental to the establishment of the Asian Future Leaders Scholarship Program (AFLSP).  Under his leadership, the Academic Committee, whose members included Professor Chen Jay Chung, Professor Ch’i Hsi-sheng, Professor Hidetoshi Kotera, Professor Louis N. Y. Shen, Professor Katsuichu Uchida, and Professor Yu Jianxing, has set clear standards that will continue to guide and shape the Institute and the AFLSP as we go forward.

Following the departure of Professor Woo and the Academic Advisors, Professor Katsuichi Uchida, Assistant to the President for Global Affairs at Waseda University and President of the US-Japan Research Institute, shall serve as the Interim President while the Institute identifies a suitable successor.

To honor Professor Woo and his tremendous contributions, beginning in 2018, the Institute will annually grant an AFLSP Scholarship to one recipient as the “Woo Chia-Wei Asian Scholar”.

With heartfelt appreciation and gratitude, we wish Professor Woo every success in his next endeavor.

Ronna Chao
CEO, Bai Xian Asia Institute


Daisuke Kitamura is the managing director and head of global banking at HSBC Hong Kong.  In this “A Defining Moment” video, Mr. Kitamura explains the importance of learning from the people around you and especially from those who work for you.  We were very fortunate to have Mr. Kitamura speak at the BXAI Summer Program 2016 and to have learned from his own cross-cultural experiences.