Building dykes and building bridges 

23rd October 2016  /  leadership challenges, news, highlight

Professor Paul Embrechts

On October 24th 2016, Professor Paul Embrechts from ETH Zurich in Switzerland visited Zhenjiang to inspire students with advice from his life and career as a mathematician. He used the dykes of the Netherlands to highlight the importance of understanding risk, and challenged students with a series of mathematical puzzles. His stimulating speech gave students confidence in asking him further questions. This kind of interaction helps form bridges across diverse cultures and raises the students' awareness of the wider world.

After Professor Embrechts' speech, the resident Next Gen Fellows in Zhenjiang, Kieran Macfarlane and Tom Parton, introduced themselves in Mandarin for the first time. Tom and Kieran are living in Zhenjiang on a three-month fellowship, teaching English and organising leadership development activities for rural students. They used their speeches to promote two ongoing projects: the STEM-themed “Math Café Challenges” and “Speaking Club”, which focuses on performance and improvisation.