Past Events

Previous University of Chicago Center in Beijing Conferences and Events are listed below. Click on an event for more information.

Department of Computer Science PhD Admitted Students Session

All day
The University of Chicago Center in Beijing


On March 9, 2018, the first ever PhD admitted students’ session for Chinese students admitted into the Computer Science PhD program at University of Chicago was held at the Beijing Center. The session consisted of quick presentations about the University of Chicago school and its vision and dedication to learning, the Computer Science department, and the surrounding Chicagoland area.

CACM Workshop “Distinctive Regional Characteristics of Computing in China”

All day
Through March 9, 2018
The University of Chicago Center in Beijing

Mar. 8

The CACM workshop held at the Beijing Center was launched to nucleate the computing community in China. It invited collaborators with practitioners and academics in various disciplines and technologies. Together, they examined the use of technology in China and how it differs from other regions of the world, identifying leading novel topics that may be included in the CACM region-centric report. The report will focus on major differences that affects technology with respect to relations, time, space and lifestyle. This conference also marks China as the pioneer of this new section in CACM, and will set the new precedent of this rotating regional spotlight.

International Symposium on Child Welfare and Protection

2:35–2:35 pm
Haikou City, Hainan Province


With the generous support of the University of Chicago Center in Beijing and UNICEF Beijing Office, the International Symposium on Child Welfare and Protection was successfully held in Haikou City, Hainan Province on December the 5th and 6th, 2017. The symposium was organized by Chapin Hall Center at the University of Chicago in cooperation with the China Philanthropy Institute at Beijing Normal University. Located on the University of Chicago campus, Chapin Hall is a leading policy research center in the US with a mission of improving the well-being of children and youth, families, and their communities.

Quotations and Pictures

6:30–9:00 pm


Quotation (q-)marks (“ … ”) are currently used in two main ways: to quote someone’s utterance or inscription (e.g., “Trump said: ‘Let’s make America great again!’”) and to mention words (e.g., “ ‘Love’ is a four letter word”).  Over the last 50 years there has been an explosion of work by philosophers and linguists on q-marks but almost all of it on their use in mentioning, either ignoring or assimilating quotation to mentioning.  After briefly tracing the disjoint histories of q-marks in the two practices, I concentrate almost entirely on quotation, present its semantic problems, and, drawing on an analogy between pictures and quotations—frequently mentioned but rarely used in the literature—show how quotations are best analyzed using three notions taken from the theory of pictures: exemplification as distinct from representation, the analog as opposed to digital, and transparency.  I then explain what semantic work the q-marks themselves do, and, time permitting, show how we can analyze scare-quotes as the figurative use of q-marks. What emerges is a conception of quotation that locates it on the boundary between linguistic competence proper and the non-linguistic—and in one sense, contextual—symbolic skill of picturing.

International Symposium on Jewish and Chinese Classical Hermeneutics

All day
Through December 20, 2017
Shandong University, Qingdao Campus

Dec. 17

This was the third conference sponsored by the Beijing Center (and as a late-comer, the Greenberg Center for Jewish Studies at UChicago [GCJS]) in collaboration with the Center for Judaic and Inter-religious studies at Shandong University to bring together scholars in Jewish and Chinese Thought to discuss a topic of common interest. The first, a workshop on Maimonides and Medieval Jewish Thought, was held in April 2012 at the Beijing Center and the second, a symposium on Jewish and Confucian Ethics, convened at Shandong University, Jinan, in December 2013. This third conference finally took place this past December 17-20. We want to thank the Beijing Center both for its support and for its encouragement to persist in our efforts to organize the conference. The symposium was indeed a great success, the best of the three conferences, so our efforts were repaid in full.

Tasting Strings 品弦

3:00–5:30 pm


The University of Chicago Center in Beijing exists to promote cultural exchange, or wenhua jiaoliu.  “Wenhua” 文化reminds us that the patterns of our shared lives are always changing, and “jiaoliu” 交流seems to speak of the unconstrained flow of precious things across time and space, linking people together.  Perhaps music is a more perfect expression of cultural exchange than all of our scholarship put together.  Curating this concert, “Tasting Strings,” composer Yao Chen has worked with the flowing together of similarities (plucked and bowed stringed instruments) and the contrasts of differences (Chinese and European instruments, traditional and contemporary compositions).  Listening to these stellar performers explore such rich musical worlds, we are led to relive our own travels through time and space and appreciate anew the deeply meaningful encounters we have experienced.  The Center is grateful to Chen Yao for bringing this musical experience to the Center.  And the University of Chicago is proud to be the Professor Yao’s alma mater.  His brilliant international career has brought credit to the Music Department and Composition program at the University, and his friendship to the Center here in Beijing has been precious.  We hope to sponsor a number of concerts in coming months and years, with the help of Chen Yao and his many exceptional musician friends.

There was a global explosion of interest in human rights in the 1970s.  Americans at the time believed that they were leaders in this initiative.  But Americans did not get there first.  In fact, one might argue they got there last.  Focusing on the rise of new transnational forces that transformed the international order in the late twentieth century, Bradley explains why America lagged behind the rest of the world in the “imagination of human rights.”

UChicago Division of the Social Sciences Information Session

7:00–9:00 pm
University of Chicago Center in Beijing


An information session on the MA and PhD programs in the Division of the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.

Precision medicine has the potential to transform the future medical practice. For most mental disorders, currently there has been no precise biological tests or effective treatments. Success of precision medicine in psychiatry depends on our understanding of individual genetic makeup, symptoms, cognitive assessment, and environmental exposures. Recent breakthroughs in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and large-scale sequencing projects in psychiatry yield hundreds of genetic risk loci, bringing forth enormous opportunities but also posting challenges for translating genetic findings into accurate disease biology and clinical interventions. A likely paradigm change of psychiatric genetic architecture from polygenic to omnigenic model as well as pleiotropy nature further amplify such challenges. A multidiscipline approach that can integrate data at multiple levels (e.g., genomics, molecular, cellular, physiological, brain imaging and other phenotypes) is highly needed. Moreover, it is also instrumental to embrace novel technologies for data collection (e.g., using mobile platform). This workshop covers a variety of topics related to psychiatry, ranging from smartphone-based omics profiling and phenotype collection in mental disorders, schizophrenia genetics, braining imaging, functional genomics and patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) disease modeling. The main goals of the workshop are: to inform Chinese basic and clinical researchers in mental health about the forefront research approaches and progress on psychiatric genetics, genomics, disease modeling and phenotyping in the context of psychiatric precision medicine; to promote research collaboration and resource sharing between US and Chinese researchers in mental health.

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