Shaojie Song credits the Harvard-China Project with widening the scope of his work. “It is not like my other academic groups, which focus on one issue like chemistry or physics,” he says. “It is more interdisciplinary.” The other important element, he says, is the access to resident scholars. “It is difficult for us to study Chinese issues without interacting with Chinese colleagues, and we have a lot of coverage in China here,” says. “We can share the data, we can share ideas, and we can work in tandem.” Learn more about his research.
For Professor Jing CAO, the Harvard-China Project is an anomaly in higher education. “Typically in [a] university, everybody has their own grant they’re working on, and maybe only annually people can sit together and discuss their work,” says Jing. “But here it’s very different—we have a very cooperative environment.” That atmosphere, she notes, enables the greater mission. “We’re practically and cohesively combining all of these fields—science and economics and law and public health and public policy—to do interdisciplinary research.” Learn more about Professor Jing Cao's research.
During Xinyu CHEN’s Ph.D. studies at Tsinghua University, he spent a year working on projects with China’s National Development and Reform Commission, which was having trouble building a plan for a modern “smart grid” that incorporated more renewable energy sources. “We found out that the problem was not with the power system itself,” says Xinyu. “The problem was actually with the interaction between different kinds of energy systems—like power and heating systems.” Learn more about Xinyu Chen's research.
Archana Dayalu's new research began with access to a new data set: Five years’ worth of carbon dioxide data from a site in Miyun, China—about 100 miles northeast of Beijing—jointly operated by Harvard-China Project and Tsinghua University. “Sure, it was just one site. But could I use that to evaluate a suite of different carbon dioxide emissions inventories for that region of China?” she wondered. Learn more about Archana's research.
When ChengHe Guan arrived at Harvard GSD to begin graduate studies in 2010, he started working on simulations—specifically a model concept called cellular automata, which uses scientific algorithms to help researchers project how cities and regions might grow. Today, he’s using this methodology to understand how to plan the low-carbon cities and regions of tomorrow. “When we consider the components and how we operate and construct the city, we can actually reduce the energy cost and promote healthier, better living for the people,” says ChengHe. Learn more about his research.
When Meng Gao was in high school in Nanjing, he remembers seeing a distinct haze settling on the city one night. “The next day, my teacher told us it wasn’t fog, because that’s what we thought,” says Gao, a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard-China Project. “And our teacher told us that if we breathed it, it wouldn’t be good for our health.” For Meng, it was a revelation. “I’d like to do something to contribute to solving that,” he thought at the time. Learn more about his research.