In the last week, I went to Changchun, China, to visit Prof. Quan Chen, who is the young, talented rheologist. He got his Ph.D. in Kyoto under the guidance of Prof. Watanabe, and I shared his Ph.D. period in the Watanabe’s group. At that time I was in the Associate Professor position, and I got the Professor position in Nagoya. Prof. Chen went to the US after his Ph.D. to work with Prof Colby as the post-doc, and after that, he directly got the Professor position in Changchun. His promotion is speedy, demonstrating his talent. Indeed, he is one of the rising stars in the field of polymer rheology. The photo below is Prof. Chen.
The purpose of my visit is the collaboration on the rheology of polymer/nano-composite systems. At present, in my group, the master-course student Mr. Kusada is performing some experiments on this specific topic, and he has obtained exciting results. He presented his results in Jeju last January, and at that time Prof. Chen told me that similar studies are ongoing in his group. After the discussion, we recognized the necessity for some additional experiments to evaluate the results. I sent Mr. Kusada to Prof Chen’s group for such experiments for a couple of weeks, and I joined him there.
I appreciate that Prof. Chen and his students took care of Mr. Kusada very nicely.
Mr. Kusada worked there very hard. For the results, Mr. Kusada will report elsewhere.
I deliver a lecture course on molecular theories of polymer dynamics, and a seminar on my research topic on the coarse-grained simulations. I was afraid that the topic might be somewhat out of their interest because for the most of the people there the expertise is chemistry. But 70% of students stayed in the room until the end. According to Prof. Chen, the number of survivors is good enough. I trust him on this issue. Nevertheless, the lecture and the seminar took place in the morning slots. After lunch, which was the excellent Chinese cuisines, they asked me for discussion with their students and faculty members until the evening. They also took me to their computational centre, which has been newly renovated.
In Changchun, the other group deeply related to my topic is the simulation group including Prof. Xiaolei Xu, Prof. Jizhong Chen, and Prof. Lijia An. I am writing a paper for the modelling of branch polymers and they kindly gave me their numerical data for their earlier publication.
The stay was enjoyable owing to the extreme hospitality by Prof. Chen. Besides, I found that the situation in China for the development of science is great. The Chinese government is making a tremendous amount of investment in these years, and the facilities and the human resources are now quite sufficient. For example, the facility there is much better than my group. The treatment to the students cannot bear comparison; they are paid even from the master course. The students have the strong motivation for Ph.D. because their salary will be double. Nowadays, the Japanese universities are attempting to attract international students. But to me, this strategy may not work well because China, Korea, and Singapore are beyond Japan in many aspects.