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SIT-Summer Institute in Taiwan
Academic Exchange & Cultural Experience in Taiwan
Due to the increasing globalization of academic circles, widening our views of the world has become an important step towards progress in our international society. The National Science Council (NSC) pushes us to increase our interactions with foreign universities and other research organizations through programs such as the Summer Institute in Taiwan (SIT). This program gives research labs the opportunity to invite outstanding graduate students from the United States and Canada to work on a project in their lab during the summer. Aside from improving language skills, SIT also affords visiting students and members of the lab the opportunity to share experience in their specialized fields and form friendships. Everyone involved can grow by helping and sharing ideas about studies, research and life in general. Through studying one another’s cultures and gaining an international understanding we can overcome cultural differences, find shared values and work together towards joint progress and development.

We had the privilege of inviting Nick Vrvilo from Rice University to join us this July and August at National Taiwan University. He did not have any problem communicating with the other students during their interactions in the lab. His background with Mandarin helped him to more clearly communicate particulars of the English language to his fellow students, helping them to gain a deeper understanding and strengthen their skills. Nick learned very quickly, actively contributed to the lab, shared his opinions and was able to directly discuss and work toward precise solutions to problems. Moreover, his optimistic attitude led to an overall cheerful atmosphere in the lab. Nick’s intellectual and cultural contributions to the lab stimulated the students to come up with new ideas.

The focus of Nick’s work while in our lab was on the virtualization of Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) services. He worked with the students, investigating how best to provide quality guarantees for and dynamic transfer of GPU tasks in a virtualized environment. He applied his past experience with compilers to help automate an important program transformation required for GPU programs in the virtualized environment. Because of our different backgrounds, our discussions were enriched and we were able to discuss different ideas and find uncover hidden problems. Furthermore, by discussing our mechanisms with Nick we were able to come up with more effective solutions to the problems at hand. His full-effort approach to research also inspired a healthy work-ethic among the students in the lab.

Generally speaking, the students in the lab are a bit lacking in international experience. However, the importance of international understanding becomes more important every day as competition intensifies in the workplace. The SIT program brought a great opportunity to interact with a student from another cultural background, allowing them to gain a better understanding of cultural differences. This experience has also caused the students to become more interested in things outside their own country and culture, broadening their views and increasing their knowledge of our increasingly globally-connected world.
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