Invited by our host student Ye Li, who organized the event, the team attended the 2018 Sino-Dutch Summer School on Integrated Circuitry for Artificial Intelligence. The conference spanned nearly the entire day, from early in the morning with a complimentary coffee break, to mid-afternoon and a provided lunch. Afterwards, the team met with Albert and then left to do as they wanted (in other words, get dinner and sleep.
In the morning, we headed back to the microelectronics department to attend a lecture on the future of binaural hearing devices. Then after some light refreshments, we headed downstairs to take a tour of the cleanroom. Before entering the space, we suited up in coveralls, gloves, facemasks, and shoe covers and stepped through an air shower in order to limit contamination to lab materials and physical harm by chemical exposure. Once properly 'sanitized', we crossed the threshold into a surprisingly large space, brightly lit and humming with the combined sounds of dozens and dozens of simultaneously whirring machines. Ye Li and Yilong guided us through the labs, explaining the function of various instruments, showing off silicone wafers in various stages of completion, and pointing out areas with special hazards, such as the wet processing and lithography rooms. After the conclusion of the run-down, the day closed with a meeting with our director, who gave us the exciting news that a local high school student would be joining our team in a few days.
Aside from attending another talk about the new Nature Electronics Magazine, the team was left with the entire day to pack up their belongings and prepare to move out of the Tsinghua campus apartments.
In the morning we hopped on a minibus and headed to out new hotel, the Unis Center, where our new group member, Steven, was waiting for us! He got his own room while the rest of us paired off. Because we'll be staying here for the next 20 days, we spent the day moving into our new space and exploring the local markets, restaurants, and shops of the surrounding area.
After a night of living the suite life, the team woke up early to visit the Summer Palace! We hiked all around the palace and lake, marveling at the beauty of the landscape before us. Soon our feet tired from the never-ending staircases, so at Yilong's recommendation we visited a nearby popular foreigner restaurant for lunch. With satisfied stomachs we trekked back to the hotel where we had dinner and met with Albert.
After a quick breakfast at the hotel, our adventure started with the National Museum. We visited several exhibitions pertaining to a wide range of topics, from ancient pottery to Karl Marx. After that we biked to lunch for a shared meal of duck, prawns, and curry beef and then headed to a nearby bakery to stock up on food for tomorrow's trip to the Great Wall.
Today we all crossed one thing off of our bucket lists: visit the Great Wall of China! Waking up around 5am to board the subway and then catch our tour bus, the team stocked up on snacks the night before in preparation for our 3 hour travel to the Great Wall. Joined by a few Dutch students we met previously at the Sino-Dutch Conference, we climbed the 63 flights of stairs up the mountain to reach the Wall. The experience itself was phenomenal; for most of us, we never even dreamed of the ability to walk atop the Great Wall of China that we heard about in grade school history classes. Being able to do so was truly amazing. After walking along the wall for hours, the team hobbled back down the mountain for a quick lunch break as we waited to board the bus back to the hotel, where we would eventually have dinner.