Wang Hongzhou: Seeing the world in mathematical modeling

Learn Thought, Strengthen Party Spirit, Emphasize Practice, and Build New Achievements

Combine the development of theme education with the promotion of the "Double First Class" construction in schools, and effectively transform the achievements of theme education into the driving force for school reform and development. As the whole school carries out in-depth education on the theme of Socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era, the Propaganda Department of the Party Committee will launch a series of character reports through special topics such as "ingenious teachers". To showcase the spirit of being first-class and teaching first among the teachers of Beijing Institute of Technology, and to widely gather and promote the magnificent power of the school's cause and high-quality development.

He devoted himself to educating people and devoted himself to scientific research and teaching of applied mathematics for more than 20 years. He encourages innovation and has guided student competitions for many years, winning numerous awards. He is known as the "best mentor" by students and silently contributes to their development. He is Wang Hongzhou, an outstanding teacher in Beijing, director of the Mathematics Experimental Center, and professor at the School of Mathematics and Statistics.


Mathematical modeling is not about solving mathematical application problems. It requires grasping the main line from complex real-world problems and describing them in mathematical language. This is a professional practical course that aims to enable students to learn innovation through practice, comprehensively consider various practical factors that may have an impact, try new methods to solve new problems, and draw new conclusions.

"From last year's reluctance to win the S Prize, to last semester's regret to win the second prize, and to the success of this O Prize, we finally achieved it! Thank all the teachers and students who have helped us along the way, especially Wang Bo, Wang Hongzhou and other teachers for their guidance!" This May, after the announcement of the winning results of the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, The excitement of Yang Yuewen, a student at Teli College who won the Outstanding Winner, is evident.

Mr. Wang Hongzhou, mentioned by Yang Yuewen, is a professor of the School of Mathematics and Statistics and director of the Mathematics Experiment Center. Since he has taught for 21 years, he has been deeply engaged in the research and teaching of Applied mathematics, has been responsible for the teaching of public basic courses for undergraduates of engineering and professional courses for undergraduates of mathematics, and has 20 years of experience in the teaching of mathematical modeling courses and the guidance and training of mathematical modeling competitions. In 2023, he led the students of Beijing Institute of Technology to win the Outstanding Winner of three Mathematical Contest in Modeling, creating the best performance in history, which is the fourth consecutive year that our school won the Grand Prize of this event.

Applying what has been learned to build a solid foundation for innovative thinking

How to use a mathematical model to evaluate the air quality status of a city? It is possible to take the average value of all detection point data; it is possible to take the weighted average value according to the area of different types of areas; it is possible to consider the different air quality at different times... "In the" Mathematical Model "classroom, practical problems closely related to life became a classroom case of Wang Hongzhou.


Wang Hongzhou explains cases in class

In 2002, Wang Hongzhou obtained a doctoral degree in Mathematics from the Department of Mathematics at Beijing Institute of Technology and stayed on campus to teach. He successively undertook the teaching work of courses such as "College Mathematics", "Statistics", "Mathematical Models", and "Mathematical Experiments".

The course of mathematical models involves knowledge in many disciplines, and it is not easy to explain it clearly and interestingly. Wang Hongzhou, who had just stepped onto the podium, encountered difficulties in this regard. He found that students have low enthusiasm in class and rarely interact with teachers. During a lecture on dimensional analysis, Wang Hongzhou introduced cases from the textbook to his classmates as usual. Some students pointed out that the temperature unit "Kelvin" in the book was mistakenly labeled as a humidity unit. Wang Hongzhou carefully checked the textbook and lesson plan from beginning to end to ensure that similar errors did not occur again. This episode also inspired Wang Hongzhou. Compared to profound and abstract theories, students are more interested in real-life problems. By introducing some simple but inspiring examples to stimulate students' interest in actively thinking and solving problems, students can be motivated and form a resonance between teaching and learning.

The citation of real-life cases is not only to stimulate students' initiative in participating in the classroom, but also to make the learned theories a tool for students to solve real-life problems, truly achieving the application of what is learned. "If the Traditional mathematics course is to explain classical theoretical knowledge, then the focus of practical innovation courses is to explain the practical cases of theory in reality, and guide students to explore and innovate, try to solve new problems with new methods, and get new conclusions." Wang Hongzhou explained. Establishing urban air quality evaluation standards, evaluating the cruising speed of a new type of ship in a certain country, and designing flight trajectories that simulate ballistic curves to make the game more realistic... These vivid questions have become Wang Hongzhou's classroom assignments.

There is no best mathematical model, only better. "Wang Hongzhou often encourages students to broaden their thinking, innovate boldly, discover problems, read literature, establish better mathematical models, and then use mathematical theory or software to solve problems.


Take a group photo with the students after class

Originally, learning mathematics can solve so many problems! "" The teacher's lecture was very interesting and inspiring. "" From mathematical modeling, you can see the world! Mathematics is so interesting. "From 2017 to 2020, Wang Hongzhou was responsible for producing and launching three MOOC courses, namely" Mathematical Experiments "," Mathematical Modeling ", and" Introduction to Mathematical Modeling - Viewing the World through Mathematics ", which received rave reviews. A single course," Mathematical Modeling, "was given which attracts four or five thousand students to attend classes every semester. In 2023, 'Mathematical Models' was selected as a national first-class undergraduate course. In 2022, Wang Hongzhou won awards such as the Beijing Excellent Teacher and the Second Prize of the Beijing Higher Education Teaching Achievement Award.

Choose one from a thousand miles to create a gold medal course model

Teacher Wang, I did the topic for last year's beauty prize. Can you help me look at the structure of my paper? "After the tutorial for the National Mathematical Modeling Competition, classmates often come to discuss the competition topic with Wang Hongzhou, and Wang Hongzhou readily agrees every time.


Wang Hongzhou Communicates with Students

In 2021, Pan Jiong, Chen Longfei and Zhang Leyi, undergraduates under the guidance of Wang Hongzhou, won the highest prize in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, with an award rate of only 0.13%; In 2023, a total of 11296 teams from all over the world participated in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling MCM competition, and another 9562 teams participated in the ICM competition, with the award rate of 0.2% and 0.16% respectively. The students of Beijing Institute of Technology won a total of three outstanding Winners, creating the best performance in history, which is also the fourth consecutive year that Beijing Institute of Technology won the special prize in this event.


International Grand Prix+3! Create history!

Behind the frequent dissemination of successful reports in mathematical modeling competitions is the relentless exploration and cultivation of Wang Hongzhou and his team. In spring, by organizing three rounds of school competitions, the number of participants in mathematical modeling competitions is expanded, helping students accumulate rich competition experience. Additionally, elective courses such as "National Mathematical Modeling Competition Tutoring" and introductory courses such as "Looking at the World through Mathematics" are offered, achieving a combination of learning and practice, as well as class competition; Hold summer training sessions for national competitions in the summer, organize students to participate in the National College Student Mathematical Modeling Competition in the autumn, and simultaneously organize a series of lectures on mathematical modeling on campus, timely summarize various competition experiences, and prepare for the winter sprint beauty competition. Year after year, the Wang Hongzhou team has been exploring and improving the spiral upward mathematical modeling competition coaching model of "coaching training competition coaching competition research innovation".

Competition results are an important manifestation of the teaching effectiveness of practical innovation courses, and courses are an important component of competition training activities. "Wang Hongzhou's team honed the course in the" competition "and guided the competition in the" class ". From early complex numerical calculation methods to data statistics and machine learning methods in recent years, they continuously enriched the case methods of mathematical practical innovation courses and created the" gold medal "competition course model.

"Through this competition, the cohesion of our team and their respective cognition of mathematical modeling have risen to a new level; at the same time, our practical ability has also been exercised, helping us better apply what we have learned." Sun Yuhao, a student who won the grand prize in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling in 2023, sighed with emotion.

Mathematical modeling competition is a competition mode that faces practical problems, proposes solutions, and completes a argumentative paper. Its essence is to examine students' scientific research and innovation ability. Obtaining a place is not the ultimate goal, but the result is still to enable students to gain from the training of mathematical competitions, exercise their open thinking, project management thinking, and team collaboration abilities, "Wang Hongzhou introduced. After the competition is over, the guidance teacher team will organize students to conduct research activities on competition questions, guide students to further improve their papers, try to submit to academic journals and conferences, stimulate more students' interest in scientific research, and combine scientific research papers with practical problems.


Wang Hongzhou (middle of the second row) and some teachers from the mathematical modeling course team

In 2010, Wang Bo was a junior majoring in Information and computer science in the Mathematics Department of Beijing Institute of Technology, and won the second prize in the American Mathematical Modeling Contest. In 2016, Wang Bo received his doctoral degree and returned to school to teach. At the invitation of Wang Hongzhou, he became a member of the guidance team for the Mathematical Modeling Competition. In 2023, as a guidance teacher, he led three students, Wang Chenghan, Zhang Cuoxiao, and Zhang Ying, to win the special prize in the ICM competition at the Meisai. The innovative thinking skills I developed during my undergraduate participation in mathematical modeling competitions were very helpful for scientific research. I passed on my participation experience to my younger siblings, enabling more young students to learn, think, and do scientific research. This is my original intention as a teacher, "Wang Boxiao said. Every year, nearly 3000 students register to participate in the school's mathematical modeling competition, constantly challenging themselves and gaining knowledge during the competition.

Teachers are kind-hearted, everything is for the development of students

My mentor is the best mentor in the world! "Chen Shiqi, who is about to graduate in June, posted a group photo with her mentor Wang Hongzhou on her social media and added an article. Recalling her first meeting with her mentor two years ago, 'gentle and elegant' was Chen Shiqi's first impression of Wang Hongzhou.


Chen Shiqi's group photo with mentor Wang Hongzhou posted on her Moments

“Teacher Wang has almost never lost his temper. He always patiently answers all our questions and soothes my anxiety.” Chen Shiqi is studying for a two-year master's degree in applied statistics, with tight time and heavy tasks. She needs to balance internship and job search while ensuring the quality of her research papers. Under the careful guidance of Wang Hongzhou, Chen Shiqi has made a detailed plan for her two-year graduate study career, During my first year of graduate studies, I published a paper and successfully completed my graduation thesis in my second year. I also received a satisfactory job offer.

When she first entered the university, Chen Shiqi was confused, especially the writing of papers was her weakness. "I didn't expect that I could also publish papers," Chen Shiqi said frankly, "but it's easy to do scientific research with Mr. Wang, who always asks me if I'm interested first." Interest driven, Lessons learned, practice and exploration, Wang Hongzhou follows these principles in cultivating students. At first, I tried to let students choose their own research direction, but later found that the effect was not good because students were often confused at the beginning. Therefore, I first designated a few directions and let them explore on their own. After accumulating some experience, they can find the problems they are really interested in and make results

In addition to providing guidance for scientific research and learning, Wang Hongzhou also provides warm care for students' lives and never absent. Every year, the Mathematical Contest in Modeling is basically held near the Spring Festival. Some students participate in the competition at school. Wang Hongzhou often organizes on the spot. After the competition, he also needs to do a good job in collecting and mailing papers. During the autumn recruitment, I consulted with Teacher Wang about career planning issues. Teacher Wang always replied to me at 11 or 12 pm in the evening. Later, I realized that it was during the National College Student Mathematical Modeling Competition, and Teacher Wang was also responsible for organizing the competition, "Chen Shiqi recalled gratefully.

As a teacher, I hope my students can develop well, "Wang Hongzhou smiled as he talked about his future prospects, By utilizing subject knowledge competition activities, we can encourage more undergraduate students to conduct academic research and write high-level academic papers. In terms of teaching, we hope to work with the teachers of the experimental center to develop mathematical experimental courses into more diverse and diverse categories. At the same time, we also need to attract more young teachers to join the training and guidance team of mathematical modeling competitions, striving to enable our school's students to win in domestic and international mathematical modeling competitions To achieve even better results... "Each simple wish is for the development of students. On the path of cultivating virtue and talent, Wang Hongzhou has walked steadfastly and solidly.