Naming Ceremony for Xu Yangsheng Star
On November 14, 2016, the Committee for Small-Body Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union named a minor planet Xu Yangsheng Star to recognize his contributions to science and education. Mr. Xu is the first President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (“University”) and an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.
On the morning of January 12, 2017, the naming ceremony started at the Civic Center of Shenzhen. Attending the ceremony were Professor YAN Jun, Director of National Astronomical Observatories, Professor ZHAO Gang, Party Secretary of National Astronomical Observatories, ZHANG Hu, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal Government, AI Xuefeng, Vice Mayor of Shenzhen Municipal Government as well as other government officials and student and staff representatives of the University. Professor YAN read the naming announcement and Professor Zhao issued the naming certificate and the orbit map of the minor planet to Professor Xu.
Professor ZHAO pointed out that Professor Xu is a world-renowned scientist in robotics and intelligent systems. Conducting pioneering research in space robots, control, dynamics, and testbed, he has played an important role in advancing China’s aerospace intelligent control systems. He has also made a significant contribution to the establishment of a modern university governance, introducing world top talents, forming international research institutes, and providing a model to China’s higher education reforms. Therefore, they have decided to name the minor planet that they discovered on April 7, 1999 Xu Yangsheng Star. On behalf of National Astronomical Observatories, he expressed his sincere and heartfelt congratulations on Professor Xu’s winning of this accolade, which is widely recognized in the international community.”
In his thank you address, Professor Xu expressed his gratitude to the country. “Without the nation’s policy of reform and opening up, I might have ended up herding cows in the countryside.”
Professor Xu also said that as a scientist, he remains awed by the enormity of the universe. He has more questions now than 30 years ago when he first studied intelligent robotics. As an educator, he explores an educational system to nurture talents with international perspectives and Chinese traditions. He also encouraged his students to build up self-confidence, face down challenges, and enjoy the taste of victory.
Vice Mayor ZHANH Hu congratulated Professor Xu on behalf of the municipal government. He praised Professor Xu’s pioneering endeavors to establish an educational philosophy that combines China and the West, integrates the past and the present, and bridges arts and sciences; to form a modern governance system to engage a large number of top talents from around the world; to provide new perspectives on how to reform the nation’s higher education. He believed that the naming ceremony would further boost the city’s reputation as the land of reform and opening up for leading scientists and educators.
The Minor Planet Discovered on Professor Xu’s Birthday
The Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program discovered the minor planet 1999 GJ5 on April 7, 1999, Professor Xu’s birthday.
ZHOU Xu, a researcher at National Astronomical Observatories, introduced the discovery of Xu Yangsheng Star, which has a semimajor axis (AU) of 2.4017599, a period of 3.72 years and an absolute magnitude of 16.2.
Minor planets are currently the only astronomical bodies that discovers have the right to name. International Astronomical Union follows a set of rigorous procedures for certification and approval of the naming of these minor planets.
Professor Xu-Scientist and Educator
Professor Xu is the first President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen. He is an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, International Academy of Astronautics, International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, IEEE, and Hong Kong Academy of Engineering. He is also a world-renowned expert in robotics and intelligent systems. He has made great efforts in advancing China’s education.
Professor Xu was born in Shaoxing, Zhejiang province. He loved reading books when he was small. After China implemented the policy of reform and opening-up, he entered Zhejiang University and obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree. Then he went to University of Pennsylvania and obtained his Ph.D. degree. He has made a pioneering contribution to the design and control of space robots and zero gravity testbed. He has also conducted significant research on intelligent modelling and automatic learning theory concerning dynamic stability systems, produced multiple intelligent service robots and systems, and authored six academic books and published more than 300 papers.
Professor Xu advocates an educational philosophy that helps nurture students with critical thinking skills, social responsibility, and healthy mentality. He establishes a modern university governance system to employ top talents and to establish various research institutes in the fields of robotics and intelligent manufacturing, big data, new energy, and finance. His dream is to build an excellent research university with Chinese traditions at Shenzhen. “We still have a long way to go. However, with you by my side we will achieve our dream in the end.” Professor Xu said.