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On November 26, 2018, our university was visited by a delegation from the German province Saxony [萨克森自由州], which, to a large degree, was composed of professors from the Chemnitz University of Technology [Technische Universität Chemnitz] (TUC) from Chemnitz [开姆尼茨], Germany. This made me personally very happy, since Chemnitz is my hometown, I received my Master's degree from that university, and visited it to give research talks in 2017 and 2018.

The delegation was led by Dr. Peter Homilius, the vice-directory of the Economic Development Corporation (WFS) Saxony and Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl, the vice-president of the TUC and chair of Media Informatics in my old faculty there, the Faculty of Computer Science. Further members of the delegation were Prof. Dr. Egon Müller from the Department of Factory Planning and Factory Management and the Chemnitz Automotive Institute (CATI) at TUC, Prof. Dr. Andreas Schubert, chair of Micromanufacturing Technology, Mr. Claus-Peter Held (CATI), Dr. Frank Löschmann, director of the SisTeam company, as well as Mr. Huaidong Wu and Mr. Chao Ying (SisTeam).

Saxony is a province in the eastern part of Germany. Its capital is Dresden city, but the most industrialized city has always been Chemnitz, which, historically, is one of the cradles of industrialization of Germany. This area is also named as one of the top-20 innovative regions of Europe. The TU Chemnitz has more than 180 years of history and is the motor of innovation in that area. Automation, engineering, lightweight material engineering, automotive industries, the constant improvement of existing technologies, the improvement of production efficiency, research on new materials – the TU Chemnitz is highly competitive in all of these fields. For instance, it also holds the MERGE excellence cluster for multifunctional lightweight structure technologies. All of these fields are important to fill concepts such as Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 with life. There were many fruitful discussions with the aim to establish collaborations between the TUC and our uni, centered around such important topics as smart production and the education of engineers. The delegation was impressed with the application-oriented education that our university has developed by adopting German approaches to the Chinese environment. As a result of our talks, I am convinced that our unis will establish successful, long-lasting, and highly productive collaborations.

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Today and yesterday I attended the meeting "Research and Teaching in China" organized by the DAAD, the [Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst], i.e., the German Academic Exchange Service [德国学术交流中心] in the German Embassy in Beijing. This meeting was well-attended by probably over 50 German researchers who live, work, study, and teach in China. The event was organized as two half-day meetings, which stroke a perfect balance between presentations and opportunities for personal discussions. It allowed us to exchange thoughts, experiences, and impressions and to discuss topics such as research funding and career planning in China. The meeting also showed that there is a very thriving and growing community of German researchers in China, many of which live here for a long time and are well-integrated into the society. These scientists contribute research in many diverse areas such as architecture, chemistry, biology, city planning, computer science, operations research, mathematics, medicine, archeology, as well as law studies and history. It was a really nice meeting and I hope that many such meetings will follow. (The second meeting was held in June 2019 in Shanghai.)

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On October 30, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at the chair for Artificial Intelligence and Software Technology (KIST) of Prof. Dr. Manfred Schmidt-Schauß at the Computer Science Institute, Computer Science and Mathematics Department of the Goethe University Frankfurt in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Prof. Schmidt-Schauß and his group are following several highly interesting strands of research centered around functional programming languages and program analysis. For instance, they work on the static analyses of programs and expressions, including termination analysis, demand analysis, and strictness analysis, which are important topics for compilers of (non-strict) functional programming languages. They work on understanding the observational semantics of functional programming languages with call-by-need evaluation in the contexts of studying extended lambda-calculi and concurrent computation. Another one of their research topics is understanding the side effects of input/output operations in lazy functional programming languages. They also conduct research on unification, i.e., solving equations in a logical form, encompassing unification in equational theories, sorted unification, combination of unification algorithms and unification in higher order logics. Finally, they work on knowledge representation, and investigate the properties of concept description languages and their reasoning behavior and complexity.

It was very nice to meet Prof. Schmidt-Schauß and his group. I am very thankful for their hospitality and for the nice discussion as well as the kind reception of my talk.

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On October 29, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at the Simulation and Modelling (SIM) group of Prof. Dr. Helena Szczerbicka at the Institut of Systems Engineering (ISE) of the Leibniz University Hannover in Hannover, Germany.

The SIM group conducts fundamental and applied research in the fields of modeling, simulation, and optimization. They are especially interested in the modeling of complex systems (such as technical processes) with discrete simulations, stochastic Petri nets, and multi-agent systems, the analysis of models, the simulation of algorithms in the domain of "search & rescue", bio-inspired algorithms for optimization of networks, anomaly detection, online simulations for control (e.g., in construction side vehicles and heat distribution networks, as well as algorithms and standards for co-simulation (e.g. ACOSAR). Prof. Szczerbicka furthermore is a highly respected member of the Society for Computer Simulation International, in which she had several leading positions for several years.

It was very nice to meet Prof. Szczerbicka and her group and my presentation was received well. I very much enjoyed the very interesting and inspiring discussion afterwards.

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On October 26, 2018, I gave my research talk Automating Scientific Research in Optimization at the junior professor chair for information systems and operations research of Prof. Dr. Lin Xie at the Institute of Information Systems (IIS) of the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany.

Prof. Xie has contributed valuable research on applied optimization, covering topics such as automated warehousing fulfillment systems and crew rostering. She emphasizes on the importance of modelling for making complex decisions. Application areas with such scenarios are often logistics and transportation, such as public bus systems. Another application field processed by Prof. Xie and her group is the assessment and developments of algorithms for routing multiple robots through warehouses in order to transport items for storage. This work is actually quite related to our research direction on rigorous performance analysis of algorithms, but also features other important aspects. Her other areas of interest include operations research and data science.

Meeting Prof. Xie and her group was very nice and my talk was received with interest by a large audience. The positive feedback on the talk was very encouraging and the following discussion with Prof. Xie was very interesting – especially since our works on algorithm analysis are highly related.

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