Award for Global Engagement
Dr. Zhuangyi Liu is a highly respected faculty member whose tireless support of and advocacy for international efforts has had a tremendous impact on the University of Minnesota, Duluth campus. He is an accomplished researcher and scholar, serving as the head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics and a professor of mathematics. He is also the coordinator of the University’s Beijing Higher Education Teacher’s Training Center Visiting Program and holds visiting professorships at the Beijing Institute of Technology and the Ninbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, China.
At age 17, Dr. Liu was sent to work on a farm during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. After postponing his education for seven years, he completed his undergraduate degree at Fudan University, and then completed his Ph.D. in the United States. After earning his doctorate degree he moved to the Duluth campus where he participated in the development of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. During his 22 years at the University, his international engagement has focused on China, but he has also conducted research in Peru, Brazil, Argentina, France, Spain, and Germany. He has organized international conferences and been an invited speaker to many international conferences. His colleagues have named him the “peripatetic” professor for his international engagement.
Dr. Liu has made outstanding contributions to create and sustain international programs on the Duluth campus. He assisted the Department of Foreign Languages in establishing a Chinese program and organized a “Chinese Corner” to help students learn Chinese. He established Duluth’s “Study Chinese Languages and Culture” summer program in 2007 and has led the program every summer since. More than 50 students have participated in the study abroad program, in which students travel to Beijing and Shanghai to spend four weeks studying Mandarin at Ocean University in Qingdao, China.
Dr. Liu’s leadership has led to the success of many University delegations to China, resulting in the signing of collaboration agreements with Chinese universities that have brought Chinese graduate students and scholars to Duluth. He has also aided University faculty in their collaboration with Chinese colleagues and their visits to China. Dr. Liu has hosted delegations of Chinese visitors to Duluth for a broad range of activities, including runners in Grandma’s Marathon.
Dr. Liu is an exceptional campus leader who has gone above and beyond in service to both the campus and the community. The majority of his internationalization efforts are in addition to his full-time teaching, research, and outreach responsibilities. He has published 40 journal papers and one research monograph and taught a wide range of courses, from honors calculus to linear programming and statistics, while leading international outreach on campus.
A man of many talents and almost inexhaustible energy, Dr. Liu has been a key figure in institutional building between Duluth and higher education institutions in China. His leadership has helped to significantly raise the international visibility and reputation of the University of Minnesota, Duluth.