致远系列教材将由交大出版社出版。本书是其中的第一部。作为交大校长兼致远学院院长，我愿做序以推广成才阶梯,尤其是见证过去5年来全体致远人的办学经历。这是一段充满激情与梦想的岁月。 “致远”得名于江泽民学长出席交大校庆时的题词：思源致远。“思源”是交大的校训，“致远”是交大人的目标。 致远学院是一个培养创新型拔尖人才的地方。在这里，汇聚了一群充满激情的追求者和坚持不懈的梦想家。在他们当中，既有国内外知名的学者教授，也有一批批出类拔萃的同学。这些人的共同特征，是献身科学事业的梦想和激情。他们集聚在这里，用百折不挠的毅力和上下求索的精神，探索着一条中国特色创新型拔尖人才的成长道路。
这本《Computer Science Theory for the Information Age》得以成为“致远系列”的首部教材，同样令致远人倍感骄傲。教材由图灵奖获得者、康奈尔大学教授John Hopcroft和微软研究院首席研究员、卡耐基梅隆大学兼职教授RavindranKannan共同编撰。其实早在2012年5月，John教授第一次来致远学院授课时，该书的内容已经作为讲义在师生间广泛流传。听说交大正在策划致远系列教材方案，John和Ravi欣然同意将这本讲义在中国的版权交给了上海交通大学出版社。
This is the first book of the “Zhiyuan Textbook Series” to be published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) Press. In my capacity as STJU President and the Dean of Zhiyuan College, I am delighted to write this preface.
The name of the college, “Zhiyuan,” was derived from the in scription “思源致远（SiYuanZhiYuan）” by Zemin Jiang, the former President of the People’s Republic of China, who is also an alumnus of SJTU. “思源（SiYuan）” is part of SJTU’s motto which means respect to the heritage and“致远（ZhiYuan）” means aim high and achieve big. These four words in Chinese embody the ultimate goal of the educational mission of the College.
Zhiyuan College and SJTU have always encouraged and inspired outstanding students to embrace innovation and adopt pioneering spirit in research. In addition to the many gifted undergraduate students, there are also a number of world-class scholars and faculty pursuing their career goals at Zhiyuan College. They work with immense zeal for science, and through concerted and unremitting efforts, they explore ways to nurture gifted students who have the promise to become top-notch scientists in the years ahead.
I can recall vividly the situation when Zhiyuan College was first launched. Back in July2008, I met with Professors Weinan E and David Cai, both prominent mathematicians. Realizing how important undergraduate education is, all of us agreed that SJTU should create a special teaching and learning environment that would allow us to compete with the best universities in the world and to foster the most talented undergraduates in China. Three months later, SJTU Science Class was created with a mission to bring up scientific leaders of tomorrow with creativity, critical thinking, solid knowledge of mathematics and physics and willing to explore nature and serve society. In December2010, the Pilot Program for Training Outstanding Students in Basic Sciences supported by Zhiyuan College was included in National Pilot Project of Educational System Reform. With tremendous efforts made by professors and students alike, we have achieved much success since then. More importantly, our passion, commitment and pursuit of excellence have become the hallmark of Zhiyuan College.
It is truly an honor for Zhiyuan College to publish Computer Science Theory for the Information Age as the first of the Zhiyuan Textbook Series. The book was co-authored by Professor John Hopcroftof Cornell University and Dr. Ravindran Kannan, a principal researcher with Microsoft Research Labs located in India. Many professors and students at Zhiyuan College have become familiar with the subject matter since May2012, when John taught his second course in Zhiyuan College. Indeed, when John and Ravindran learned of the Zhiyuan Textbook Series, they graciously offered SJTU Press the privilege to publish their textbook.
John is a world-renowned scientist and an expert on education in computer science. He was awarded the A. M. Turing Award in 1986 for his contributions in theoretical computing and data structure design. I should mention here the interesting story of how I came to know John. In the early summer of 2011, I learned from one of my friends, Professor Shanghua Teng of University of Southern California, who is also an alumnus of SJTU, that John was in Chongqing on an academic trip. My first thought was that if I could invite such a distinguished scholar to Zhiyuan College, it would benefit the entire computer science program at SJTU enormously. Therefore, I contacted him immediately and flew to Chongqing right awayfor a face-to-face conversation with him. To this day I can still recall lively how surprised John was at the first sight of me in his hotel lobby. When I briefed him about Zhiyuan College, SJTU and my vision for the development of the Computer Science Department, he showed great interest and readily accepted my invitation to visit Zhiyuan College and SJTU. In December2011, he began to teach courses to undergraduates at SJTU. Since then, he has spent at least two months a year teaching at Zhiyuan College. For our undergraduates, it is definitely a rare and precious opportunity to learn from such a famous professor. One of the students said after taking his course, “It is a treasured opportunity for us to talk face-to-face with such a great scientist. I think John’s purpose for our class was to lead us to discover our research interests, to explore simple, workable ideas that we find engaging. I think he really did that. Now I am passionate about scientific research!”
In addition to teaching courses, John identified another ten world-class scientists in computer science and with them formed a “Chaired Professors’ Group.” This group worked very hard to improve the undergraduate education program in computer science at Zhiyuan College. In May 2012, John accepted my invitation to become a special counselor to the President of SJTU and offered valuable support in recruiting high quality faculty members for the Computer Science Department in SJTU. He has worked tirelessly in performing his job. I am more than happy to avail myself of this opportunity to express my gratitude to John and Ravindran on behalf of both SJTU and Zhiyuan College.
Zhiyuan College aspires to become not only the home to world-class faculty, but also the springboard fortalented undergraduates to success. I would like to express my gratitude to all thosewho have worked so hard to help us make this dream come true. I firmly believe that the publication of this textbook will prove to be an important milestone along the way. As one student in Zhiyuan College said, “The greatest thing that I have found here is a place full of dreams, a place where great scientists share their passion, a place for new thoughts and opportunities. My four years studying at Zhiyuan College have allowed me to find my dreams, my passion, most importantly new opportunities for research.”
I sincerely hope Zhiyuan College and SJTU will do a still better job to help talented students succeed in their academic endeavor.