Professor Xia Na: Life is a Song


Teachers are like gardeners who are duty-bound take care of fragile flowers, waiting for them to blossom. “Gardeners” in HFUT are now translating their mission into actions.

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Xia Na (second from right, front row) is coaching students in technical innovation

October 6, 2015 -- a special day for Mr. Xia who just claimed the first prize in the First “Award for Outstanding Teachers” at HFUT.

Perhaps his winning is no surprise to people in HFUT. The young teacher has already notched up numerous honors such as support by Program for New Century Excellent Talents in University, Fok Ying Tung Foundation for Young Teachers, and Third Prize in National Competition for College Teachers.

Xia, with great composure and benevolence when receiving the award, has impressed journalists. What is the key to his success? 

Passion Leads Him to Teach 

Xia Na was born in a family of teachers in Wuhu, Anhui Province in 1979. His parents’ passion for and dedication to teaching have sowed a seed in his heart.

He was fascinated by the classes imparting knowledge, wisdom and benevolence, and inspired by several outstanding teachers. He squeezed time to tutor his classmates, and was proud and happy in doing so.

Teaching is a sacred mission to him. With his love for campus life, pleasure in sharing knowledge with others, admiration for instruction, and a similar family background, why not be a teacher? A man with mission is one with value.

In 2001, he got his bachelor’s degree in electronic engineering with distinction, and joined the faculty as he wished.

Jiang Jianguo, his teacher and party secretary of School of Computer and Information, recalled: “There was a shortage of talents of electronic engineering, who felt reluctant to stay at university to teach after graduation. But Xia came to me before graduation and expressed his ardent wish to be a teacher. Apart from his passion for teaching, he is also keen on scientific research and started innovations since he entered college. That’s why he finished his master and PhD programs in only 4.5 years and was awarded Excellent PhD Graduate in Anhui Province.”

In 2005, Xia Na was granted PhD in Engineering, and was promoted to Associate Professor and Master Adviser as an exception, the youngest professor ever in HFUT.

Students who attended Xia’s class are all amazed by his way of presentation. While imparting rich knowledge, he draws students’ attention through his enthusiasm and inspires them through logic and systematic rendering. He also fosters their innovative capability through sharing his experience in science studies. He receives high remarks by students of School of Computer and Information each year. His class -- Information Theory and Coding-- even won the highest marks in the university.

Conscientiousness is the Supreme Belief 

Tidiness is the first impression you gain when you step into Xia’s lab. All of the objects are neatly arranged with delicacy.

That echoes the impression obtained from his interview: he is extremely rigorous.

Jiang Jianguo was full of joy at the mention of his favorite student. “He was always conscientious in every task, whether spending time on administrative work that others deem useless, or teaching and conducting researches.”

Qi Meibin, colleague of Xia, said that Xia was the few who is prudent in everything, even when taking students to play football or keeping the tidiness of the lab. His studies were built on concrete basic applicative studies brick by brick.

“He once revised my thesis with changes not only in the organization, but even down to details like grammar and punctuation. His criticism was very helpful. It was then that I really understood that one should be conscientious about everything be invincible.”

“Conscientiousness will help you realize your dream”. This is the motto of Xia Na.

A Running Scholar

As a torchbearer of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Xia displayed his spirit as a runner in all aspects.

He is an excellent runner. He made 5000-meter record at junior and senior high school, won the champion in the men’s 800-meter race and has held the record for the men’s 400-meter, 800-meter, and 1500-meter race in the Games for teachers for many years.

He is a persistent runner. He starts his day by running ten laps in the playground.

With the thirst for recognition by students and colleagues, Xia worked hard, worrying that he might not be competent enough. He built up his confidence in 2004, when he won the first prize in the lecturing competition of HFUT. He kept attending different kinds of similar contests, for he knew that competition is a great chance for him to improve teaching skills. He would listen to the comments of experts each time and has learned a lot from other teachers.

He has been in charge of numerous state, ministerial and provincial research projects. Having won seven patents, published one monograph, and released 43 SCI and EI papers, Xia is a real star in HFUT. In fact, he also failed in applying National Natural Science Foundation of China for five times, but he never gave up. To seek scientific breakthroughs, in 2009, he took advanced studies in University of Huston, where he spent almost all the time in the lab on researches. His long accumulated of his inspiration were kindled, followed with improvement in research methods.

A runner is always focusing on the way ahead. So is Xia.

Philosophy of Happiness

“Have you thought of taking a part-time job to make more money?” Faced with the question, Xia offered a firm answer.

“I aim to be a good scholar and teacher and contribute to the Chinese dream! I am still far from reaching my goal and I crave for more challenges. I love my job here. This is where I ca realize my own value.”

“I love to share my expertise, knowledge and perception of life with students; guide young teachers and students to innovate; lead a group of students to develop themselves; share my teaching and research experience when possible. I am content and happy to do so.”

Professor Xia allocated award money for different uses. Part of it would be spent on awarding excellent young teachers at HFUT; part of it would be scholarship for poor students with outstanding academic performance; the rest would be a gift to his parents so that they could also share his joy.

This is Xia Na - a happy runner on his way to knowledge.


Written by: Yin Huanxia

Edited by: Wang Jian