I am saddened to write about the passing of my friend and former Ph.D. student, Dr. (Jan) Jianxin Li in China on April 8th.
Jan was a bright light in my life, and that of my family, my research group and her colleagues in the US and China. Jan was part of an amazing network of graduates of the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), and through her own personal contacts, began a tradition of USTC graduates who worked with me for graduate research. I was blessed to have their intellectual contributions and friendships, including Dr. Hengzhong (Kent) Zhuang, Dr. Yuezhong Du, Dr. Limin Sun, among many other students at UB from USTC.
I always remember an early conversation with her, her desire to study science, but her urge to pursue finance and business development, anticipating the growth of science and technology and business in China. This conversation was probably in 1990 or so, and so her clear vision about the future of China was on target. She prepared steadily for accomplishing that vision. Few students have such a powerful idea of how to help the growth of their country; few people have the drive and ability to accomplish that.
I admire her balance of science, business and her love of her family. My wife and I will always remember her, and as you remember her in Hong Kong this weekend, we will pray for her in Buffalo. I am hoping she can see the love for her from across the globe, and her husband Zack and her children will know how much she meant to her friends everywhere.
We will miss her and hope that her family knows our sorrow and support.
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