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Chinese Professor Still Working at Age 100

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Yang Enze in his office

Yang Enze tells his story at his office.

Credit: Xinhua

At the age of 100, Yang Enze, a professor at Tianjin University, still commutes to his laboratory every day and leads his students on research projects.

Yang was chief engineer of China's first optical communication system in the 1970s. He has never left the forefront of scientific research. He keeps himself updated by reading English articles on artificial intelligence.

He was admitted to Wuhan University in 1937, the year in which Japanese troops attacked the Lugou Bridge, also known as Marco Polo Bridge, on the outskirts of Beijing. The incident marked the beginning of Japan's full-scale war against China during World War II.

Yang built the first optical communication laboratory in Tianjin when he was invited to teach at Tianjin University in 1985. Since then, under his supervision, eight high-tech research projects at the national level have been conducted, and more than 10 papers were published in China's top-notch academic journals.

Yang says exercise and persistence are the secrets to longevity and a long academic career. He started to learn computer skills when he was 60, and played tennis until he was 93 years old.

"For me, I really enjoy doing scientific research. It is my lifelong career. To be able to work one more day, to do something for the people—that is the biggest meaning of my life," Yang says.

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