Cambridge Travel Notes

Note: This article is automatically translated, please turn to the Chinese version for more accurate expression if possible.

A two-week summer course at Cambridge University from 7.29-8.12. Funded by the School of Computer Science and undertaken by the CUDC UK-China Development Center.

Before departure

This summer class was organized by the School of Computer Science, and the selection of freshman to junior year in the college was relatively stable. It seems that you can pay in your own name (because the courses come through the UK-China Development Center), but the official organization has many advantages. First, you don’t have to pay for the tuition and air tickets yourself. Second, the teachers of Beijing Post have done a lot of behind-the-scenes work, The colleagues are all in the collegeExcellent classmate

At first I felt that it was troublesome to prepare my luggage, but later I found that it was easier than when school started. Probably the complexity of my luggage is positively related to the time I go out. Preparing luggage requires some “prior knowledge”. First, you have to have an impression of living in a foreign country in your mind, and then write down the things that need to be brought over in this impression, like a projection. This is naturally difficult. Fortunately, the organizer’s teacher has a lot of experience, so it’s just a lazy step-by-step process:

  1. Passport (Well, if you don’t bring it, you can go home directly, don’t send it)
  2. Invitation letter, proof of accommodation (preferably printed out)
  3. Spring and autumn light clothes, formal clothes (for dinner and graduation ceremonies, other clothes are provided by yourself, no one cares if you don’t wear them), comfortable shoes (sports shoes, slippers on the plane, etc.)
  4. Small souvenirs (one or two are fine, not mandatory)
  5. Daily toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, body soap, facial cleanser, xxx supplements, bath towels, slippers)
  6. Daily medicines (cold medicines, antidiarrheal medicines, etc.) can be taken a little back
  7. Instant noodles, pickled mustard, etc., just bring some for yourself
  8. The suitcases on demand can be larger, so that you can bring things back (the last day should be arranged for everyone to go shopping at the airport)

~~ Out of fear of baggage check, I plan to bring only one check-in box and one backpack. I hope I can take it on the plane tomorrow without checking it (because the box does not strictly meet the boarding standards and is overweight). ~~ Although I tried very hard to stuff things into boxes that meet the size requirements of the grade, I weighed it at the hotel today, and the weight was twice the boarding weight of 5kg… I hope the consignment will not go wrong. The suitcases are mainly clothes, and the backpacks are mainly various electronic products. All kinds of sundries were stuffed into the cracks, completely dispelling the idea of having instant noodles in the past. The souvenir comes with some postcards and a fan (if it can be given away). I heard the teacher say that British people like beef jerky, but I don’t like it.

The rest is to wait in the hotel until tomorrow. . look forward to

On the road & first day

After a nap in the hotel, I was on the road. It was very convenient to have a free shuttle to the airport, and there was nothing wrong with the check-in afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised that the boarding box was successfully carried on the plane. I asked if a backpack + a suitcase could be brought on the plane. The young lady who checked in took a look at the box and said it was OK, but she did not weigh it. The eleven-hour flight was not as long as imagined, it just passed. The point I want to emphasize is that the MDR-1000X headset is really great. The noise on the plane is very loud, and it takes 11 hours to sit, and the whole world is quiet with active noise-cancelling headphones.

After getting off the plane, it is the entry inspection and the collection of checked luggage. I didn’t check it, so I’ve been waiting for others to take my luggage. It seems that the luggage hasn’t been damaged much, but the process of waiting for the luggage feels “uncertain”. Behind is to gather and take a bus to the school. Here you have to keep to the left. The driver sits on the right of the vehicle. It seems that pedestrians should keep to the left when walking.

There was nothing on the first day. I had a briefing in the morning and went to punting at noon, which was just punting on the Jian River. I didn’t understand all kinds of things before, so I looked awkward after seeing it. I turned my head and turned over the map and history to find out what they were (in fact, the little brother on the boat has an explanation, but the listening is too poor and the vocabulary is insufficient) . Behind the town around. Although the school tried hard to order lunch for us, the long bread in the packed lunch that was sent out was really unappetizing, and it was always wasted.



July 31

I started the class today. They are two lectures on artificial intelligence from the perspective of psychology. The professors in the lecture are not computer-related, one is psychology and the other is art, but the class is very interesting, and it is a good introduction. Can arouse interest in related fields.

In the evening, a Chinese linguistics lecturer talked about Cambridge’s system and application. Cambridge is a school dominated by colleges. The school organization itself does not have strong management of each college, and the economy of each college is under its own control. Classes are organized by the school, and college is responsible for after-school tutoring. There are not many people, so the training is very meticulous.

August 1st

The morning is about the Lecture about Facebook and big data, mainly about the results display, about analyzing the user’s personal portrait through the user’s speech. Later used for commercial advertising and the like. I could feel that he himself was a little perfunctory, and he was drowsy in class, and there was nothing wrong with it.

This afternoon is the workshop about team and leadership. I did an interesting experiment. Each group sent a few small sticks and a marshmallow + thread and tape to prop up the marshmallow as high as possible within 18 minutes. The conclusion is that a team needs to have several people with different skills to cooperate better, such as the commander and the executor. Of course professional knowledge is also very important. The inspiration from children is to try it at the beginning, rather than spend a lot of time designing. There is a similar statement in “The Original Design”. A better design method than traversing the solution space is rapid prototyping and continuous iteration of verification.

I talked about Western etiquette in the evening, it was so boring…

August 2nd

I went to London today. It will take nearly two hours by car from a long distance. After I went there, I took a photo in front of the Tower Bridge and the National Gallery, and then disbanded. We went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner. Later, I gathered to visit the parliament building and learned about the implementation of the British parliamentary system under the explanation. Unfortunately, the limited vocabulary missed a lot of information. The main thing is history, and history becomes interesting in the face of real objects. Then I went to the National Gallery and saw a lot of religious paintings from a long time ago, and later paintings by Monet and Van Gogh. Many interpretations of religious painting are biblical stories, and the painters at that time seem to have no more subjects.



After that, we gathered in a Chinese restaurant for a buffet, which was great. Then I went to watch the drama “Aladdin”, which was a comedy, and I felt very comfortable after watching it hhh.



After watching the show, unfortunately the bus back to Cambridge broke down. I waited outside for a long time and finally took the train back. I was very anxious when I was catching the train. Fortunately, everyone returned safely in the end. It was about three o’clock in the morning.

August 3

Although I was tired after the previous day’s experience, I went to London again with a few people and teachers. This time I went to see the British Museum first. There are really many collections here. The focus is on the Egypt and China Pavilion. The amazing thing is that although the exhibits here are very old, most of them are placed where the audience can reach and there is no protective measure. It feels like they have a lot of trust in the behavior of the audience, or maybe it is because there are too many collections. Later, I ate steak at the iron flat steakhouse. I don’t know why the British people have a special interest in sea salt. Steaks are salty and the salads are hard to eat. And don’t order it all cooked next time. The cones I gave before I left were delicious. After leaving the steakhouse, I went to Tower Bridge and passed a street performance garden. A fellow senior was taken to perform together (miserably). It was a wonderful experience. After that I went to Tower Bridge to take some photos, and went back to Cambridge.

9 4/3




tower bridge




One of the most impressive exhibition halls of the British Museum is the life and death of ancient Egyptians. In the exhibition about the world after death, I saw mummies, food from the dead, lifelike coffin lids and other objects. These are the thoughts of a civilization on death, just like the funeral rites in China. No one knows for sure, but they all believe that there is another world after death. The Chinese just buried the corpses, while the Egyptians went a step further and made them into mummy. Even after death, they can retain a decent amount in the real world-after all, people will look terrible within a few days after death.



August 4th

Today is a day worth remembering, because in this summer course called artificial intelligence, I finally learned about artificial intelligence. Although I knew everything before, what the teacher said was very enlightening. After all, it was enough to master the algorithm before, and the lecturer had to further study the correctness and complexity of the algorithm. At the same time, I also saw the way to solve problems from a very mathematical point of view. I came across a new thing called spectral clustering. Spectral clustering is based on the normalized Laplacian matrix of the graph. It extracts all the feature vectors and arranges them from largest to smallest. The first ones will be obviously smaller, and their corresponding eigenvectors are vectors with better clustering effects. Then, the point that minimizes Edge Expansion is found by the Sweep Cut method, which is the ideal cluster point.

It was the first time to play golf in the afternoon, and it was quite fun. But it’s really not convenient for people to be crowded.

August 5th

I gave the second lecture on artificial intelligence today, and the evaluation is the same as yesterday. In the afternoon, the supervision is about to prepare for the final presentation. I really don’t like this thing. Why do we compete with each other.

Learning to dance salsa in the evening is mainly for communicative purposes, which is a bit interesting. It’s too hot in the room.

August 6th

In the morning it was boring Facebook and big data, and in the afternoon I went to visit the Cambridge Science Park. Cambridge Science Park is similar to the incubator of domestic universities, but there are many differences. They have almost no government investment but are established by individuals for profit (renting venues etc.). Large companies can also establish laboratories in the Science Park to get in touch with universities. Britain’s science parks are much smaller than domestic ones, almost all of which are tertiary industries, and they are doing B2B, which is far ahead of the domestic ones. Here we attach great importance to the field of combining AI and medical care, and many companies are related to medical care.

The evening is another workshop, about creativity. It’s all metaphysics like the last Workshop. The main idea is that creativity is squeezed out through constant “requests”. There is also a theory calledSix Thinking HatsYou can find out.

August 7

This morning is the Practical Tutorial. A special teacher will talk about how to use Matlab to perform k-Means clustering (picture). An example of the poor performance of k-Means is a graph composed of two rings set together. Later, I will talk about how to cluster points in space, which is to construct a complete graph, using coordinate difference/other things as edge weights. Finally, this method is used to cluster the two ring examples, and the performance is very good.

In the afternoon, I went to visit the Needham Research Institute. This is where Needham stored materials/writing when he studied China in the last century. Masterpiece “History of Science and Technology in China” /Science and Civilisation in China. The librarian (foreigner) in the institute speaks Chinese very well. This research institute is only located in the University of Cambridge, but it is not funded by the university, but is funded by philanthropists from all over the world (mostly Chinese).

After that, I went to another place for afternoon tea, which was very pleasant.


Orchard Tea Garden, Grantchester

August 8

Today I went to visit Oxford. I went to Bicun for shopping in the morning. The team of straight men was very confused and didn’t buy anything. Oxford University is a generation older than Cambridge University. The two families have many historical connections and are in a relatively hostile state. Today, a student from Oxford University took us to visit. She said that Oxford also has everything that Cambridge University has, and it is better than Cambridge. There are several well-known locations in Oxford where Harry Potter movies were filmed. Later, I went to a museum to take a look, but unfortunately, there was no display of the original Da Vinci.

August 9th

This morning, an art professor talked about the development of Western art, from theology to paying attention to the people. As well as the expression form of artistic works, at first it was realism and later became impressionism. Later, Cubism tried to show different shots in the same painting like a movie.

In the afternoon, I visited the Institute of Astronomy. Like the Needham Institute, there are many ancient books in it. I also showed us a large map of constellations dating back to 1600. The research institute also has an obsolete observatory. The research institute showed us how to use it. It feels super cool. I hope I can stay in such an observatory for one night in the future.



In the evening is the lecture of Machine Learning 3, which is about linear programming and the use of linear programming to solve the traveling salesman problem. I didn’t talk about the theory carefully due to lack of time, but took us through the process. The slides used by this teacher in class are made with latex+beamer, which is very powerful.

August 10

Today is one day’s supervision or free time. Our group had a simple supervision in the morning, and after that, it was mainly to go shopping. PPT for the whole night.

August 11

Today is the last day. I woke up in the morning to do a final presentation. I temporarily found that I needed to write off (later I learned that it’s okay to read it with my mobile phone ==+). The afternoon is free time. I went out and had a good meal of fish and chips. I went to bed in the afternoon. The evening is a formal dinner, but nowhere can it change the facts of dark British cuisine. Several people who performed very well were announced for dinner, and each rewarded 100 pounds. Unfortunately, there was no me. But then our Lecturer of ML praised me very much, happy.

August 12

Return home. The strange thing is that due to jet lag, I ate a total of five meals in my active “day”. I feel that my jet lag ability is still relatively strong, and I can work and rest normally the next day.

to sum up

living habit

The lifestyle of people in the small Cambridge town is very different from that in China. Due to the high latitude, the hours of daylight are very long every day. But most of the shops work from nine to five. After five in the afternoon, it will be very bright tomorrow, and many small shops will be empty. Fortunately, there is a large supermarket chain opposite the college where I live. It will not close until after 11 o’clock, otherwise it will be really inconvenient. Here, opening seven days a week is a thing to be advertised, and I have not seen a 24-hour shop. Chinese restaurants generally have relatively long business hours. It’s really nice to get off work so early…


Food in the UK is very unaccustomed, the best food is the Chinese buffet. There is a cafeteria in the college that provides breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we have a lot of time for activities, so most of the time we only have breakfast in the college cafeteria, which is a rare meal that feels good. The rule of the college cafeteria is to go to the kitchen for semi-self-service food first, and then go to the adjacent hall to eat. For breakfast, there are various types of yogurt, fruit, milk, and oatmeal. The meat is bacon and sausage, and the pasta is bread and jam.

Basically, they are not used to other British meals. There are two main reasons. One is that it is too salty, and the other is that the cheese tastes strange, and they like it very much. I don’t know if the tastes of the crowd are different, anyway, Chinese restaurants are quite popular there.


The natural environment of Cambridge is still great, with water, trees and grass, and some areas are even like a park. When visiting the Institute of Astronomy, the researcher said that the light pollution in Cambridge is already very serious, and the observatory here is not used very much (one of the reasons), but it seems that the light pollution at night here is still much smaller than that in Beijing. Since Cambridge (and London is also) has a long history and many buildings are well-preserved, some of the buildings here are antique, and modern buildings are rare. Stone roads, stone walls, heavy wooden doors, ancient coats of arms and decorations.


The United Kingdom is an old capitalist country, and it is quite rich. It is probably these economic foundations that determine the very harmonious appearance of the United Kingdom. However, the benefits are given to the citizens of the country (approximately 20% of taxes are collected on purchases), and outsiders do not seem to be very popular. If you want to study in the UK, the tuition and living expenses are not a small amount of money. According to a teacher there, most Chinese families cannot afford it (fortunately, there are various scholarships/study funds that can cover part of the cost). The price of goods in the UK is very high, and the price of books is especially high. It can even ignore the exchange rate and the domestic balance. Some bookstores also have special sections for second-hand books. The price of a casual meal in the UK is about 8 pounds. If you want to eat a good meal, it costs more than a dozen pounds. If converted into RMB, it will become an uncomfortable price.

The wage level here is not very clear, but it seems to be consistent with high prices. It is said that the price level of houses in London is similar to that in Beijing, but the house price/wage is much lower than in Beijing.


I still see quite a lot of international students in Cambridge, and I can’t remember the exact ratio. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t see enough people, I feel that most of them are very enthusiastic (of course we don’t have any interests). I have seen a lot of homeless people with a dog, and several homeless people sitting in front of the shop after get off work and reading. I don’t know if it is a special way of begging, or the average level of homeless people is relatively high.

On Friday night, many people will go to the bar to have a good time, and there will be many drunk people on the street at this time. It is said that they will pull you to talk a lot, but they will not cause you harm.

The more curious thing is the function of religion. Many colleges have a Christian church, where priests also play a role similar to a psychologist. When students encounter frustrations such as bad exams or broken relationships, they will come to the church to seek the priest’s counsel and comfort.