Nice to see a familiar face in the crowd

When you arrive somewhere new, the first time someone recognizes you is always a special moment. It makes you feel at home.
Dong Jun / SHINE

Freshmen at Shanghai Jiao Tong University hold up signs saying “I love you, my parents” to express their gratitude after watching a video clip about two students at the university and their parents during the opening ceremony for 13,000 freshmen yesterday.

When you arrive somewhere new, the first time someone recognizes you is always a special moment. It makes you feel at home.

At Shanghai Jiao Tong University, more than 10,000 students arrived and registered over the weekend.

Among them, 1,000 international students were lucky enough to be the first to be automatically recognized.

Students stand in front of a cam, smiling if they choose to smile, and their facial images are collected, compared against a database of pictures they have submitted during the application process, and, in a few milliseconds, their information pops up on the screen and the registrar is just one click away from completing the registration process.

Chinese students went through the traditional routine — checking certificates and admission letters, leafing through information by hand — a much longer and more tedious affair.

“It’s really easy,” said Rafael Flores, a Brazilian master’s student. “I just had to stand there and someone told me to ‘look here,’ and I looked there, and it’s done in about one second.”

Flores was an exchange student in Harbin for two years as an undergraduate.

“After I graduated I decided to come to China again and applied for Jiao Tong University. Harbin was too cold for me,” he said.

A university official told Shanghai Daily that the system was being piloted among international students and its application would be expanded in the future.

Fudan University recently used the same system to welcome new postgraduates.

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