Chinese PhD student commits suicide in US
Huixiang Chen, a doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Florida, is missing. The next day, he was found hanging himself in his school office.
After Chen’s death, a timed will was sent to the email addresses of his parents, girlfriend and doctoral supervisor surnamed Li, according to local media reports in the US. According to the note, he wrote a paper in December 2018, which passed the review and was about to be published with the help of his mentor Li. However, after further experimental certification, he found that there were serious problems in his paper. Many theories made no sense at all, resulting in the whole paper being equivalent to waste paper with no value unless he rewrote it.
Bring Chen Huixiang
Chen Huixiang found his tutor Li Mou, hoping to withdraw the paper, but the tutor insisted on publication as scheduled. In the end, Chen chose to end his own life.
After the suicide, the Association for American Computers (ACM) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) launched an investigation. On February 8, 2021, the Joint Investigative Team released results indicating that a number of individuals had intentionally violated the conference’s peer review process by banding together to manipulate the paper evaluation system in favor of a particular article. At the same time, there is clear evidence that another author pressured one author to continue publishing the paper, even though he was aware of serious problems and had repeatedly expressed concerns about the erroneous results.
▲ Chen Huixiang mentor Li Mou
According to media reports, the investigative committee decided to impose varying degrees of punishment on all those involved in the violations, with the severest barred for the next 15 years from publishing in any ACM journal or serving on a review, editor, or project committee. It was the most severe penalty ever imposed by the ACM. But the survey did not make it clear whether the violator who received the most severe punishment was the mentor, surnamed Li.
Chen Huiming, Chen Huixiang’s brother, told Red Star News that Li, the tutor, has been suspended, but the family is cold about the attitude of the school and the tutor, and plans to Sue the school and Li.
Red Star News contacted the tutor, surnamed Li, and the university, but received no reply. For now, Li is allowed to continue to receive an annual salary of $153,238 and work for nine months of the school year, local media reported. Cammy Abernathy, Chen’s former dean, did not reply to the media on the matter.