Autobiography From Tsinghua to M.I.T. to Be Released

Boston, June 12, 2015, — Arrived in Boston to peruse graduate studies in Oct. 1942, Prof. Shih-Ying Lee has stayed in the great Boston area for over 70 years. In the autobiography titled From Tsinghua to M.I.T. — My Journey from Education to Entrepreneurship, published by Boston Bilingual Media & Publishing Inc., Prof. Lee recalled his family history, his undergraduate studies at Tsinghua University in Beijing and in Kunming, and his life in the USA over past 100 years.
Prof. Chen (left) and Mr. and Mrs. Lee pose for a picture (file photo).

Prof. Lee is one of the first Chinese American entrepreneurs in the high tech industry. He and his brother Y.T. Li co-founded Setra System, and Prof. Lee was the CEO of Setra for over 30 years.

At age 97, Prof. Lee lives in Lincoln, Mass., and is in good health. Boston Bilingual Media and Publishing Inc. will hold a book release party on June 20 at Yangtze River restaurant in Lexington to celebrate release of this book. To order a copy of From Tsinghua to M.I.T., please visit
The following is Forward for From Tsinghua to M.I.T., written by Prof. Gang Chen of M.I.T.

I am really pleased to hear that Professor Shih-Ying Lee’s autobiography is going to be published. I first met Professor Lee on February 14, 2014. I had studied some background information about Professor Lee before the meeting and was eager to meet him. Professor Lee and his wife Lena welcomed me at their beautiful home in Lincoln, Massachusetts. One hour quickly went by and I was truly fascinated by Professor Lee’s life and impressed with his sharp mental and physical condition for a 96 year-old. I was eager to learn more of his life stories and knew that the meeting was only the beginning. Reading my mind, Professor Lee presented me a copy of his autobiography “From Tsinghua to M.I.T.”.

This is a wonderful autobiography, with stories of Professor Lee’s personal life told in modest and faithful English. The book is both educational and inspirational for me and my wife, both of us read it with great interests. We learnt quite a lot of China’s past through Professor Lee’s childhood and his youth, and China-US history especially the Boxer Indemnity Funds or (Geng-Zi Pei Quan), the struggle of early generations of Chinese immigrants, and a fulfilling life in academia and industry. Professor Lee’s life stories are especially inspirational for immigrants from China, even though today’s immigrants have very different backgrounds. He has shown by examples how to overcome life’s adversaries, to pursue ones passion, and to give back to societies. Professor Lee set up a graduate fellowship at the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering to support students from China pursuing their graduate studies, and graduate fellowships in Tsinghua University to support needy students.

My second visit to Professor Lee was recent, May 9, 2015—after a few cancellations due to the snowy season, and Professor Lee was as sharp as last visit. This time, both my wife Tracy and I had read Professor Lee’s autobiography and we were more informed visitors. In fact, we also got a copy of Professor Lee’s brother- professor Yao Tzu Li’s autobiography “Freedom and Enlightenment”, which was published and available in bookstores or online. Thus, it is really a great pleasure to see that Professor Lee’s autobiography is going to be officially published and available to more readers. I am sure it will inspire generations to come!

Professor Gang Chen, Head
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

June 8, 2015