Minghui was born in Shandong, China in 1983. In 2002, he entered the Special
Class for the Gifted Young at the University of Science and Technology of
China (USTC), one of the most prestigious universities in China. Minghui
possessed the rare quality of being not only smart, but also diligent, versatile,
modest and easy-going. He was the type of friend who would stand by you no matter
the situation. Minghui breezed through the challenging undergraduate program at
USTC, ranking at the top of his class. Minghui was well liked by his fellows
students having served as the class president from his sophomore year. Although
under enormous academic pressure, he still found time to organize a series of
student activities, such as hiking, art performances, and athletic contests for
his fellow students.
After graduating summa cum laude in 2006 from USTC, Minghui entered the PhD
program at the Physics Department of Columbia University. After one year, he
transferred to the doctorate program in statistics. During his time at Columbia,
Minghui served as the public relations head of the Columbia University's Chinese
Students and Scholars Association (2007-2008), and was a member of the Columbia
Chinese Basketball Association and the Columbia Graduate Student Consulting Club.
His biography on the CUCSSA website mentioned his love of ''movies, photography
and delicacies''. Minghui described himself in his blog as ''a boy who wants to
combine art and science together''.
On April 4, 2008, after attending a student-organized conference, Minghui
escorted his girlfriend home on the west side of campus. On his return, he was
accosted by juveniles as he was crossing 122nd and Broadway and in his attempt to
flee, he was struck by an automobile on Broadway. Minghui was taken to
St. Luke's Hospital where he passed away a short time later.