Grad Students

Siyu Cai

Contact Information

Office  Not Available
Phone  206 890 7739
A well-balanced teaching, research, and service profile.
In terms of teaching, I have six years of teaching experience at UCLA, having taught thirteen classes as a teaching assistant to over 300 students and four courses as a head lecturer to over 180 students from 2012 to the present (UCLA runs on a quarter system). This translate to me having supervised and worked with close to 500 students by my graduation in June 2018. In terms of research, my doctoral dissertation on Chinese overseas investment is composed of four years of research and writing from 2014 to 2018: one year crafting a research proposal in Los Angeles, one year conducting fieldwork in Beijing, and two years writing the dissertation back in Los Angeles. In terms of service, I am on the Enhancing Diversity Committee in the American Association of Geographers (AAG), the U.S.'s largest geographic organization. I currently serve as one of eight members on a subcommittee in a national organization with over 11,000 members.
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Fields of Study

Finance, business, economics, economic geography, multinational corporations, foreign direct investment, and China


Dr. Eric Sheppard (UCLA Geography, Committee Chair)

Dr. John Agnew (UCLA Geography, Committee Member)

Dr. C.Cindy Fan (UCLA Geography, Committee Member)

Dr. Chris Tilly (UCLA Urban Planning, External Committee Member)


20. UCLA Department of Geography, Research Grant, April 2018, $4,000

19. UCLA International Institute, Taiwanese Studies Fellowship, May 2017, $3,500

18. UCLA Department of Geography, Research Travel Grant, March 2017, $5,000

17. Summer Institute in Economic Geography, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, August 2016

16. PRC Government, Confucius China Studies Program Research PhD Fellowship, 2015-2016 Academic Year, $31,000

15. UCLA Social Sciences Division, Russian and Eurasian Studies Endowed Award, June 2015, $6,000

14. UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, Alice Belkin Memorial Scholarship, March 2013, $3,000

13. USA Government, Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowship, 2012-2013 Academic Year, $31,000

12. UCLA Graduate Division, Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship, May 2012, $6,000

11. UCLA Graduate Division, Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, 2011-2012 Academic Year, $34,000

10. Toastermasters International-Santa Monica Club 21, Table Topics Award (4 times), December 2011-June 2012

9. UCLA-Fudan University Scholarly Translation Workshop Travel Grant, July 2011, $1,000

8. UCLA, Department of Geography Fellowship, 2010-2011 Academic Year, $34,000

7. University of Washington Ronald E. McNair Research Grant, December 2009, $2,000

6. Sichuan University (Chengdu, China), 5th Model United Nations Conference, Excellent Speech Award, May 2009

5. Sichuan University, Men’s Varsity Basketball Letterman, December 2008-April 2009

4. University of Washington Ronald E. McNair Scholar, September 2008-June 2010

3. University of Washington Jackson School of International Studies, Alice Wannamaker Scholarship, June 2008, $2,000

2. University of Washington Robert Chang Foundation Scholarship, May 2008, $4,000

1. Washington State Government, Global Opportunity Scholarship, April 2008, $1,000


As China unpacks its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative and Chinese firms expand elsewhere globally, the topic of Chinese overseas investment will garner more attention from policy makers, the media, and the research community.  My PhD dissertation is on this topic: it analyzes where, how, and why Chinese firms are investing internationally.


Ph. D. University of California, Los Angeles, Geography, 2018 
M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Geography, 2012 
B.A. University of Washington, Asian Studies, 2010


1. Cai, Siyu “A Special Place: Hong Kong’s role in Chinese overseas investments” Area and Development Policy (revise and resubmit)

2. Cai, Siyu “China’s Belt and Road Initiative: connectivity, place, and positionality” Territory, Politics, and Governance (to be submitted)

3. Cai, Siyu “The Golden State: Chinese overseas investments in California” Eurasian Geography and Economics (to be submitted)


14. Cai, Siyu “China’s Belt and Road Initiative: connectivity, place, and positionality” 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, 13 April 2018, New Orleans, Louisiana

13. Cai, Siyu “A Special Place: Hong Kong’s role in Chinese overseas investments,” 62nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, 15 April, 2017, Boston, Massachusetts 

12. Cai, Siyu “China’s Outward Foreign Direct Investments and its Transnational Corporations,” 60th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, 24 April 2015, Chicago, Illinois

11. Cai, Siyu “The Capitalist State: key Marxist scholars’ writings on the state,” 68th Annual Conference of the California Geographic Society, 3 May 2014, Los Angeles, California

10. Cai, Siyu “Chinese politics: some notes on research methodology,” 67th Annual Conference of the California Geographic Society, 27 April 2013, San Luis Obispo, California

9. Cai, Siyu “The circulation of labor and capital between China’s coastal and interior regions,” International Conference on China and the Restructuring of International Political Economy, University of Oregon, 15 April 2013, Eugene, Oregon

8. Cai, Siyu “Elite Chinese Politics: a case study of the Chinese Communist Party Politburo, 1987 to 2012,” 58th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, 11 April 2013, Los Angeles, California

7. Cai, Siyu “Foxconn’s Factory Relocations in China,” 5th Annual China Undisciplined Conference, UCLA, 19 May 2012, Los Angeles, California

6. Cai, Siyu “The Global Electronics Manufacturing Industry and its Supply Chain,” 2012 Los Angeles Geographical Society Student Presentations Night, 4 May 2012, Los Angeles, California

5. Cai, Siyu “From Labor Moving to Capital to Capital Moving to Labor: industrial organization in China,” 66th Annual Conference of the California Geographical Society, 28 April 2012, Davis, California

4. Cai, Siyu “Industrial Organization and Regional Development in China: a case study of Foxconn International Holdings,” 57th Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, 28 February 2012, New York, New York

3. Cai, Siyu "Urbanization and Industrialization in post-1979 China" 12th Annual University of Washington Department of Geography Undergraduate Students Research Symposium, 4 June 2010, Seattle, Washington

2. Cai, Siyu "Implications of China’s Internal Migration on the Country’s Economic Development," 13th Annual University of Washington Undergraduate Research Symposium, 21 May 2010, Seattle, Washington

1. Cai, Siyu "China's Household Registration (Hukou) System and its Socioeconomic Impacts," 18th Annual Ronald E. McNair Research Conference, University of Washington, 30 April 2010, Seattle, Washington