IAS Newsletter – Sep 2014 - page 10-11

Serving as an intellectual hub for scholars, experts and talented students,
IAS hosted this year’s Research in Industrial Projects for Students - Hong
Kong (RIPS-HK), a summer research plus industrial internship and
international education exchange program. Organized by the Institute of
Pure and Applied Mathematics (IPAM) from UCLA in collaboration with
the Department of Mathematics from HKUST, 8 students from US and
8 from Hong Kong formed 4 cross-cultural teams to work on different
projects. The project teams had to find solutions using analytical and
computational approaches and techniques with support from the local
partners including Lenovo, Hong Kong Observatory, Microsoft Research
Asia and BGI.
Active interactions in IAS
The RIPS-HK program was kicked off with an opening ceremony held in the
IAS Lecture Theater on 10 June 2014. Students spent 9 weeks from late June
to early August in IAS. Active discussions and engaging presentations were
held to encourage students to learn about the problem, master the latest
analytical and computational approaches and techniques to solve it, and
develop report-writing and public-speaking skills to make professional
presentations about the progress and results of their work to a scientific
audience. Students also had chances to meet different scholars and fellows
of IAS under a friendly environment.
The IAS Program on Particle Theory gathered three
generations of alumni and students from the University of
Science and Technology of China (USTC) at IAS this summer.
The relatively “senior citizens” are Tao Liu and Yanjun Tu. Tao
has been an Assistant Professor of Physics at HKUST since
February 2013 and is a co-organizer of the Program. Yanjun was
a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California at San
Diego. She visited IAS in the past two seasons and has just
joined the faculty of the University of Hong Kong this September.
Yi Wang, an alumnus of USTC’s School for the Gifted Young,
received his PhD in 2009 and is currently on a Stephen
Hawking Advanced Fellowship at University of Cambridge. He
visited HKUST in July 2014 and gave talks on Cosmic
Microwave Background anomalies.
Siyi Zhou is a fresh graduate from the Department of Modern Physics at USTC. She completed her undergraduate thesis in
supersymmetry and Higgs earlier this year and spent a few months at IAS before starting PhD studies under Tao’s
supervision. The youngest of the quintet is Junyu Liu, a third year student at USTC. This is an eye-opening experience for
this 19-year-old to interact and work with experts in the discipline.
The IAS Program on Particle Theory is a long-standing initiative that runs regular talks and discussions. More than 60
overseas visitors, ranging from graduate students to faculty, have participated in the program since February 2013.
Little Known,More to Unearth
1 Platform, 2 USTs,
In August, IAS organized two visits to the Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment
Facility, which is located near the Daya Bay and Ling Ao nuclear power plants in
China. The visits were joined by President Tony F. Chan, visitors of IAS and faculty
and students from the Department of Physics at HKUST. Prof Kam-Biu Luk, US team
lead and co-spokesperson of the Experiment, also joined the visit.
Neutrinos are uncharged particles produced in nuclear reactions, such as in the sun
or by cosmic waves. They flooded the universe right after the Big Bang. However,
being electrically neutral, their existence is difficult to detect. By observing the
interactions of electron antineutrinos in the massive detectors buried in the
mountains adjacent to the Daya Bay nuclear reactors, scientists found out a new type
of neutrino transformation. Such a discovery opened a gateway to understand the
matter-antimatter asymmetry in the universe, and was named one of the “Top Ten
Science Breakthroughs” by Science in 2012.
The Daya Bay Collaboration includes more than 200 scientists and engineers from the Chinese Mainland, the United
States, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia and the Czech Republic. In July 2014, Hong Kong was accepted as a member joining
the ATLAS Collaboration (a particle physics experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)) which operates the world’s
largest particle detectors at CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research), Switzerland. In 2012, the ATLAS
team, along with CERN’s CMS Collaboration (CMS, the Compact Muon Solenoid, is a general-purpose detector at the
LHC), co-discovered the Higgs boson, or the so-called “God Particle”. The Hong Kong group operates under the Joint
Consortium for Fundamental Physics comprising colleagues and students from HKUST, the University of Hong Kong and
the Chinese University of Hong Kong. IAS Junior Fellow Dr Kirill Prokofiev is the convener of ATLAS’s Higgs combination
and properties subgroup and vertex reconstruction subgroup.
USTCers (from left: Yanjun Tu, Junyu Liu, Tao Liu, Yi Wang, Siyi Zhou) and
Prof Henry Tye (IAS, HKUST)
From left: Prof Michael Altman (Head of Physics, HKUST),
Prof Henry Tye (IAS, HKUST), Prof Jenny Lee (HKU), Prof
Kam-Biu Luk (UC Berkeley & HKU), President Tony F. Chan
and Prof Joseph Lee (VPRG, HKUST)
President Tony F. Chan and
Prof Tim Leung (MATH, HKUST)
IAS Community
IAS Community
Sep 2014
Sep 2014
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