IAS Newsletter - Feb 2015 - page 3

You may wonder: What exactly is a topical research program?
Building on its unique platform for promoting world class scholarly research activities, IAS aspires to make itself an
international center for running topical research programs. Program running is a research format new to Hong Kong but
has proven to be highly successful elsewhere. Since 2011 when IAS introduced the first topical research program to Hong
Kong, IAS has been running programs to attract top talents around the world to gather at IAS for extended visits to
exchange ideas and brainstorm in various highly specialized disciplines. An IAS program, which may last from a week to a
full academic term, usually consists of short courses, workshops, and in some cases postdoc-led / postgraduate
student-led discussion sessions. Participants from overseas, of whom the majority of those are prominent scholars, will be
in residence at IAS to interact with the local academics and students. Innovative ideas and projects naturally emerge under
an atmosphere conducive to mind opening. Working together with the best and brightest talents in the respective
disciplines, academics in Hong Kong may start or develop research collaborations with overseas participants, thereby
promoting research excellence in Hong Kong. The horizons of the young scholars and postgraduate students in Hong
Kong will be significantly broadened as they have the opportunity to interact face-to-face with and learn from a group of
academic leaders in their areas of study in a holistic manner. Through these excellent opportunities to connect with these
great minds, it is not only an intellectually inspiring experience but also creates possibilities for the young people in Hong
Kong to follow world renowned academics to further develop their potentials. The process may as well facilitate
communication and dissemination of results to the wider community of scientists and non-experts.
In addition to program running, we took pleasure in having received over 30 IAS Visiting Professors and Fellows; organized
close to 120 lectures, seminars, workshops and conferences; and hosted 4 Gordon Research Conferences in 2014. We
congratulated our Visiting Professors for being accorded the highest honors in science: Fields Medal (Manjul Bhargava)
and Nobel Prize in Physics (Shuji Nakamura).
While keeping our momentum going in 2015, we will further our efforts to attract top talents to join HKUST. We are
working hand-in-hand with the Office of the Vice-President for Research and Graduate Studies to identify top PhD
graduates to take up Research Assistant Professorships. We seize every opportunity to get on board the most sought-after
world class scholars to become IAS Professors. Please read on to learn more about us. We welcome your nominations of
suitable candidates and proposals for activities - please refer to p.24 for details. We cherish your insights to make IAS your
partner for research excellence!
2014 has been a productive year for IAS. We
take pride in organizing 12 cutting-edge topical
research programs during the year, covering
highly specialized areas in Physics, Mathematics,
Engineering and Chinese Literature. We look
forward to having more in 2015.
Henry Tye
HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study
Words from the Director
Feb 2015
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