Wednesday, December 27, 2017

NCPP and "Zarah dan Daya 2017"

More than a month ago, I received an invitation to speak at a local event "Zarah dan Daya 2017". The event was organized by the National Centre for Particle Physics (NCPP), based in University of Malaya. Was brooding over what talk should I give there for weeks since my area is not quite in high energy physics. It was only sometime last week that I've decided that it will be on "Geometry in Particle Physics" (later, regretting not having the topic a bit more specialised).

So, yesterday I was there at the event almost the whole day. The event was opened by Emeritus Professor Dato' Dr. Muhammad Yahya, Fellow of the Academy of Sciences, Malaysia, who sits on the board of NCPP. This is followed by an opening speech by Prof. Dr. Wan Ahmad Tajuddin, the Director of NCPP. Below are the group photos (courtesy of Prof. Shahidan Radiman).

The event itself is rather informal (see the simple program book below) and seems closed (no webpage as far as I know). I had wished that it could have been publicised more for reasons I will discuss below.

The list of invited speakers are shown below:

I knew those who are from UPM and of course Prof. Shahidan who was at Cavendish when I did Part III of Math Tripos, but the rest are new to me. It is nice to see people from Nuklear Malaysia, UiTM and UIAM to be there as NCPP needs to grow as a national centre. This is also mentioned by Emeritus Prof. Dato' Dr. Muhammad Yahya in my chat with him before the opening as well as his opening speech. In a way, NCPP is not really known outside certain academic circles and perhaps a good publicity drive may be beneficial. 

I can see the groups in UM with their international collaboration are progressing well, some of which was only known to me through this event. This makes me reflect on our institute with our opportunities of collaboration with foreign institutions and researchers. While I understand that there is a difference in the collaborative culture of the maths community (in comparison with that of high energy physics and astrophysics that may even have very large groups), I do think that the institute could be more aggressive in pursuing international relations. In fact, the opportunities are already laid down there for us and much of my hope goes to the younger researchers who will have many more years ahead of them and we really need more for a better critical mass. I hope we can emulate NCPP in this respect.

I had to leave the event earlier since I have to be somewhere else. Hope that there is more 'Zarah and Daya' events in the future but made more publicly known and more engaging questions & answers.

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