News Details | 09-Jan-2012

NTU launches Singapore’s first winter school to bring latest advances and discoveries in science to Singapore and Asia

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) is organising a three-week winter school to bring the latest scientific breakthroughs around the world, in particular on particle physics and cosmology, to Singapore and Asia.

The school is an initiative of NTU’s Institute of Advanced Studies, in collaboration with several top institutions including the world renowned European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), the birth place of the World Wide Web.

To be held every two years, the Institute of Advanced Studies School on Particle Physics and Cosmology and Implication for Technology will make it more accessible for academics in Asia to keep abreast with new scientific knowledge. In the past, academics who wished to be updated on the latest frontiers in physics and cosmology would have enrolled in summer or winter schools such as those organised by CERN in Europe or the Boulder School in Condensed Matter and Materials Physics in the United States.

Distinguished professors, including those from CERN, the creator of the world’s largest particle physics laboratory – the Large Hadron Collider – that provides the infrastructure needed for high-energy physics research, will deliver a mini-course on current hot topics in the field of particle physics and cosmology to some 120 young scholars and researchers from around the region. Also sharing their latest findings and research ideas are esteemed scientists from University of Oxford, Cornell University and the University of Munich.

These young Asian scientists, hailing from Asean and countries such as India, Iran and China, are also expected to benefit from CERN’s international linkages. As a physics research organisation comprising of 20 member states, it co-ordinates projects world-wide across a large number of research institutes focused on fundamental science, which is integral to new developments and innovations.

The IAS School which will be held till 31 January 2012 was launched today at the Nanyang Executive Centre by Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean. Mr Teo said in his speech that the school “marks another exciting new development in Singapore’s research and development journey”.

Mr Teo added that “Singapore must continue to support and recognise high-quality research, forge new links and partnerships, develop new niches of excellence and blaze new trails”, to stay ahead in the highly competitive arena of scientific research.

“The IAS School takes the collaboration between NTU and CERN to a higher level, and helps to position NTU as the Asian research hub in the global network of scientific institutions that focus on high energy physics,” Mr Teo said.

NTU President Prof Bertil Andersson said the IAS School will introduce to its participants the true beauty of fundamental physics with practical implications for technology.

“Major centres of research have traditionally organised summer and winter schools in order to fill this need to keep pace with new developments, not just in their own field of research, but also the broader trends and perspectives in related fields beyond,” Prof Andersson said.

“NTU is fast becoming a melting pot of internationally renowned scientists, promising researchers and bright young minds. The school thus fits in well at NTU as we continue to ramp up our research activities to become a research-intensive, global university that is fast gaining a reputation as one of the world’s fastest rising universities,” he added.

Prof Ignatios Antoniadis, Theory Division Head of the Physics Department in CERN, said CERN is delighted to take part in the 1st IAS School and to support the school's programme, aims and vision, as such a school serves the very important purpose of providing advanced education and training opportunities for young scientists.

“Singapore has a long and distinguished history in particle physics, with particular strengths in both phenomenological and theoretical aspects,” Prof Antoniadis said.

“CERN welcomes the further strengthening of the collaboration with Singapore, and in particular looks forward to the participation of a Singapore experimental high-energy physics group in the exciting physics programme of the Large Hadron Collider.”

Director of IAS, Adjunct Professor Phua Kok Khoo said: “CERN is undoubtedly one of the most important international scientific centres in the world.  It is well known not just for its excellent research in particle physics, new technology and advanced computing technology. It is therefore a deep honour for us to co-organize this school and workshop with such an impressive institution.”

The IAS School consists of two weeks of mini-course lectures conducted by esteemed experts in the field, ending with a week-long workshop, with lectures on the frontiers of particle physics, cosmology and implications for technology.

The first batch of participants consisting mostly of graduate students, young academics and researchers will also be able to join in the excitement of finding the “Higgs Boson”, the particle which has been theorised to give mass to other particles – one of the main projects which are currently being conducted at CERN.

The School is expected to be a starting point for further collaborations between CERN and NTU, such as in joint projects to explore possible technologies in imaging used in biomedical applications.

NTU is honoured to have Her Royal Highness, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand as the Patron of the School.

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Media contact

Lester Kok
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Tel: 6790 6804


About Nanyang Technological University

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,500 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, and Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences. In 2013, NTU will enrol the first batch of students at its new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is set up jointly with Imperial College London.

NTU is also home to four world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N).

A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.

Besides the main Yunnan Garden campus, NTU also has a satellite campus in Singapore’s science and tech hub, one-north, and is setting up a third campus in Novena, Singapore’s medical district.

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