Words from the Director

We are elated to announce that Prof George Smoot, a recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2006, has joined the elite ranks of our faculty and the IAS family.

His team’s groundbreaking discovery of the anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation has furthered humanity’s understanding of the origin of the universe. The good news does not end here. Prof Kam-Biu Luk, our Senior Visiting Fellow and a member of our fundamental physics research team, spent the past Fall term here. He was a leader of the Daya Bay research team which received the 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for their investigations on neutrino oscillation. In the same month, Sir John Pendry, our Visiting Professor, was awarded an HKUST honorary doctorate degree for his distinguished accomplishments in the academia.

As scientists and scholars endeavor to unlock the secrets of our world, so does IAS strive to stimulate the development and exchange of their knowledge and ideas. 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of IAS. It was founded in 2006 with an inaugural lecture by Prof Stephen Hawking and Prof Paul Chu as the Founding Director. Since then, the IAS community has grown substantially over the years. Today, we host about 50 fellows of all ranks and a similar number of prominent scholars with IAS visiting appointments. Hundreds of researchers from around the world come here for conferences, workshops, programs, lectures and collaborations every year. The agreement recently signed with Gordon Research Conferences to hold up to eight conferences each summer marks another milestone for IAS.

It would not have been attainable were it not for the staunch support from the University and our faculty. We are also grateful for Croucher Foundation’s and K. C. Wong Education Foundation’s generosity, which has contributed to our stride. The success of all these activities is also only possible with a strong and dedicated team of staff. We are happy to have Sherring Ng as IAS’s new Head, Administration and Development to lead the team.

Of course, your continuous support is indispensable for making IAS a world class intellectual hub. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you have any suggestions or insights on our path to research excellence. Read on to learn more about what the community and we have achieved in the past season.

Henry Tye

HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study