RICHARDSON, Texas (Dec. 3, 2004) – When the leadership of the National Physics Laboratory in New Delhi, India, invited Nobel laureate Dr. Alan MacDiarmid to give the “Erwin Schrodinger Memorial Lecture,” it initiated a response that resulted in five of MacDiarmid’s colleagues from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) joining him on a 10-day trip to the South Asian nation that begins this weekend. The delegation’s mission: to develop significant relationships with some of that country’s most prestigious research universities.
MacDiarmid, who won the 2000 Nobel Prize in chemistry and is now professor of chemistry and physics and holds the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology at UTD, is leading the delegation. Other members include Vice President for Research and Graduate Education Dr. Da Hsuan Feng, Dean of the School of Management Dr. Hasan Pirkul, Ashbel Smith Professor of Operations Management and Director of the Center for Intelligent Supply Networks Dr. Suresh Sethi, Associate Head of Computer Science Dr. Gopal Gupta and Ashbel Smith Professor of Computer Science Dr. Ramaswamy Chandrasekaran.
“In order to become a globally recognized research university, which UTD strives to be, it needs to develop collaborations with high-quality universities throughout the world,” said Feng. “Dr. MacDiarmid’s invitation to speak in India was our opportunity to introduce to leading Indian research universities the strengths of UTD and to promote the fact that the Dallas- Fort Worth area is a significant technology and economic center.”
The delegation will visit three of the seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) – those located in Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay), Delhi and Roorke. Three members of the delegation – Sethi, Gupta and Chandrasekaran – are alumni of the IITs. The group also will visit the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.
The National Physics Laboratory in New Delhi, the site of MacDiarmid’s lecture, is responsible for identifying and conducting physics research that is considered most likely to benefit India and advance the field. The group also establishes and maintains the National Standards of Measurement.
Erwin Schrodinger, for whom the lecture is named, was an Austrian theoretical physicist who contributed to the wave theory of matter and to other fundamentals of quantum mechanics. He shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics with British physicist P.A.M. Dirac.
The four other IITs are located in Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Guwahati. The seven schools are administered by the IIT Council, a body established by the government of India to coordinate the schools’ activities. The Indian Minister for Human Resource Development serves as chairman of the council.
The Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) was established in 1945. There currently are about 400 scientists in the institute working in various disciplines grouped into three major schools -- the School of Mathematics, the School of Natural Sciences and the School of Technology and Computer Science. The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education at Deonar, Mumbai; The National Centre for Radio Astrophysics at Pune and The National Centre for Biological Sciences at Bangalore also form a part of TIFR activities. The institute has several field stations and research facilities in different parts of the country that do a wide variety of research.
The UTD delegation is scheduled to leave for India on Sunday, Dec. 5, and return on Dec. 14.
The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor®, enrolls more than 14,000 students. The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university’s Web site at www.utdallas.edu.