Physics academics help establish African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications
Posted on 26/09/2014
Dr. Bobby Acharya and Prof. John Ellis from the Department of Physics have been amongst five members of the International Organising Committee that played a key role in founding and establishing the African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications. The African School of Fundamental Physics and Applications is an intensive, post-graduate summer school which takes place in a different African country every two years. Between 60 and 70 of the brightest post-graduate physics students from all over Africa are selected and sponsored to attend the school which provides courses on everything ranging from theoretical particle physics and cosmology to experimental particle detection techniques to data analysis and computing to applications such as medical physics. The 3rd school took place in Dakar, Senegal at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in August 2014, following the schools in South Africa in 2010 and Ghana in 2012. The practical organisation of the schools requires a huge amount of work from the IOC as well as the local organisers in the host country, taking two full years to organise. Both Professor Ellis and Dr. Acharya regularly give lectures, courses and tutorials at the schools.
The aims of the school are manifold. They include:
- providing an overview of high energy theoretical and experimental physics and related applications of these fields of research
- fostering interest in these fields of research in Africa which is remarkably underrepresented in these fields compared to Asia and South America
- stimulating networks of African physicists working in these areas and establishing links with physicists outside of Africa
- providing access to opportunities for further study, research and positions in the international community
The ASP schools are truly global in that they are supported and sponsored by over 40 international organisations, institutes, universities and governments. All of the selected African students receive 100% sponsorship to attend the schools, including everything from their travel, their lodging in the host country and three square meals a day. This is vitally important since most of the students cannot afford to travel within Africa.
A blog from this year’s school can be found here: http://africanschoolofphysics.blogspot.ca/2014/08/days-one-and-two-of-school.html