The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) was established at the City University of Hong Kong (CityU) in November, 2015, under the leadership and inspiration of the President of CityU, Way Kuo. As one of the few such centres in the region, it aspires to be an international centre of excellence for innovation by bringing together an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned scholars, including Nobel laureates, to contribute to the solutions of pressing real-world problems.
IAS takes on basic and applied research across disciplines from mathematics and natural science to materials and life sciences. It will contribute to fundamental knowledge and innovative ideas for expanding the frontiers of science, engineering and technology.
Nobel Laureate in leadership
In March 2018, CityU invited Nobel Laureate, Serge Haroche, to be IAS chairman. Haroche has received many prizes and awards for his research in quantum optics and quantum information science, including the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics. His significant contributions to cavity quantum electrodynamics are demonstrated by the observation of the enhancement of a single atom spontaneous emission in a cavity, the direct monitoring of the decoherence of mesoscopic quantum superpositions (or Schrödinger cat states), and the quantum-non-demolition counting of photons.
“I am particularly pleased about this appointment because I come from an institution which shares the IAS values,” said Haroche. “The IAS has the ambition to convey the excitement of research to the academic world and beyond.”
Under his leadership, the IAS will further its mission of building a regional and global intellectual centre to spearhead CityU’s drive for interdisciplinary excellence.
When Jacob C. Huang, former Vice-President of National Sun Yat-Sen University, was appointed as the executive director of IAS in 2017, the renowned material scientist brought a wealth of experience. “I share the university’s values for education and research excellence,” Huang says. “It is also our goal to further raise the global profiles of CityU’s science and engineering community and other academic/research institutions in Hong Kong and the rest of China.”
Committed to a supportive research environment, the IAS has appointed internationally acclaimed academics as its senior fellows. They have great opportunities to work with and mentor other research fellows, young scholars and students at CityU through IAS Distinguished Lectures/Workshops and other events.
IAS has 27 senior fellows, including three Nobel Prize winners: Jean-Marie Lehn, 1987 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry and Klaus von Klitzing, 1985 Nobel Prize in Physics (along with Haroche); Stephen Smale, Fields medallist and Wolf Prize recipient; Philippe Ciarlet, renowned French mathematician; CityU president, Way Kuo; Légion d’Honneur recipient and CityU vice president Jian Lu; renowned material scientist, Chain Tsuan Liu; and many other distinguished scholars in fields ranging from catalysis to humanities.
Since 2015, IAS has organised more than 40 outstanding lectures, workshops and conferences with 80-plus renowned scholars.
Upcoming events in 2018 include: a Materials Summit in June; an Extended Biomedical Workshop in July discussing areas from genomes and cells to mathematics; and a France-Hong Kong Workshop in November in honour of the 80th birthday of Ciarlet, who is well known for his mathematical analysis of the finite element method and applications of differential geometry. The workshop will bring renowned French scientists of IAS to discuss their research fields.