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Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences

Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences
دانشگاه تحصیلات تكمیلی علوم پایه-زنجان
Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences(IASBS)
coat of arms
Established 1991
Type Public
President HamidReza Khalesifard (2014-present)
Rasoul Khodabakhsh (2010-2014)
Yousef Sobouti (1991-2010)
Academic staff
35
Students 700
Undergraduates 145
Postgraduates 555
Location Zanjan, Zanjan Province, Iran
Campus Suburban
Colours      Carmine
Website http://www.iasbs.ac.ir/
Physics department interior
Torkaman Library

The Institute for Advanced Studies in Basic Sciences (IASBS) (Persian: مرکز تحصیلات تکمیلی در علوم پایه زنجان) is an advanced research center and graduate-level degree-granting institution in Zanjan, Iran. It was founded in 1991 by Prof. Yousef Sobouti, who was the director of the institute until 2010. After that Dr.Rasoul Khodabakhsh was the director till February 2014, and Dr. HamidReza Mohammadi Khalesifard has filled the position since then.

IASBS is considered to be one of the most productive research centers of the country. It offers advanced degrees (master's and above) in Mathematics, Physics, Geophysics, Biophysics and Chemistry. As of 2008, the mathematics department offers master of science degrees in Computer Science with concentration on Artificial Intelligence(esp. Multi Agent Systems and Computational Geometry) and Graph & Algorithms. The university also runs two undergraduate programs in Information Technology, one of which is a joint program with Heriot-Watt University of the United Kingdom. The latter, lectured and examined in English language, involves passing modules in both universities at the same time and each student is officially registered both at IASBS and Heriot-Watt University (i.e. successful students receive two separate degrees from each university). The unique collaboration of the two universities has resulted in an advanced Information Technology program and many of its alumni have joined highly ranked institutions in United Kingdom, Canada and United States.[1]

The library of the university began its work in 1993 as a relatively small part in physics department. It was then substantially expanded by moving to a brand new building about 16 years later. The new library was opened in 2007 and named Torkaman Library after its donor. Currently, the library keeps 20,208 books, 6,552 of which are in Persian, and the other 13,659 are in English and other languages.[2]

In May 2002, Zanjan ICT incubator established by Dr. Jalil Khavandkar in the IASBS for development of technology and business. He followed this by establishing Zanjan Science and Technology Park in June 2009. These two foundations are of the most successful techno-centers in Iran.

Contents

  • Commentary 1
  • The International Advisory Council 2
  • Honors and Awards 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Commentary

Some 12 years ago, a few of us felt that our universities were doing a good job in education at B.Sc. level. At M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels, however, they left things to be desired. Graduate education was new in our universities. Most places had adopted them as a matter of prestige, without having the required scientific, financial and administrative infrastructure. In fact, some of these issues were discussed among S. Ranjbar Daemi, R. Mansouri and myself in Valle Rosandra of Trieste (Italy), while the participants were refreshing themselves, in the cool creaks of the valley.

Addressing the Minister of Science, Research and Technology, Mostafa Moeen, in 1989, we argued that our existing higher education institutions had too many undergraduate students and administrative staff, too little financial means, too few scientific staff, and above all, a rigid bureaucratic and technocratic system of administration and education. It is not easy for most of our universities to pay proper attention to the needs of a prospering graduate education. The proposal was to set up a fresh institute with no inherited administrative frame and staff, and no undergraduate enrollment, dedicated to graduate education, and focusing only on basic sciences. Basic sciences are not ordinarily on the list of priorities of developing societies. This was the reason behind the emphasis we put on basic sciences. With the vigorous support of Minister Moeen, the Ministry approved the plan. Zanjan, a city with a population of 300,000 and 350 km to the north-west of Tehran, was chosen for the "Institute for Advances Studies in Basic Sciences, (IASBS)". The location is far enough from the hustling megacity of Tehran to not to be affected by the many distractions and temptations of it. Yet it is close enough to pursue the many ensuing official and budgetary problems in Tehran.

Now, after ten years, IASBS has physics education at M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels, and mathematics and chemistry at M.Sc. level. There will soon be education at Ph.D. level in the latter two departments. Departments of earth and biological sciences are being planned. Computer science is also on the agenda. Presently, IASBS has 33 full-time faculty and some part-time members. The total enrollment in fall 2001 was 115. IASBS has a flexible and extensive program for visiting scientists from abroad, and supports visits by students and staff to international centers. I can best summarize the achievements of IASBS by noting that after ten years since its creation, its 33 faculty members and 22 Ph.D. students are able to produce one paper every 3–4 days in reputable international journals. And its performance has been eye catching enough to be announced as a center of excellence in physics by the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. The IASBS is a degree granting institution with Master's and Doctoral programs only. Since September 2000, however, it has started a new program in physics for a nationally selected group of distinguished high school graduates. The program, a first attempt at the national level, will train these select group of students over a period of seven years, granting them a Ph.D. degree in physics if they meet the required criteria for that degree.

The Institute also endeavors to engage in scientific, technical, and cultural cooperation with other educational institutions and the relatively young local industry, and to make a deliberate effort to have scientific and cultural impact on the region.

According to its articles of association, the Board of Trustees of the Institute consists of the Minister of Science, Research and Technology, the Head of the Planning and Budget Organization, the Director of the Institute, and four eminent scientific and cultural personalities of the country.

The director of the Institute, selected out of outstanding scientific figures in the country, in cooperation with the Scientific Council of the Institute, directs the Institute towards its goals.

The International Advisory Council of the Institute is composed of a host of internationally well-known scholars and scientists. The late Professor Abdus Salam was a member of this council. Members of the Council assist the Institute in delineating its general themes of research, establishing new disciplines, attracting prominent researchers and evaluating its scientific achievements.

The International Advisory Council

  • Mohammad Abdus Salam, The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy
  • Asim Orhan Barut, University of Colorado, USA
  • Nasser Peyghambarian, University of Arizona, USA
  • Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, University of Chicago, USA
  • Govind Swarup, Inter-University Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA), India
  • Seifallah Randjbar-Daemi, The Abdus Salam ICTP, Italy
  • Mehran Kardar, MIT, USA
  • John Clark, Washington University, USA
  • Sang-Soo Lee, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea
  • Bahram Mashhoon, University of Missouri, USA
  • Mudumbai S. Narasimhan, The Abdus Salam ICTP, Italy
  • Cumrun Vafa, Harvard University, USA
  • E. Van den Heuvel, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Honors and Awards

See also

References

  1. ^ http://iasbs.ac.ir/archives/pages.php?ef=fa&page=n_fullstory.php&NewsIDn=918
  2. ^ اطلاعات کلی, IASBS, December 16, 2009

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