by Ian Embradura, OPI
Academic conferences convene researchers together as a venue for knowledge sharing. It is also an opportunity for peers, former classmates, to meet again and plan collaborations and linkages. This was the case with the Mathematics Department’s Dr. Gaudencio C. Petalcorin, Jr. and his classmate both taking up post graduate studies at the UP Diliman, Dr. Hira Bahadur Maharjan.
From January 13 to 15, Tribhuvan University’s Maharjan visited MSU-IIT after attending the Conference on Discrete Mathematics and Applications where Petalcorin was also a participant.
Initially, the only plan was to have Maharjan as an external adviser for one of Petalcorin’s doctorate student. But since the Nepali professor and former Vice Chancellor of Tribhuvan University has never been outside of Manila, Maharjan extended his trip up to Iligan City.
Maharjan was showed around IIT, beginning with the different departments of College of Science and Mathematics. He said he was specifically impressed with the efforts of Chemistry’s Tuklas Lunas and the research of Physics’ Dr. Mark Nolan P. Confesor on predicting the occurrence of earthquakes, especially because Nepal was devastated by an earthquake on April 2015.
What started only as a brewing linkage between the Department of Mathematics of Tribhuvan University and MSU-IIT grew into talks of collaboration for the other colleges. Maharjan is looking forward to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Institute.
Aside from the thriving research environment in IIT, the former Vice Chancellor was also impressed of how IIT, despite its humble and manageable size, has quite the number of Centers of Development and Centers of Excellence.
According to Petalcorin, Tribhuvan University shares the same vision with IIT: transcending from a teaching university into a research university.
But even before MSU-IIT signs an MOU with Tribhuvhan University, both institutions are partnered with University of Kaiserslautern in Germany for a collaborative program on Graph Theory and Optimization with Applications in Industry and Society. A linkage between Tribhuvan University and IIT would then close a triangulated linkage.
Tribhuvan Univeristy is among the largest universities around the world, with a population of almost half a million students. It is the first higher education institution in Nepal. Moreover, there are 38 central departments and four research centers in the university.