Mathematics and Physics conference brings together top talent

International and local mathematicians, physicists, and students participated in the Seventh Palestinian Conference on Modern Trends in Mathematics and Physics (PCMTMP VII), organized by Birzeit University’s Faculty of Science between July 30 and August 1, 2022.

This is the second time that Birzeit has organized this event after hosting PCMTMP I in 2008.

In the opening session, Dr. Wafaa Khater, dean of the Faculty of Science, welcomed the scientists, researchers, and graduate students in mathematics and physics from Palestinian universities and abroad in attendance. In particular, she mentioned the uncertainties of conference planning due to COVID and the travel restrictions posed by the occupying forces, disallowing our colleagues from Gaza and the Palestinian diaspora to join the conference in person.

On behalf of the conference’s international scientific committee, Professors Ulrich Eckern and Saber El-Aydi gave a historical review on the first of the series of conferences.

Professor Marwan Awartani, Palestinian Minister of Education, chair of the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology (PALAST), and the conference’s keynote speaker, gave a detailed talk on the ministry’s contributions and initiatives to foster mathematics and science education in Palestine, focusing on the importance of investing in young generations to attract them into these fields.

Over the three days of the conference, more than 70 talks in the fields of mathematics, theoretical physics, and applied physics were given by guest speakers from distinguished universities and research centers in Europe, Canada, and the United States, including scientists and graduate students from the Palestinian diaspora and from local Palestinian universities.

On the first day of the conference, Professor Edriss Titi from the University of Cambridge (United Kingdom) and Texas A&M University (United States) gave a talk titled “Mathematics of Turbulent Flows: A Million Dollar Problem,” attracting audiences from various mathematics and physics fields

Professor Jocelyn Bell Burnell from the University of Oxford (United Kingdom) gave a talk on “Being a woman in (astro)physics,” in which she shared part of her experience as a woman physicist and touched upon some of the issues that women in science deal with in their academic and research journeys across the world.

The conference attracted more than 150 participants from more than 30 universities and research centers both nationally and internationally.

During the conference, Palestinian students and faculty members discussed prospective collaborative academic and research projects with the visiting professors.

At the end of the conference, three prizes were given to the winners of the Outstanding MSc Thesis Prize in Mathematics and Physics, with each prize including $500 in cash and a certificate of recognition signed by the prize donors, Professor Titi and the chairs of the international committee, Professors Eckern and El-aydi. The three award winners are Ms. Alia Al-Saifi in mathematics from An-Najah National University; Ms. Nour Abboushi in applied physics from Al-Quds University; and Mr. Sameh Othman in theoretical physics from Birzeit University. It was also announced that the eighth conference in this series (PCMTMP VIII) will be hosted by An-Najah National University in 2024.

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