CityU celebrates France-Hong Kong Scientific Cooperation in Honour of Professor Philippe G. Ciarlet on his 80th Birthday
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In honour of the 80th birthday of renowned mathematician Professor Philippe G. Ciarlet, City University of Hong Kong (CityU) organised a full-day conference on 12 November to showcase the University’s major role in fostering scientific cooperation between France and Hong Kong.
The conference was organised by CityU’s Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). Professor Ciarlet is a Senior Fellow of the IAS and a University Distinguished Professor at CityU.
The conference brought together six eminent speakers, including Professor Serge Haroche, 2012 Nobel Laureate in Physics; Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, 1987 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry; Professor Pierre-Louis Lions, Collège de France, France, and a Fields Medalist; Professor Sir John Ball, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK; Professor Li Tatsien, Fudan University, Shanghai; and Professor Jean Salençon, École Polytechnique, France, to share their insights and latest research findings in their respective research areas. All of them are Senior Fellows of the IAS.
Officiating guests at the opening ceremony of the conference included Professor Way Kuo, CityU President; Mr Alexandre Giorgini, Consul General of France in Hong Kong & Macau; and Professor Ciarlet.
Professor Kuo extended a warm welcome to the guests at the opening ceremony. In his welcome remarks, he said that CityU had built up strong ties with France over the years, showcasing CityU’s commitment to strengthening international partnerships in higher education. Professor Kuo also expressed his congratulations to Professor Ciarlet on his 80th birthday and applauded his contributions to the scientific community.
Mr Giorgini extended his appreciation to Professor Kuo and Professor Ciarlet for their support and promotion of French values in Hong Kong over the years in the spirit of innovation and discovery.
Professor Ciarlet recalled that 16 years had already passed since he joined CityU in 2002. He expressed his utmost gratitude to Professor Kuo for his leadership and to the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong & Macau for its support for a series of high-profile lectures organised by members of the French Academy of Sciences. He noted that many notable French scientists had visited the CityU campus over the years.
Professor Jacob Huang Chih-ching, Executive Director of the IAS and Chair Professor of Materials Science at CityU, said that it was an honour for the IAS to hold this remarkable event for Professor Ciarlet. Professor Huang expressed his appreciation to the six distinguished speakers for delivering inspiring lectures at the IAS Conference. He concluded that the IAS was committed to bringing together an interdisciplinary team of world-renowned scholars and working with and mentoring other research fellows and students at CityU.
In the morning session of the conference, Professor Haroche delivered a lecture titled “How Blue Sky Science and Technology Nurture Each Other: the Example of Quantum Physics”. He explained the correlation behind basic science and technology. The lecture covered topics such as quantum communication, quantum computation and examples of quantum technologies.
In the afternoon session, Professor Lehn presented a lecture, titled “Steps Towards Life: Chemistry!”. He said synthetic chemistry has developed a very powerful set of methods for constructing more complex molecules and concluded that “science shapes the future of humanity.” Over the years Professor Lehn’s work has led to the definition of a new field of chemistry, called “supramolecular chemistry”, which deals with the complex entities formed by the association of two or more chemical species, held together by non-covalent intermolecular forces.
The conference was well-attended by many students, faculty members and guests from CityU and the community.
Professor Ciarlet is well-known for his work in the mathematical analysis of the finite element method, the mathematical theory of elasticity, plates and shells, and applications of differential geometry. He is a Member of the French Academy of Sciences and Academia Europaea, and is a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Science.