This is a request for support for U.S. scientists participation in the ?36th International Nathiaghali Summer College on Physics and Contemporary Needs, Islamabad, Pakistan, June 27-July 8, 2011. The US organizer is Dr. Talat Rahman, Chair, Department of Physics at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The Pakistani organizer is Dr. Riazuddin, Director, National Center for Physics, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad. INSC is attended by scientists and graduate students. The speakers are generally from the United States and Western Europe, and participants come from regional developing countries including China, countries in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa as well as Pakistan. A major objective is to facilitate and encourage collaborations between researchers in physics.
Intellectual Merit: The summer college topics include, in addition to particle physics, two of the most current and timely areas of science and development namely quantum information, and nanomaterials and photovoltaics. The presentations cover experiments as well as theory/simulation and application. The discussions of nanotechnology allow scientists from developing countries and advanced countries to work at the forefront of science and technology and, because it has some aspects of low cost, also offer applications in vital areas such as renewable energy. The School has a long track record of effectiveness in bringing high-level scientific presentations and exchange of information on important contemporary topics to students and scientists from Pakistan and the surrounding region. The PI plans to maintain an environment conducive to participation by students, and to use funds quite effectively to bring several US researchers and students to Pakistan, and to put them in touch with Pakistani researchers. Past record indicates that the proposed activity has been a major success story with several collaborations having been initiated, and students exchanged between the U.S. and Pakistan.
Broader impacts: There is a track record of successful interaction and collaboration between US and foreign scientists as a result of these Summer Schools. The conference is becoming an incubator of collaborations between US and Pakistani institutions. Several US scientists had success stories of the conference, visiting Pakistan, interacting first-hand with its researchers, getting to know the people and the culture and thus changing their view of the region. They have witnessed the same transformation in other faculty and students participating at the conference. Several past participants have later obtained funding from NSF and from other U.S. sources for collaborative research. The summer school is clearly valuable for students and scientists of Pakistan and other developing countries. It brings together scientists from the US / Western Europe and Pakistan where they can discuss the latest developments in science and technology and exchange ideas about the methodology of reaching out to students and trainees. The informal setting of interaction is excellent for exchange of information and creating bridges for cultural understanding.