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Friday, May 02, 2014

USA trip 27 April - 4 May 2014 Pt III: Princeton University

This was my 2nd time at Princeton University. The first time it was in 2012. You can read it HERE. Since the 1st visit, we had one summer intern student from Princeton who came over to UTP for 8 weeks in June 2013. From the feedback I get, he was very satisfied with his experience. He did a small presentation at Princeton to share his experience (everyone who went overseas for this program at Princeton had to do the presentation) and as a result, more students are interested to go. As a coordinator of this program, I received four applications which were very good but due to budget constraint, I had to select only two. The two will arrive at UTP by the end of May 2014.

Anyway, I had three appointments that day. I'll go through one by one briefly. The first one was with Professor Michael Celia. I got to know him in ESTCON 2012 in which he was the keynote speaker and I was his so-called Personal Officer (khadam la in other words, but I took a great honour for this task. Take note on his impressive achievements as I cut and paste here among others; 1. One of many IPCC contributing authors who share in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize (Contributing author to IPCC Working Group III Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage) 2. Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation, 1987-1992.

He was our host that day and he was great. So whenever you are asked to be a khadam for someone great, please do it as definitely one day he will return the favour as in this case, he did more than what I did. After 30 minutes in his office for a chat, he took us for a Princeton class experience where we sat through the lecture of Prof Maric Garlock on thin shell structures. Since it was a course for the whole university, it was not very technical and hardcore engineering. Then he took us for a short campus tour and then back to his and Maria offices for another chat. The details of the chat is classified (hehe) as it has to do with what UTP is heading to in research (it is going to be big I tell you).

While we were walking around the campus, I asked him whether he knew anything about Prof John Nash. For those who is uninitiated, Prof John Nash was the famous Nobel mathematician whose life were filmed in the Hollywood movie, A Beautiful Mind. In fact, he was at Princeton and saw Prof Nash as a weird lonely man who were always by himself with a stick. Most of the time, Prof Nash was staring a thick pages of numbers. This was in the late 70s. Wow, I said as Prof Nash was a great inspiration to my friend in UTM, Dr Airil Yasreen. I told Airil on this hahaha... Well seriously, I think more Malaysian student should go to Princeton to study. As the top 3 university in the world, Princeton will bring in a totally different experience for the students. In our chat over whatsapp, me and Airil will plan for something so that we can send a student to do his/her PhD there. If anyone is interested, please contact either one of us.

Then, we went to meet the Director of IIP, Dr Luisa Duarte-Silva. She was kind enough to buy us lunch at one of the cafe at Princeton. We had a specially ordered halal lunch. All campus cafe serve halal menus anyway as it has to cater all kinds of students from all over the world. She is the one who coordinated with me in Princeton students coming to UTP. We were looking for a way of sending UTP students there but unfortunately, there was no mechanism as Princeton does not offer that. In the end we were talking about her Princeton graduate daughter who are now at Cambodia working as a volunteer. Her daughter wanted to continue her study in engineering (she did her first degree, non-engineering) and we suggested if she would be interested to do it at UTP. That, is a possibility, she said. Well, let's see.

And finally, we met the two students who are coming to UTP at the end of the month. We just had an informal chat on the program. I guess, they were very excited in going overseas, and more than that, coming to Malaysia which will be a totally unique experience for them. I hope that they will enjoy their stay.

Prof Garlock's lecture in a very old lecture room. Most of the tables and seat are made of solid timber. I felt like I was attending a lecture made in Horry Potter movie!

We tried to disguise ourselves as students but failed due to our thinning hair. We were not alone, as we saw at the back a few older people attending. We were informed later that this course is one of the iconic lecture in the university where the students and faculty members joined to listen.

I can't remember why I took the picture of this building.

A stroll in the park. There a free tours as well where everyone can join for free.

Once the University President's home. During the late 60s, it was attacked by students who protested for the Vietnam War. Due to that, the President was taken away from the building and it was converted into club house ( I can't remember)

Prof Fadhil Nuruddin (UTP) and Prof Michael Celia.

Nice spring view.

Inside the ex-president house.

Some nice older building.

This is maybe a church.
Inside the church.

Some more older building inside the campus.

Another one.

One of the many libraries. Notice the old woods for furniture. Harry Potter!

This is inside the Saucon Building, the first building of Princeton University built more than 300 years ago. This building was the venue where USA met to discuss on the war with Britain. On the wall was etched with names of Princeton alumni who died in the many wars.

Notice the "bend" at the steps which tells you the 300 years of stepping up and down!

Civil and Environemant Engineering Department.

Lecturer's rooms in the department.

Halal food.

Ancient!

Our map and our way. You need to walk most of the time as parking is liimited.

2 comments:

Airilsametok said...

Walaupun teman belum lagi merasa ke Princeton, miker petik nama teman pon teman dah honored. Orait yop, lets work out sending some students there, InsyaAllah. But let me get the first running of fluid-structure-interaction code first which once accomplished will be like the most precious knowldege attained in Malaysian soil, putting us on the same pedestal as those in Princeton who are, as you mentioned, also started working on it just recently (a few years back) in the realm of civil and environmental engineering. Lets pray to Allah for our success, Amin.

deaf-angel said...

terbaik la mm
foto2 pun lawa2