Academics & Research News

Physics departments brings graduate students from across the globe

The UH Department of Physics’ relationship with the International Centre for Theoretical Physics brought seven Ph.D. students from six different nations to a celebration held at UH in April. The students, mentors, physics faculty and College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics leadership shared lunch, developed new connections and networks and listened to student research presentations.

“The best words to describe these students are hard-working, persistent and self-confident scientists in the making,” said Carlos Ordonez, associate professor of physics and promoter and director of the ICTP-UH student program.

The program is open to science students from developing countries, and they must spend one year in Trieste, Italy, preparing rigorously for doctoral programs in the U.S. or Europe.

The seven students pursuing their Ph.D. in physics came from Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique, Nepal and Pakistan and have specialized in ICTP’s High Energy Physics, condensed Matter Physics or Earth System Physics programs.

Several of the students that came from developing countries found elements of U.S. life challenging. ICTP-UH student Merzu Kabede said for him it was public transportation.

“Based on my experiences so far, of all the countries I have been to, America is a more open society,” said ICTP-UH student Emmanuel Epie.

The relationship between the ICTP and the physics department began with the memorandum of understanding signed in 2009, which set in place the opportunity for students from ICTP’s Postgraduate Diploma Program to apply for UH’s doctoral program in physics.

A memorandum of understanding between the University of Houston and the University of Zagreb is expected to be signed in July in Croatia by UH President and Chancellor Renu Khator and Republic of Croatia President Ivo Josipović.

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