ASP Committee Meeting on March 5, 2020
Present: Farida, Christine, Marco, Abdesslam, Ulrich, Diouma, Jae, Horst, Steve A., Steve M., Rachid, Ketevi.
If someone else was present and I missed your name, please let me know.
1) The corona virus situation
We will continue planning for ASP2020 assuming the situation will improve for business and travels to resume normally. We will re-assess the situation in May and make a decision. In the meantime, we suggest that lecturers and speakers wait until April / May before arranging their travels. The ICTP will continue to make travel arrangements for the selected students with the option of full refunds of tickets in case we need to postpone ASP2020.
2) ACP2020 conference program and agenda
- People responsible for the various tracks should stare at the contributed talks and send a list to Ulrich and Mohamed G as Marco has already done for the track on “Accelerator, Radiation and Medical Physics”.
- To accommodate more contributed talks, we decided to move the poster session into the breaks (coffee and lunch breaks) and use the time originally allocated for the posters for more contributed talks. So, now we have 3 sessions for contributed talks: on Monday July 20, a 90-minutes session where we can accommodate 12 talks in 2 parallel sessions (6 in each parallel session); On Tuesday July 21, 2 sessions of 210 minutes total where we can accommodate 28 talks of 15-min in 2 parallel sessions. That would be 40 talks of 15 min in 2 parallel sessions. However, some contributed talks should / could be scheduled for 20 or 25 min but the minimum should be 15min.
3) Student program of the 2 weeks, July 6-17
Steve presented a summary student program and lecturers. There were a few requests to move lectures around on the agenda to accommodate lecturers’ travel constraints. These are settled. Steve is preparing some materials to inform the lecturers about the backgrounds of the students in order to prepare their lectures accordingly. Abdesslam and Ketevi will prepare a statistical data on the selected students once the decision is made about which Moroccan students to accept. This statistical data should inform the lecturers about the students backgrounds: educational levels, majors, age, gender, degree pursued, etc. When this data is ready, then Steve will inform the lecturers. Rachid suggested that lecturers suggest ideas / proposals on student projects to be defined in the first week, with the students giving 3-5 min reports in the 3rd week (July 24 in the afternoon) — these were already allocated on the agenda but we need lecturers’ inputs on the topics.
4) Programs for high school learners and teachers
- Farida informed us that we should plan for 20 teachers from Marrakesh and 20 from around Marrakesh. We discussed the option of all the teachers coming to the venue each day from their homes, in which case, we will need to only offer them 2 coffees and lunch per day (no dinner and no lodging). The LOC will arrange to cover for their daily transportations. Then we discussed whether we can have more teachers in this configuration and if we can make the teachers program 3 or 5 days: Ketevi will review the budget and make a recommendation to the LOC. Depending on what we decide, Kenneth will make adjustments to the teachers program; in the case of a 3-day program, the teachers may attend the Forum but not the conference session on “Physics Education & Communication” so that they may use the time for some hands-on activity. Kenneth will send to Ketevi an estimated cost for the materials needed for the teachers.
- Farida also said that the LOC is planning to select 60 learners for the high school program. Lunch should be catered for them but the ASP budget cannot accommodate that: in principle, the high school program costs very little to the ASP budget when we visit the high schools. In case we need to bring the students and offer them lunch, then LOC should come up with a coverage for that—Farida will look into it.
- Kenneth presented the programs for teachers and learners, and will make adjustments depending on the final decision as described above. The Raspberry Pis were to be shipped by BNL but that will have to wait until May when we will know more the corona virus situation to make final decision on ASP2020.
5) Student selection
- Abdesslam summarized the current situation on the selection of the students. The selection is completed for the foreign students: 51 where selected and the list was passed on to the ICTP. The ICTP will contact the students, verify the validity of their passports and then make an estimate of the total travel cost. Then the ICTP will discuss with us before starting to buy tickets. As said in 1), the tickets will have an option for refund without penalties in case we will need to cancel because of the corona virus problems.
- For the Moroccan students, Abdesslam said that the LOC decided to take 10+15. 10 selected for sure which will bring the total for 61. Then up to 15 more depending on local support. The LOC should decide on the 10 and 15 and inform us by March 15. Rachid mentioned that in deciding on the 10+15, the LOC should consider that some the Moroccan students have had already opportunities to attend other events, thus priority should be given to the ones that have not yet had such opportunities. Other criteria that the LOC will use to select the 10+15 include consideration for a selection balance across the Moroccan universities.
6) Other logistics for the LOC
- Farida informed us that a request for the patronage Royal was submitted by the LOC. When we get that it should facilitate other local supports;
- The LOC met with members of the CNRST to help with the support from the Ministry. Such a support is not yet allocated but there is confidence it may come;
- LOC submitted a request for coverage to the AUF—Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie; no decision yet.
- Farida said that a request will be made to the Presidents of Cadi Ayyad and Mohammed V to sponsor the ASP gala dinner & entertainment; that, if the support from the Ministry comes, it should partially cover this and other activities mentioned above.
- Farida mentioned that she has managed to secure 5000 euros support from Spain (University of Valencia, I believe).
7) Forum agenda
Ketevi presented a tentative agenda for the forum:
- Dave Charlton agreed to give the welcome address.
- Christine would give a presentation on the ASP mentorship program
- The guest of honor address and the vote of thanks will be handled by people recommended by the LOC. It is desirable to have someone from the King’s Palace or the Ministry to give the Guest of Honor address. The vote of thanks to be given a member of the LOC.
- On the talk about “Moroccan strategy on education and research”, Ketevi proposed Rajaa Cherkaoui et Moursli. However, this should be discussed within the LOC. In any case, we need someone with the broad understanding / vision on the topic.
- After the break, there will be talks by:
** Young-Kee Kim (women in Physics), Peter Jenni (capacity development in large experiment and inclusion of developing countries), Fatima Arib (African center for innovation and sustainable development)
** Someone from CERN yet to be identified;
** Someone to talk about the issue of brain drain and retention
- A lighthearted motivational talk during the gala dinner. An invitation was sent to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa (still waiting for a reply). As a backup, Dr. Acha Goris from Cameroon.
Next meeting: on Thursday April 2nd at 15:00 Geneva time.