Physicist shares passion for mentorship in Tenneco Lecture at UH April 2

March 31, 2010

In the daunting field of theoretical particle physics, UH professor Carlos Ordóñez and guest lecturer Fernando Quevedo have discovered more than formulas and theories. The old friends and colleagues have both realized a passion for recruiting budding researchers in Latin-American countries for graduate studies and postdoctoral fellowships in the United States and Europe.

The University of Houston College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the department of history and the department of physics welcome Fernando Quevedo, recently appointed as the new director of the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), to the Tenneco Lecture Series. The Texas Center for Superconductivity is co-sponsoring the event, which is hosted by Ordóñez.

The free, public event takes place at 4 p.m., Friday, April 2 in room 102 of the Houston Science Center at UH. A wine and cheese reception will follow.

Quevedo is a well-known theoretical particle physicist with wide-ranging research interests in string theory, phenomenology and cosmology. He was awarded the 1998 ICTP Prize in recognition of his contributions to superstring theory and humanitarian efforts.

"Dr. Quevedo leverages his experience as a world renowned physicist to give back to his community, something I share with him," said Ordóñez, who was recently elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. "We are honored to host him and learn more about his exciting ideas for the ICTP, as well as possible new, stronger collaborations with the United States and Latin-American institutions."

The ICTP is the pre-eminent center for scientific collaboration and training between developed and developing countries. For more than four decades, the ICTP has trained thousands of students and scientists from developing countries, promoting the development of science and technology in their countries of origin and establishing long-lasting connections among scientists from different parts of the world. Quevedo will give an overview of the ICTP and some of its plans for the future, including possible ICTP-USA centers.

Ordóñez is on a similar quest to advance science in Third World countries, recruiting up and coming scientists from Mexico, Peru, Cuba, Brazil and other countries, and matching them with UH's top researchers in biology, chemistry and physics for postdoctoral fellowships. He says Third World countries are making great efforts to get up to speed on science and technology, and cultivating these collaborative links enhances the human infrastructure in those countries.

Inaugurated in 1986, the Tenneco Lecture Series provides an opportunity for Houston professionals, community leaders and others to consider historical and social perspectives directly related to the decisions they make. The series is made possible by grants from Tenneco Inc. and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

WHO: Fernando Quevedo, professor of theoretical physics

WHAT: Tenneco Lecture Series "Past, Present and Future of the ICTP Trieste"

WHEN: 4 p.m., Friday, April 2

WHERE: Houston Science Center, Room 102, University of Houston
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