Schedule


SUNDAY, 21 JANUARY

Time

Event

1600

Registration

1730

Opening Ceremony

Brian Schmidt

The Virtuous Cycle of Knowledge
Each of us lives in a world where human prosperity is empowered by knowledge. Knowledge grown through research and handed down through education.

I will use my journey from child born in the country to Nobel Prize winner and University President as an example of this virtuous cycle, and how each of us have a part to play in it.

1815

Welcome Reception

MONDAY, 22 JANUARY

Time

Event

0800

Breakfast

0915

Takaaki Kajita

Neutrino Oscillations and Small Neutrino Masses

Neutrinos are elementary particles which are very difficult to observe. They have been assumed to have no mass. It was predicted that, if they have masses, they could change their type while they fly. This phenomena is called neutrino oscillations. Neutrino oscillations was discovered by deep underground neutrino experiments. I will describe the discovery of neutrino oscillations. The implications of the discovery of the small neutrino masses will also be described.

0945

Break

1045

Gerard ’t Hooft

Black Holes and Quantum Mechanics

A notorious problem in theoretical physics is the reconciliation of Einstein's gravity theory (General Relativity) with the theory of quantum mechanics (the behavior of atoms and photons). A possible lead can be found by noting that a very peculiar form of matter is an inevitable consequence of General Relativity: black holes. They should also behave in accordance with quantum mechanics, while earlier investigations appeared to lead to contradictions at this point.  New findings reveal that space and time fold up in special ways, yielding new clues.

1115

John Hopcroft

Deep Learning Technology

Deep learning technology became important when Alexnet succeeded in the Image Net 2012 competition in reducing the error rate from 25% to 15%. Subsequent improvements have reduced the error rate to 3.6% which is better than trained humans. This improvement led researchers to apply deep learning techniques in a wide variety of problems in image and text classification. This talk will give a brief over view of deep learning and what it can do for various topics.

1145

François Englert

Physics As A Rational Approach to Knowledge

The concept of a world ruled by general and experimentally testable laws is astonishingly recent in the history of mankind. It emerged from a scientific revolution in Europe at the Renaissance. Since then, the elementary constituents of matter, which are the building blocks of all known objects in the universe, have been discovered, as well as the laws governing their interactions. I will sketch this intellectual adventure. I will show that the history of the universe itself can be largely reconstructed up to less than a billion of a second after its birth, and I shall discuss the hope to reach a scientific understanding of its birth itself.

1215

Lunch

1330

Panel: What Inspires You?

Moderator: Ling San, Provost and Vice President (Academic), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Panellists: Martin Chalfie, Sir Tim Hunt, John Hopcroft, Efim Zelmanov

1500

Break

1530

Small Group Sessions

Frances Arnold

Synthetic Biology and Directed Evolution

Martin Chalfie

Getting the Postdoc you want

I would like to discuss ways to ensure successful postdoc applications.

Takaaki Kajita

My Research Experiences

I would like to discuss on various issue in basic research. In particular, I would like to stimulate discussions based on my research experiences as a physicst who have been working in deep underground on neutrinos and gravitational waves.

Ada Yonath

The Everest Beyond the Everest

Sir Michael Atiyah

Mathematical Physics
I want to discuss how the deep links between mathematics and  physics have major repercussions in all fields, from black holes to atoms, from vision to code breaking.

Duncan Haldane

A Conversation with Prof Haldane

 
Stuart Parkin

Advanced Materials Discovery 

I would like to discuss novel materials and phenomena that could support novel applications including, for example, neuromorphic computing.

1700

Dinner and French Evening in partnership with France-Singapore Year of Innovation 2018

TUESDAY, 23 JANUARY

Time

Event

0800

Breakfast

0900

Klaus von Klitzing

A New Kilogram in 2018: The Biggest Revolution in Metrology since the French Revolution

Metrology- the science of measurements- is responsible for the international uniformity and precision in standards. Today, the seven units for meter, kilogram, second, ampere, kelvin, mole, and candela of our international system of units (SI units) are used as a basis to express everything in nature by numbers and units. The first global system of units was introduced during the French Revolution with prototypes for the meter and kilogram. Even today, an artefact of platinum iridium is by definition the international unit of mass but this standard is not stable enough. Therefore, the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) at his last meeting in November 2014 encouraged the international metrology community to complete all work until July 2017 necessary for a replacement of the current SI by a new system based on constants of nature. The experimental results indicate that the values of fundamental constants are measurable with such small uncertainty, that FIXED values for 7 constants of nature will form the basis for the revised International System of Units. CODATA (Committee on Data for Science and Technology) fixed the values of these constants in a special adjustment in August 2017 and it is expected, that the next CGPM Conference (13.-16.11.2018) will confirm this recommendation.

0930

Frances Arnold

Innovation by Evolution: Bringing New Chemistry to Life

Producing fuels and chemicals from renewable resources using genetically-programmed organisms promises a sustainable approach to making many products needed in our daily lives. Not satisfied with nature's vast catalyst repertoire, we want to create new ones and expand the space of genetically encoded enzyme functions. I will describe how we can use the most powerful biological design process, evolution, to optimize existing enzymes and invent new ones, thereby circumventing our profound ignorance of how sequence encodes function. Mimicking nature's evolutionary tricks and using a little chemical intuition, we can generate whole new enzyme families that catalyze important reactions, including ones not known in biology. These new chemical capabilities increase the scope of molecules and materials we can build using synthetic biology.

1000

Break

1045

Stuart Parkin

Spin Orbitronics: Chiral Domain Walls and Anti-Skyrmions
Over the past few years there have been remarkable discoveries in spin-based phenomena that rely on spin-orbit coupling that could spur the development of advanced magnetic memory devices1-3.  These include the formation of chiral spin textures in the form of Néel domain walls and topological spin textures – skyrmions - that are stabilized by a Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya exchange interaction.  The Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya exchange interaction is derived from broken symmetries and spin-orbit interactions at interfaces or within the bulk of materials.  Recently we have discovered magnetic antiskyrmions in a tetragonal Heusler compound, Mn1.4Pt0.9Pd0.1Sn, using Lorentz transmission electron microscopy4. The antiskyrmions are stable over a wide range of temperature and magnetic field.  In thin films of the related compound Mn2RhSn we find evidence of anti-skyrmions from variable temperature magnetic force microscopy.  The stability of anti-skyrmions strongly depends on the thickness of the slab in which they are formed.  We compare the properties of antiskyrmions with those of chiral domain walls and their possible use in Racetrack Memory2,3.  Racetrack Memory uses spin-orbit5 and giant exchange torques2 to shift a series of chiral domain walls -  the magnetic bits - to and fro along magnetic nano-wires – the racetracks – at speeds of up to 1 km/s.   Racetrack Memory promises a high performance, non-volatile memory with memory capacities one to two orders of magnitude higher than any conventional charge based memory1.

1 Parkin, S. S. P. & Yang, S.-H. Memory on the Racetrack. Nat. Nano. 10, 195-198, (2015).

2 Yang, S.-H., Ryu, K.-S. & Parkin, S. S. P. Domain-wall velocities of up to 750 ms−1 driven by exchange-coupling torque in synthetic antiferromagnets. Nat. Nano. 10, 221-226, (2015).

3 Garg, C., Yang, S.-H., Phung, T., Pushp, A. & Parkin, S. S. P. Dramatic influence of curvature of nanowire on chiral domain wall velocity. Sci. Adv. 3, e1602804, (2017).

4 Nayak, A. K. et al. Magnetic antiskyrmions above room temperature in tetragonal Heusler materials. Nature 548, 561-566, (2017).

5 Ryu, K.-S., Thomas, L., Yang, S.-H. & Parkin, S. S. P. Chiral spin torque at magnetic domain walls. Nat. Nano. 8, 527–533, (2013).

1115

Sir Tim Hunt

Seeing the Impossible: Stumbling on the Secret of Cell Division

An account of my life in science, from the control of haemoglobin synthesis to the control of cell division.

1145

Efim Zelmanov

Mathematics: Science or Art ?

We will discuss if Mathematics is an intellectual game or a technological engine.

1215

Lunch 

1330

Panel: Science and Society

Moderator: Arnoud De Meyer, President, Singapore Management University
Panellists: François Englert, Stuart Parkin, Ada YonathGerard ’t Hooft

1500

Break

1530

Small Group Sessions

Sir Michael Atiyah

The Computer Revolution
Are computers our servants or our masters?

Duncan Haldane

A Conversation with Prof Haldane 

 

Sir Fraser Stoddart

The Rise and Promise of Artificial Molecular Machines Based on the Mechanical Bond

Gerard ’t Hooft

How to Think About the Planck Scale

I would like to discuss:

  • demystification of quantum mechanics

  • local causality
  • discreteness of space and time
  • difficulties with the Lorentz group
  • theories covering all forces in physics (T.o.E)

We could go into more detail, discussing the black hole microstates, the effects gravitational forces have on them, what kinds of topology change can take place without violating unitarity, and the importance of spherical wave expansions for black holes. All this must be in the form of discussions. 

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji

Atomic Clocks with Ultracold Atoms
Ultracold atoms move very slowly, allowing long observation times and ultraprecise atomic clocks. Applications of these clocks to fundamental and applied physics will be described. 

John Hopcroft

Deep Learning Technology

Klaus von Klitzing

Climate Change and Renewable Energy

I would like to discuss facts about climate change and visions for the future.

 

1700

Dinner

WEDNESDAY, 24 JANUARY

Time

Event

0800

Breakfast

0900

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji

Polarizing, Cooling and Trapping Atoms with Laser Light 
Exchanges of energy, angular and linear momentum between atoms and photons allow one to manipulate atoms with light. This opens the way to several new research fields and applications. 

0930

Plenary Lecture by Sydney Brenner

 

1000

Michael Grätzel

Energy Beyond Oil

My lecture will address the planetary emergency that has arisen from the continued depletion of fossil fuel resources that has led to the green house environmental warming and unprecedented environmental pollution.

Future energy options in particular the quest for renewable and carbon-free source will be assessed. Viable options will be explored to fill the terra-watt gap that will open up during the next few decades mainly due to the growth of the world population. The recent advent and amazing rise of a new generation and highly efficient and low cost photovoltaic converters based on dyes or perovskite pigments as light absorbers that can compete with conventional energy resources will be discussed. Mesoscopic photosystem that mimic the primary process of natural photosynthesis in generating fuels from sunlight will also be presented.

1030

Break and travel to site visits

1200

Lunch

1300

Site Visits

Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) 
Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise (CREATE)
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
National University of Singapore (NUS)
Singapore Management University (SMU)
Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD)

1600

Free & Easy / Return to NTU for dinner

THURSDAY, 25 JANUARY

Time

Event

0800

Breakfast

0900

Plenary Lecture by Duncan Haldane

 

0930

Randy Schekman

A Window in Discovery in Biology - How Cells Export Proteins

Human cells have around 23,000 genes that code for at least that many different protein molecules. All proteins are made inside of cells by ribosomes that stitch amino acids together to make long chains, sometimes thousands of amino acids long, that fold up in a compact structure to give each protein its unique function. A significant number of newly-made proteins end up outside of cells in the blood and lymphatic system (eg. antibody proteins) where they travel around the body to help fight infection and convey information between the organs (eg. insulin) in our body. These extracellular or secreted proteins are conveyed within the cell along a highway system called the secretory pathway. This highway is organized by a network of membranes that transfer proteins in capsules called vesicles from deep inside the cell to the cell perimeter. The last step in the chain of events involves the fusion of the vesicle membrane with the membrane surrounding the cell resulting in the discharge of the interior content of the vesicle to the cell exterior.

The broad outlines of the secretory pathway were established by pioneering electron microscope and cell fractionation experiments conducted by George Palade in the 1960s. Beginning in 1976, my laboratory isolated a series of mutations that block secretion at one of several sequential stages along the pathway established by Palade. Concurrently, James Rothman's laboratory established a cell-free reaction that reproduced vesicular traffic within the Golgi apparatus, and several of the proteins he isolated with this functional assay matched the Sec proteins we had identified genetically. We now know that the mechanism of secretion is evolutionarily conserved over billions of years of life on earth.

The evolutionary conservation of genes required for secretion allowed biotech companies to harness yeast as a factory for the secretion of useful quantities of human proteins. One-third of the world supply of recombinant insulin is made by secretion in yeast and the entire world supply of the hepatitis b vaccine is manufactured in yeast cells. This is yet another example where a basic science discovery has an important application in health and technology.

1000

Break

1045

Martin Chalfie

Robustness in Cell Development
The robustness of biological processes is remarkable given the stochastic nature of the underlying chemical reactions. Thus, cells and organisms can compensate for this natural variability using redundancy, but redundant systems are difficult to change. We have discovered an alternative means of ensuring development in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans that does not involve redundancy (the use of guarantor transcription factors), and so has a potential for modulation.

1115

Sir Fraser Stoddart

Going for Gold

1145

Lunch

1330

Poster Session

1500

Break

1530

Small Group Sessions

Martin Chalfie

A Conversation with Prof Chalfie

Sir Tim Hunt

Finding a Good Problem
I would like to discuss the problem of finding a problem to work on - what Peter Medawar discussed in his essay "The Art of the Soluble".

Ada Yonath

The Connection between Wounds, Infections and Environmental Issues

 

Randy Schekman

Preparing for a Career

Efim Zelmanov

Abstract Algebra in the 20th Century

François Englert

A Conversation with Prof Englert

 

1700

Dinner and Social Programme

FRIDAY, 26 JANUARY

Time

Event

0800

Breakfast

0900

Site Visits

Gardens by the Bay
Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum
NEWater Visitor Centre
PSA Singapore
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Urban Redevelopment Authority Gallery

1200

Travel back to NTU

1230

Lunch

1400

Sir Michael Atiyah

Past Present and Future

Science and Technology are now moving forward with increasing speed. How we use them will determine our future. Looking back to the past we can learn from the wisdom of our ancestors, the great figures such as Plato, Buddha, Newton or Pasteur. The senior scientists here in Singapore, emerging from the past, hand over the torch to the younger generation to guide humanity through the 21st century.

1430

Thomas Südhof

The Crucial but Indirect Relationship between Research Excellence and the Pharmaceutical Industry

1500

Closing Ceremony

1520

Farewell Reception