About NCTS


The Operation of NCTS





    The national Center for Theoretical Sciences was established by the National Science Council in August 1997 at the campus of National Tsing Hua University, and co-hosted by the adjacent National Chiao Tung University. It went through two phases of operation, first phase 1997-2003, second phase 2004-2008. In the second phase, besides the main project at Hsinchu, two subprojects were added to the operation: subproject I at National Taiwan University, and subproject II at National Cheng Kung University, also co-hosted by National Sun Yat Sen University. The third phase 2009-2014 began two years ago and National Central University joined NTHU and NCTU to co-host the main project.

    The mode of operation of this center is modeled after KITP of Santa Barbara and MSRI of Berkeley, while also taking into account the local situation of Taiwan. Its purpose is to serve the whole theoretical sciences community in Taiwan and it aims to achieve the following goals:


    1. To foster world class outstanding researchers, and attract top young researchers to do cutting edge research in theoretical sciences;

    2. To attract worldwide outstanding theoretical scientists to do research in Taiwan;

    3. To develop international and inter-disciplinary scientific research programs;

    4. To promote international cooperation and collaborations, aiming to become a leading research institution in Asia and in the world.


    In the last 14 years, NCTS had gone through four on-site evaluations by international review committees organized by the National Science Council. The last external review was in December 2009. The performance and achievements of NCTS in these years were highly praised by that review committee. In particular, NCTS is quite successful in fostering internationally competitive research groups and enhancing international visibility of Taiwanese researchers in theoretical sciences. They recommended strongly the support of NCTS into its next ten years. As a result, NCTS is entering the third of the six year phase three project. The center is to be reviewed annually by an external committee.


    Since most of the world centers focus either on Mathematics, or on Physics alone. We will give more detailed discussion and comparisons of NCTS with world well-known centers of theoretical sciences in the SWOT sections of the proposal of Mathematics Division (respectively, of the Physics Division).


    The Objectives


    NCTS has set as its objective to promote researches of Theoretical Sciences in Taiwan, visible in the world and excellent in the Asian-Pacific region. It enhances activities of theoretical sciences here in Taiwan by bringing together theoretical scientists from abroad and from Taiwan, promoting contacts and collaborations. The stimulating environment of NCTS is designed to support and facilitate all of these activities. The supporting staff enables the program participants to devote their energies exclusively to research. Office space is provided to all visitors so that they can carry on their researches and formulate research problems of mutual interests.

        NCTS is to serve the whole community of theoretical scientists in Taiwan. One of its foremost missions is to foster young talents, nurturing next generation of theoretical scientists in Taiwan. It designs all programs specifically with this goal in mind. In particular, NCTS wants to help up-grade Ph.D. programs in theoretical sciences of the major universities in Taiwan.  It encourages and supports young students and researchers to make academic adventures into the world frontiers of theoretical sciences research, and to broaden the scopes of the younger generation. To strengthen this direction, NCTS cooperates with many important international centers of theoretical sciences.

    With fourteen years of successful operations and the accumulated experiences, NCTS now moves toward emphasizing the lasting impact of all the activities, the long range significances of all of our focus programs. We also plan very active outreach programs to make efforts to establish links with the public and people outside theoretical sciences, to continue publicizing the importance and the role of theoretical sciences in our culture.


    Operational Framework


    The director of the NCTS represents the center, and is also the PI of the main project, responsible for coordinating with the PI of each subproject. The center consists of two divisions, Mathematics Division and Physics Division. Each division has a division head, who helped by the PIs of the subprojects, runs the division in consultation with the director. Each division has its International Advisory Committee. This committee consists of leading theoretical scientists from abroad, invited by the director and the division head. The committee members make important academic suggestions to the center, advising the division head and recommending candidates for center scientists. They are also encouraged to make site visit every year, so as to keep current on the development of the center.

    The Executive Committee consists of leading domestic theoretical scientists, including the PIs of the main project and subprojects, and representatives from all hosting universities. This committee monitors the operation of the center and helps the division head in decision making. The Academic Program Committee is formed by coordinators of focus programs. It makes recommendations on all academic activities.  The coordinators of the various focus programs are the major forces who move NCTS forward.


    Organization of NCTS