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|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)|
|Known for||Parton distribution functions, Field Theory, Phenomenology, supersymmetry and Abstract algebra|
|Awards|| UNESCO Kalinga Prize (2003)|
Fulbright Award (1998)
Faiz Ahmed Faiz Award (1990)
Abdus Salam Award (1984)
|Institutions|| Quaid-e-Azam University |
National Center for Physics
FC College University
Virtual University of Pakistan
|Influences||Abdus Salam, George Bernard Shaw, Bertrand Russell|
Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy (Urdu: پرویز ہودبھائی; born 11 July 1950) is a Pakistani nuclear physicist and activist who serves as Zohra and ZZ Ahmed Foundation distinguished professor at the Forman Christian College and previously taught physics at the Quaid-e-Azam University. Hoodbhoy is also a prominent activist in particular concerned with promotion of freedom of speech, secularism and education in Pakistan.
Urdu —or, more precisely, Modern Standard Urdu—is a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the six states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi. It is a registered regional language of Nepal.
Activism consists of efforts to promote, impede, direct, or intervene in social, political, economic, or environmental reform with the desire to make changes in society. Forms of activism range from mandate building in the community, petitioning elected officials, running or contributing to a political campaign, preferential patronage of businesses, and demonstrative forms of activism like rallies, street marches, strikes, sit-ins, or hunger strikes.
Freedom of speech is a principle that supports the freedom of an individual or a community to articulate their opinions and ideas without fear of retaliation, censorship, or legal sanction. The term "freedom of expression" is sometimes used synonymously but includes any act of seeking, receiving, and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used.
Born and raised in Karachi, Hoodbhoy studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for nine years, where he received degrees in electrical engineering, mathematics and solid-state physics, eventually leading to a PhD in nuclear physics. In 1981, Hoodbhoy went on to conduct post-doctoral research at the University of Washington, before leaving to serve as a visiting professor at the Carnegie Mellon University in 1985. While still a professor at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Hoodbhoy worked as a guest scientist at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics between 1986 until 1994. He remained with the Quaid-e-Azam University until 2010, throughout which he held visiting professorships at MIT, University of Maryland and Stanford Linear Collider.
Karachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the most populous city in Pakistan, and sixth-most-populous city proper in the world. Ranked as a beta-global city, the city is Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre and is considered as the cultural, economic, philanthropic, educational, and political hub of the country. Karachi is also Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city. Situated on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan's two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as the Pakistan's busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private research university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The Institute is a land-grant, sea-grant, and space-grant university, with an urban campus that extends more than a mile alongside the Charles River. Founded in 1861 in response to the increasing industrialization of the United States, MIT adopted a European polytechnic university model and stressed laboratory instruction in applied science and engineering. It has since played a key role in the development of many aspects of modern science, engineering, mathematics, and technology, and is widely known for its innovation and academic strength, making it one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world.
Solid-state physics is the study of rigid matter, or solids, through methods such as quantum mechanics, crystallography, electromagnetism, and metallurgy. It is the largest branch of condensed matter physics. Solid-state physics studies how the large-scale properties of solid materials result from their atomic-scale properties. Thus, solid-state physics forms a theoretical basis of materials science. It also has direct applications, for example in the technology of transistors and semiconductors.
In 2011, Hoodbhoy joined LUMS while simultaneously working as a researcher with the Princeton University and a columnist with the Express Tribune . His contract with LUMS was terminated in 2013 which resulted in a controversy.He is a sponsor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , and a member of the monitoring panel on terrorism of the World Federation of Scientists. Hoodbhoy has won several awards including the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics (1984); the Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science (2003); the Burton Award (2010) from the American Physical Society. In 2011, he was included in the list of 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy . In 2013, he was made a member of the UN Secretary General's Advisory Board on Disarmament.
The Lahore University of Management Sciences is a private, independent research university located in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.
Princeton University is a private Ivy League research university in Princeton, New Jersey. Founded in 1746 in Elizabeth as the College of New Jersey, Princeton is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States and one of the nine colonial colleges chartered before the American Revolution. The institution moved to Newark in 1747, then to the current site nine years later, and renamed itself Princeton University in 1896.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is a nonprofit organization concerning science and global security issues resulting from accelerating technological advances that have negative consequences for humanity. The Bulletin publishes content at both a free-access website and a bi-monthly, nontechnical academic journal. The organization has been publishing continuously since 1945, when it was founded by former Manhattan Project scientists as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago immediately following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The organization is also the keeper of the internationally recognized Doomsday Clock, the time of which is announced each January.
Hoodbhoy remains one of Pakistan's most prominent academics.He is the author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality He is the head of Mashal Books in Lahore, which claims to make "a major translation effort to produce books in Urdu that promote modern thought, human rights, and emancipation of women". Hoodbhoy has written for Project Syndicate , DAWN, The New York Times and The Express Tribune . Hoodbhoy is generally considered one of the most vocal, progressive and liberal member of the Pakistani intelligentsia.
Mashal is a non-commercial and non-profit organization located in Lahore, Pakistan which promotes and conducts educational and social activities, and publishes books in Urdu on women's rights, education, environment, science, philosophy, and contemporary issues.
Project Syndicate is an international media organization that publishes and syndicates commentary and analysis on a variety of important global topics. All opinion pieces are published on the Project Syndicate website, but are also distributed to a wide network of partner publications for print. As of 2016, it has a network of 459 media outlets in 155 countries.
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won 127 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. The Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U.S.
Born and raised in Karachi, Sindh, Hoodbhoy passed the competitive O-Level and A-Level exams after attending the famed Karachi Grammar School.After earning a scholarship, Hoodbhoy went to the United States to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). While attending the MIT in Massachusetts, Hoodbhoy worked for a local Pakistani restaurant based in Massachusetts to support his studies and showed a great interest in electronics and mathematics.
Sindh is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, in the southeast of the country, and the historical home of the Sindhi people. Sindh is the third largest province of Pakistan by area, and second largest province by population after Punjab. Sindh is bordered by Balochistan province to the west, and Punjab province to the north. Sindh also borders the Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan to the east, and Arabian Sea to the south. Sindh's landscape consists mostly of alluvial plains flanking the Indus River, the Thar desert in the eastern portion of the province closest to the border with India, and the Kirthar Mountains in the western part of Sindh.
The A Level is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education, as well as a school leaving qualification offered by the educational bodies in the United Kingdom and the educational authorities of British Crown dependencies to students completing secondary or pre-university education. A number of countries, including Singapore, Uganda, Kenya, Mauritius and Zimbabwe have developed qualifications with the same name as and a similar format to the British A Levels. Obtaining an A Level, or equivalent qualifications, is generally required for university entrance, with universities granting offers based on grades achieved.
Karachi Grammar School is an independent, English-medium school in Saddar, Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. It is a highly selective, coeducational day school serving approximately 2,400 students aged between three and nineteen years.
At MIT, Hoodbhoy graduated with double BSc in Electrical Engineering and mathematics in 1971, followed by MS in physics with a concentration in solid-state physics in 1973.After graduation, Hoodbhoy joined the Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) as a researcher and renewed his scholarship to resume his studies in the United States.
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its motion, and behavior through space and time, and that studies the related entities of energy and force. Physics is one of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, and its main goal is to understand how the universe behaves.
Hoodbhoy continued his research in doctoral studies in physics at the MIT, and was awarded PhD in nuclear physics in 1978.In the United States, his collaboration took place with the scientists who participated in well known Manhattan Project in the 1940s, who subsequently influenced in his philosophy. Hoodbhoy remained a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Washington, for a short time. In 1973, Hoodbhoy joined the Institute of Physics of the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore.
Hoodbhoy focused his research career extensively on quantum field theory, particle phenomenology, and supersymmetry in the area of particle physics.After receiving PhD from MIT, Hoodbhoy met Riazuddin and Abdus Salam– the prominent Pakistani physicists who were visiting the MIT to give lectures on particle physics. Subsequently, he joined the group of Pakistani physicists at the International Centre for Theoretical Physics in Trieste, Italy. At ICTP, Hoodbhoy collaborated with Pakistan's leading theoretical physicists who worked under Abdus Salam in the 1970s.
After ICTP work, Hoodbhoy returned to Pakistan to join Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) where he began teaching and lecturing on physics. Eventually, he became chairman of Institute of Theoretical Physics (now department of physics). After spending more than 30 years at Qau, Hoodbhoy moved to Lahore where he joined the Lahore University of Management Sciences as a visiting professor, while remains a visiting scientist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.Controversy over his contract in LUMS sparked an academic debate when it was reported in the news media that Hoodbhoy's email to Vice-Chancellor of LUMS was made public. Eventually, Hoodbhoy moved to Forman Christian College University permanently and joined the senior staff to instructed courses on physics.
Prior to his return to Pakistan in 1976, the secretive development program on nuclear deterrence was near completion and Hoodbhoy was aware of the program.Hoodbhoy maintains his close ties with Pakistan's vibrant nuclear society, and had collaborated with many of country's leading theoretical physicists throughout his career, mainly with Ishfaq Ahmad. On several occasions, Hoodbhoy staunchly countered Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan's "father-of" claims, and roundly criticized his academic research on nuclear physics. In the 1980s, he famously debated with Bashiruddin Mahmood on the topics of sunspots, life-after-death, and philosophy.
In 1999, Hoodbhoy with Ishfaq Ahmad and Riazuddin, played a major and influential role in the establishment of National Center for Physics (NCP), becoming one of the earliest academic scientists who joined the NCP at its inception.
Hoodbhoy has roundly criticized the development on nuclear weapons, especially its extension to South Asia, mainly by India and Pakistan.In 2011, Hoodbhoy held India responsible for Pakistan's symmetric nuclear weapons programme as part of Pakistan's self-credible deterrence. According to Hoodbhoy, India's nuclear tests forced Pakistan to jump into the nuclear arena in 1974, and again in 1998, after war-threatening statements were made by Indian government to Pakistan; Pakistan equalised this magnitude over the nuclear edge that same month. While believing that Pakistan's nuclear deterrence has protected the country from any foreign aggression and preventing from numerous war threatening situations with India, Hoodbhoy on the other hand has raised concerns about the security of nuclear arsenals on the possibility of radicals gaining control.
Hoodbhoy is a prominent sponsor of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists , representing the Pakistan's delegation.
Apart from his specialist field of research, Hoodbhoy extensively writes and speaks on topics ranging from science in Islam to education and arms disarmament issues around the world.He is author of Islam and Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, that has been translated into five languages. In this book, Hoodbhoy outlines the history of Pakistan, implications of theocracy and martial law in Pakistan, and the textbook revival in education system of Pakistan. His articles on various issues related to science and social issues are often published in international media. His publications are repeatedly published in both technical and non-technical papers.
Hoodbhoy widely writes about the role and modernisation of Pakistan military, particularly the defence budget spending by the Pakistan government on the military. In an interview on secularism, he mentioned that obsession with scientific-religious apophenia may have caused lack of scientific advancement among Muslims in recent years.In 2003 he was one the signers of the Humanist Manifesto.
Hoodbhoy has criticized the Pakistan Higher Education Commission (HEC) for pursuing "a drive to achieve numbers rather than quality".He believes that because of "policies that reward authors of research articles and PhD supervisors with cash and promotions", universities in Pakistan have "turned into factories producing junk papers and PhDs." He has been a harsh critic on the performance of HEC since 2003 when it was led by Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, and the issue has led to heated debates in Pakistan's news media.
In 2009 Hoodbhoy came into conflict with Atta-ur-Rahman, an organic chemist, over the Higher Education Commission (HEC). In the United States, the journal Nature published an article on the successes and failures of the HEC.Hoodbhoy wrote to complain about, among other things, the article's failure to mention (what Hoodbhoy called) "the billions wasted on mindless prestige mega-projects". In the debate on HEC Adil Najam, Abdul Qadeer Khan, and Atta-ur-Rehman defended the HEC while agreeing with some of Hoodbhoy's criticism.
Administrative competency of HEC was called into question by Hoodbhoy who describe the HEC's achievement "dismal".Hoodbhoy supported his arguments against HEC's productivity, that in the case of UESTP-France convention in Karachi, out of an expected faculty strength of between 450 and 600, no French faculty or administrative staff actually arrived. At the television debate, Hoodbhoy questioned the statistics used to support the positive appraisal of HEC's activities in a series of communications between Hoodbhoy and HEC chairman Atta-Ur-Rehman. It was claimed by the latter that in mathematics, Pakistani authors received 20% more citations than the worldwide average. Hoodbhoy questioned this on several grounds including the number of self-citations these publications received and said that this was a crucial aspect that the HEC left out of its interpretation. Criticism was leveled by Hoodbhoy at the practice of hiring those foreign academics in local universities who were said to have difficulty in communicating and teaching, although they contributed to boosting the number of research publications originating from Pakistani universities.
Hoodbhoy has made important contributions in physics, particularly in particle physics. Many of Hoodbhoy's recorded lectures on physics are available online.At National Center for Physics, Hoodbhoy conducted research on different aspects of particle physics, and pioneered studies in modern physics and its extension to mathematical and nuclear physics. In 2006, Hoodbhoy published a brief mathematical description of Generalized Parton Distributions. In 2007, Hoodbhoy re-published the work of Jens Lyng Peterson the Maldacena conjecture (a conjectured equivalence between a string theory and gravity defined on one space, and a quantum field theory without gravity defined by one or less dimension) where he contributed mathematically to the theory. In the same year, he re-published the work of Edward Witten on Anti-de Sitter space and its extension to the field of Holography. While the paper was published experimentally in 1998 by Witten, Hoodbhoy provided the brief mathematical proofs and description to understand, logically, the subject of Sitter space— a scalar curvature in general theory of relativity.
On 14 April 2001, it was announced that Dr. Hoodbhoy would be receiving Sitara-i-Imtiaz from the former President, General (retired) Pervez Musharraf which he refused to accept. His refusal prompted the Friday Times to interview him.
I am reasonably [satisfied] with my (scientific) work... I do not think it is earth-shaking or... that it deserves any kind of [award]. On the other hand, receiving an [award] – even if it is a high national award – would give me absolutely no sense of achievement or satisfaction... because it carries no credibility or prestige in professional circles. Such things do not indicate that you have done good work in your field. Therefore I decided to refuse the award.
He produced a 13-part documentary series in Urdu for Pakistan Television on critical issues in education, and two series aimed at popularising science. In 2004, he made a documentary film 'Crossing the Lines: Kashmir, Pakistan, India' along with Dr. Zia Mian.These documentaries carry heavy emphasis on the issues of education, public health and scientific revolution in Pakistan.
In his documentaries, Dr. Hoodbhoy has heavily criticised Pakistan and India's nuclear weapons program. He also pointed out the seriousness of the Talibanization in Pakistan and its immediate effects on South Asia. His documentaries also point out that American and NATO forces in Afghanistan didn't help the Afghan people's life and there was no reform in Afghanistan's social and public sector and, instead, the insurgency and corruption grew, which also destabilised Pakistan's western front.
Pervez: "I started reading the plays of Bernard Shaw and later on, the works of Bertrand Russell. That had such an impact on me that it bowled me over and by the time I was 15, I was lost, lost to "all good things"."
Mohammad Abdus Salam, was a Pakistani theoretical physicist. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. He was the first Pakistani to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize.
Quaid-i-Azam University is a public research university in Islamabad, Pakistan.
Muhammad Raziuddin Siddiqui, FPAS, NI, HI, SI, PhD, also known as Dr. Razi, was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and a mathematician who played a role in Pakistan's education system and Pakistan's integrated nuclear deterrent development. An educationist and a scientist, Siddiqui had established educational research institutes and universities in his country.
Science and technology is a growing field in Pakistan and has played an important role in the country's development since its founding. Pakistan has a large pool of scientists, engineers, doctors, and technicians assuming an active role in science and technology. Liaquat Ali Khan the first Prime Minister of Pakistan, made various reforms to initiate improvement in higher education and scientific research. The real growth in science in Pakistan occurred after the establishment of the Higher education Commission in 2002 which supported science in a big way and also became the major sponsor of the Pakistan Academy of Sciences under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman. The first IT policy and implementation strategy was approved under the leadership of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, then Federal Minister of Science & technology, in August 2000 which laid the foundations of the development of this sector On the request of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman, Intel initiated a nation wide programme to train school teachers in Information and Communication technologies in March 2002 which has led to the training of 220,000 school teachers in 70 districts and cities across Pakistan. A 15 year tax holiday was approved on the recommendation of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman which has resulted in growth of IT business from $ 30 million in 2001 to over $ 3 billion.The Pakistan Austria University of Applied Engineering (Fachhochschule) is now being established in Haripur Hazara under the Chairmanship of Prof. Atta-ur-Rahman in which students will get degrees from several Austrian universities
Riazuddin, also spelled as Riaz-Ud-Din, was a Pakistani theoretical physicist, specialising in high-energy physics and nuclear physics. Starting his scientific research in physics in 1958, Riazuddin was considered one of the early pioneers of Pakistan's nuclear weapons development and atomic deterrence development. He was the director of the Theoretical Physics Group (TPG) of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) from 1974 until 1984. Riazuddin was the only pupil of Nobel laureate in Physics Abdus Salam..
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Faheem Hussain, was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and a professor of physics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). A research scientist in the field of superstring theory at the National Center for Physics, Hussain made contributions to the fields of superstring and string theory. He was the first Pakistani physicist to publish a research paper in the field of superstring theory. A prominent social activist and democratic activist, he has authored various scientific research papers in peer-reviewed journals.
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Ghulam Dastagir Alam Qasmi, was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and professor of mathematics at the Quaid-e-Azam University. Alam is best known for conceiving and embarking the research on gas centrifuge project during Pakistan's integrated atomic bomb project in the 1970s, and he also conceived the research on Gauge theory and Gamma ray bursts throughout his career.
The Pakistan Physical Society, also known as Pakistan Physics Society, is an academic and professional physics society of Pakistan's academicians and physicists, dedicated for the development and research in physics. It is one of the notable society with one of core objectives including to advise the Government on the matters of science and development. Headquartered at the Institute of Physics, Quaid-e-Azam University, it is a member of Institute of Physics, at the University of Engineering and Technology at Lahore, Punjab Province.
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