Opening of Academic Year for Faculty of ITC
Enschede, the Netherlands, 22 September 2011
Shortly before three o'clock, accompanied by the sounds of organ music, people started arriving at the stately Grote Kerk on the old market square in Enschede: lecturers, guests of the ITC department and of course, countless students wearing the traditional dress of their native countries. Yesterday, ITC, the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation from the University of Twente, celebrated the official opening of the Academic Year.
The Faculty of ITC has celebrated the opening of its Academic Year in the Oude Kerk on the main market square in Enschede for many years. The combination of serious professors in their black gowns and students in colourful, exotic clothing demonstrates the true spirit of ITC: solid, reliable science and education, in an international context.
The Dean, Professor Tom Veldkamp, and Ragindra Man Rajbhandari from the Student Association Board gave the students a warm welcome. Veldkamp: "This opening is intended for the students so they will be the main focus of my attention today." This year, the Faculty of ITC will be welcoming a total of 120 new Master's students from a staggering 36 different countries.
ITC Research Award
After his welcome speech, Veldkamp presented the ITC Research Award, which goes to the PhD student who published the best scientific article of the previous year. The six-man jury assesses the articles submitted on their scientific merits, multidisciplinary character and practical relevance. Babak Naimi, who recently published the article "Spatial autocorrelation in predictors reduces the impact of positional uncertainty in occurrence data on species distribution modelling" in the Journal of Biogeography, was this year's proud winner.
An impressive musical intermezzo was then followed by the day's main event: the Schermerhorn lecture, named after the founder of ITC. This year, the lecture (which also serves as the first real lecture for all new students), was given by Professor Robert Gilmore Pontius from Clark University in the United States. Pontius' lecture revolved around his own view of the criteria that good scientific models are expected to satisfy. He also gave the keen new students a few tips on how to get the best out of their studies. And if Pontius' expectations are anything to go by, they will need all the help they can get: "We expect you to go home and become tomorrow's new leaders. You are our hope for the future."
For more information you can contact:
Science writer UT
+ 31 53 4892773