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Workshop on the use of Open-Source Software and Satellite Data in the Prevention of, and Response to, Disasters in Mesoamerica Status of MCTP Arnulfo Zepeda Coordinador General CENTRO MESOAMERICANO DE FISICA TEORICA UNACH 19 – 23 May 2014, Tonantzintla , Puebla, México. Antecedents.

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Workshop on the use of Open-Source Software and Satellite Data in thePrevention of, and Response to, Disasters in Mesoamerica

Status of MCTP

Arnulfo Zepeda

Coordinador General




19 – 23 May 2014, Tonantzintla, Puebla, México


On December 20, 2011 the Autonomous University of Chiapas (UNACH) and the International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) signed a memorandum of understanding to establish the conditions for the creation of a regional headquarters of ICTP.

With the authorization of UNESCO, this new institute would be named ICTP-UNACH-Mesoamerican Institute for Science (ICTP-UNACH-MAIS).

As a first step in the formation of the ICTP-UNACH-MAIS, on August 27, 2012, UNACH creates the UNACH Mesoamerican Center for Theoretical Physics (MCTP).

This center is a unit of UNACH with an internal structure as close as possible to that of ICTP.

MCTP’s strategic development areas are Physics, Mathematics, Energy and Environment.


memorandum of understanding
  • 1. Scientific Objectives
  • The purpose of “the institute” is to promote the advance of basic and applied sciences in countries of the Mesoamerican region composed of Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico, through education, research and application of knowledge. “The Institute” will begin its activities in Physics, Mathematics, Energy and Environment, and gradually it will increase its activities to other scientific areas, depending of the research funding and the regional needs.
  • “The institute” will be part of the System of Regional Centresfor Scientific Excellence, of which “the ICTP” will be the general coordinator.


memorandum of understanding 2
  • 2.- Government Structure of “the institute”.
  • 2a. Steering Committee. The main government authority of “the institute” will be its Sterring Committee, that will be integrated by a UNACH representative, an ICTP representative, a National Council of Science and Technologyrepresentative, and the representatives of the main sponsors.
  • The decisions of the Steering Committee will be mandatory by the vote of the majority of its members.


memorandum of understanding 5
  • c) Scientific Council. This Council will be integrated by up to ten internationally recognized scientists, among them, prominent scientists of the region. Its main activities will be to analyze and say on the scientific program of the institute, prepared and proposed by its Director, and on the recruitment policies, on the composition of the permanent staff and the group of postdocs, and to suggest new ideas for the activities of “the institute”.
  • The Scientific Council will be appointed by the Steering Committee, following a proposal of the Director of “the institute” . The members will be appointed for a four year period, renewable once. The appointment of a member for the Scientific Council will be honorific.


first step created on august 27 2012
FIRST STEP: created on August 27, 2012
  • MCTP was created on the 27 of August of 2012 as an academic unit of Unach
  • MCTP will transmute to ICTP-UNACH-MAIS
  • The main purpose of MCTP is to develop:
  • o teaching
  • o research
  • o and extension of basic and applied science in:
    • ENERGY
  • in the region of Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico


contributions of unach
Contributions of UNACH
  • • First part: For the first 5 years:
    • 1) Funds for operating expenses of MCTP.
    • 2) Salary of the Director and Deputy Director of MCTP.
    • 3) 5 positions of Full Professor.
    • 4) Salaries for the administration personnel.
    • 5) Building and Furniture.


0pening ceremony
  • JUNE 14, 2013,
  • Presentation of the Development Plan-
  • Installation of the Scientific and Advisory Councils.
  • Invited talks:
  • –Prof. Sheldon L. Glashow: A Parable of Pure and the Practical. Why we Must Pursue Basic Scientific Research.


advisory council
Advisory Council

Theadvisory Council isthe top-leveladvisorybody of MCTP and reportsdirectlytothe Rector. At presentitisintegratedby


scientific council
Scientific Council
  • TheScientific Council of MCTPis a board of opinion and evaluationonscientific and academicmatters.


  • ‣Research Associate Program
  • ‣Program of schools and scientific meetings
  • ‣Program of visiting scientists
  • ‣Agreements on Academic Mobility and Exchange
  • ‣Preparatory courses.
  • ‣Diploma in Science
  • ‣Postdoctoral positions program
  • ‣Training and Research in Mexican Laboratories


for graduate students
For graduate students
  • We will open a registration page for graduate students wishing to take advantage of MCTP opportunities. They will receive information about activities in which they could participate. This includes MCTP courses, conferences or the possibility of making a short stay to collaborate with an associate or a professor of MCTP or to make an stay in a Associate Laboratory, always with a well defined work program.


visiting scientist program
Visiting Scientist Program
  • In order to maintain an atmosphere of continuous high academic level, MCTP will promote at all times the presence of international researchers and the interrelationship between all researchers and students.


scientific activities and scientific calendar
Scientific Activities and Scientific Calendar
  • The MCTP organizes international conferences, workshops, seminars and symposia.
  • Those interested in attending an activity must complete an online form for the event.
  • There are travel grants available for conferences and workshops in the MCTP for individuals in the Mesoamerican region.


scientific activities at mctp
Scientific Activities at MCTP
  • Some of the current and past activities are:
  • Weekly Research seminar on "Physics of extra dimensions“
  • Entrepreneurship Workshop for Scientists and Engineers December2-6, 2013. Organizers: AMITE, APS, ICTP, IOP, MCTP.
  • Meeting on Extra DimensionsNovember 20-22, 2013. Organizers: MCTP.


scientific activities 2
Scientific Activities 2
  • Workshop on the Use of Space Science and Technology for the Prevention of and Response to Disasters in Mesoamerica
  • November 19-22, 2013. At MCTP-UNACH. Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas, Mexico.
  • Organizers: The Regional Centre for Space Science Education for Latin America and the Caribbean (CRECTEALC), the Mesoamerican Centre for Theoretical Physics (MCTP), the Association of Institutions for Fostering Mexican Space Sciences (AIFOCEM). the Secure World Foundation (SWF), and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration as cochair of the CEOS Working Group on Capacity Building and Data Democracy (WGCapD)


scientific activities 3
Scientific Activities 3
  • International Symposium on Micro-emulsions, foams, rheology, Colloids and Interfaces in honor to Dominique Langevin Studies in the experiments Pierre Auger, IceCube and HAWC
  • Thursday October 24, 212 -15 November, 2013.
  • Organizers: Universidad de Sonora, Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, ANUIES, Conacyt, Mesoamerican Centre for Theoretical Physics (MCTP).
  • Studies in the experiments Pierre Auger, IceCube and HAWC October 24, 2013, at CEFyMAP. Speaker: Dr. Karen S. Caballero, Cinvestav .
  • The Higgs Boson and the Nobel Prize in Physics 2013
  • October 10, 2013, At CEFyMAP. Speaker: Dr. Gabriel Lopez, Cinvestav.


diploma in science
Diploma in Science
  • • Initially there will be two diploma programs in the areas of Physics and Mathematics.
  • • These programs are designed for university teachers, and outstanding students with Bachelor degree in physics or mathematics, from institutionsin theregion.
  • • Will aim to update university teachers and complement the academic training of students by providing them with adequate training for efficient development in high level physics and mathematicspostgraduateprograms.


professor positions
  • UNACH has offered three professor position to
  • start in 2014. A call for application was opened
  • and widely announced. We received about 40
  • applications. A Review Committee analyzed the
  • applications. The final considerations of the
  • Review Committee were sent to the whole
  • Scientific Council for the final selection of 3 best candidates. The offer has already been made to them and the process for their contract in progress.


plan on academic staff in 2014
Plan on Academic Staff in 2014
  • TYPE 2014 2015-2018
  • Permanent staff 5 15
  • Sabbatical stays 2 16 (4 per year)
  • Postdocs 0 16 (4 per year)
  • Guest researchers 10 10 per year One month each
  • Associate researchers 40 40 per year One month each
  • Visiting scientists 10 10 per year One month each
  • About 13-15
  • simultaneously


more immediate plans
More immediate plans
  • Preparatory courses, next week.
  • Appointment of associates
  • 2014 CONACYT suport
  • Transition to ICTP-UNACH-MAIS
  • Call for new Director of MCTP


propossed activities for 2014
  • X International SymposiumonRadiationPhysics (ISRP)
  • April2 – 5, 2014-
  • ICTP-ICO-MCTP College on Optics and Energy
  • April 28 - May 9, 2014.
  • Escuela de Matematicas de America Latina y del Caribe
  • July21 – August, 2014.
  • VI School on Cosmic Rays and Astrophysics
  • July 21 - 25, 2014. Postponed.
  • Curso: Fisica de Astroparticulas
  • August 18‐30, 2014
  • La Antigua en Guatemala