Trip report for Pakistan visit of Dr. R. Les Cottrell, March 2005
I have just returned from a two week visit to Rawalpindi, Pakistan where
I visited the National University of Science and Technology's (NUST)
Institute of Information Technology (NIIT). This was a most successful
trip hosted by Dr. Arshad Ali, Director of NIIT, and part of the U.S.
Department of State/Pakistan Ministry of Science & Technology (MoST)
funded MAGGIE-NS project. I delivered several presentations ranging
How to Manage Research (at a workshop) to
Internet (to undergraduate students) to
NIIT and the Digital Divide (at a dinner with various ministers and
NUST executives). I was also a guest/speaker at the first NUST/NIIT
convocation. I also had many meetings with undergraduates, graduates
and faculty to define, plan and assign undergraduate (five month
duration) and graduate (one year duration) projects. We also worked on
an infrastructure to effectively co-supervise these projects and set
realistic expectations using senior personnel from NIIT and SLAC.
To familiarise me with the needs for NIIT/higher Education and industry in
Pakistan, Dr Ali also arranged valuable meetings/visits/discussions with:
I also met up with Dr. Michael Traynor a research analyst at the U.S.
Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), Kevin Thomas a Science and Technology
Officer at the US Embassy in Islamabad, as well as Dr. Mohammed Odeh
and Prof. Richard McClatchey of the University of West England.
- the NUST Rector (Lt Gen (R) Syed Shufaat Hussain), the Pro-Rector
(Rear Admiral M. Mushtaq), the Director of a new NUST International
Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution ((IIPCR), Dr. Gulfarax Ahmed
- the Higher Education Commission (Federal Minister & Chairman Prof. Dr.
Atta-ur-Rahman, Executive Director Dr. S. Sohail H. Naqvi,
Director of IT and PERN (Pakistan Educational and Research Networks)
Dr. Tanveer ul Haq.
- Micronet Broadband a DSL provider for small companies and the home
- Islamabad Software Factory, a software dvelopment company
- National Telecom Corporation (NTC), a govenment Internet carrier
that provides links for government run organizatins, including NIIT
Follow up (besides the work with students on the MAGGIE-NS project) will include:
Part of the follow up will include meetings for Prof. Ali when he visits
SLAC in March
- Meeting with Nobel prizewinner Prof. Burton Richter of SLAC who is a
friend of Prof. Dr Att-ur-Rahman, to explore closer collabrations
between Stanford and NUST and Pakistani higher education.
- Meeting with Prof. Sidney Drell and Prof. Panofsky of SLAC to pursue
improved links between Stanford interests in disarmament and peace
with the new NUST IIPCR;
- Identifying people at Stanford (e.g. Prof. Dr. Haresh Shah) to understand
better how NUST might encourage entrepreneurship
- Working with PERN to set up monitoring of Internet performance in
- We are also working with Prof. Ali to propose a network performance
testbed to be funded by the HEC and NTC.