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IUCr 1996 Triennial Report - Commission on Crystallographic Teaching

The activity of the Commission has covered a number of different subjects.

Visiting Professorship Programme

Dr D. K. Smith gave a 15 hour course on Geometrical Crystallography at Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt, 27 January-7 February 1993. This course was given immediately after the Fourth International Workshop of Crystallography: Computational Methods in X-ray Powder Diffraction Analysis, which was held in Aswan, Egypt, 16-26 January 1993. In his role as a Visiting Professor, Dr Smith also visited students and crystallographers at Assult University (Aswan Branch), the Egyptian Geological Survey in Cairo, Cairo University, Military Technical College, Suez Canal University, Heiwan University, and the Egyptian Antiquities Museum. In each case, he discussed techniques in powder diffraction.

A one-week course by Professor E. Parthé of the University of Geneva, Switzerland, an IUCr Visiting Professorship, was held at the Instituto de Física, Benemérita Universidad Autonòma de Puebla, Mexico, in the fall of 1994. Professor Parthé was also a Visiting Professor (of Inorganic Crystal Chemistry) at the Universidad de los Andes in Mérida, Venezuela, and such an activity has been deeply appreciated by both these universities.

In December 1993, Professor W. T. Robinson and Professor S. R. Hall were IUCr Visiting Professors in various Asian universities (Kuala Lumpur, Mysore, Tiruchiapalli, Bombay etc.). Professor N. Kasai, a member of this Commission, was granted a Visiting Professorship of three weeks in March-April 1994 in Hanoi, Vietnam, and in August 1994 he also visited Chiang Mai University in Thailand.

Two Visiting Professorships were granted to Professor Th. Hahn and Professor H. Wondratschek for a school on crystal chemistry held in Sofia, Bulgaria, 3-10 June 1994.

Dr P. Mallinson from the University of Glasgow, UK, was Visiting Professor in the Laboratory of Crystallography at La Plata University, Argentina, in May 1995, in connection with the IUCr School on Charge Density.

Professor Th. Hahn and Professor H. Wondratschek were Visiting Professors in St Petersburg, Russia, 22-29 August 1995, in connection with a school on space-group symmetry. Among the major organizers of this school was Professor L. A. Aslanov from this Commission.

International Schools

An Asian-Region Seminar on Crystallography in Molecular Biology took place in Madras, India, 9-14 December 1993. Professor S. Parthasarathy was the Convener and some members of this Commission were on the Organizing Committee, with Dr J. P. Glusker as the Chairperson. All members of the Commission who were present (J. P. Glusker, C. M. Gramaccioli, P. Phavanantha, W. T. Robinson and H. Schenk) took an active part in teaching. This meeting was sponsored by the IUCr, which also provided funds for young scientists to attend. The meeting was well attended, with several speakers from various countries dealing with interesting topics (among whom were Dr T. Ashida from Nagoya, Japan, Dr B. C. Wang from Pittsburgh, USA, Dr M. Sundaralingam from Columbus, USA, and Dr D. Davies from Bethesda, USA). The contributions made by industrial companies and by the IUCr were much appreciated. During the time of this school, an informal meeting of the Commission members present took place: on that occasion, it was pointed out that the best teaching activity should include either Visiting Professorships and schools or seminars, since these activities do not exclude each other and perform different functions.

Sponsorship and active participation in organizing two schools taking place in Bangkok, Thailand, for the next Asian Crystallographic Association (AsCA) meeting were considered. In America, Dr I. D. Brown started the organizational work for a school on the structural chemistry of solid-state material to be held in Canada in the summer of 1995, and support for the school on charge density taking place in La Plata, Argentina, was given by granting a Visiting Professorship (see above). In April 1994, Dr K. El-Sayed organized a workshop on the Fourier series, Fourier transforms and their application in physics and crystallography; sponsorship of this Commission was requested and two Visiting Professorships were granted for the purpose.

A Fifth Intensive Course in X-ray Structural Analysis for young scientists took place at Aston, UK, 2-8 April 1995 and Dr D. Watkin was one of the organizers. Another school of crystallography (Rietveld: RSS95-RS) took place in Moscow, Russia, 20-22 July 1995. Among the organizers of this school was Professor L. A. Aslanov. A three-day course on Symmetry as a Basis for Structure Analysis was held during the first week of October at the University of Natal, South Africa, coordinated by Professor M. Laing.

In November 1995, two IUCr-supported schools of crystallography took place at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, in connection with the AsCA meeting. In organizing these schools, this Commission and the Commission on Crystallographic Computing were considerably involved. The first, the Asian School on Crystallography of Precious Materials, took place 20-21 November, just before the AsCA meeting; the second, the Asian School on Crystallographic Computing, took place immediately after the meeting (27-30 November). Just before the opening of these schools (16-20 November), another school of crystallography (on Macromolecular Crystallographic Data) took place in Calcutta, India, and this Commission was active in supporting this project within the IUCr and in ensuring connection and coordination with the other schools taking place in Asia.

Pamphlet Project

The Pamphlet project has been reinstated and an arrangement has been made for Polycrystal Book Service to print and distribute the pamphlets. The pamphlet activity is being coordinated mainly by Dr J. P. Glusker. A set of notes for authors for pamphlets has been prepared and the IUCr technical editing staff will assist with technical editing when requested. The previous set of 19 pamphlets is still available from Polycrystal Book Service (PO Box 3439, Dayton, OH 45401, USA). Future pamphlets include:

20. Crystals: a Handbook for School Teachers. E. A. Wood. (Permission has been obtained from the copyright owner for a reissue of this book as a pamphlet.)

21. Radiation Measurement and Protection in X-ray Laboratories. H. von Philipsborn. (Under review.)

22. Crystal Packing. A. Gavezzotti. (Under review.)

23. Gamma-ray Diffraction Study of Single Crystals. A. Kurbakov. (In preparation.)

24. Crystal Symmetry. (New entirely rewritten edition, in preparation.) G. D. Nigam, H. Wondratschek.

Several letters of invitation have been sent out, and several crystallographers have promised to write new pamphlets.

Other activities

At the Beijing Congress, a microsymposium (OCM-19.1) was held on Crystallographic Teaching: Practical Hints and New Concepts. As usual, the room was filled for the entire symposium and the quality of presentations was high. An informal meeting of this Commission took place at the beginning of the Congress.

At the European Crystallographic Meeting (ECM-16, Lund, Sweden, 6-11 August 1995), a Workshop on Crystallographic Teaching was held. Besides the host, Dr Å. Oskarsson, who provided excellent help and contributions, several members or consultants of the Commission were present (L. A. Aslanov, K. El Sayed, J. P. Glusker, C. M. Gramaccioli). Here the possibilities for the future were discussed, especially involving initiatives for developing countries. A seminar concerning crystallographic teaching for the Seattle Congress is being organized by this Commission (mainly by Professor Oskarsson and Professor Aslanov).

7 May 1996 C. M. GRAMACCIOLI, Chairman

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Updated 13th October 1997

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