Cuban connection

A delegation from Concordia visited Cuba recently to renew old ties and establish new ones.

The visit, from April 25 to May 2, was made by Rector Frederick Lowy and Professors Jacinthe Baribeau (Psychology), S. Twareque Ali, Josˇ Garrido (both Mathematics and Statistics) and Balbir Sahni, Director of the Centre for International Academic Cooperation (CIAC).

Baribeau, who is also Director of Concordia's Lab of Human Neurophysiology and Neuropsychology, met with researchers at the Cuban Neurosciences Centre (CENIC). See story, page 1.

Ali and Garrido gave a workshop on wavelets and differential equations with mathematicians from the University of Havana.

This was a second edition of a successful workshop given in April 1998 by Professor Ali. There have been a number of Cuban graduate students in Concordia's graduate Mathematics program, and Ali wants to increase that accessibility.

"Given the difficult financial circumstances facing Cuban universities," Ali wrote in a brief recently, "their library holdings, journal subscriptions and access to electronic media are extremely limited. There has also been a significant brain drain from Cuba to other Latin-American countries or to the West in the past several years."

Last summer the two universities agreed to increase faculty and student exchanges in mathematics and statistics, and more of these have already taken place.

An agreement was also renewed between Concordia and Cuba's Asociacion de Linguistas. Every summer, Concordia's TESL Centre plays host to several Cuban teachers of English as a second language.

The Concordia delegation were given two days of presentations on higher education in Cuba, including the status of new information technology, the agricultural and natural sciences, the managerial sciences, and biotechnology.


Rector Frederick Lowy signs an agreement with his counterpart at the University of Havana while Professors Jacinthe Baribeau, Balbir Sahni, Twareque Ali and Josˇ Garrido look on.