BCVSPIN (an acronym denoting Bangladesh, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and Nepal) summer schools were inaugurated in 1989. The purpose of these schools in high energy physics and cosmology was to provide young scientists living in Southeast Asia, who often lacked access to journals, conferences, and scientific exchange with the opportunity to keep abreast with the most recent developments in these areas. This project was inaugurated in collaboration with the late Abdus Salam, Nobel Prize Laureate (1979), Professor Jogesh Pati (University of Maryland) and Professor Yu Lu. I co­ directed the schools initially with Professors Salam, Pati, and Yu Lu. The first schools were held in Kathmandu, Nepal. They were highly successful, attended on average by 70-80 scientists (PhD students, postdoc, and assistant professors), providing an invaluable and unique forum in this region. They also led to the creation of a scientific network spanning Asia, Europe, and the United States. Political turmoil in Nepal prevented us from continuing to hold the schools in Kathmandu and the project lay dormant for a few years. However, I was most fortunate to have had the opportunity to reinvigorate BCVSPIN with new collaborators from China, in particular Professor Congfeng Qiao, from GUCAS, the Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Subsequently, two schools were in held in Beijng in 2007 and 2009 respectively, and their success and attendance greatly surpassed our expectations. In both years, the schools attracted more than 100 participants (PhD students as well as Postdocs and Assistant Professors) from the BCVSPIN countries as well as neighboring Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore. In the two Beijing schools, we followed a similar format as in the previous Kathmandu schools by organizing the program in a manner that would allow both for ample lecture time and additional intensive courses for those students (especially from some of the smaller countries) who needed additional help in order to follow the more advanced topics. Main lectures were held in the morning and afternoon, and the evenings were reserved for focused support sessions. With an 8:00am starting time, the schedule was rigorous but since the organizers were present during all lectures, we saw strong, animated discussions and intense questions-and-answers periods. One of the great benefits of such a summer school is the wide range of interactions that the lectures and debates provide and which often lead to new collaborations and projects.
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of the participants expressed strong interest that the BCSPIN schools should continue, and if possible perhaps on a yearly basis. They were enthusiastic about the opportunities provided and stressed the need to carry on with this type of exchange. Since the workload involved in hosting such a summer school, especially a yearly one cannot be handled by one institution, we decided to rotate BSCPIN to different hosts and countries. As a result, a summer school was held in Hue, Vietnam in June 2011, co-directed with Professor P.Q. Hung (University of Virginia, Charlottesville) and it was a great success.