School of Astronomy and Space Science of Nanjing University
The School of Astronomy and Space Science of Nanjing University was established in March 2011, and its predecessor, the Department of Astronomy, was founded in 1952. It earns the longest history and a high reputation among the astronomy departments in China. The school has cultivated lots of astronomers who are currently active in the academic society. Today the school has 2 undergraduate degree programs, offered respectively by its 2 departments, including the Department of Astronomy and the Department of Space Science & Technology. It also consists of several laboratories, such as Key Laboratory of Modern Astronomy and Astrophysics of the Ministry of Education, Central Laboratory for Teaching, Solar Tower Laboratory, Center for Nonlinear Sciences, and Planetary Science and Deep Space Exploration Laboratory. Furthermore, the school owns the national first-level key discipline of astronomy, including two national second-level key disciplines: Astrophysics and Astrometry & Celestial Mechanics. Current research activities mainly cover high-energy astrophysics, solar physics, galaxies and cosmology, extra-solar planets, aerospace dynamics, astrometry and space science.
The School has a strong faculty consisting of both distinguished senior scholars and a large number of young academic leaders. Till now, there are 44 faculty members in total, including 20 professors, with 4 Academicians of the Chinese Academy of Science, 4 Cheung Kong Scholars, 1 Chief Scientist for the National 973 Basic Research Program, 7 National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars Winners, 7 China Cross-Century Talent Raising Program Winners and 4 Youth Qianren Professors. Sponsored by National Science Foundations of China and National Key Fundamental Research Programs, the School has obtained fruitful academic achievements and won national/provincial awards.
In order to foster a new collaborative mode between universities and observatories, in 2010, Nanjing University, Purple Mountain Observatory and Nanjing Institute of Astronomical Optics & Technology signed an agreement. The agreement aims at establishing a joint Center for Astronomy and Space Science in the Xianlin Campus of Nanjing University. Moreover, after a series of discussions and consultations, Nanjing University, Peking University, National Astronomical Observatories, Purple Mountain Observatory and University of Science & Technology of China co-founded the “Collaborative Innovation Center of Modern Astronomy and Space Exploration” in December 2012.
The school also explores the channels of cooperation with overseas partners to push forward the process of internationalization and has established friendly and cooperative relationship with over 20 institutes of higher education in the U.S.A, UK, Australia, Japan, etc. Such as Harvard University, California Institute of Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Kyoto University, University of California-Santa Cruz, University of California Los Angeles, University of Tokyo, University of Sydney and Paris Observatory.
In August 2014, the School has moved into a new building which covers 12000 square meters. The newly built building perfectly meet the needs of scientific researches, experiments, teaching and academic activities, and plays a significant role for the school developments in the following decades.
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