Volume 15, Number 9
November 18, 2008

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Prof. Levent Gürel Named as IEEE Fellow

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named Prof. Levent Gürel an IEEE Fellow for his extraordinary work in developing fast methods and algorithms in computational electromagnetics. Prof. Gürel, of the Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (EEE), is also the Director of the Bilkent University Computational Electromagnetics Research Center (BiLCEM). Since 2006, BiLCEM has claimed a series of world records; being the center where the largest integral-equation problems ever reported in computational-electromagnetics literature were solved.

With more than 350,000 members, IEEE is the world's largest technical professional organization. Being promoted to IEEE's Fellow rank is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed upon an individual by the IEEE. Given that less than 0.1 percent of IEEE members worldwide are honored with this title every year, this is a very elite group.

"I am thrilled to see that our community has formally recognized Prof. Gürel's cutting-edge contributions," stated Prof. Andreas Cangellaris, Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prof. Levent Gürel received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from UIUC in 1988 and 1991, respectively, following his B.Sc. degree in EEE from Middle East Technical University (METU) in 1986. Among Prof. Gürel's recognitions, two prestigious awards from the Turkish Academy of Sciences (TÜBA) in 2002 and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) in 2003 are the most notable.

Past Bilkent faculty members to receive IEEE Fellow status are Prof. Abdullah Atalar (2006) and Prof. Levent Onural (2007).

Events at Bilkent Marks UNESCO World Philosophy Day, November 20

yahya kemal

Celebrated annually by the Department of Philosophy, the "UNESCO World Philosophy Day" event will take place in room G160, Thursday, November 20. This year, professional philosophers and other friends of philosophy will discuss "Human Rights." This theme has been chosen to contribute to debates on the forthcoming 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). On December 10, 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the UDHR. As the United Nations web site states, "The UDHR protects all of us, and it also enshrines the gamut of human rights. The drafters of the UDHR saw a future of freedom from fear, but also of freedom from want. They put all human rights on an equal footing and confirmed human rights are essential to a life of dignity."

The day will begin at 9:40 a.m. with an opening address by Prof. Talat Halman, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Letters, and will continue until 5:30 p.m. A total of six talks will be given by Bilkent faculty members Dr. Saime Özçürümez (POLS), Dr. Tarık Kara (ECON), Dr. Lars
Vinx (PHIL), Dr. Sandy Berkovski (PHIL),
Dr. James Alexander (POLS), and Prof. Norman Stone (IR).

There will also be a general discussion session led by Prof. Ulrich Steinvorth (PHIL). The complete program is available at http://www.phil.bilkent.edu.tr. All interested Bilkent faculty and students are warmly invited to attend and spend some time thinking about their rights - as outlined at http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html - while enjoying light refreshments.

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Student Representative Elections Update  

Elections for Department/Program Student Representatives concluded on Thursday, November 13. Complete results can be found at http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/konsey

The last phase of the election process will take place November 17 and 18 with the election of the Faculty/School/ Institute Representatives by respective Department Representatives. The General Assembly will meet to elect the University Student Council Executive Committee; the President of the Student Council; and the Board of Controllers, on Thursday, November 20, in the Zeynep Köksal Meeting Room at 3 p.m.

A total of 116 candidates ran in the elections to become their Department/ Program Representatives.

The total number of elected Department Representatives was 50. Out of 12,155 potential voters, 5,922 cast ballots, resulting in a turn out of 48.72 percent.

Joint Turkish and German Symposium Looks at "Irrevocable Provisions in Constitutions"

koray aydin

The symposium, "Irrevocable Provisions in Constitutions," was held at the Bilkent Hotel, November 10 and 11, by the Bilkent University Faculty of Law, in cooperation with the German International Legal Cooperation Foundation. Four renowned legal scholars from Germany attended the event along with their Turkish colleagues. Prof. Winfried Hassemer, former Vice Chair of the German Federal Constitutional Court; Prof. Thomas Würtenberger from Freiburg University; Prof. Hans-Heiner Kühne; Assoc. Prof. Osman Can, Rapporteur of the Turkish Constitutional Court; Prof. Mehmet Turhan from Başkent University; Prof. Ergun Özbudun from Bilkent University; and Prof. Oktay Uygun from İstanbul University all gave speeches. The symposium dealt with the "irrevocable provisions," or provisions within a constitution that cannot be legally altered or removed, which exist in both the German and Turkish constitutions. Also discussed was the issue of constitutional amendments and renovations with a particular focus on the problems faced in constitutional change during the unification of East and West Germany. It was stated by all of the German scholars that the "irrevocable provisions" which exist in the German constitution, as in many European countries, are necessary, obligatory and do not conflict with, but, in fact protect the regime. Some Turkish scholars argued that by changing the Turkish constitution, the "irrevocable provisions" within it would inevitably be affected. By the end of the symposium, the predominant consensus was that "irrevocable provisions" are necessary and do not conflict with a democratic regime.

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