From the Rector

Dear Bilkenters,
Abdullah Atalar I wish to welcome you to a new academic year. This year 2291 high school graduates have become Bilkent students. Among them are 62 international students from 21 different countries. Compared to last year this is approximately a threefold increase. This semester, we also have 114 exchange students from 14 countries. We hope to increase our international student numbers in the coming years.

Over the summer, the university Senate made a number of important decisions. The first decision involves the addition of two new grades: A+ might be given to the top student in a class with a minimum enrollment of 25 students. An A+ has the same multiplier (4.00) as an A grade. Hence, it will not affect the GPA, but an A+ will indicate a truly extraordinary performance. To rule out the possibility of A+ inflation, in most cases only one student can be awarded an A+ grade in any given class. On the other end of the scale, an FX grade has been instituted to accompany the infamous F grade. The FX grade has..

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GE100/2010: Welcome, New Bilkenters


Designed to assist new students in making a successful academic, intellectual, and social transition into the university life, GE 100 Introduction to Academic Life Program was held between September 3 and 7.

GE100 / 2010 introduced new Bilkent students to the campus and its resources; academic options; sports and other facilities by attending various activities including workshops seminars, concerts, movies, and department introductions. Each student had to collect points in order to complete GE100 Introduction to Academic Life Program.

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Bilkent Loses Family Member

Prof. Server Ganiyev, Faculty of Music and Performing Arts and concertmaster of Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, passed away on Saturday, September 4.

A gathering to commemorate and pay tribute to Prof. Ganiyev was held on Monday, September 6 at the Bilkent Concert Hall. Funeral services were held in Baku.

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Minor Programs Established

In a meeting held this summer, the university Senate cleared the way for departments to establish minor programs aimed at undergraduate students from other departments. Consequently, 12 minor programs were proposed by various departments and accepted by the Senate. We spoke to Vice Rector Prof. Orhan Aytür about the new minor programs. “These programs are intended for students who are very successful in their own programs,” Prof. Aytür said. To apply for admission to a minor program, a student must have at least a 3.0 CGPA in his or her own program. Students may enroll in a minor program no earlier than their third and no later than their fifth semester. Prof. Aytür also mentioned that the minors program transcript is held separately from the main transcript, and students may choose to leave a minor program any time they wish. To qualify for a minor program certificate, all courses in the minor program must be passed with at least a C grade, and the CGPA of the minor program courses should be at least 2.5. The minor programs currently accepting applications are: Economics, International Relations, Political Science, Psychology, History, Philosophy, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Molecular Biology and Genetics, Music Performance, Food and Beverage Management.

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IPA İhsan Doğramacı Award 2010 Goes to South African Professor

Professor Hoosen Coovadia of Durban, South Africa is the winner of the International Pediatric Association İhsan Doğramacı Award for 2010. He was recognized by IPA for his outstanding leadership in Academic Pediatrics and Child Health; Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health Care; HIV-AIDS Research and Policy; Studies of Child Health in Africa. Coovadia’s commitment to social justice was also recognized.

The IPA İhsan Doğramacı Award has been presented at each triennial International Pediatric Congress since 1995 in Cairo. During preparations for the 2010 Congress it was decided to inaugurate an İhsan Doğramacı Oration to be given by the winner of the award. This is the first year that the laureate has been named İhsan Doğramacı Orator, and Professor Coovadia gave his lecture on “The Ebb and Flow of Infectious Diseases Among Children in Africa,” tracing how sicknesses have followed paths of migration throughout known history.

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