The OCPA Accelerator School
Alex Chao (Stanford and SLAC)
The OCPA Accelerator School was initiated in 1998 under the auspices of the OCPA. It has been held once every two years since then except for one cancellation in 2004 due to SARS. Location of the school changes each time. So far, it has taken place five times in Mainland China, twice in Taiwan, and once in Singapore.
These schools address the basic topics in accelerator physics and engineering, and the curriculum follows a typical university one-semester course, with vigorous homework and a final exam. Each school accommodated approximately 60-80 students. Enrollment to the school is on a competitive basis. Over the years, it has educated a total of over 500 students, who are now contributing as accelerator designers and builders in Mainland China, in Taiwan and many other countries in the world, including Asia, US, and Europe. Equally important, the school over the years has trained a strong faculty of teaching staff that stands out compared with any other accelerator school systems in the rest of the world.
With this OCPA Accelerator (General) School prospering, and the students growing in their depth of study and research, a second line of OCPA Accelerator Topical School was initiated in 2009, which aimed for more advanced students on specific topics. This second-line of schools are held in alternating years with the General schools. Typically there will be 35 students. After a series of advanced lectures, each student is required to make a presentation of his/her research. So far three such schools were held in Mainland China and one in Taiwan. The total number of students amounts to about 140.
Both school series enjoyed extremely strong supports from the community. Indeed, one strength of the OCPA schools lies in the fact that there is a unified willingness to support, to contribute, and to participate from all parties, including the funding agencies, teachers, school staff, and most importantly, the students.
Accelerator science has been growing rapidly in Taiwan and China, with many accelerator projects being pursued, as envy of the world. OCPA Accelerator School has been playing, and is expected to continue to play, an important role in terms of helping educate the needed scientists to contribute to this endeavor. Its success to continue will require critical support from our community, especially the umbrella organizational platform of OCPA.