The Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Physics (IMSP) held the first IMSP Student Alumni Faculty Forum (IMSP SAFF 2020) last November 16, 2020. The forum was virtually attended by over 100 IMSP students, alumni, faculty members, students and teachers from science- and math-oriented high schools. For its first year, the theme of the event was “Flexing the Role of Math and Physics in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

     According to Dr. Editha C. Jose, the IMSP director, the objective of this forum is to build a student, alumni, and faculty network by creating opportunities specifically to encourage collaborations and linkages among them. She also mentioned that, in this forum, students will be able to know future career opportunities in the field from the plenary talks of four distinguished alumni.

     For the first talk, Mr. Romeo Gabriel Aspera (BS Mathematics, 2001) started with a brief discussion of risk management. Now a Senior Manager at Union Bank of the Philippines, he related how his strong foundations in terms of critical thinking and problem solving skills helped him transition from working on pure mathematics in the academe to accounting and risks in banking. Mr. Espera presented a wide range of opportunities for future mathematics graduates which include careers in data science, auditing, risk management, and business and process analysis. He also highlighted the role of mathematics graduates in the 4th industrial revolution serving as the “bridge” that connects theory and practice.

     The next speaker was Ms. Abigail  Azucena Gonzalgo (BS Applied Physics, 1997) who also worked in the academe prior to pursuing a career in the industry.  She is currently a Senior Quality Engineer at Dyson Electronics Pte. Ltd., a leading global technology company. Ms. Azucena pointed out being a woman in a male-dominated field and the identity of applied physics in an engineer-dominated industry as some of the challenges she encountered. She credited her training in physics and applied physics as reasons for her successful transition, survival, and achievements in her career. Moreover, she emphasized the importance of lifelong learning of physics in all the industrial revolutions, from 1st to 4th.

     Meanwhile, Mr. Alberto Gerardo Catangui (BS Applied Mathematics, 1985) described his path to becoming a successful entrepreneur. He is the President and CEO of Ione Resource, Inc., a family-owned IT and telecommunications equipment and services provider. Mr. Catangui discussed the importance of learning the ropes and gave credit to IBM where he started as a computer salesman and was molded to become the whole package. He encouraged the attendees to look into the Internet of Things and the importance of networking.

     The final talk was delivered by Mr. Neilo Bandelaria (BS Applied Physics, 1992) who is currently the Vice President, Country Manager, and General Manager of Ampleon Philippines, Inc., a semiconductor manufacturing company that is vital for radio frequency (RF) power technology. He spoke about his different jobs and moving from one job to another. His knowledge of physics played a big part in his different assignments in Mitech-BTHI, Philips Semiconductor, and Intel. He mentioned that the manufacturing processes of Ampleon is a product of a company being revolutionized by the 4th industrial revolution.

     The forum ended with a synthesis from Dr. Junius Andre F. Balista. Dr. Ivy R. Colambo closed the program and thanked the organizing committee, plenary speakers, and attendees for the success of the event and teased them for the IMSP SAFF 2021.

     The IMSP SAFF 2020 was organized by Dr. Ivy R. Colambo (IMSP SAFF 2020 Overall Chair), Dr. Editha C. Jose (IMSP Director), Prof. Jessa Camille Duero (Secretariat Committee Head), Dr. Herbert Palines and Dr. Marvin U. Herrera (Technical Committee Heads) and Prof. Arvin Lester C. Jusi (Program Committee Head).

(JAF Balista)