Digital evolution is the phenomenon of our age. We are always "on," "wired" together in our global village. This universal connectivity goes from the tangible to the intangible and from the nanoscale to the mega scale. The 2021 Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) 'Connectivity' explored all this and much more from January 10 to 21. The lectures and panel discussions are open to all as on-demand videos available on KAUST's YouTube and Facebook channels. WEP 2021 'Connectivity' was a global virtual event Chaired by Professor Khaled N. Salama and co-Chaired by Associate Professor Peiying Hong that connected over 70 speakers from all over the world with the audience.
During 'Connectivity,' more than 400 KAUST students attended WEP for credits and a cumulative audience of 7,000 people registered to attend our 75 events through our platform. H.E. Eng. Abdullah Al-Swaha - Saudi Arabia's Minister of Communications and Information Technology - and our president Tony Chan opened WEP. It was closed with a KAUST announcement from H.E. Khalid Al-Falah - Saudi Arabia's Minister of Investment - and an intimate live performance by the artist James Blunt.
About the theme ‘Connectivity.’
Never have we been more interconnected, more instantaneously enabled, and more empowered by the personal and professional technology at our disposal. The ability to connect from afar with homelands, mother tongues, communities, and loved ones expands possibilities for us as truly global citizens.
Digital evolution is the phenomenon of our age. We are always "on," "wired" together in our global village. This universal connectivity goes from the tangible to the intangible and from the nanoscale to the mega scale.
In the realms of science and innovation, researchers can now collaborate in a multitude of new and seamless ways. Work is accomplished remotely but also collectively to better understand and solve global challenges.
This year’s topics include:
- Cognitive, physical, and social connectivity
- Advanced networks and communications
- Cyber threats and cybersecurity
- Monitoring and mitigating threats (infectious diseases, misinformation, violence, crises, and disaster)
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence
- The Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Smart systems and cities
The success of WEP depends upon the enthusiasm and creativity of the entire KAUST community. We want to thank all community members who submitted a proposal for WEP 2021 'Connectivity.' Everyone who submitted a proposal will be informed about the committee's decision during the summer. Invitations to selected speakers will be handled by the Enrichment Office and sent during the summer.
We want to thank the WEP 2021 committee members, who represent the numerous KAUST departments across the university, for their tremendous efforts and involvement in the curation and delivery of WEP 2021 'Connectivity.' the WEP Chair leads the committee, Professor Khaled Salama, the Co-chair, Associate Professor Peiying Hong and organized by the Enrichment team led by Marie-Laure Boulot.
** The poster of WEP 2021 has been designed by the winner of our first poster design contest. This contest received more than 60 entries from in-Kingdom students and the KAUST community.
WEP 2022 will return from January 9-20 and will be Chaired by Associate Professor Peiying Hong. The theme of WEP 2022 will be announced soon.
What is WEP?
The annual Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) is one of the hallmarks of KAUST. It is a two-week program produced by Academic Affairs’ Office of Enrichment Programs that create lively and engaging events, taking us away from our regular activities and bringing together KAUST speakers and eminent guests worldwide. KAUST students must register for WEP once during their degree studies.