Monday, March 10, 2008

Congratulations Again, TJ Yusun! (Loyola Schools Awardee For Leadership And Service)

Photo Caption: FOUR MATHEMATICIANS -- (Left to Right) Dr. Reginaldo Marcelo (Chairperson, Mathematics Department), Timothy James "TJ" Yusun (Awardee), Fr. Ben Nebres, SJ (President, Ateneo de Manila University) and Dr. Rafael Saldaña (TJ's mentor) are shown during the Loyola Schools Awards for Leadership and Service held on March 10, 2008 at the Ateneo de Manila University.
NOTE: Tonight (3/10/08) I attended the 2008 Loyola Schools Awards for Leadership and Service (of Ateneo de Manila University) held at 5:00 p.m. onwards at the M. V. Pangilinan Roofdeck, Ateneo de Manila University.

Included in the event are the COA Awards, the LS Awards for Sports and the ASCEND Awards.

I am glad to report that my student and thesis advisee, Mr. Timothy "TJ" James Yusun (4 BS Mathematics) won two awards: (1) A Special Citation for our research paper on "Philippine Landslide Dynamics: A Mathematical and Computational Study Using Cellular Automata and the Minimization Algorithm" and (2) Most Outstanding Student Group for Alay ni Ignacio (ANI).

A few days ago, TJ won the 2008 BPI-DOST Science Award (again, for our research paper on Philippine Landslide Dynamics).

Below is the text of my introduction to TJ before he received his special citation:

"On February 2006, the village of Guinsaugon in the province of Southern Leyte (Philippines) was hit by two devastating landslides -- first at 10 am, then another at 10 pm -- all on the same day. Houses and schools were buried in the mud and debris along with hundreds of people, causing countries and organizations from all over the world to assist in the relief and rehabilitation efforts.

In a country such as ours, the study which is the recipient of this award, becomes very relevant because it addresses one of the perennial environmental disasters in the Philippines -- landslides.

Working with environmental researchers, my student, Timothy James Lee Yusun, came upo with a study that displays an excellent mastery of the use of mathematics and information technology in understanding landslide dynamics, producing presumably the first serious study on the selected methodology in addressing this serious environmental threat in our country.

Overall, this study is truly remarkable because it demonstrated that seemingly abstract disciplines like mathematics and computing are indeed relevant as tools in national development.

In cooperation with the Manila Observatory (of Ateneo de Manila University) and the Department of Science and Technology, Mr. Timothy Yusn's work will in fact be used as basis for further collaboration with scientists and researchers within the relevant agencies of the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

I am very proud to call to the stage Mr. Timothy James Lee Yusn form the Mathematics Department for his excellent work in the study entitled "Philippine Landslide Dynamics: A Mathematical and Computational Study Using Celllular Automata and the Minimization Algorithm."


TJ was accompanied by his mother and his sister. Fr. Ben Nebres, SJ, Ateneo de Manila University President; Dr. Ma. Assunta Cuyegkeng, Vice-President for Loyola Schools; Dr. Fabian Dayrit, Dean of the School of Science and Engineering; and Dr. Reginald Marcelo, Chairperson of the Mathematics Department, were among those who congratulated TJ.

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN TJ! Keep up with the excellent work and soar to greater heights (like a true blue eagle)! And serve God, our country, and our people!


Dr. Rafael Saldaña
Thesis Adviser
and Associate Professor
Mathematics Department
Ateneo de Manila University

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