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Brief History 中心簡史

The National Center for Theoretical Sciences (NCTS) was established August 1997 by the National Science Council (NSC, which had become Ministry of Science and Technology, the MoST, from March 2014 to July 2022, and has become National Science and Technology Council, the NSTC, since July 2022), with strong endorsement from some of the most eminent scholars, including Professors Chen Ning Yang and Shing-Tung Yau. It is located on the campus of the National Taiwan University, Taipei, with National Taiwan University acting the host. The Center consists of two divisions: Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. Previous Directors of the Physics Division were: Tung-Maw Yan, Ting-Kuo Lee, Darwin Chang, Tu-nan Chang, Hsian-Nan Li, Chung-Yu Mou, Ling-Fong Li, Xiao-Gang He and Chong-Sun Chu.

The NCTS was initially hosted on the campus of the National Tsing Hua University (NTHU), Hsinchu, with NTHU and the adjacent National Chiao Tung University acted as co-host from 1997 to 2014. In response to the need of the community, sub-projects at the National Taiwan University (NTU) and National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) were added to the operation during 2002-2014. This arrangement of the NCTS, together with the implementation of the Focus Group Program has greatly broadened and strengthened the interaction and collaboration among domestic scientists, which were the medium term goals set up for that period of time.

In 2013, an international review on NCTS was conducted and it was concluded to be of high importance for NCTS to play a more prominent international role. A restructuring of the Center, including the abolishment of sub-projects together with a significant increase in funding was recommended, with the goal to promote the NCTS to become an international leading research center. It was also decided that the Physics and Mathematics Division do not need to be hosted by the same university. As a result, a national call competition was made in the beginning of 2014. With hearty commitment, the NTHU won the bid to operate the Physics Division of the NCTS. The Mathematics division is hosted by the NTU. The two divisions operate separately to serve their separate communities and cooperate on some of their national programs.

In 2020, another national call competition for Phase V NCTS was made. The NTU won the bid to operate the Physics Division of the NCTS as well, and thus hosts both Mathematics and Physics Divisions of the NCTS since January, 2021. To increase the efficiency of the operations, the Physics Division sets up NCTS Hubs in Hsinchu and southern part of Taiwan. Currently, there are four NCTS Hubs located on the campuses of NTHU, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (NYCU), NCKU and National Sun Yat-sen University (NSYSU).

在一些最傑出學者的大力推薦與支持下,包括諾貝爾獎得主楊振寧院士和費爾茲獎(Fields Medal)得主丘成桐院士,國科會(2014年3月,國科會改為科技部;自2022年7月27日起,科技部再改制為國家科學及技術委員會)於1997年8月在國立清華大學成立國家理論科學研究中心(以下簡稱理論中心)。現在理論中心位於國立台灣大學校園內,由台大擔任其執行機構。理論中心由兩個部門組成:數學組和物理組。物理組歷任主任有:顏東茂、李定國、張達文、張圖南、李湘楠、牟中瑜、李靈峰、何小剛和朱創新。

理論組最初於1997年至2014年在國立清華大學新竹校區內營運,與毗鄰的國立交通大學共同經營。在2002-2014年期間,為了溝通上的需要,台灣大學和成功大學也加入了理論中心的經營,分別執行理論中心北區和南區子計畫。 這樣的安排,加上Focus Group一同執行,拓寬和加強了國內科學家之間的互動與合作,這是當時設定的中期目標。